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And so his post-war journey becomes a retreat into a reactivation and development of his earlier spiritual ideas but now without reference to any potential or actual suitable political incarnation of those ideas. This, he believed, was the right way forward, and stands as a clear precursory indicator of where his sympathies and antipathies would lie when choices had to be made in Name Required. Mandarins and Samurais, ed. He was It is apparent that neither La Gerbe nor the Groupe Collaboration intended to be considered in party political terms. His commitment to the validity of his political ideas remains steadfast — particularly in respect of his views on Franco-German collaboration, anti-Bolshevism and Europe — and he still wants to see his ideas put into practice.

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Through addresses, carefully selected for their singularity—unusual museums, timeless brasseries, cool bistros, local markets, soul-filled shops, irresistible pastries, and romantic gardens—urban explorers will find a thousand reasons to walk the streets of Paris again and again, always discovering something new.

Sac au dos, livre en main. David Giotto has problems — serious ones. He has problems with his extraordinary enemies — and friends. Olympia Publishers. Here is the selection for the week of August 2nd: Pas si simple: Alors nous veillons sur nos vocables, nous ne les abandonnons pas sur les palissades, nous ne les jetons pas aux oiseaux de proie, nous ne les dissipons pas dans les salons ou les lupanars. La Table Ronde.

Here is the selection for the week of July 26th: Ici le Parlement. Nombre de joueurs: But du jeu: Here is the selection for the week of July 19th: Un classique. Londres, Enfin, Emmy va pouvoir entrer dans le vif du sujet, partir sur le front, se faire un nom au fil de la plume! Here is the selection for the week of July 12th: Parmi ces milliers de citations: Francis Scott Fitzgerald fut un nouvelliste hors pair.

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Parce que tout le monde le fait. Here is the selection for the week of June 28th: The indispensable guide to recognize and taste the best of French cheese. Le perfect guide and souvenir for foreign tourists in France. In English or French. Here is the selection for the week of June 21st: Discover the history of the Resistance or that of the Arabic world.. Africa, cinema, Egypt, history, impressionism, Middle Ages, music, ancient and contemporary art: The best practical illustrated guide dedicated to all visitors eager to discover the treasures of the French Capital.

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There are the politicians preaching the benefits of Brexit while living a grand life in France. There is also one village in the Pyrenees where many flock believing when the inevitable end of the world comes, it will be the sole place that will survive. More stories include treasure-seekers convinced of a Catholic Church cover-up, the downright dishonest practices in the truffle markets and other inhabitants of the region who have included ex-terrorists and murderers on the run.

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Suivre fusacparis sur Twitter. Clarendon Press, [] , p. McMillan, Twentieth-Century France, p. Equally in direct response to 6 February, Drieu publicly proclaimed himself a Fascist in March , and, later the same year, published Socialisme fasciste in which he expounds his theory of Fascism as spiritual regeneration.

Poetry, romanticism and enthusiasm litter their individual accounts of their encounter with that spirit. No written evidence exists, for instance, of his personal response to the events of February , or of any involvement in the leagues, or of any self-proclamation as a Fascist in the manner of Brasillach and Drieu. His commitment to NationalSocialist Germany rested on his interpretation of Christianity.

Explorers of Fascism From , young French fascist intellectuals like Brasillach, Drieu, Rebatet and Jouvenel travelled Europe, keen to discover foreign fascist countries and to witness Fascism in practice. Their numerous exploratory journeys took them to Italy, Germany, Belgium and Spain, but also to less obvious destinations such as Romania and England. Some travelled extensively, often making repeated trips to the same country.

Europe, 15 November , p. Brasillach, for instance, visited Spain , , , Belgium , , Italy twice in and Germany , ; Drieu visited Germany , as well as Italy and Spain both in The first of these was accorded to Fernand de Brinon on 19 November , and an account of the event was published in the Right-wing daily Le Matin four days later.

In , the content of La Gerbe des forces took intellectual France by surprise. La Gerbe des forces does confirm his enthusiasm for inquiry. Right-wing intellectuals generally interpreted the Spanish Civil War as a crusade against the godless Republicans. There is no reference to Italy in the text. The Communists refused to participate in the Blum cabinet, believing that it could achieve little, and so chose to remain free to criticise as it saw fit Larkin, France since the Popular Front, 2nd edn, p.

But Bolshevism, he argues, is not simply a modern phenomenon, for it has surfaced whenever humanity has been deprived of an appropriate higher authority pp. The view from abroad: His antiindividualism, anti-Bolshevism and anti-capitalism approximate his thought to that of the conservative Catholic Right in France.

And yet, despite these similarities, the reviews of La Gerbe des forces in conservative, Catholic and fascist publications were largely negative. His reading of Germany was truly rare, for he chose openly and wholeheartedly to endorse Adolf Hitler and National Socialism at a time of significant Fascist hesitation, Catholic concern, papal condemnation and popular fear of National-Socialist Germany, and at a time when the nation was perceived as overly nationalistic, excessively revolutionary, basically pseudo-spiritual and even anti-Christian.

