"It's not my subject, I do not know anything about it." That was the answer of the political activist Etienne Chouard, "figure" of the yellow vests, to whom the journalist Denis Robert asked Monday evening, on the TV Media, if he personally had a doubt about the existence of the gas chambers. Words that circulated widely on social networks on Tuesday, triggering a controversy, and leading the Union of Jewish Students in France to announce the filing of a complaint for Holocaust denial. "Etienne Chouard challenges the existence of gas chambers by asking the demonstration by historians.The work was done.A law is passed.Justice will pass," wrote on Twitter Sacha Ghozlan, the president of the association.
Choir: To be dragged down by its own weight. Etienne Chouard challenges the existence of gas chambers by asking the demonstration by historians. The work has been done. A law has passed. Justice will pass. We seize it for these negationist remarks. pic.twitter.com/azRcSjWp6A- Sacha Ghozlan (@SachaGhozlan) June 11, 2019
"Yves Ternon, historian of genocide, reminded us a few days ago in Chambon-sur-Lignon that 'as long as there are deniers, the genocide is not over.'" After the statements of Etienne Chouard on the gas chambers on the TV Media, Licra takes justice, "tweeted the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra).
Yves Ternon, historian of genocide, reminded us a few days ago at Chambon-sur-Lignon that "as long as there are deniers, the genocide is not over." After the statements of Etienne Chouard on the gas chambers on @LeMediaTV, the @_LICRA_ seizes justice. https://t.co/LPsyl3IgKI- LICRA (@_LICRA_) June 12, 2019
Influential blogger with "yellow jackets", Etienne Chouard is regularly criticized for his controversial positions, especially in favor of Alain Soral, whom he described as "resistant". Invited on the TV Media, he proposed a very broad vision of freedom of expression, claiming, for example, that racism, which he described as opinion, should be "daily defended and disassembled". It was at the moment when he assured that "historians do not stop to deconstruct the stories often written by the victors (...) it is a permanent work", that the journalist Denis Robert asked him the question of the rooms gas.
"Never read anything about it"
After refusing to give a clear answer on the grounds that he was not an expert on the subject, Etienne Chouard finally let go: "I will tell you 'yes I have no doubt', because otherwise I am a criminal of thought". Claiming to have "never read anything about it", the activist asked naively: "if this story of gas chamber (...), it is so serious to doubt, is it is not enough to produce the demonstration against those who deny, and then we move on to something else? "
A sentence that caused the exasperation of many observers, who recalled the innumerable evidence of the existence of gas chambers long made by historians and survivors of the Holocaust, and taught at the French school from CM2 .
What are we proposing to Mr. Chouard? The acts of the Eichmann trial? The confession of Rudolf Höss, commander of Auschwitz? The Nazi archives seized by the armies? Those of the industrialists, the testimonies of the SS, the victims? The letters of the Sonderkommandos of Birkenau?- Géraldine Woessner (@GeWoessner) June 11, 2019
Elected officials from all sides denounced the activist's remarks. François Ruffin, a French deputy who had paid tribute in December 2018 to "Etienne Chouard and his friends" for popularizing the referendum of citizens' initiative, notably acknowledged on Wednesday France Inter having made "a mistake", taxing the exit of the blogger on The TV Media of "pure bullshit".