Acclaimed French Novelist Apologizes For Caricatures Denying, Mocking Holocaust
(JTA) — One of France’s most celebrated novelists 30 years ago published caricatures mocking the Holocaust and texts denying that the Holocaust happened.
Yann Moix, whose first novel won the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1996, apologized for his actions and suspended the promotion of his latest novel, “Orleans,” after the weekly L’Express last week published an exposé detailing Moix’s 1989-1990 contributions to a self-published periodical he called “Ushoahia” — a mashup of the Hebrew word for Holocaust, “Shoah,” and the name of a French television travel program.
In one caricature, Moix drew a man wearing a striped prisoner uniform while holding up a can emblazoned with the words “Coca-Crema,” short for crematorium. He wrote: “You can beat the Jew!” and drew Stars of David around the caricature.
Another drawing features similar figures performing like a rock band outside a Nazi-like camp encircled with barbed wire. “Everybody knows the camps never existed,” a caption alongside that caricature read.
On Sunday, Moix, in an appearance on a talk show, apologized to Jews and “anyone who considers themselves more human than animal” for “the shocking, degrading drawings.” Today, he added, “I wouldn’t shake the hand that drew them.” He has since stopped speaking to media about the affair.
Amid many condemnations of Moix, he was defended by one of France’s best-known Jewish thinkers, Bernard-Henri Lévy. A frequent critic of anti-Semites, Levy has mentored Moix since 1993.
“For few, including Moix, I know, change comes from authentic self amelioration, effort of thought and honest learning,” Levy wrote in Le Point.
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