French far-right party founder fined for downplaying the Holocaust

Marine Le Pen, Jean-Marie Le Pen, and National Front party member Bruno Gollnisch in 2010. Credit: Marie-Lan Nguyen via Wikimedia Commons.

( The founder and former leader of France’s far-right National Front party, Jean-Marie Le Pen, 87, has been fined for denying crimes against humanity over a remark he made that the Nazi gas chambers are just a “detail” of World War II history.

In April 2015, Le Pen told BFMTV, "Gas chambers were a detail of the war, unless we accept that the war is a detail of the gas chambers.” Le Pen has made similar comments over the course of several decades. This latest statement created a feud between Le Pen and his daughter Marine, who is currently heading the National Front party and is trying to distance the party from its history of anti-Semitism. The elder Le Pen was subsequently suspended from the party, AFP reported.

France criminalizes denying crimes against humanity, especially Holocaust denial. Le Pen has been fined 30,000 euros ($34,000), in addition to 10,000 euros ($11,400) in damages payable to three associations that were plaintiffs in the case. Le Pen was also convicted for the same offense in 2010 for saying that the Nazi occupation of France was not "particularly inhumane.” 

Posted on April 8, 2016 .