A review in La Vie intellectuelle could have provided a useful Social Catholic angle, but, disappointingly, no such piece exists. Positive reviews of La Gerbe des forces are rare, notable exceptions being Tyl in the Fascist Choc, 30 September , p. Drieu la Rochelle Berkeley: University of California Press, , p.

La France, ed. Presses Universitaires de Lyon, , pp. NAG, p. The response of some Catholics to National Socialism was dictated by their attitude towards Bolshevism, which they widely identified as the absolute evil.

Catholic anti-Bolshevism had already received recent papal confirmation in Quadragesimo anno , in which Pius XI had written of the impious and unjust nature of Communism, and of its savage and inhuman practices in power pp. Mandarins and Samurais, ed. The publication of these two documents naturally prompted front-page comment in the French press, both Catholic and non-confessional. Cited in Christophe, Les Catholiques devant la guerre, p.

La Gerbe des forces: His travels lead him to conclude that France neither knows nor truly understands modern-day Germany GF, p. Long opposed to extreme nationalism, but equally long committed to his ideal of Germany, he chooses to sidestep the issue of her nationalism and to maintain his identification of the nation as a key player in his proposed Europe. Furthermore, he interprets the Kraft durch Freude strength through joy project as an illustration of state philanthropy in the creation and management of obligatory leisure activities and holidays for workers pp.

Moreover, they credit Hitler with the statement that: They further charge that Germany rejects the notion of Christianity as a doctrine based on suffering and humility p. Such accusations are plainly directed at the activity of Alfred Rosenberg, appointed in January to direct the spiritual and philosophical education of the Nazi Party. Alfred Rosenberg and Nazi Ideology Batsford, , p.

Given this correspondence of theme, his claim to view National Socialism without prejudice and to write of his encounter lucidly and objectively is unconvincing. That claim is rendered even more implausible if, in addition to his dismissal of charges levelled at National Socialism, we consider his omission of other aspects.

Anti-Jewish activity intensified in Germany from , with Jews discriminated against in economic, educational, professional and social terms. Many Jewish authors were among those whose works were banned in ,39 while the Nuremberg Laws criminalised marriages between Jews and non-Jews in the name of the preservation of German blood and German honour.

La Gerbe des forces, however, makes no mention of such events. He was, therefore, highly unlikely to come into contact with any staunch opponents of National Socialism during his travels. He was therefore almost certainly aware of at least the two later events, given the widespread publicity each received, and his lack of reference again suggests his dismissal of opposition to his reading of National-Socialist Germany.

Cultural references are many, and include such luminaries of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century music and literature as Hoffmann, Schumann, Wagner, Goethe, Schiller and the Grimm brothers. References to Wagner punctuate La Gerbe des forces, making him the most significant cultural presence in the text.

Natural images also feature strongly in La Gerbe des forces: For the nation to survive, the cells must function harmoniously within the whole structure. The Erbhof is presented in terms of the restoration of a medieval social custom designed to ensure that the distribution of inherited land protects the peasant community and guarantees the maintenance of the land.

Nor are the National Socialists shadowy, insubstantial ghosts reminding the modern world of the principles of an age long since dead and gone. Rather, they are concrete beings working for the reimplementation of an eternal spirit, a new Middle Ages and a new kingdom of God on earth, and therefore for a New Christendom. As one German is supposed to have explained to him: This allusion to the primacy of the spiritual over the political is clearly centred on National-Socialist Germany.

And, in what is evidently a reference to the Catholics on the journal Terre nouvelle, he attacks those who: But he openly sets himself apart since he then chooses to argue that if Bolshevism is the work of the devil, then the counterforce of National Socialism can only be the work of God.

Rather, he elects to see it as gesta Dei per Germanos, and thereby attaches Christian values to one political ideology while rejecting their allocation to a second. Indeed, Fascism was evidently not one of his terms of reference, since this statement represents the sole usage of the term in La Gerbe des forces.

He believes that this is underway in National-Socialist Germany. He therefore not only continues to bypass the Church as the engineer of spiritual renewal, but now openly indicates that, in his opinion, the Church is pursuing an inadequate pathway and should instead follow his lead. His own choice of Berlin rests on his conviction that Germany is carrying out a crusade for spiritual regeneration through the recreation of a heroic Christianity based on resurrection.

Germany is in a period of new Christian construction to rival that of the Middle Ages, noted for its building of great cathedrals pp. The country is in the process of purification p. In La Gerbe des forces, temporal power ultimately kneels before spiritual power. On this basis, the spiritual becomes a prerequisite for political activity. Medieval bishops are defined as: He also believes that NationalSocialist Germany has the approval of God and takes its inspiration from Christian values and principles.

