Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Published at 16:33 GMT
Historian accused of Holocaust revisionism
The author stated gas chambers were intended to "disinfect" prisoners
An historian in Poland is facing charges of denying Nazi crimes, in a trial in the southern city of Opole.
A book published by Professor Dariusz Ratajczak earlier this year suggested that Nazi Germany did not have a comprehensive plan to exterminate Jews.
In the book, Professor Ratajczak, aged 37, states that the gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps were intended to disinfect prisoners, not to exterminate them.
He also says that only three million Jews died in the Holocaust not the six million which most historians accept as fact.
The professor, however, maintains he is not guilty of historical revisionism and said he was merely summarising the opinions of historians who deny the Holocaust.
He was suspended from his position at the University of Opole following complaints made by an official commission investigating Nazi crimes in Poland.
The book, which was on sale at the university book store where the professor taught, has been pulled from the shelves.