For more than half a century, Gaston-Armand Amaudruz has been active in his native
Since 1946 he has edited, produced and published Courrier du Continent, an information-packed French-language newsletter. Issued ten times years, it has a modest circulation of 400-500.
On April 10, 2000, a Swiss court sentenced Amaudruz to one year in prison for “denying” the existence of homicidal gas chambers in World War II German concentration camps. The 79-year-old publicist and retired teacher was found guilty of violating the Swiss “anti-racism” law that makes it a crime to “deny, grossly minimize or seek to justify genocide or other crimes against humanity.” He had broken the law, the court ruled, through his distribution of revisionist books, and for two articles in 1995 issues of his newsletter Courrier du Continent. In one of the offending items he had written: “For my part, I maintain my position: I don't believe in the gas chambers. Let the exterminationists provide the proof and I will believe it. But as I've been waiting for this proof for decades, I don't believe I will see it soon.”
In addition to the non-suspended prison sentence, the criminal court in Lausanne ordered Amaudruz to pay a fine of 1,000 Swiss francs (about $800) to each of four civil parties in the case: the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities, the Paris-based International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA), the Association of Sons and Daughters of Deported Jews of France, and a Jewish concentration camp survivor. Amaudruz was also ordered to pay the trial costs, as well as the costs of publishing a notice of the court's judgment in three daily newspapers and in an official gazette.
Shortly before the three-day trial began, Amaudruz wrote an intentionally provocative article, “Vive le révisionnisme!," that appeared in the April 2000 issue (No. 418) of his newsletter. He wrote:
“Revisionism exists to call into question our ‘certainties,’ even the most seemingly solid ones. This methodology, very familiar to scientists, applies to all fields of knowledge.
“In several countries there is an untouchable dogma: the ‘Six Million’ and the ‘gas chambers’... In Switzerland, Section 261 bis of the criminal code ... supposedly meant to suppress ‘racial discrimination,’ does not define the offense, thereby leaving the definition up to the judges, who can condemn or acquit the accused as they see fit, or on the basis of received instructions. And just what in the world does disputing the Six Million figure have to do with `racial discrimination'?...
“As one who has been indicted for revisionism, I repeat:
- The Six Million figure is impossible.
- I do not believe in the gas chambers, because there is no proof for them.
“My trial is a political trial; the verdict is based exclusively on the appropriateness of considerations of the moment. I prefer to obey my conscience rather than an immoral and criminal law, and I hold to my conviction. Long live revisionism!”
In his testimony during the trial, Amaudruz defiantly repeated his skepticism, “for lack of proof,” of gas chamber claims, and said that it was “impossible” for six million Jews to have been killed by German authorities during World War II.
An appeals court later reduced the sentence handed down in April 2000 to three months imprisonment.
On January 13, 2003, Gaston-Armand Amaudruz -- 82 years old and in poor health -- began serving the three month sentence in the prison of Plaine d l’Orbe in Vaud (Waadt) canton.
Following his April 2000 trial, Amaudruz described his legal ordeal in a book that included the incriminating essays. The authorities regarded this as a new violation of
On May 22, 2002, the criminal court of Veveyse (Fribourg canton) sentenced Amaudruz and Brennenstuhl to three months imprisonment, and Berclaz to eight months. In August 2003 the Swiss federal court upheld the sentences. In March 2002 “Verité et Justice” was dissolved by order of a Swiss court.
For more about Amaudruz and the legal restrictions in
“Amaudruz Jailed in