Get the Trolls Out partner Licra and the Union of Jewish Students of France (UEJF) have filed a legal complaint against Yellow Vests activist Etienne Chouard for his antisemitic claims about the gas chambers.
Interviewed on the TV show “Cartes sur table” on “Le Media” online channel, Etienne Chouard, a teacher, blogger and well-known Yellow Vests political activist claimed to have no knowledge about the Holocaust and expressed some ambiguous doubts on the existence of the gas chambers. The two journalist hosts asked him to clarify his position on the Holocaust and about Alain Soral, a notorious Holocaust denier that Chouard previously defined as “a person who resists”. Answering vaguely, Chouard said “I will tell you 'yes I have no doubt', because otherwise I am guilty of thought crime”. He claimed that he is not an expert on the topic (“I’ve never read anything about it [the Holocaust]” and “we ask people to be sure, to be very sure, on a topic if they know nothing,”). Chouard suggested there is nothing wrong in questioning the existence of the gas chambers (“If it is so bad to have doubts about it, simply prove it and move on”) and stated that racism, antisemitism and Holocaust denial are “opinions”.
It is highly unlikely that Chouard, a teacher and a political activist, “has never read anything” about the topic, in a country where WW2 and the Holocaust are taught from primary school. Chouard was, however, well-informed about the law against Holocaust denial. By saying “If it is so bad to have doubts about it, simply demonstrate it and move on”, Chouard is ambiguously contesting the existence of gas chambers and calling historians to prove it. Despite a long-standing debate, among historians and legal experts, on the effectiveness of making the Holocaust denial illegal, expressing doubts about the systematic genocidal killing of approximately six million Jews in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, is highly antisemitic. It cannot be presented, as Chouard said, as an opinion.
Licra and UEJF sued Chouard as Holocaust denial is illegal in France. Licra also published an article on their website where they exposed Chouard’s remarks and denounced the dangers of denying or downplaying the Holocaust.