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Friday February 4, 2005

French far-right MP suspended from teaching duties over gas chamber remarks

AFP Photo

THE French education ministry suspended far-right lawmaker Bruno Gollnisch from his position as a university professor over controversial comments he made about Nazi gas chambers.

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David Irving comments:

IT is becomingly increasingly dangerous to espouse revisionist or non-conformist views on history, around the world; but in few places is the danger more pronounced than in the French universities.
   Henri Rocques can also attest to this. After he exposed the Kurt Gerstein statements as unreliable, he was stripped of his doctoral degree.
   Worse was the fate of Professor Robert Faurisson, who lost his university chair when he began asking awkward questions about accepted dogma of the Holocaust. Since then he has been fined crippling amounts of money, and threatened with prison, for persisting in his stubborn refusal to accept the official version of history.
   The ferocity and blindness of the attacks on the revisionists suggests that the conformists know they do not have a case to answer or one that will stand up to fair and open debate.
   But the world's citizens are not totally stupid, as the increasing figures of the skeptics around the world now show: and the Holocaust historians find they have painted themselves into a corner, by their fanatical adherence to the more implausible elements of their lore.

Gollnisch, a professor of Japanese civilization and international law at the Jean-Moulin university in Lyon, said he would appeal his suspension to the Conseil d'Etat, the country's highest administrative court.

The education ministry said Gollnisch, who is a top deputy to far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen within his National Front (FN) party, had been relieved of his duties "in the interest of the department".

Gollnisch told a press conference in October:

"I do not deny the existence of deadly gas chambers. But I'm not a specialist on this issue, and I think we have to let the historians debate it. And this debate should be free and open."

The FN deputy said he did not contest the "hundreds of thousands, the millions of deaths" during the Holocaust, but added: "As to the way those people died, a debate should take place."

University administrators suspended Gollnisch's classes in late October, but the Conseil d'Etat last month authorized him to return to the lecture hall.

His classes resumed on Wednesday, but were marred by scuffles pitting FN sympathisers against student groups condemning FN policies.

Le Pen sparked controversy last month when he described the Nazi occupation of France during World War II as "not especially inhumane".

Paris prosecutors have launched a preliminary inquiry to determine whether Le Pen's remarks constitute "denial of crimes against humanity" or "apology for war crimes" -- both of which are criminal offenses.


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