Jean-Marie Le Pen to be prosecuted for comments on Nazi gas chambers

 

French rightwing firebrand Jean-Marie Le Pen is to be prosecuted for denying crimes against humanity after describing the gas chambers of the Holocaust as “a detail” of the Second World War.

The 87-year-old founder of the National Front was infuriated by the decision to take him to court and described the move as “further persecution”.

In reference to the public protests that followed the terrorist massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices early this year, he said: “I thought that millions of French people had marched for freedom of expression”

“I thought that included the right to blaspheme. And this is blasphemy, isn’t it? It is after all an almost religious point.”

The decision to prosecute followed the aging politician’s comments on French television in April when he said: "Gas chambers were a detail of the war, unless we accept that the war is a detail of the gas chambers."

It is not the first time he has made controversial remarks about the gas chambers that were used as part of Nazi Germany’s industrialised slaughter of Jews and other groups.

He made similar comments in 1987 and the controversy resurfaced in April when he was asked if he stood by his original comments about gas chambers. He also made similar statements in 1997, 2008 and 2009.

His televised interview in April led to a further break with his daughter, Marine, who has been trying to detoxify the National Front of some of its anti-semitic links since succeeding him as the leader in 2011.

She suspended him from the party in May but the move was overturned when he went to court to challenge the decision. He remains honorary chairman.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in