Robert Faurisson, a French revisionist leader who denies the Holocaust ever occurred, was attacked and severely beaten Saturday morning by three men near his home in Vichy.
An organization calling itself the “Sons of Jewish Memory” telephoned the news media to claim responsibility and threatened that “falsifying history will not go unpunished.”
But French Jewish leaders expressed doubts about the organization’s existence. Jean Kahn, president of the Representative Council of Jewish Organizations in France, speculated that Faurisson’s assailants were right-wing hoodlums hoping to provoke anti-Jewish sentiment.
Faurisson is regarded as the founder of the French revisionist school of historians. In the early 1970s, he tried to publish a thesis contending there were no gas chambers and that the number of Holocaust victims “is vastly exaggerated.”
Although repudiated by most historians, his notions have been publicized by Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the extreme right-wing National Front.
Right-wing organizations called Faurisson’s attackers “terrorists” and demanded that the government launch a major investigation.
He was set upon while walking his dog. He is reportedly in serious condition in the intensive care unit of Clermond Ferrand Hospital, with facial-bone fractures and broken ribs.
The so-called “Sons of Jewish Memory” blamed Faurisson’s writings for the failure of the Polish Church to remove a convent from the grounds of the former Auschwitz death camp.
“We want all those who deny the Shoah to walk in fear,” they said.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.