Jean-Marie Le Pen has been at it again as the 86-year-old founder of the far-right National Front party defended having described Nazi gas chambers as a ‘detail of history’.
In words which will revive accusations that the far-right party remains an anti-Semitic one, Jean-Marie Le Pen said he had ‘never regretted’ making similar statements in the past.
His daughter and current leader of the party Marine Le Pen immediately distanced herself from the comments saying she ‘deeply disagrees’ with her ‘deliberately provocative’ father.
Mr Le Pen, who is still an MEP, said: ‘What I said corresponds to what I think. ‘The gas chambers were a detail of the war, unless we admit that the war was a detail of the gas chambers!’
While other National Front officials have been stripped of their party membership for racism, there has been no move to bar Jean-Marie Le Pen from a party of which he still holds the title of honorary president.
He is popular with many FN members and will stand as a candidate in December’s regional elections, despite having been convicted on numerous occasions of being anti-Jewish and for ‘inciting racial hatred’.
He has regularly made the comment about the Holocaust, telling the European Parliament in 2009: ‘I just said that the gas chambers were a detail of Second World War history, which is clear.’
Mr Le Pen was first convicted by a Munich court in 1999 for ‘minimising the Holocaust’ after telling a German far-right meeting that Nazi concentration camps and the gas chambers are ‘what one calls a detail’.
He has had a string of other convictions, including ones for violence and was briefly banned from being an MEP in 2003 following a physical attack on a French Socialist MEP.
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