Bruno Gollnisch

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Prof. Dr.
Bruno Gollnisch
Member of the European Parliament
In office
15 July 1989 – 1 July 2019
ConstituencyFrance (1989–2004)
East France (2004–2014)
South-East France (2014–2019)
Regional councillor
for Rhône-Alpes
In office
16 March 1986 – 31 January 2015
Member of the French National Assembly
for Rhône (department)
In office
16 March 1986 – 14 May 1988
Municipal councillor
for the 8th arrondissement of Lyon
In office
18 June 1995 – 30 March 2014
Personal details
Born (1950-01-28) 28 January 1950 (age 74)
Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Political partyNational Front
SpouseSetsuko Takeuchi

Bruno Gollnisch (French pronunciation: [bʁyno ɡɔlniʃ]; born 28 January 1950) is a French academic and politician, a member of the National Front (FN) far-right party. He was a member of the European Parliament and was chairman of the European Parliamentary group 'Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty' in 2007, which was dissolved in November 2007 following the defection of the Greater Romania Party. He was thereafter a Non-Inscrit. Gollnisch has also been the executive vice-president of the FN from 2007 to 2011. He was also a councillor of the Rhône-Alpes région of France. Because of his public comments, and his position in the National Front he is a controversial figure in France.


Gollnisch was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine. He studied law, political science and far-eastern languages with the view to becoming a diplomat. He met Jean-Marie Le Pen while studying at Nanterre university. He also became a reserve officer in the French Navy.

In 1971–1973 he was granted degrees in Japanese and Malaysian-Indonesian by the INALCO. In 1973, he was awarded a degree in political sciences at Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). He did a masters (DEA) in public law in 1973. In 1974, he began doctoral studies in Law at Kyoto University (Japan). In 1978, he obtained a doctorate in law at Panthéon-Assas University.[1] Since 1980, he has been an attorney at the bar of Paris.

Academic career[edit]

After his return to France, he began a career as juridical advisor, then lawyer. He is a specialist in the law of Eastern Asian countries.

He became associate professor of Law at Metz university. In 1981, he became professor of Japanese language and civilisation at the University of Lyon III – a position which he holds to this day. The humanities division of University Lyon 3 is notorious for the profusion of FN supporters and Holocaust deniers among its faculty—most notably, Robert Faurisson. Gollnisch has collaborated with the white nationalist American Renaissance magazine.

Video Introduction (English) / (French)

Political career[edit]

Gollnisch, who is part of the Catholic faction within the National Front, along with Bernard Antony, joined the "TSM" faction inside the FN (Tout sauf Mégret, Anybody But Mégret) during the 1990s crisis, along with Marine Le Pen, Roger Holeindre, Jean-Claude Martinez, Samuel Maréchal and Martine Lehideux.[2]

Gollnisch served as the President of the Alliance of European National Movements (AENM) from 2010 until 2013, when his party left the AENM to join the more moderate European Alliance for Freedom (EAF) and so unify the National Front under the EAF banner.[3]

Gollnisch was an unsuccessful candidate for the leadership of the National Front in 2011 when the party's founding leader Jean Marie Le Pen retired. Gollnisch was defeated by Marine Le Pen, Jean Marie's daughter.[4]


Gollnisch interviewed by a journalist at 1 May rally in honour of Joan of Arc, Paris.

Gollnisch was condemned in January 2007 to a three-month prison sentence on probation and ordered to pay costs of 55,000 Euros (with interest) by the Lyon tribunal correctionnel on a charge of "an offence of verbal contestation of the existence of crimes against humanity,[5] " which is punished in France by virtue of the 1990 Gayssot Act. Gollnisch had committed the verbal contestation on 11 October 2004, by declaring:

I do not question the existence of concentration camps but historians could discuss the number of deaths. As to the existence of gas chambers, it is up to historians to speak their minds ("de se déterminer").[6]

In reaction to a report denouncing the complacent attitude of the University Lyon III with respect to the far right, Gollnisch reiterated his declarations shortly after its publication. Gollnisch's declarations, with their implication of holocaust denial, provoked a scandal, especially in the run-up to the ceremonies commemorating the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp. The chancellor of the university asked the Minister of National Education to suspend Professor Gollnisch, and announced the opening of a disciplinary procedure against him.