La Gerbe des forces sees both these qualities in National-Socialist Germany. The nominalist—realist debate, of great importance in the Middle Ages, centred on the question of universals and the relation of genera and species to individuals. Saint Augustine to Ockham Harmondsworth: Penguin, , pp.

Realists, however, recognised the existence of genera and species and their correspondence to reality, while extreme realists held that all reality inhered in universals, and that form or essence came before the individual. In contrast: In his opinion, modern-day scepticism, materialist individualism and the objective method he so deplores are all rooted in nominalism.

And he makes scant or no reference to others more immediately associated with the debate, such as Peter Abelard — and William of Ockham c.

Furthermore, his reading of his medieval sources is inadequate. His treatment of these thinkers reveals much about his own character. Basing his argument on his interpretation of Matthew He supports this theory with reference to the stained-glass windows in Chartres cathedral which depict apostles of different skin colour, representative of the principal races which share the world p. And he then deliberately twists the words of Matthew This is incorrect, since the windows actually depict four Old Testament prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel carrying the four evangelists of the New Testament.

Robert Brasillach. Moreover, his reading of National-Socialist Germany as the incarnation of his desired New Christendom confirms that he has a deficient understanding of the true nature of both National Socialism and Christianity. No longer content to bypass the Catholic Church, he openly challenges its response to National Socialism, asserts that he is right and that the Church is wrong, manipulates religion to justify his ideas, and finally substitutes National Socialism for institutional religion as the engineer of spiritual renewal.

In the same way, his actual collaboration can only be described as one of conviction. The defeat of France confirmed his viewpoint and provided the opportunity to berate and denounce those he held responsible for her decline.

His message never varied: France, he proclaimed, should seize the moment, for collaboration was her only prospect of salvation. The defeat of France in June was marked by the exode, as many French in the north fled from the advancing Germans.

The French government had left Paris on 10 June, journeying first to Tours, then to Bordeaux where the decision to seek terms with the Germans was taken and Clermont-Ferrand, before arriving in Vichy on 1 July, the apparent intention being that — following a short war — it would return to Paris as soon as practical. France was to be divided into a northern occupied zone to include the Atlantic coast and a southern unoccupied zone where the French government would establish its headquarters in apparent independence.

Lardanchet, , pp. Paris shortly after the Armistice. The opportunity he had been waiting for had finally arrived. This conclusion is of significance for any evaluation of his involvement in the events of the day. Payot, , p. Sansoni, , pp. The address for the account was 3, rue des Pyramides, Paris, namely the headquarters of La Gerbe. The figures given indicate that La Gerbe was a thriving financial operation, and that its contributors including some famous names were generally well paid.

And, in an age of rationing and austerity, the newspaper could evidently afford the luxuries of life: The details which follow are taken from this report. Throughout the Occupation, sales of the newspaper and of advertising space therein represented the greater portion of income, bringing in 1.

But this 13 14 15 Archival sources give the following average monthly publication figures for La Gerbe. The highest figure given is , copies in January The letter is dated 13 November He opted largely to leave their day-to-day management to others, choosing instead to devote his energies to more high-profile activities, in particular as a leading contributor to La Gerbe. Indeed, between July and July , he wrote eighty-six articles for the newspaper, of which seventy-six were front-page articles, and he gave at least twenty-two lectures in his capacity as director and president of the two organisations.

As will emerge, the principal themes and tone of La Gerbe can easily be sourced in La Gerbe des forces indicated most obviously by the similarity of title. European unity behind Germany is, he proclaims, the key to salvation, and the theme of co-operation with Germany as detailed in La Gerbe des forces is now restructured to indicate that collaboration with Germany is the only way forward.

In similar fashion to his option of Berlin or Moscow GF, p. The organic ideal emphasises the concept of the community as the desired form of unity, and as an eternal force and source of energy for the common good.

Within this organic structure a version of which we identified in Monsieur des Lourdines , collaborative cultural and economic ideas represent a force for human regeneration and social progress. This, it is hoped, will enable France and Germany together to identify new points of view likely to solve the political problems which have thus far divided them.

The cultural accent of both La Gerbe and Collaboration is immediately apparent on a sample reading. On average, La Gerbe devotes around a third of each edition to literary and art criticism, theatre and cinema reviews and the serialisation of novels and plays. Subsequent immediate references are to this document. And cultural items litter the pages of its bulletin: It is apparent that neither La Gerbe nor the Groupe Collaboration intended to be considered in party political terms.

Indeed, the group defines itself instead as a political movement - and was recognised as such by the occupier21 - creating a distinction which 20 21 Bertram Gordon, Collaborationism in France during the Second World War Ithaca: Cornell University Press, , p. Moreover, it has been argued that the group was allowed to pursue its activities in both zones of France precisely because it was not considered to be a political party. Indeed, their promotion of Franco-German collaboration and their rejection of old-style politics together represent a concrete political stance.

