Sam Webb, Daily Mail (London), May 21, 2013
A right-wing historian shot himself dead in front of hundreds of tourists at the altar of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris today, apparently in protest at France’s legalisation of gay marriage.
Dominique Venner, who had recently been campaigning against gay marriage in France, is said to have calmly walked past the crowds milling around the 850-year-old Cathedral, one of the most popular tourist sites in the world, before taking out a Herstal automatic pistol.
The 78-year-old put the gun in his mouth and fired before collapsing on to the altar, according to French media reports.
Mr Venner, who was awarded a prestigious prize by l’Académie française for one of his historical works, was a former member of the Secret Army Organisation (OAS), the paramilitary group which fought against France giving up Algeria as a colony.
He was jailed for 18 months in La Santé Prison as a political undesirable for his role in the ultra-national organisation and was freed in 1962.
A report by Europe 1 radio station reads: ‘According to our information, he is Dominique Venner, essayist and former member of the OAS who was close to the anti-gay marriage movement.’
The Cathedral was full of visitors when the horrific incident took place, at around 4pm.
‘There was screaming and lot so shouting following a loud bang,’ said one witness. ‘People were naturally very scared and began to run out in panic.
‘Police and other emergency workers including firemen got here very quickly, and then the whole cathedral was evacuated.’
An unidentified police source said Mr Venner carried a letter on his person but made no declaration before shooting himself dead in the mid-afternoon, reports Reuters.
Notre Dame, which dates back to the 12th Century, has become a battleground for those fighting over homosexual marriage, with demonstrations regularly held around it.
Mr Venner, an ultra-right wing Catholic, was known to be extremely angry when a law allowing gay marriage across France was finally given the seal of approval earlier this month.
According to the International Business Times, Venner wrote: ‘The demonstrators of May 26 [against the law allowing gay marriage in France] will be right to shout their impatience and rage. A law steeped in infamy, once voted, can always be voided.’
Last week another male pensioner pensioner walked into the foyer of a nursery in Paris and blasted himself to death with a sawn-off shotgun in front of children.
Around a dozen pupils – some as young as five – and one teacher at the private school close to the Eiffel Tower witnessed the horrific events.
‘I thought there were terrorists who had guns and were coming into the school. Then I saw the man on the ground with a lot of blood,’ said one five-year-old witness.
Many of those who witnessed today’s carnage were expected to be treated by psychiatrists specialising in sudden trauma.
Notre Dame has seen a number of suicides in its long history, but most of them have been people who jumped from the towers.
This year the cathedral got new bells as part of celebrations marking 850 years since construction on the cathedral began.
Regularly scheduled guided visits of the world-famous gothic cathedral were taking place at the time of the incident, according to the church’s website.
[Editor’s Note: For the real reasons behind Mr. Venner’s suicide, see the translation of his suicide note below, reproduced from Counter-Currents. Also relevant is this translation of the final post on his website.]
I am healthy in body and mind, and I am filled with love for my wife and children. I love life and expect nothing beyond, if not the perpetuation of my race and my mind. However, in the evening of my life, facing immense dangers to my French and European homeland, I feel the duty to act as long as I still have strength. I believe it necessary to sacrifice myself to break the lethargy that plagues us. I give up what life remains to me in order to protest and to found. I chose a highly symbolic place, the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, which I respect and admire: she was built by the genius of my ancestors on the site of cults still more ancient, recalling our immemorial origins.
While many men are slaves of their lives, my gesture embodies an ethic of will. I give myself over to death to awaken slumbering consciences. I rebel against fate. I protest against poisons of the soul and the desires of invasive individuals to destroy the anchors of our identity, including the family, the intimate basis of our multi-millennial civilization. While I defend the identity of all peoples in their homes, I also rebel against the crime of the replacement of our people.
The dominant discourse cannot leave behind its toxic ambiguities, and Europeans must bear the consequences. Lacking an identitarian religion to moor us, we share a common memory going back to Homer, a repository of all the values on which our future rebirth will be founded once we break with the metaphysics of the unlimited, the baleful source of all modern excesses.
I apologize in advance to anyone who will suffer due to my death, first and foremost to my wife, my children, and my grandchildren, as well as my friends and followers. But once the pain and shock fade, I do not doubt that they will understand the meaning of my gesture and transcend their sorrow with pride. I hope that they shall endure together. They will find in my recent writings intimations and explanations of my actions.
For more information, one can go to my publisher, Pierre-Guillaume Roux. He was not informed of my decision, but he has known me a long time.