FRANCE: Oradour, the disputed facts
I said: Oradour sur Glane is a village destroyed by the Germans after they had killed the inhabitants. The ruins are a shrine to the dead. Le Pen was reported as saying that it was destroyed when explosives stored there by the Resistance blew up. The French are appalled by this, and Le Pen may face another lawsuit. The consensus is that he is pretty repugnant-George Sassoon comments_ What utter nonsense! We were there and there was no sign of any explosion. Le Pen must be very stupid to think that such a transparent lie will do him any good. Also there are still people alive who remember it.
Christopher Jones said Randy Black had omitted the end of statement by Le Pen: Alain de Benoist adds: Yes, there was an end to the quotation, but there is a slight possibility that Randy Black didn‚t see it because some letters or characters were a bit distorted by the electronic transmission. Anyway, Randy Black and I agree on what Le Pen said and didn‚t say. When one says that "in France at least, the German occupation was not so inhuman", it seems clear to me that this means that the German occupation was quite probably more inhuman elsewhere. In a press conference which followed this polemic, Le Pen actually gave the examples of Poland and the Netherlands. One can always speculate about what Le Pen thinks really, if he was sincere or not with this explanation. Frankly, that does not matter much to me.
Randy Black says: Like Alain de Benoist, I have also under my eyes the complete Le Pen interview and it does not coincide with that which Mr. Benoist’s claim: “Le Pen said also that the German occupation in France was not so inhumane, compared with what the occupation was in other countries, like for instance Poland or the Netherlands, which were at that time under direct control of a Gauleiter.” The exact question and answer is is: : Que pensez-vous des commémorations de la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale avec la propagande qui va se déchaîner dès ce mois-ci et tout au long de l’année 2005 ? Le Pen:: En France du moins, l’occupation allemande n’a pas été particulièrement inhumaine, même s’il y eut des bavures, inévitables dans un pays de 550 000 kilomètres carrés. Which translates: In France at least, the German occupation was not particularly inhuman, even if there were (idiomatic word, as in perhaps murders), inevitable in a country of 550 000 square kilometers.
As WAISers can see, there is no reference to Poland or the Netherlands.
Source: http://ch.altermedia.info/index.php?p=1224 <http://ch.altermedia.info/index.php?p=1224>
Christopher Jones says: I checked the January 7, 2005 issue of Rivarol on their website, and Mr Le Pen stated, referring to Oradour-sur-Glane, "il y aurait beaucoup à dire." [there will be much to say]Later he said, "L'occupation allemande n'a pas été particulièrement inhumaine." [The German occupation was not particularly inhuman] I am including a link to the leftist Libération newspaper that confirms this.
The newspapers Le Monde and Libération, both extreme left, are clearly putting words in Jean-Marie Le Pen's mouth. They try to link this statement with a revisionist theory about the massacre, when he simply never said it. I cannot understand how you can have something called freedom of speech in a society where you are not allowed to mention even a theory. But voilà, there it is. One thing is certain: Le Pen never said "explosives stored there by the Resistance." Regarding Le Pen's statement about the German occupation, he has a point. Marshal Pétain managed to establish the Vichy régime and avoided that all of France fall under the administration of a military governor, as was the case in Poland. Comparisons may be odious, but compared to Poland . . .
RH: I would hesitate to accuse Le Monde and Libération of putting words in Le Pen's mouth. Whatever their ideology, their standards of journalism are not that low.
Alain de Benoist says: I have under the eyes the interview given by Le Pen to the radical right weekly paper Rivarol. As I have written already, he said exactly : „About Oradour-sur-Glane, many things could be said‰. It didnt‚ say a word more (neither in Rivarol nor in any other paper). The „additional critical information‰ published in Le Figaro (or elsewhere) is speculation, interpretation or fantasy. By the way, the daily newspaper Le Figaro is more a middle-of-the-road conservative-liberal paper than a „right-wing paper‰.
Le Pen said also that the German occupation in France „was not so inhumane, compared with what the occupation was in other countries‰, like for instance Poland or the Netherlands, which were at that time under direct control of a Gauleiter. Such an assertion can of course be discussed, but omitting the last part of the sentence is not honest. The obvious meaning of this sentence is that German occupation was more inhumane in other countries than in France. I think that a man like Le Pen deserves criticism for what he says. It is useless to criticize him for what he didn‚t say.
