Published on January 4th in The Jerusalem Post
France’s best-known hunter of Nazis, Serge Klarsfeld, and the country’s main umbrella of Jewish groups protested a publisher’s plan to print antisemitic essays by the author Louis-Ferdinand Destouches, also known as Celine.
Klarsfeld, a historian and vice president of the Foundation for the Memory of the Holocaust, told Le Parisien that it would be “unbearable” to find at a French library the essays by the celebrated novelist, which he published under the pseudonym Louis-Ferdinand Celine between 1937 and 1941, the paper reported last week.
And CRIF, the umbrella group, said in a statement that it opposes the plan by Editions Gallimard to publish later this year the three “racist, antisemitic and pro-Hitler” essays titled “A bagatelle for a massacre,” “The school of corpses” and “Beautiful sheets.”
The plans to publish the essays were made known in November but formally announced only in recent days. A spokesman for Editions Gallimard, one of France’s most prominent publishing houses, told L’Express the essays would be edited “in a scientific style” that would expose and explain their antisemitic content.
Celine, a physician and open supporter of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany, published “Journey to the End of the Night” in 1932 about his experiences fighting in World War I. Celebrated as a timeless masterpiece about the horrors of war, it influenced Joseph Heller, author of Catch-22, and earned Celine accolades from the American poet Charles Bukowski, who himself was accused of harboring pro-Nazi sympathies. Bukowski wrote in “Notes of a Dirty Old Man” that Céline was the greatest writer of the past 2,000 years.
Your e-mail address has errors.
Your application has been taken into account.
Thank you for your interest.