It seems to have had little impact on the collaborationist scene. Weiland, Pourquoi nous croyons en la collaboration, p. In the pre-war period, as we have seen, the positive response of some Catholics to National Socialism was dictated by their anti-Communism. During the Second World War, the campaign against Russia represented a similar focus for such Catholic anxieties and propelled a minority of Church representatives to favour actual collaboration with Germany.

See Dioudonnat, Je suis partout — , p. Baudrillart was a man driven by many phobias. Christophe, Les Catholiques devant la guerre, p.

Their anti-Communist argumentation comprised three points, as Pascal Ory explains: Ory, Les Collaborateurs, p. In Le Cri du peuple, 8 July The Je suis partout team was equally supportive of the LVF. Quand Charles voit leur contenance si belle, il appelle Jozeran de Provence et Naimes, le duc: In its wartime version, this opposition creates an opportunity for the spiritualisation not only of National Socialism but also of the Second World War in general.

The spread of Bolshevism has occurred, then: Over the last eight centuries, this worm has grown into the monster of intellectualism, individualism and materialism, illustrative of a world cut off from its moral values and its hierarchical and spiritual infrastructure ibid. He deplores her bombing of German towns in , arguing that her intention was not to destroy war factories but rather to sow fear and panic in the population, and he labels the raids on Mainz and Rouen as anti-Christian, given the destruction of cathedrals that these entailed ibid.

England, he proclaims, has committed an irreparable crime in betraying her European mission 18 February The ideological link between Russia and England is evident: For most collaborationists, America took second place to England in the enemy stakes. America is as ambitious as Russia in her desire to overrun Europe 30 September and England is to blame for unleashing the American and Russian threat on Europe, for she brought these nations into the war 18 February The struggle against these Bolshevist nations is nothing less than spiritual.

National-Socialist Germany therefore promises universal salvation, since at one and the same time she destroys Bolshevism and constructs Europe 6 November In November , as Germany moved to occupy the whole of France, he wrote in his diary that: C, pp. Hitler not only desires a long-term Church— State concordat, but there is also simply no evidence of anti-Christian activity in Germany 8 October But it is the LVF who benefit most from such spiritualisation. Motivated by the prospect of Franco-German co-belligerence in the war against Russia, he fails to see that Hitler actually thereby lost interest in France and that Germany did not greet the creation of the LVF with his own enthusiasm.

Such reasoning justifies his conclusion that: None thought to question her right to expand eastwards or feared a threat to France, for there was general agreement that the two nations had the same interests. Germany, he argues, is young, strong and healthy 22 June She is the life force of the body of Europe, symbolically located at its heart, and pumps appropriate blood around the organism 11 February Subsequent immediate quotations are taken from this lecture.

This explains why he makes no complaint over the German annexation of Alsace-Lorraine in August which he had also refused to see as an issue of concern in and the subsequent germanisation of the population. Previous chapters have detailed his interest in the medieval age and particularly in the reactivation of essential medieval values, and this interest strongly influences his view of post-war Europe. Of the Franks, he writes: Those he names include, not surprisingly, such heroic medieval leaders as Philippe Auguste — and Louis IX — The new Europeans: In his opinion, modern Europe as created by the Treaty of Verdun is in a weakened state.

Materialism, individualism, democracy and the movement of peoples have all proved harmful, for Europe is now a place: Collaboration consequently becomes the means to prevent invasion by other races and thereby to re-establish racial purity and Christianity in Europe 6 November He argues that the true nature of the Second World War is racial rather than national, for: But his racism now also widens to display an open and trenchant anti-Semitism, this broadly in line with the collaboration in general.

See, for example, Robert Brasillach in Je suis partout, 2 June French police cooperated extensively in this operation. Based on German sources, it is estimated that, in total, 76, Jews were deported from France, of whom just 2, or 3. He supported and facilitated the diffusion of anti-Semitic propaganda during the Occupation.

Jews, he writes, are associated with racial confusion 11 June Such statements indicate that he viewed the removal of Jews from France and from Europe in terms of both racial purification and rechristianisation.

Collaboration in action: But that commitment did not remain on a theoretical level, for it was repeatedly and increasingly translated into action as the Occupation progressed. BC, March— April The evolution from cultural collaboration to active political and military collaboration is evident. This is not to argue, however, that they abandoned their principles.

In the ideologies he supported and the principles he held, he also displayed the prejudices of the worst collaborationists. Writing the Second World War: In this sense, the problems of the day stand as the incarnation of the problems of all time. LAG, p. This interpretation of the Second World War is nowhere more evident than in the months prior to the Allied landings and the end of the Occupation. The English, Americans and Russians lack divine guidance: This is to be achieved through the establishment of what he sees as a strong, heroic, militant Christianity, but which, under examination is also revealed to be elitist and racist in inspiration and activity.

