2 Anti-semites Get Jail Terms in First French Trial Under Anti-race Law
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2 Anti-semites Get Jail Terms in First French Trial Under Anti-race Law

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The first action under the recently promulgated laws prohibiting racial agitation was held today. Two Parisian journalists received prison sentences and fines for an anti-Semitic article. Alderman Louis Darquier de Pellepoix, publisher of the anti-Semitic newspaper France Enchainee, was sentenced to three months imprisonment and fined 500 francs. His collaborator, Pierre Gerard, received a 30-day term and a similar fine.

The sentences were based on an article written by the two defendants in the May 31 issue of the newspaper in which they alleged that the Jews were the lowest race, that Jews stimulated French women not to have children and made similar charges. They admitted authorship of the article.

The presiding judge told the defendants that since such articles provoked agitation and were aimed at fomenting disorder the court must apply rigorously the law prohibiting incitement by one group of inhabitants of France against another in order to prevent damage to France by racial campaigns.

Efforts by the defendants to argue that they were the victims of “machinations” drew a quick rebuke from the judge, who warned them to “behave yourselves correctly, and if you intend to make believe that you are victims of machinations I warn you that the court does not believe it; it intends to apply the law inexorably.”

The judge particularly ridiculed the allegation that Jews hindered the French birthrate. His sarcastic comments provoked laughter from courtroom spectators.

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