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French publisher suspends reprint of Celine's anti-Semitic texts

One of France's main publishing houses has suspended plans to republish a collection of anti-Semitic writings by author Louis-Ferdinand Céline. After a public outcry, Gallimard said the "conditions were not right" for the texts to be issued "dispassionately" Céline is regarded as one of France's greatest 20th-century novelists, but his reputation was tarnished by his anti-Semitic writings. Jewish campaigners said the essays incited racist and anti-Semitic hate.

The vitriolic pamphlets were written between 1937 and 1941. He did not want them republished after the war. Last month, Gallimard announced plans to republish a 1,000-page collection of the controversial texts, which are available on the internet and in an edition issued in Canada in 2012. It said the intention was to put them "in their context as writings of great violence and marked by the anti-Semitic hatred of the author".

But the plan sparked protests and a threat of legal action from French lawyer and Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld. The founder of the group Sons and Daughters of Jewish Deportees from France called the reprint "irresponsible".

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