In early , as Vichy continued to disappoint and the war began to turn against the Germans, he continued to call on his fellow French to take an active stand in the current crisis: He left France as usual around 14 July , but, on this occasion, failed to return. His departure bears all the hallmarks of a well-organised contingency plan. Throughout , he amassed a considerable amount of money for his personal use, an astute move made most probably in anticipation of potential exile.

Then on 18 August he arranged for a further sum of , francs to be forwarded to him in Germany. With the war still raging in Europe, he remained convinced that Germany could yet emerge victorious, and it was only as the conflict eventually came to an end in the spring of that his vision of National Socialism finally disintegrated. Collaborationists such as Brasillach and Drieu chose to stay in France and face retribution rather than seek refuge in Germany.

Familiar faces were common in Sigmaringen, since, for example, the Groupe Collaboration was represented by Jean Weiland, its former director-general and vicepresident. He was executed on 6 February Drieu la Rochelle committed suicide on 15 March after reading in Le Figaro that his arrest had been ordered by the Liberation authorities Soucy, Fascist Intellectual, p. Luchaire provides no substantiation for his figure of 1. On 20 August , an independent Parisian auditor, Georges Neff, was appointed temporary administrator of La Gerbe, with the brief to report on its holdings and its financial status.

The events subsequently detailed are also recorded in this dossier.

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Pierre-Henri Doublet, La Collaboration: But this action should not be read as a desire on his part to retreat at this point from the contemporary stage, since both his articles in La France and his recorded correspondence with De Brinon indicate that he remained in contact with both people and events at Sigmaringen throughout the early months of But the meeting never took place, for Doriot was killed by aircraft fire on the journey to Sigmaringen on 22 February The edict is published in Collaboration: A more skilful political manoeuvrer would undoubtedly have managed the situation much better, but ultimately the power struggle between the two French camps came to nothing, partly because the Germans did not bother to take sides, having more pressing issues to consider, and partly because the situation was overtaken by events in late April as the war in Europe came to an end.

What is clear, however, is that, within a month, we begin to hear the voice which would articulate his post-war re-assessment both of his earlier support for Germany and of his own wartime activities. National Socialism, he writes on 12 February , has failed to live up to his expectations: There is not even the barest suggestion of an admission that he has made a personal error of judgement, but simply a pronouncement that Germany has failed to deliver.

From until his death on 2 May , and from the relative safety of exile in Austria under an assumed name, he continued to interpret and to comment on the contemporary situation, indulging in a process of political selfreassessment which provides convincing evidence of an attempt at self-justification. This reassessment process operates in two principal ways.

The self-portrait painted in this statement is striking. Here stands a man who has done nothing to trouble his conscience, who acted sincerely and in the interests of his country, and who possesses the wisdom to learn from and to apply the lessons of an earlier time.

Among those who were called to account for their wartime activities in the post-war period were many who claimed sincerity as their justification, or who retreated behind their superiors with the argument that they had acted on orders, conceivably hoping thereby to excuse 17 France-Dimanche, 3 November , p. Reports of his death also appeared in Le Franc-Tireur, 29 October , p. But neither claim lessens his guilt and neither should be permitted to divert or subvert justice.

See the Introduction, note 1, for Article The sentence had already been reported in several newspapers on 26 October , including Le Figaro, p. Revisioning the self: He nowhere admits to an error of political judgement on his part, or even a simple change of opinion and direction — indeed, quite the opposite — but rather emphasises his disillusion with practical politics as a means of distancing himself from National Socialism. This tactic is evident as early as January , when he writes: PPV, p.

This link is rooted in what he now sees as the extreme nationalism at the heart of National Socialism. No longer would he support the LVF, not because of the ideas it represented, but because its members were required to wear German uniform and were therefore the puppets of German nationalism PPV, p.

But, in the post-war period, he chooses to attack Germany precisely on these grounds, writing in disingenuous terms that: And, in what represents a remarkable volte-face of attitude, he turns on Adolf Hitler: Hitler tout le premier. In what stands as a blatant and outrageous reinterpretation of his wartime persona, he writes in January Such distortion is intentionally deceitful and an insult to those who suffered anti-Semitism first-hand.

The question of the development of Europe played a particularly important role in that process. Russia was keen to impose her domination in eastern Europe, and Poland was her obvious target. Poland had been occupied by Russia in September , and in November both Churchill and Roosevelt had accepted that Russia would retain eastern Poland after the war, while Poland herself would be compensated with the allocation of German land to the west.

This issue was a major topic for discussion at the Anglo-American-Soviet summit conferences held at Yalta in February and at Potsdam in July By June , however, several key political posts in Poland were already Communist-held.

Within two years the Communists had a massive political majority and, by , Poland was entirely a Communist state. By this date Russian influence in eastern Europe had further expanded and Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and eastern Germany were also all essentially Communist-controlled.

Mutual suspicion between Russia and the West resulted in the Cold War, which dominated international political relations from The summit conference at Teheran in November had agreed the general principle that post-war Germany must not only be de-militarised, de-nazified and required to pay reparations, but should also be brought under the direct administrative control of the Allies.

