PARIS (May. 26)
The government has ordered a full-scale investigation into the granting of a doctoral degree by Mantes University to a candidate whose thesis claimed that the gas chambers were a figment of “Jewish imagination” and the Holocaust in fact did not occur.
Alain Devaquet, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, demanded an administrative and university investigation of the procedures which allowed the thesis to be accepted and gave it top grades. The author is Henri Roques, a retired 65-year-old agricultural engineer and amateur historian. He submitted his thesis to the Paris Sorbonne and several other major universities, all of which rejected it.
But Mantes University appointed an academic jury which examined the 371-page work, pronounced it excellent and granted Roques an academic degree. Devaquet told a Parliamentary commission that the government was “deeply disturbed by the allegations tending to deny the existence of gas chambers and of the Nazi Holocaust policies.” The episode was brought to the Ministry’s attention by 60 Nantes University faculty members who protested acceptance of the thesis.
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