In memoriam Robert Faurisson
On Sunday evening, October 21, 2018, Robert Faurisson, one of the most prominent representatives of the School of Historical Revisionism, passed away. If the existence of Nazi homicidal gas chambers has been questioned both among historians and the general public, it is primarily because of his work that earned him an international reputation.
Robert Faurisson's reflections on the accusations made against the Third Reich go back to the end of the war. It was in 1960 that his research turned to the question of the genocide of the Jews, its plan, its means (the gas chambers) and its results. With this in view, Robert Faurisson spent fourteen years at the Centre de documentation juive contemporaine in Paris, analyzing thousands of documents. He personally interviewed witnesses. He conducted field investigations, visiting Auschwitz, Birkenau and other camps on several occasions. On the particular point of the homicidal gas chambers of Auschwitz, he discovered the plans on March 19, 1976, on which they appear as morgues (Leichenkammer). In France and abroad, he interviewed chemists and engineers in order to carry out an expertise on the means and techniques of a mass extermination by gas. Robert Faurisson concluded from his work that there was no proof of the existence of homicidal gas chambers, and even that they were technically, physically, chemically and physiologically impossible.
Robert Faurisson has exposed these results before the scientific community. The American historian Raul Hilberg, "pope" of the exterminationist historical school, has, on this point as on others, paid homage to his colleague Robert Faurisson: "I would say that, in a certain way, Faurisson and others, without having wanted it, have done us a service. They have raised questions that have had the effect of engaging historians in new research. They have forced us to gather more information, to re-examine the documents and to go further in the understanding of what happened" (Interview by Guy Sitbon, Le Nouvel Observateur, July 3-9, 1982, p. 71). It is quite certain that historical science would not have advanced one iota if one had followed since the war the opinion expressed by thirty-four carrier-oriented historians in a collectively signed tribune published in 1979 by Le Monde. They declared that "One should not wonder how, technically, such a mass murder was possible. It was technically possible because it took place. This is the obligatory starting point for any historical investigation of this subject. This truth, it was our duty to recall it simply: there is not, nor can there be, any debate about the existence of the gas chambers" (Philippe Ariès et al., "La politique nazie d'extermination: une déclaration d'historiens", Le Monde, February 21, 1979, page 23).
In France, in the wake of the murderous spirit of the Épuration, the first attempts at judicial repression were orchestrated to suppress any historical criticism of the facts of the Second World War, whether this criticism emanated from recognized intellectuals (Maurice Bardèche) or from direct witnesses of the deportation and the camps (Paul Rassinier). The entire legal arsenal of repression was then used: insult, defamation, apology for murder, provocation and even civil liability. The judicial repression directed against Robert Faurisson dates back to 1979, when he was already recognized in the field of literary revisionism. This repression was accompanied by an incredible campaign of slander, administrative persecution, ostracism and even serious and repeated physical attacks while their authors were applauded. These ideas led Robert Faurisson to suffer ten physical attacks (two in Lyon, two in Vichy, four in Paris, two in Stockholm) without any of his attackers being bothered. In addition, he was raided six times by the police (criminal police and anti-crime squad) and had an incredible number of trials.
However, the Court of Appeal of Paris, in a remarkable decision of April 26, 1983, after having recalled the jurisprudence in the matter ("the Courts are neither competent nor qualified to pass judgment on the value of the historical works that researchers submit to the public and to settle the controversies or the contestations that these same works seldom fail to raise"), was to find that "the accusations of levity formulated against [Robert Faurisson] lack relevance and are not sufficiently established", to state that "it is not permitted to affirm either, in view of the nature of the studies to which he has given himself over, that he dismissed the testimonies out of levity or negligence, or deliberately chose to ignore them ; that in addition, no one can convince him of lying when he enumerates the multiple documents that he claims to have studied and the organizations with which he would have investigated during more than fourteen years" and to deduce that "the value of the conclusions defended by Mr. Faurisson [on the existence of the gas chambers, i.e., their non-existence] is therefore a matter for the experts, historians and the public alone to decide" (eleventh recital of the judgment). This was undoubtedly a victory for revisionism in the judicial arena, so when, in 1987, Jean-Marie Le Pen dared to declare, on the subject of the gas chambers, that "there are historians who debate these questions," it was too much. The adoption of the [Fabius-Gayssot] law of July 13, 1990 followed, which was expected and obtained to condemn any questioning, even allusive, of the facts for which Germany and the whole of defeated Europe had been condemned.
The Professor often said that all war is butchery. There is no doubt about it, and it is precisely since the eleventh century that the nations of Latin Christendom have endeavored to pacify the conflicts that opposed them. And in the classical age, from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, they managed, at least among themselves, to limit war in space and time: A peace treaty and an amnesty concluded the conflict, followed by mutual forgiveness and a ban on stirring up the ashes of the past. The study of history has therefore always been a perilous undertaking. But the situation of historians has worsened since the Second World War, which saw the resurgence of the ideology of the war as a just cause. By turning the perspective upside down, this ideology removes the limits of means and knows no other end than the annihilation of the enemy. This is how the Second World War, preceded and accompanied by a deluge of criminal accusations, was prolonged by show trials where the victors enjoyed judging the vanquished. The most famous of these is the so-called "Nuremberg trial", followed to this day in France by those of Touvier, Barbie, Bousquet and Papon, and in Germany by the recent Gröning trial. As for historians, their situation has become unenviable: the old obligation of silence has been replaced by the duty to cultivate hatred of the defeated enemy. Between obeying the iniquitous decree of a mortal Creon or respecting the eternal laws of the gods, Robert Faurisson has traced for us the path of the Just.
PS: I met Robert Faurisson for the first time on December 26, 2008, the evening of his performance at the Zénith in Paris with Dieudonné. He told us that he could not find a lawyer who would accept to defend him. I was then a student lawyer at the Paris Bar School and I promised him to accept to defend him. I took the oath in December 2010 and Robert Faurisson called on me a first time in 2012 and again in December 2015. This is how he did me the honor of entrusting me with his defense during the last three years of his life. At the end of each month, I took stock of his trials with him: Un homme, trial over; MétaTV, Tehran, and Le Monde, pending before the Court of Cassation; Rivarol, awaiting the settlement order of the investigating judge; Le Struthof, sentence under deliberation before the court of Cusset.
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|Title:||In memoriam Robert Faurisson|
|First posted on CODOH:||Nov. 14, 2021, 10:30 a.m.|