The division of Germany was approved at the Yalta conference: Russia would take eastern Germany; Britain, France and America would take western Germany; and the city of Berlin would be occupied by the Allies together. This division was completed by the summer of , and the separate states of West and East Germany were formalised by October These theories received formal expression in in the creation of a Council of Europe, and later led to the proposals for the formation of the European Community.

For instance, he evidently considers his own longstanding Europeanism to be justified by the establishment of the Council of Europe PPV, p. At the end of the First World War, he writes, co-operation with Germany would have protected Europe from the growing Soviet threat: His dream, and that of men like him, had been for France and Germany to work in partnership for the European good.

And he defines himself as a builder of Europe, thereby implicitly associating himself with post-war political developments in a move which could help to divert potential criticism: En peu de temps, elle en aurait pris la direction spirituelle. But, at the time, they subscribed instead to a short-term vision of politics founded on Franco-German antagonism, and European dynamism was effectively destroyed p.

Europe was the loser in this, since European unity could by now have been well under way. He again displays his discriminatory tendencies, arguing that Europe should instead have been restructured on a racially pure basis: A United States of Europe created at the right moment would have emerged strong and victorious, whereas: He doubts neither the accuracy of his long-standing ideas nor the wisdom of his judgement.

His diary entries robustly condemn those who deal with Communists, for, as he writes in November This, as we have seen, is an argument which found favour in certain Catholic circles both before and during the conflict. And, although he now acknowledges that Hitler attacked Russia in for expansionist and hence nationalist reasons, he explains that action on the grounds that Hitler was convinced that the Bolshevist threat should be stifled at its source p.

But, apart from himself and other collaborators: Tous les yeux demeuraient ternes comme des surfaces mortes. Victors and vanquished: Through an attack on the regime he rejects the temporal and practical political sphere for its failure to recognise and solve the universal and spiritual problems of the world, in much the same way as he turns against National Socialism in practice for failing to live up to his expectations. Still faithful to this belief in the post-war period, he declares that modern-day politicians are so obsessed with temporal events that they have failed to recognise the universal character of the contemporary crisis.

Their attitude, he argues, represents yet another example of the harmful effect of individualism which, as noted in earlier chapters, he roots in the Renaissance: Larkin rightly notes that many resisters exacted their own justice, and he calculates that some 9, individuals were summarily executed both before and after the June Allied landings p. In retaliation, he charges the Resistance with ideological myopia, arguing that it prefers to interpret the current situation in transient national terms and so fails to grasp its long-term universal significance.

In its pursuit of individuals of conviction, it is therefore both immoral and incapable of understanding the wider context of the Second World War: Ils se sont mis hors de la morale juridique. He takes some satisfaction, however, from his conviction that the roles of judge and accused will be reversed in the long term: His arrogance and self-belief remain unwavering and boundless, while his capacity for guilt or remorse is nonexistent. His commitment to the validity of his political ideas remains steadfast — particularly in respect of his views on Franco-German collaboration, anti-Bolshevism and Europe — and he still wants to see his ideas put into practice.

He manifestly still holds the same beliefs, and must not be permitted to shelve what he did and what he said. A suitable methodology for Christian renewal occupied the hearts and minds of many Catholics at the time.

Not surprisingly, therefore, he chose to remain there after the war. These principles, they felt, belonged to a different time and a different world, and their renewed endorsement represented evidence of a reactionary spirit within the Church. The difference, however, is that he is now disillusioned with practical politics because they have failed to live up to his spiritual expectations. And so his post-war journey becomes a retreat into a reactivation and development of his earlier spiritual ideas but now without reference to any potential or actual suitable political incarnation of those ideas.

ILD, p. Would he, for instance, have reacted in the same way to the camps, had Germany won the war? Whether his comment is disingenuous or not in respect of the victims, it is clearly in line with his general world-view. It also represents further proof of his ability to extract from a situation what is useful to his purpose at the time — in this case, to serve the elaboration of his spiritual thought in the postwar context.

Indeed, his final writings serve both to confirm and to elaborate the philosophy of his earlier writings, this in response to the world he sees around him and to the role and status of the modern-day Catholic Church. Modern existence: In his eyes, the post-war world was therefore no different to the pre-war world. Modern science fails truly to open human eyes. Logic is associated with intellect and so similarly dismissed, for he is convinced that: In respect of human beings, the relationship of existentialism to classical philosophy raises the question of whether primacy is to be accorded to essence or to existence.

Where classical philosophy replies that the value of a human being rests on their essence, existentialism disassociates itself from essence and concentrates instead on that which exists, arguing that, where human beings are concerned, existence precedes essence.

As we shall see, his approach favours theological essentialism as opposed to atheistic existentialism. Its attainment lies in God: Dieu est mort. This reasoning offers an easy opportunity for him to attack Jean-Paul Sartre, arguably the existentialist writer par excellence: Challenging the Church: We have already discussed various examples of the nature of this thought, including his essentialism, his anti-Thomism and his preference for his interpretation of Augustinianism, all of which found expression in his location of National-Socialist Germany within his preferred medieval Christian framework.