On 26 December, the chancellor suspended Professor Gollnisch's classes for 30 days. Furthermore, on 2 December, the chancellor excluded him from the university, alleging a possible breach of the peace; however, this decision was overturned by the Conseil d'État on 14 January 2005.[7]

On 2 February, Gollnisch started teaching again at Lyon III. Students were prevented from entering his lecture room by groups of students from left-wing and Jewish associations. A group of National Front students enabled his students to enter and blocked the protesters. A brawl ensued; police officers arrived on the scene and a National Front student was arrested. Other trouble ensued.

On 7 November 2006, at the opening of the trial, Gollnisch was asked whether "the organised extermination of European Jews by the Nazi regime (...) constitutes an undeniable crime against humanity, and that it was carried out notably by using gas chambers in extermination camps". He replied "absolutely".[8] Gollnisch was finally found not guilty by the Cour de cassation on 24 June 2009.[9]

On 23 October 2012, Gollnisch visited Hungary to deliver a speech in honour of Jobbik, a party described as "anti-Semitic" by the New York Times and as "extremist" by Marine Le Pen.[10][11] In the speech, Gollnisch declared that the Treaty of Trianon was "unjust and shameful."[12] Condemnation of the Treaty of Trianon is seen by Romania as the endorsement of irredentist claims on Romanian territory and of the redrawing of the map of Europe.[13]

Criticism of the Vatican[edit]

In August 2010, Gollnisch – who supports the French Government's move to deport Roma from French territory – publicly criticised the Vatican for opposing the deportation.[14] He suggested that the evicted Roma should be accommodated in St Peter's Square, Rome, and that the Vatican should then re-state its position.

Personal life[edit]

He married Setsuko Takeuchi, from Japan, in 1981 and they have three children.

Electoral mandates[edit]


  1. ^ Thiébaud, Jean-Marie (2008). La Présence française au Japon : du XVIe siècle à nos jours. Éditions L'Harmattan. p. 457. ISBN 978-2296192874.
  2. ^ Erwan Lecoeur, Dictionnaire de l’extrême-droite, Larousse 2007, pp.263–264
  3. ^ "FN : Jean-Marie Le Pen "obéit" à sa fille et quitte le parti pan-européen". Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Marine Le Pen 'chosen to lead France's National Front'". BBC News. 15 January 2011.
  5. ^ Bruno Gollnisch condamné pour ses propos sur l'Holocauste Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine, Reuters cable published by L'Express on January 18, 2007 – URL accessed on January 18, 2007 (in French) délit de contestation de l'existence de crime contre l'humanité par paroles
  6. ^ NEGATIONNISME: Lyon III demande la suspension de Bruno Gollnisch, Le Nouvel Observateur, 13 October 2004 (in French)
  7. ^ "Conseil d'État : Accueil". 29 March 2010. Archived from the original on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  8. ^ Bruno Gollnisch a reconnu l'existence des chambres à gaz à l'ouverture de son procès, Le Monde, 8 November 2006 (in French)
  9. ^ Gollnisch blanchi par la Cour de cassation[permanent dead link], Le Nouvel Observateur, 24 June 2009 (in French)
  10. ^ "Viktor Orban Wins a Second Term in Hungary", "The New York Times", 7 April 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014
  11. ^ "FN: Marine le Pen demande à son père de quitter une alliance trop radicale", L'Express (France)", 12 October 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Bruno Gollnisch: Trianon is unjust" Archived 18 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, 24 October 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2014
  13. ^ "Romania condemns irredentist statements by Hungarian politician", Euractiv, 13 August 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2014
  14. ^ "Bulgaria: French MEP 'Irritated' by Pope's Criticism of Roma Deportation – – Sofia News Agency". 26 August 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
New office
President of the Alliance of European National Movements
Succeeded by