RH: The passage quoted by Christopher Jones contained a reference to the charge that the resistance stored explosives in the church of Oradour-sur-Glane. Did Le Pen repeat that charge, as another source said?
Randy Black says:Here is what Le Pen said, as published in the International Herald Tribune and other publications: (Le Pen)∑. suggested that the official version of the June 1944 massacre in Oradour-sur-Glane, the worst Nazi atrocity in France in World War II, was untrue. A German convoy rolled into the southern village, rounded up its residents and gunned them down before setting the buildings and the piles of bodies on fire; 642 people were killed.
"On the drama of Oradour-sur-Glane, there is a lot more to be said," Le Pen said, citing it in the context of examples in which he said the Gestapo actually tried to prevent civilian deaths. ∑ <http://www.iht.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi?key=> Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France's far-right National Front, has built his 50-year political career on a message of barely disguised racism and anti-Semitism. But his latest attempt to rewrite the history of World War II has provoked deep shock and loud demands for his punishment here.
He was quoted as telling a rightist weekly that the Nazi occupation of France was not "particularly inhumane," that "excesses" were inevitable and that France had to be delivered from "lies about its history." The timing of the remarks, so close to the 60th anniversary this month of the liberation of the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz in Poland, has added to the anger. ∑.Before an appearance in court on Thursday, where he was appealing a conviction last spring for "inciting racial hatred," Le Pen called it "astonishing and shocking that the justice minister has not accorded me the presumption of innocence."
About 76,000 Jews were deported to death camps during the German occupation of France from 1940 until 1944, with the help of the collaborationist Vichy government. Only about 2,500 of them survived. Thousands of French civilians were killed in attacks by the German Army. Le Pen, who in 1987 dismissed the Nazi gas chambers as a mere "detail" of World War II history, has been convicted of racism or anti-Semitism at least six times.
He has run for president four times and enjoys a strong following. In 2002, he came in second in the first round of presidential elections with 16.8 percent of the vote, crushing the Socialists and shaking the political establishment to the core. "In France, at least, the German occupation was not especially inhumane, even if there were a number of excesses, inevitable in a country of 550,000 square kilometers," he was quoted in the interview as saying. He questioned the veracity of the historical record of mass executions of civilians in France by the German Army. ∑.He also suggested that the official version of the June 1944 massacre in Oradour-sur-Glane, the worst Nazi atrocity in France in World War II, was untrue. A German convoy rolled into the southern village, rounded up its residents and gunned them down before setting the buildings and the piles of bodies on fire; 642 people were killed. "On the drama of Oradour-sur-Glane, there is a lot more to be said," Le Pen said, citing it in the context of examples in which he said the Gestapo actually tried to prevent civilian deaths.
RH:Let me repeat that an article quoted him as saying that the church at Oradour-sur-Glane was caused by the explosion of explosives stored there by the resistance. Possibly he withdrew that statement, and it was forgotten.
Le Pen was reported as saying that the church in Oradour-sur-Glane was destroyed when explosives stored there by the Resistance blew up. Alain de Benoist and Christopher Jones asked for the source of this information. Carmen Negrin says: The original interview came out in Rivarol (a very right wing "torchon"), and the additional critical information came out in the Figaro (also right wing).
Christopher Jones says: T here is indeed more than one mystery surrounding the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane. I have heard, although I may be wrong, that 21 troopers of the SS Einsatzgruppe were tried after the war, in Bordeaux. At the trial it was revealed that most of the troops were of French-Alsatian origin. All were convicted for the outrage and two were sentenced to death. Yet, just two years later all were freed. Why? How was this justified? RH: Can anyone confirm this and give details?
Alain de Benoist says: I do not know where «?Le Pen was reported as saying that it [the church in Oradour-sur-Glane] was destroyed when explosives stored there by the Resistance blew up?». The only sure thing is that he never said that. In his recent interview, which could bring him to another lawsuit, Le Pen said exactly?: «?About Oradour-sur-Glane, many things could be said?». Not a word more. Of course, one can wonder what he meany by that. But he never said anything else. I have no sympathy for Mr Le Pen, and I wrote often against the views of his party, but once again I think it is better to stick to the facts, not to propagate untrue rumors.
RH: The statements attributed to Le Pen were given in an apparently correct report months ago, but I have lost the reference.