He sees a correspondence of ideas with Plato which confirms and validates his own views, writing that: Belief must come first, followed by understanding, and reason is thus allowed no independent validity. Leff, Medieval Thought, p. He despairs at the activity of certain contemporary unnamed theologians who, he believes, are endeavouring to prove that, in a way, science has its roots in Saint Thomas p. It is similarly consistent with his opposition to the Papacy, which reconfirmed its choice of Saint Thomas as the Christian doctor in the post-Second-World-War period.

This remains an important theme in the final years of his life, as confirmed by an entry in his diaires for May Although Catholic dogma deals with essential truths, these are not always well expressed and — above all — not always understood p. Modern religion is limited by: He is convinced that men such as himself, of whom there are few, are simply on a higher spiritual level. Where his later project differs markedly, however, is in its lack of reference to its possible application to any political regime.

As before, the theme of crucifixion is played down while the themes of resurrection and ascension are again prioritised ILD, p. All that interests him is his vision of a renewed Christianity. He writes in late that appropriate collective action still remains the key to regeneration: And he continues: He remains trenchant in his criticism of the institutional Church and its systems, obviously believes that he knows better than the Church, particularly in respect of the pathway it should journey, and continues to betray the spiritual arrogance first displayed in Monsieur des Lourdines.

He was buried there under the name of Alfred Wolf, the identity he had assumed in in order to hide from those who sought him out. Indeed, following the self-reassessment in which he indulged in his later years, he subsequently benefited from the construction of a sympathetic history which ventured to sanitise his life in pursuit of his rehabilitation, first by means of seemingly innocuous activity, but then by the sustained manipulation and reworking of his words and deeds.

But it is also a loaded term which needs to be defined with care in its particular application to study of the Second World War, for in this context revisionism becomes negationism, a trend which offers a reading of the past based on trivialisation, distortion and denial, one of whose goals is to rescue the reputation of many former collaborators and with it that of the Vichy Regime itself. While this may be true in the case of those who have a vested interest in the recording of a history based on discretion, it is very far from true in the case of genuine researchers, and such short-sighted judgements demand a direct and forthright response.

The whole point of writing about the collaborators is to provide a context for an objective reading and understanding of the subject, to explore each case in scrupulous detail, to activate the truth as revealed by the evidence of the archives available, thereby to counter the sympathetic voices, and to do so with sobriety, rigour and method. If their cases are not thoroughly investigated, and the true nature of their ideas and activity is not exposed, then the very real danger is that they are allowed to fade into an historical fog of ignorance which can be exploited in order deliberately to mislead subsequent generations and to divert the focus of responsibility.

In writing the collaboration, political and personal causes must be challenged. The only passion involved must be a passion for the truth.

Only then can France say that she has not refused to look her past in the face. In that light, this chapter will have a dual focus. Without the knowledge of the true weight of historical evidence against him, readers have thus far had only caricature or a refashioned image on which to base their judgement. Negative and manifestly damaging aspects of his life were ignored, while his recognised literary and mystical persona was highlighted, thereby serving as a smoke-screen that obscured the full reality of his thought and activity.

Alphonse de Chateaubriant. Catholic collaborator

Des saisons et des jours: Un entretien avec L. The history it tells is distinctly negligent. Although small at around eighty members, its very existence is significant since it serves to illustrate the activity of those who have 10 11 12 13 See Rousso, Le Syndrome de Vichy, pp. It is accepted that the FN won so many seats in because the elections were held under a system of proportional representation.

In , legislative elections reverted to the two-ballot system, since when the FN has failed to win more than one or two seats at each election.


The bulletin first appeared in Announcements therein indicate that the seminars were held on an irregular basis. The interest of the oldest members can be linked to their direct experience of the war period, with four such members surveyed citing their personal activity as collaborators as the reason for their involvement in the Club.

But over half the members surveyed either had no direct experience of the war period or were too young to remember it in any detail. A commonality of opinion among the respondents suggests that their views can reasonably be interpreted as representative of the membership as a whole. For example, in response to the collapse of 15 16 17 Given in a letter to the author of this book dated 22 September Issue 16 October , 7.

The Club may have been small in itself, and obviously preached largely to the converted, but a reading of its bulletin provides convincing evidence that it was not a solitary, isolated organisation. Rather, it forms part of a wider movement of post-war partisan associations which have furthered the rehabilitation of war personalities. The Club and its bulletin were illustrative of their times. Example publications from the period to alone include: However, the criteria by which the included extracts have been chosen come into question when we consider the highly sensitive nature of the omitted text.

