Paris (Jan. 12)
— The leftwing civil right organization, “Movement Against Racism, anti-Semitism and for Peace” (MRAP), has expelled one of its veteran members, Yvon Chauttard, who agreed to act as defense attorney for Robert Faurisson, a French historian who has written a book in which he claims that reports about the Holocaust are “grossly exaggerated” and that genocide was not a policy fundamental to Nazism.
The expulsion decision was taken yesterday by the MRAP’s executive committee meeting. The organization’s general assembly will have to approve this decision. Faurisson has been sued by several organizations of former deportees and resistance fighters for spreading “racist theories” and Chauttard was due to represent him in court.
Chauttard said after the MRAP executive meeting that he does not share Faurisson’s views but believes that he is entitled to legal defense. Chauttard, who is himself a leftwing anti-racist activist, said that as far as he could ascertain from several meetings with Faurisson the historian is “not a racist but sincerely believes in the findings of his research”.
An MRAP communique stressed that one cannot actively participate in its campaign for civil rights and against racism and defend a person like Faurisson who “tries to whitewash the Nazi regime.”
Noam Chomsky, the American writer who is famous for his works on linguistics, has written a foreword to Faurisson’s book explaining that he does not share his ideas but believes in “Everybody’s right to freedom of opinion and the right to express it.”