Abbe Pierre Condemned for Support of Revisionist
"Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death."
Abbe Pierre, a Roman Catholic priest known for championing France's poor and homeless was condemned for supporting the author of a book that presents revisionist arguments which cast doubt on more traditional beliefs about the holocaust.
Abbe Pierre, 83, is regularly shown by opinion polls to be the most popular person in France. He has been called the French "Mother Theresa." The recent controversy came when Pierre defended his long-time friend, Roger Garaudy as an "honest man." Garaudy has been the target of an investigation for having written a book about Israel, The Founding Myths of Israeli Policy.
The "anti-racist" group MRAP was angered by Abbe Pierre's support for Garaudy. MRAP had planned to take Garaudy to court on charges of holding revisionist views regarding the holocaust story.
Garaudy, who was a concentration camp inmate himself, expressed his opinion on French TF1 television by explaining that the Nazis committed "massacres" or "pogroms" of Jews but it was an exaggeration to call the killings a "Holocaust" or "genocide."
During the Second World War, Abbe Pierre helped many Jews escape from France to neutral Switzerland. He recently explained that Hitler's crimes may have been exaggerated by passions about Nazi abominations after the end of the war. He pointed out that for many years, a plaque at the Auschwitz concentration camp commemorated the deaths of four million people, even though the figure now accepted is approximately one million.
Pierre told the daily, Le Monde:
"Even though I don't contest the overall figure of six million Jewish victims, my abomination would be the same faced with a million. At this level of horror, mathematics don't count."
Abbe Pierre has long shamed politicians of all sides into action. He is known for his soft voice, dishevelled white beard, simple dress, his beret and sturdy work shoes. Pierre spent most of his life aiding society's outcasts.
Today it is that same society which has chosen to outcast Abbe Pierre.
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Abbe Pierre Condemned for Support of Revisionist, ThoughtCrime: 04/20/96|
|First posted on CODOH:||April 18, 1996, 7 p.m.|