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Robert Faurisson was born in 1929 of a French father and Scottish mother in the suburban village on Shepperton, about 15 miles southwest of London.  He studied in France at the University of Lyon, and became a teacher in Vichy.  He became a public Holocaust denier in the 1970s, writing an article for Le Monde in 1978 that claimed that the gas houses at Auschwitz did not exist.  Faurisson called Anne Frank’s diary a fraud, and engaged in other anti-Semitic efforts to discredit Holocaust memory.

He traveled widely peddling his patently false ideas.  When he went to Sweden in 1992, hundreds of protesting students met him at the airport and 200 elderly Jews protested outside Parliament. He traveled regularly to attend and speak at conferences of the Institute for Historical Review, then the Number One Hothouse for mis-remembering the Holocaust.  IHR’s executive director Mark Weber, translated Faurisson as he spoke in the streets of Munich in 1991, at a much diminished Kongress.

Faurisson persuaded Noam Chomsky to write in defense of his free speech rights. And Chomsky later wrote that he thought Faurisson was “a relatively apolitical liberal of some sort.”

When Faurisson came to England this month, the anti-fascist anti-racist magazine Searchlight tracked his activities: “An audience of 60 like-minded historical revisionists had made their way to a secretive reception on Saturday 20 October at a hotel in Shepperton, arranged by Peter Rushton, assistant editor of the intellectual Nazi publication Heritage and Destiny. … After an opening speech by Vincent Reynouard, who is hiding out in the UK in the face of a European arrest warrant, the audience …were regaled by Faurisson boasting about his “research” which had “proved” that the Nazi gas chambers were faked. As he was coming to the end of his speech, the hotel management demanded that Rushton close the meeting. Rushton refused, and according to a report on the Heritage and Destiny website, the management “harassed the audience … turning out the lights, setting off the fire alarm and playing loud disco music …”.”

Faurisson went home to Vichy and on Sunday, October 22, died of a heart attack in the doorway of his house.

Leonard Zeskind

Author Leonard Zeskind

is founder of IREHR. For almost four decades, he has been a leading authority on white nationalist political and social movements. He is the author of Blood and Politics: The History of White Nationalism from the Margins to the Mainstream, published by Farrar Straus & Giroux in May 2009. [more..]

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