(JTA) — Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France’s far-right National Front party, was fined for repeating his view that the Nazi gas chambers were a “detail” of World War II.
A court in Paris fined Le Pen some $34,000 after finding him guilty of denying crimes against humanity, the French news agency AFP reported.
One year ago, Le Pen told French TV that he does not regret the statement he first made in 1987, for which he was convicted of racial hatred and fined.
“Gas chambers were a detail of the war, unless we accept that the war is a detail of the gas chambers,” he told BFM TV in April 2015. “I continue to uphold the view because I think it is the truth and it should not shock anyone. They have exploited this affair against me, implying this is about anti-Semitism. But I defy anyone to quote me on anything anti-Semitic I have said in my political career.
Le Pen, the National Front’s former head, also made similar statements in 1997 in Germany, and then in 2008 and 2009 in the European Parliament.
His daughter Marine Le Pen has sought to gain mainstream acceptance for the National Front, which she now heads, by distancing herself and the anti-immigrant party from her father’s anti-Semitic rhetoric. In May he was suspended from the party and subsequently was disowned by his daughter.