Long-serving revisionist researcher is sacked

November 17, 2000

A researcher at France's largest research organisation has been dismissed for revisionism.

Serge Thion, who started working at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in 1971, was sacked by the centre's new director, Geneviève Berger, following internal inquiries.

In 1979, Thion became a defender of revisionist Robert Faurisson, former professor of literature at Lyon-II university, who described the Nazi extermination of the Jews as "a matter of fiction". Under the 1990 Gayssot act, it is illegal in France to deny the events of the Holocaust.

Using his position as a CNRS researcher, Thion persuaded linguist Noam Chomsky to sign a Faurisson petition in favour of academic freedom. He also denied that the Cambodian regime of Pol Pot was genocidal, citing it as an example to demonstrate "scientific doubts" about the Holocaust.

The order for Thion's dismissal, which was published in the Official Journal , said he had gone too far by "casting doubt on the existence of crimes committed against humanity, thus attacking the dignity of the post he occupied".

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