Amaudruz Jailed in Switzerland for Holocaust Doubts
January 14, 2003
On Monday morning, January 13, Gaston-Armand Amaudruz was jailed in Switzerland for having expressed doubts about the existence of homicidal gas chambers in World War II German concentration camps, and for saying that he did not believe the figure of six million wartime Jewish dead. Complying with a summons, the publicist and retired teacher, who is 82 and in poor health, presented himself to the special high security penitentiary at lOrbe, about 20 kilometers north of Lausanne. He is to be held there for three months. In addition, there are fines and court and legal expenses.
Letters to the prisoner can be sent to: Gaston-Armand Amaudruz, Etablissement de lOrbe, CH-1350 Orbe, Switzerland.
Robert Faurisson, a French revisionist scholar, immediately informed Robert Ménard, founder of Reporters Without Borders, of the jailing. Ménard is author of a recently published work, La Censure des Bien-Pensants (Censorship of the Right-Thinking), which defends the right of revisionists to express their views, while dismissing them as entirely wrong. In his letter, Faurisson wrote: A terror-panic reigns in Switzerland over the idea of opposing the Jewish organizations and the anti-revisionist forces of repression. He concludes: How can Reporters Without Borders help stop this repression?
French revisionist writer Jean Plantin, 37-year-old publisher of the scholarly journal Tabou, may be ordered to prison by a judge in Lyon on January 22, reports Prof. Faurisson.
On April 10, 2000, a Swiss court sentenced Amaudruz to one year in prison for expressing doubts about German wartime homicidal gas chambers. He was found guilty of violating the countrys anti-racism" law, which makes it a crime to "deny, grossly minimize or seek to justify genocide or other crimes against humanity." He had broken the law, the court ruled, through his distribution of revisionist books, and for two articles in 1995 issues of his newsletter, Courrier du Continent. In one of the offending items he had written: "For my part, I maintain my position: I don't believe in the gas chambers. Let the exterminationists provide the proof and I will believe it. But as I've been waiting for this proof for decades, I don't believe I will see it soon."
In addition to the non-suspended prison sentence, the criminal court in Lausanne ordered Amaudruz to pay a fine of 1,000 Swiss francs (about $600) to each of four civil parties in the case: the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities, the Paris-based International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA), the Association of Sons and Daughters of Deported Jews of France, and a Jewish concentration camp survivor. Amaudruz was also ordered to pay the trial costs, as well as the costs of publishing a notice of the court's judgment in three daily newspapers and in an official gazette.
Shortly before the beginning of the April 2000 trial began, Amaudruz published a defiant article, "Vive le révisionnisme!, in his Courrier newsletter. He wrote:
Revisionism exists to call into question our "certainties," even the most seemingly solid ones. This methodology, very familiar to scientists, applies to all fields of knowledge.
In several countries there is an untouchable dogma: the "Six Million" and the "gas chambers"... In Switzerland, Section 261 of the criminal code ... supposedly meant to suppress "racial discrimination," does not define the offense, thereby leaving the definition up to the judges, who can condemn or acquit the accused as they see fit, or on the basis of received instructions. And just what in the world does disputing the Six Million figure have to do with racial discrimination?...
As one who has been indicted for revisionism, I repeat:
- The Six Million figure is impossible.
- I do not believe in the gas chambers, because there is no proof for them.
My trial is a political trial; the verdict is based exclusively on the appropriateness of considerations of the moment.
I prefer to obey my conscience rather than an immoral and criminal law, and I hold to my conviction. Long live revisionism!
For more on the Amaudruz case, see Switzerland: Prison Term for 'Holocaust Denial', in the March-April 2000 Journal of Historical Review.
Amaudruz, born in Lausanne in December 1920, is author of three books, holds a certificate of political science and social sciences, and for a time worked as a language teacher. As a 28-year-old he questioned claims of wartime German homicidal gas chambers in his book, Ubu Justicier au Premier Procès de Nuremberg (Paris, 1949).
Since 1946 he has been editor and publisher of Courrier du Continent, a French-language newsletter with a circulation of about 400 that is issued ten times yearly.
Amaudruz is not the first person to be punished under the country's Anti-Racism Law. In July 1998 a Swiss court punished two revisionists, Jürgen Graf and Gerhard Förster, with fines and prison terms for writing and publishing allegedly anti-Jewish books. (See: "Swiss Court Punishes Two Revisionists," July-August 1998 Journal of Historical Review.)