(JTA) — Members of a Norwegian lawmaker’s own party have called for his resignation after he publicly denied the Holocaust.
Labor Party lawmaker Anders Mathisen reportedly told the Finnmarken newspaper that the Holocaust never happened and challenged readers to prove him wrong.
“There is no evidence the gas chambers or mass graves existed," he told the newspaper, according to reports. "Even reputable Holocaust historians have admitted it cannot be established.”
Mathisen reportedly has spent months researching World War II concentration camps and is advocating changing history books, according to the Coordination Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism. He also published his reported his "findings" on his Facebook page.
Mathisen reportedly has accused Holocaust survivors of exaggerating their stories. He also said that the public has been brainwashed into believing in the Holocaust by films such as "Schindler’s List," according to the forum.
The lawmaker has refused to resign from the party.
"Holocaust survivors are aghast at the morally repugnant comments of a Norwegian member of Parliament," Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants, said in a statement. "They are an insult to the memory of all victims of Nazi brutality, Jew and non-Jew."
Steinberg called for Mathisen’s expulsion from political office and removal from the Labor Party.
"It was not until the 1990s that Norway began to confront its collaboration with the deportation of Jews and the plunder of their property during the Nazi occupation," the statement concluded. "The manner in which they deal with MP Mathisen is a test of whether those historical lessons were learned."