France's New Far-Right Leader Quits Over Alleged Holocaust Denial

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tags: Holocaust, Nazi, WWII, Marine Le Pen, Jean François Jalkh, National Front party

Thumbnail Image - By Polomartini - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Jean-François Jalkh has stepped down as the leader of France's far-right National Front party, after controversy over his remarks about Nazi Germany's use of Zyklon B gas to kill Jews during World War II. Jalkh had taken over from presidential candidate Marine Le Pen just three days ago.

With Le Pen in a tight race against centrist Emmanuel Macron ahead of the May 7 election, accusations of Holocaust denial in her party's leadership have stirred memories of its founder, her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, whose xenophobic and anti-Semitic outbursts led her to oust him from the party in 2015.

Jalkh "feels that there isn't the necessary serenity for him to to perform this interim role," National Front vice president Louis Aliot told TV station BFM on Friday. Aliot, who is also Le Pen's longtime partner, said Jalkh plans to defend himself from allegations that he denied the reality of the Holocaust — an act that's illegal in France.

Read entire article at NPR

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