|“||If you take a 1,000-page book on World War II, the concentration camps take up only two pages and the gas chambers 10 to 15 lines. This is what one calls a detail.||„|
|~ Jean-Marie Le Pen|
Jean-Marie Le Pen (born June 20, 1928) is a far-right French politician, founder of the National Rally and president of the party from 1972 to 2011, to later be honorary president from 2011 to 2015, the year in which he would be expelled from the party. After that, he would found a new party, the Jeanne Committees, which he currently leads. He is the father of Marine Le Pen, current leader of the National Rally.
He was born in La Trinité-sur-Mer, France, the son of a fisherman, was orphaned during his adolescence. At age 16 he was rejected when he tried to join the French Forces of the Interior due to his age, so he then entered the faculty of law in Paris and began selling newspapers on the street. During this period he was arrested multiple times for assault and battery, and repeatedly participated in street fights against communists.
After receiving his law degree, he enlisted in the Foreign Legion and was sent to Indochina and Suez. In 1956 he was elected a member of the National Assembly as a member of the UDCA political party. Later he would be elected again as a member of the CNIP, and later a deputy under the Poujadist banner. Later he would be sent to Algeria as an intelligence officer. Le Pen was the presidential campaign manager of far-right candidate Jean-Louis Tixier-Vignancour, a former collaborator of the Vichy Regime.
In 1972, Le Pen founded the National Front (currently called the National Rally), which despite not having good electoral results at the beginning, would grow overwhelmingly in the 1980s due to its criticism of immigration and taking advantage of the economic crisis in the country. As party leader, Le Pen ran as a pre-presidential candidate a total of five times, being the second most voted candidate in the 2002 elections, apart from serving as a member of the European Parliament on two occasions and holding other lower-level regional positions.
In 2011, Le Pen left the party presidency to be succeeded by his daughter Marine Le Pen, and would go on to become honorary president. In 2015, Le Pen was expelled from his own party due to his extremist ideas affecting the public image of the party, so Le Pen founded a new far-right party, the Jeanne Committees.
- Le Pen is infamous for being an outspoken Holocaust denier. This can be seen in his statements where he minimizes the Nazis crimes against Jews, such as saying that the gas chambers were "a detail", saying that the deportation of Jews was "a trivial matter" and denying the murder of 6 million of Jews, saying that the Nazis had not committed mass murder. Due to these declarations, he was ordered to pay 1.2 million francs.
- In 1997, he physically assaulted the socialist candidate Annette Peulvast-Bergeal. This earned him his suspension from the European Parliament in 2000.
- As mentioned above, during his youth, he was arrested multiple times for assault and battery.
- He is xenophobic, since he has repeatedly insulted different people for their color and ethnic origins.
- In 1987, he advocated for the forced isolation of all HIV-infected people from society.
- In 2005 and 2008, Le Pen was fined 10,000 euros for inciting hatred against Muslims.
- Supposedly, Le Pen participated in different tortures when he was a lieutenant in the army during the Communist Party of Algeria.
- Currently, Le Pen is one of the main leaders of the Alliance for Peace and Freedom, a European party that encompasses fascist and ultranationalist political parties in Europe.