Paris, 24 February 1998
Some days ago, Le Monde published an article entitled "A Revisionnist "Mole" in Berlin" (13 Feb.). The symbolic content of the title was rich and diverse: a "mole" (alluding to the Revisionnist publishing house called "The Old Mole") had been "planted", in Berlin, heart of the Third Reich. It could be understood as the result of a hidden plot to revive the nazi regime from where it was born, a phoenix rising from ashes. Such an idea, if true, could send shockwaves around the world.
Under the glittering surface of the formula, reality was deceptive: a Hungarian-born French historian was assigned to a French-funded research institute in Berlin. The man, Dr. Gabor Rittersporn, described by the press as either Jew or half-Jew, is a Soviet scholar well-known in the international academic world.
According to the Berlin and Paris newspapers, Dr. Rittersporn has committed a crime eighteen years ago. In French law, a crime discovered eighteen years later and not sued in court within five years cannot be prosecuted: it is lapsed.
What was the crime committed by this gentleman ? He approved the publication of a book explaining what the Faurisson affair was all about. The book contained several pieces written by Prof. Faurisson. The book* and its author, Serge Thion, were never even sued in the French courts. Only ten years later (in 1990) did the French government pass the Gayssot Act which severely curtails freedom of expression.
Apprised of this nomination, a group of disgruntled social scientists and journalists active in the Trotzkystes networks of left-wing (state-financed) organizations in the Lyon area prepared a file on Rittersporn. Since November they have been agitating this file in the press and the French bureaucracy, to no avail; until a left-wing Jewish journalist in a Berlin newspaper succeeded in trapping Rittersporn, who is supposed to have said some words which could be construed as meaning that he was not convinced of the existence of the gas chambers. Rittersporn immediately went to the courts in Berlin and sued the journalist, Maxim Leo, for distortion and defamation.
We, on this site, dealing with Revisionism in French, are very astonished. Since his approving of the publication of a perfectly legal and legitimate book in 1980, Dr. Rittersporn has not contributed anything dealing with Holocaust Revisionism. He cannot be considered in one way or the other as participating in our works. We have no signed text by him. As far as we know, he is involved in another Revisionist approach dealing with Soviet history. He had indicated long time ago that he did not wish to be associated with further episodes in our uphill battle to achieve a real freedom of thought in France. We have respected this wish.
Some days ago, he was led to a recantation in a short letter published in Le Monde (21 February). He said he has never denied the existence of the gas chambers nor the industrial extermination of European Jews. He condemns "revisionist" and "negationist" theses. He says Faurisson's writing are "absurd". He is sorry to have supported the publication of the book in 1980. It was an "error".
We are also sorry to see intellectual terrorism displayed by Trotzkyst or Stalinist groups succeed in this way. We find ridiculous to see someone who has never been a revisionnist passing as a recanting revisionist. Maccarthyism lasted a few years and broke down quite a number of people. A very similar phenomenon is rising in France and Germany. Self-styled thought dictators organize informal popular trials in many places. The threat of being publicly labelled as anti-Israel or anti-semite is operating miracles. Few people dare to resist. Most of the victims are not Revisionists, we know that many of them are quite hostile to us. Rittersporn is one of these victims. We only wish that victims do not behave like the well known sacrifical lamb. The only way to say "no" is to say "no".
24 Feb. 1998.
* Vérité historique ou vérité politique ? (Historical Truth or Political Truth?); See the French original at: http://aaargh-international.org/fran/histo/histo.html.
German translation at: http://aaargh-international.org/deut/STwahrheit1-1.html
The first chapters are available in English too: http://aaargh-international.org/engl/ST/SThtpt1.html