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Editor is First in France to Receive Jail Term for Anti-semitic Writings

May 22, 1990
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The editor of a periodical dedicated to the idea that the Holocaust was a hoax was sentence here last week to three months in prison.

Alain Guionnet, 36, was found guilty of “incitement to discrimination, to racial hatred, racial violence and racial defamation.” He was described as given to “obsessive” and “delirious diatribes” against the Jews.

Guionnet was charged separately on three counts relating to hate activity and was sentenced May 14 to three months for each count. The court ordered that he serve them concurrently.

He was also fined a total of 75,000 francs (about $13,500) in damages and interest, to be paid to Jewish groups and organizations that combat racism.

It is the first time a French court has jailed anyone for anti-Semitic writings. But it was not Guionnet’s first time in court for his revisionist activities.

Guionnet, publisher of the monthly Revision, was arrested last year for affixing revisionist posters to cars and public buildings.

A lower court acquitted him in December, on grounds that his acts did not constitute racial incitement. The court said Guionnet had not blamed the Jews for what he called the “legend of the death camps.”

The prosecution appealed, however, arguing that his type of fallacious propaganda was a symptom of rabid anti-Semitic incitement.

In March, the Versailles Court of Appeals sentenced Guionnet to one month in jail for disseminating leaflets that claimed the gas chambers never existed. That sentence was suspended.

Last week, the judges at the Paris Court of Justice sentenced Guionnet to three months, saying he “indulged in a diatribe often delirious, even obsessive, against the Jewish community,” prompting his readers “to hate members” of that community.

In the September edition of Revision, Guionnet published excerpts from the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a notorious anti-Semitic forgery. The magazine denounced the gas chambers as a myth made up by Jews.

In October, the magazine wrote about the “hoax or myth of genocide against the Jews” during World War II and included what the court called an “ultimatum” that was a “menace.”

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