Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Islamic religion teacher in Brussels disputes Nazi camp survivor testimony

"This never happened to me in 25 years" (Henri Kichka, a Nazi camp survivor. His 15-year old sister was killed in Auschwitz and his father died at Buchenwald. Henri Kichka was saved by the Americans when they liberated the Buchenwald concentration camp in April 1945.)

"An islamic religion teacher disputed the testimony of a Nazi camp survivor who recounted his story to students in a Brussels secondary school, Le Soir daily newspaper reported Tuesday.

Henri Kichka, from the Union of Jewish deportees in Belgium, had been invited last Friday by the school in Laeken, a Brussels commune, to describe how he survived Buchenwald and his family members were killed in the death camps.

During the meeting with the 150 students, the school was told by a teacher of Islamic religion that Kichka’s account "was largely exaggerated".

"This never happened to me in 25 years", Kichka, who is regularly invited to meet young people, told Le Soir.

The school management had decided to film the meeting because, it said, "witnesses disappear and we want to keep tracks".

On Monday, the trade unions saw the video. "To us, there is no doubt, the teacher quoted negationist ideas from Roger Garaudy", a French revisionist author and philosopher who converted to Islam and called the Holocaust a "myth".

"This will not remain without effect", the school said. An administrative investigation has been opened."
Source: article by Maud Swinnen in EJP
Unrepentant, the teacher, Abdeltem Samani, has just declared on RTL TV channel that he does not take anything he said back.
Henri Kichka, who is 83, is the author of an autobiographical book: "An adolescence in the darkness of the camps".

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