PARIS (Jun. 1)
Several hundred Jews and non-Jews demonstrated last week at the Memorial to the Unknown Jewish Martyr here to protest the award of an academic degree by Nantes University to the author of a thesis claiming that the Holocaust was “a figment of Jewish imagination.”
In Nantes, in eastern France, the city council suspended a regular session to publicly condemn the university’s acceptance of the doctoral thesis.
The matter was raised in the National Assembly where Georges Fontes, the minister in charge of war veterans affairs, denounced the “vice of denying contemporary history.” Minister of Education Rene Maunoury promised a full scale investigation.
The thesis, claiming that the deadly gas found at Nazi death camps when they were liberated was for “sanitary purposes” was written by Henri Roques, 65, a retired agricultural engineer and amateur historian. It received the highest grades from the acceptance committee.
The demonstration in Paris drew former resistance fighters and concentration camp survivors as well as members of Jewish organizations.