Verdict: Lyon-3 is not 'fascist'

October 22, 2004

The University of Lyon-3, Jean-Moulin is not fascist but its founders have tolerated extreme right-wing ideas, an inquiry has found.

The university gained a reputation for revisionist tendencies after its foundation in 1973 around a core of right-wing academics. Among them was Bruno Gollnisch, second in command of the Front National.

French university authorities asked François Fillon, the Education Minister, to suspend Mr Gollnisch after his response last week to the inquiry's findings repeated his doubts about the existence of the Nazi gas chambers.

The inquiry report examines events such as the award in 1985 of a distinction by Germanist Jean-Paul Allard for a student's thesis challenging the existence of Nazi gas chambers and jury-rigging in favour of known revisionists.

Inquiry chairman Henry Rousso, director of the Institut d'Histoire du Temps Présent, reports that while Lyon-3 has tolerated extreme right-wing ideas, it is far from being a "fascist fac " (fascist university).

But the university is criticised for awarding diplomas and promotions for mediocre work. The report also says that recent appointments at Lyon-3 appear to "presage a will to pass on the legacy of the original extreme-right circle".

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