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File on the Rittersporn affair

When Serge Thion's book Vérité historique ou vérité politique ? (Historical Truth or Political Truth?) was published by La Vieille Taupe in April 1980 it carried, just before the title page, the following mention:

This work is issued by La Vieille Taupe, with the participation and under the responsibility of Jacob Assous, Denis Authier, Jean Gabriel Cohn-Bendit, Maurice di Scuillo, Jean Luc Redlinski, Gábor Tamás Rittersporn, and Serge Thion.

This of course reminded some people of The Magnificent Seven... These seven asked to appear beside Professor Faurisson at the big trial of 1981, but were refused.

Mr Rittersporn's participation in the history of revisionism is limited to that. Since then he has developed his own body of research on the history of the Soviet Union and, in conjunction with other scholars -- especially from the English-speaking world -- he has developed an analysis of the Stalin period which, as it owes nothing to ideology and everything to the archives, has earned itself the stamp of the "revisionist" school of Soviet history. He has never written one line on German politics during the National-Socialist era.

At one moment in the early 80's, while he was being admitted to the CNRS (France's national scientific research administration), there was the whiff of a little anti-Rittersporn plot in that institution's corridors. But in France and abroad several seasoned university people made themselves heard in order to assure the authorities of the extraordinary thoroughness and competence of this Hungarian-born graduate of the University of Leningrad, who speaks ten languages, among which Japanese. Since that time his carreer has continued normally, with numerous stays at foreign universities which seem ever eager to benefit from his knowledge and talent.

He was to be assigned as of January 1st of this year to the Centre Marc-Bloch in Berlin, an institution set up very recently. France, grieved at having to pull her troops out of Berlin, intends to maintain "some presence" in the once and future capital of the Reich by means of various highly costly cultural gadgets. So be it.

As it is the sort of thing that usually gets around, the CNRS people learnt last autumn that this assignment was in the offing. The Lyon region Trotskyite cells, above all those gravitating round the École Normale Supérieure, transferred not long ago to that city, were stirred. We are in a period where "political correctness" is on a rampage amidst the remains of a totally decomposed Left, a time where all that is left are the derisory tatters of an antifascist phraseology which had already aged quite a bit by 1945. Political commissars entail a very demanding organisation: they need tribunals, implacable indictments, lots of lawmen, and culprits to unmask. Rittersporn, guilty of having thought, eighteen years ago, that one had the right to reflect on and do research in all fields of human activity, looked to them like a case to "unmask". The only problem was that he was not in the least masked. Never having taken part in the work of holocaustic revisionism, he had never hidden what was in fact common knowledge, that is to say his gesture of support, at the time of its publication in 1980, for Thion's book. The academic authorities, the CNRS, and the Foreign Ministry, duly informed by the Grand Inquisitors of Lyon, held discussions with Rittersporn on the existence of his past and agreed that the past was the past.

Seeing that the mark was getting away from them, the muggers then resorted to an old CIA tactic that that firm uses when it wants to destabilise South American regimes which it does not like: it gets false or defamatory information published in some newspaper or other, then gets other papers (which now have, in the first paper, a "source"), to pick up on it. A CIA escapee has made a very good analysis of this kind of work (Philip Agee, Inside the Company. CIA Diary, Penguin Books, 1975).

And so they contacted a Berlin journalist, one Maxim Leo. He has in his possession a dossier made up essentially of common CNRS odds and ends which no German reporter would find by himself, especially if based in Berlin. He uncleverly telephoned La Vieille Taupe in an effort to get some comments that might be put to use in the conspiracy machinery, without great success, it seems. This Maxim Leo is a former DDR citizen. It was he who coaxed Dame Mégret, mayoress of Vitrolles-en-Provence, into making a statement on racial differences which has since earned her a conviction by a French court. He thus has a rich experience as a provocateur.

And the game of billiards began. An original piece in the Berliner Zeitung was quickly followed by articles in Libération and Le Monde, themselves in steady contact with the Lyon gang. Taken by surprise, entrapped, Rittersporn spoke to this journalist, probably without seeing the set-up. He was prompted to make declarations that could be turned against him. Besides, it seems that he did not in fact make them and that the reporter took it upon himself to "rectify" the interviewee's words in accordance with his own desires, which is of course the very essence of the job of journalist. If journalists were not needed to distort things and words, then transcripts of taperecordings would be enough to make a newspaper. It would mean the end of a highly useful guild!

In his denial, Rittersporn clearly stated that he condemned the revisionist arguments, which he henceforth could not be assumed to support. This whole campaign has thus been mounted against someone who has never in the least been active in the field of holocaustic revisionism and who in no way identifies with it. Not surprising that this "affair" surfaced at carnival time...

He also said that the existence of the gas chambers had been proved, two or three years ago, "by a book published in France." Obviously we recognise the book in question, as being Pressac's Les Crématoires d'Auschwitz, la machinerie du meurtre de masse, published by the CNRS, Rittersporn's parent company. The lesson is therefore the following: until 1993, the gas chambers' existence had not been scientifically proved. In 1993, the CNRS brought out a book which finally established that existence scientifically. Consequently, a CNRS researcher would have been bound, since that date, to be convinced of said existence. Such is Rittersporn's case. Two cheers!

Of course, the revisionists will be doubled up with laughter. They have read Pressac's work with a magnifying glass; quite precisely they have scientifically demolished it, one after another, Faurisson, Thion, Guillaume, and other reseachers as well. They have plainly demonstrated that among the 160,000 documents of the Auschwitz construction bureau (Bauleitung) Pressac did not find a single one that proved that any building or room had been diverted from its function and turned into an industrial slaughterhouse. Those who experienced a feeling of cowardly relief upon the big book's publication have since had to realise that they are at an impasse. So then, it must be one way or the other: either the CNRS researchers know that the Pressac book is a moth-eaten screen which will prove unfit to stave off new questioning, or they believe that it resolves everything, thus furnishing conclusive proof of their own imbecility.

Is Gabor Rittersporn an imbecile? We would have great difficulty in believing so.

Our little file is thus made up of

etc... etc...

See German articles -- French articles -- Temps irreparable release -- publications -- Further Temps irreparable communiqué, including the recantation letter -- AAARGH statement -- Rittersporn's reaction in Berlin

Adapted from our page in French on this subject

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