French philosopher Garaudy who questioned Holocaust dies at 98

AFP , Friday 15 Jun 2012

French intellectual Roger Garaudy, who denied Nazis used gas chambers to kill Jews during World War II, dies in Paris suburb at 98

French Philosopher Roger Garaudy. (Photo: Reuters)

Roger Garaudy, a French communist intellectual who denied the Nazis used gas chambers to kill Jews during World War II, has died at age 98, officials said Friday.

Garaudy was fined 120,000 francs (18,000 dollars) by a Paris court in 1998 for his anti-Israel work "The Founding Myths of Israeli Politics," in which he challenged the mainstream historical account of Adolph Hitler's extermination of six million Jews.

He died on Wednesday in the Paris suburb of Chennevieres, local officials said.

Garaudy, who was born into a Protestant family before converting to Catholicism and later to Islam, joined the French resistance and was held in Algeria as a prisoner of war by France's collaborationist Vichy regime.

He joined the French Communist Party following the war, was elected to the French parliament and became a member of the Senate.

He was expelled from the Communist Party in 1970 after he criticised the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

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