Menu JTA Search

French Historian Guilty of Slander for Denying Existence of Gas Chambers

A prominent French historian who claimed that gas chambers never existed was found guilty of slander Wednesday and ordered to pay a $4,000 fine to the anti-racist organization that brought the charges against him.

Bernard Notin, a senior lecturer at Lyon University, was the latest revisionist historian to be penalized by a French court.

A civil suit was brought against him by the Movement Against Racism and Anti-Semitism on the basis of an article he published; last January in a sociological journal edited by Lyon University.

Notin wrote that gas chambers were “a figment of popular imagination without any historic basis.”

He added an anti-Semitic slur, which could result in criminal charges against him for slandering the dead and spreading racial hatred.

In an obvious reference to an international conference held in Paris last year at the instigation of Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, and sponsored by President Francois Mitterrand, Notin wrote:

“A Nobel gang which had come to Paris on vacation at the initiative of the president’s Jewish advisers helped to further disseminate this legend.”

The court found that his article caused serious and needless pain to former deportees and their families, and especially to the Jewish community.

French courts have cracked down on revisionists in recent months.

On May 14, Alain Guionnet, editor of periodical dedicated to the premise that the Holocaust was a hoax, was sentenced to nine month in jail and ordered to pay $13,500 in damages to Jewish groups he defamed in his writings.

NEXT STORY