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Le Pen still repeating his repugnant claim that extermination was a “detail” of the concentration camps

Translated Wednesday 30 April 2008, by Patrick Bolland

Still wanting to be talked about, Jean-Marie Le Pen has repeated his phrase that the Nazi gas chambers were “a detail of the history the Second World War”.

“I said that the gas chambers were a detail of the history the Second World War: this seems to me to be so obvious”, the National Front leader declared in the monthly review “Bretons”, distributed across Brittany and in the Paris region.

When the Bretons journalist pointed out to him that “People were deported to the camps just to kill them”, Jean-Marie Le Pen replied: “But that’s just your own belief, I don’t feel forced to accept the same opinion. I can point out that at Auschwitz, there was the factory of IG Farben, with 80,000 employees working there. As far as I know, they weren’t gased, in any case. Nor burned.”

These statements were immediately condemned by politicians and public-interest groups who saw in this an example of “denial”.

Le Pen himself claimed in a brief press release that “15 days ago (he) had expressly forbidden by registered letter” the magazine Bretons to publish the interview.

The Representative Council of Jewish Institutions (CRFI) considers that the ex-presidential candidate, “in political freefall”, had moved “still further down the path of denial of the holocaust” in order “get people to talk about him”.

The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA) declared that the leader of the National Front was exposing himself to new legal actions that LICRA will certainly be launching, following consultation with its legal commission.

Denouncing Le Pen’s “openly expressed revisionism”, the Young Socialists’ Movement (MJS) hoped that “Justice will not allow such assertions to go unpunished.”

On RJC – the Jewish community radio station - the European deputy Vincent Peillon raised the stakes: “Jean-Marie Le Pen must be condemned in the most severe terms”.

The same message came from the Deputy Jean-Pierre Brard (affiliated with the Communist delegation) who, in a press release, called on the “Ministry of Justice to commit itself, without delay, to pursue Le Pen as vigorously and severely as possible” for these “abject statements”.

Jean-Pierre Brard has also called on the vice-president of the Front National, Marine Le Pen, “who claims she is giving the Party a new image”, to condemn “without reservation” these declarations and to “present the apologies of her Party.”

In 1987, the leader of the extreme right-wing Party has already been condemned to a fine of 1.2- million francs (183.200 euros) for his first statements about “just a detail”, when he presented them on the radio station, RTL.

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