GENEVA (Mar. 12)
An exhibition of Nazi atrocities at De La Cite high school in Lausanne triggered a city-wide protest by students this week against the continued presence on the faculty of Mariette Paschoud, a rightwing activist who has publicly denied that the Holocaust occurred.
Students at La Cite boycotted classes taught by Paschoud. The student associations at other high schools and at the university joined them in a statement demanding that Paschoud be fired. She told a press conference in Paris last August 6 that she doubted there were gas chambers at Nazi concentration camps.
Paschoud taught history and French. Two weeks ago, the Swiss authorities relieved her of her history classes but allowed her to continue teaching French. That was the outcome of a seven-month inquiry which concluded only that Paschoud has been “naive” and “imprudent” in her remarks in Paris.
The students called the authorities “hypocritical.” Their statement said it was scandalous to allow a teacher who falsifies history to teach at their school and sent letters to government leaders demanding an explanation and investigation.
The protest has received extensive press and television coverage in Switzerland. Paschoud meanwhile has been isolated. No more than two or three students show up at her classes and other faculty members refuse to talk to her.