The founder and former leader of France’s far-right National Front party, Jean-Marie Le Pen, 87, was fined by a French court for denying crimes against humanity over a remark he made that the Nazi gas chambers are just a “detail” of World War II history.
In April 2015, Le Pen told BFMTV that “gas chambers were a detail of the war, unless we accept that the war is a detail of the gas chambers.”
Le Pen was fined 30,000 euros ($34,000), in addition to 10,000 euros ($11,400) in damages payable to three associations that were plaintiffs in the case.
Le Pen has made similar offensive comments over the course of several decades.
He was also convicted for a similar offense in 2010 for saying that the Nazi occupation of France was not “particularly inhumane.”
This latest statement created a feud between Le Pen and his daughter Marine, who is currently heading the National Front party and is trying to distance the party from its history of anti-Semitism. The elder Le Pen was subsequently suspended from the party.
It is a punishable crime in France to deny crimes against humanity, and especially Holocaust denial.
In January, a French high court upheld the law singling out Holocaust denial as a crime, ruling that the World War II genocide is of a “different nature” than other crimes against humanity.
A math teacher who was fired after being convicted of Holocaust denial challenged the law, saying it unfairly punished only those disputing or denying the Jewish Holocaust, but not other crimes against humanity.
The Constitutional Court ruled that the Nazi Holocaust “has in itself a racist and anti-Semitic significance” and, additionally, was committed in part on French territory.
By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff