PARIS (Dec. 28)
The leftwing organization, “Movement Against Racism, anti-Semitism and for Peace” (MRAP), is about to expel one of its members who has agreed to act as defense attorney for Robert Flourisson, a French historian who has written a book in which he contends that the Nazi gas chambers never existed and that the number of Holocaust victims has been “grossly exaggerated.”
The former professor, who was dismissed from his past at Lyons University in the wake of a scandal caused by one of his previous books on the some theme, is being sued by eight civic organizations for spreading “racist theories.” Flourisson claims that he is neither anti-Jewish nor pro-Nazi but that his “historic research has led him to promulgate his view.
The attorney, Yvon Chottard, a veteran member of MRAP, claims that Flourisson has a right to express his opinions, however shocking these may be, and has a right to legal defense. Chottard says his position is similar to that of Noam Chomsky, the American writer who is famous for his works on linguistics, who has written a foreword to Flourisson’s book as a gesture towards “freedom of expression.”
MRAP executive committee members said that Chottard’s expulsion will be discussed and most probably decided at the organization’s annual congress next month. They said that acting for Flourisson and belonging to on anti-fascist organization is a contradiction. MRAP members said they also intend to re-examine the French government’s policy towards members of rightwing racist organizations. Some MRAP members believe that the judiciary branch of the government is for too lenient with such individuals.