Omission occurs in two basic areas: Hitler is effectively erased from the revised text. While largely eliminating the presence of Hitler, the revised text includes sections which emphasise the theory of National Socialism as the destroyer of international Bolshevism, and which therefore exploit contemporary fears about Communism as a means of neutralising attitudes towards National Socialism GF, p.

Text revision through alteration is a more subtle method of sanitisation than text omission because the passages included in the revised text may at first appear to be original extracts.

However, on closer study, certain word changes can be identified. Examples litter the text. A further example of revision through alteration is shown in those sections where verbs have been changed. Inevitably, omitted text cannot be used in evidence against the writer, while text that has been altered by switching the emphasis of a statement tones down the content to a more acceptable level, neutralisation becoming a form of smokescreen between the original and the reconstructed version.

As is often the case with collaborationist texts, original editions are difficult to find. This permits the reconstructed texts to present a more favourable portrait which is unlikely to be challenged by recourse to original works, and, if the reader has no knowledge of the original, then the danger is that the revised text will come to be accepted as the only text.

Add to all this the fact that every direct witness to the war will eventually die, thereby leaving only the written word upon which the reader can rely, and the need to remain alert to the possibility of text revision takes on its full importance. A first volume had appeared in , and contains letters exchanged by the two men between and , while the second volume contains correspondence dating from the period to Both were edited and introduced by Louis-Alphonse Maugendre.

It is clear that both men shared a vision of co-operation between nations, although they would both follow entirely separate pathways in their pursuit of this ideal. But the second volume of correspondence contains little evidence of their differences. Indeed, if we take the period to , potentially the most interesting for our purposes, the letters for these years take up just forty-six pages of the page volume. Moreover, their content is disappointing. There are many references to their own state of health or that of their respective families; there are details of plans to meet, of appointments kept and missed, of photographs exchanged, in fact all the ordinary details which feature in any friendship.

But it is also clear that events did finally take their toll on the friendship, for the correspondence slowed in the early part of the war and the last, albeit amicable, letters were exchanged in January Given the rehabilitation strategies discussed thus far, the suggestion that the manuscripts were themselves sanitised prior to their donation is convincing.

Constructing history: As such, the present book is unlikely to be well received in some quarters, although that is neither its intention nor its wish. The content of volumes such as this is manifestly important in terms of constructing a satisfactory narrative of what actually happened during the Occupation, but it is equally apparent that the writing of those years has become as important as what is written, with the result that the whole historical process itself has become a focus for debate and conflict.

The multiple histories and readings of the period which have become possible as archives have been opened and research has progressed, and which are still being written, reveal not only that the telling of that past is by no means complete, but also that no single, definitive history could ever be constructed. Old Guard and New Order —, published in , and have therefore made it possible for researchers to progress to the production of more localised studies which set out, as here, to refine and advance knowledge on a whole range of smaller but equally significant fronts.

Even now, at the turn of the century — over sixty years since the start of the Occupation — much still remains to be done if France is ever truly to understand her past and achieve a satisfactory settling of accounts. Debunking the various myths which have arisen surrounding the war years has proved to be an essential element in that process. Right from the immediate postwar period, the pressures of the dominant memory as upheld by Charles de Gaulle did little to foster an atmosphere conducive to the construction of an objective reading of the Occupation.

Rather, the version promoted focused on France as a nation of resisters, who fought and overcame the few marginal collaborators who dared to raise their heads. This interpretation of the war was popular because it promoted an appealing self-image, and it still holds true for those French who refuse to re-visit their past for personal or other reasons. In literature, signs already existed by of attempts to demythicise both the Resistance and the Collaboration. May represents a watershed in an analysis of French responses to the Second World War.


De Gaulle survived the challenge to his administration in the short term but served only one more year as President. His resignation on 28 April , followed by his death on 9 November , removed the most famous representative of Resistance France from the centre of national life and opened the way for a proper reconsideration of the war years.

As one critic proclaimed at the time: The initial incision came with the first rumblings of the now infamous Touvier case. Paul Touvier had been a ruthless Milice leader in Lyon during the later part of the Occupation. Twice condemned to death in his absence, in and , Touvier benefited in from what is known as prescription lapsing of an imposed sentence after twenty years. In , Pompidou was approached about a pardon for Touvier, which was eventually granted in In response to the public outcry which greeted his decision, 28 29 Rousso, Le Syndrome de Vichy, p.

Cited in ibid. A policy of oubli, he held, would allow difficult memories to fade, this in the name of the goal of la France tranquille. The case of Klaus Barbie also emerged to complicate matters, for he was arrested in Bolivia in March at the behest of the French authorities who intended to extradite and try him for his wartime activity in Lyon. Oubli, it seemed, would benefit a Frenchman but not a German, a clear discrepancy in treatment which would enable France to dodge the sensitive question of national guilt and responsibility under the cloak of reconciliation.

However, as time would tell, genuine reconciliation has a natural corollary in truth, and its pursuit had thus far hardly begun.

The popular notion of Resistance France implies that, at best, the French prefer not to face up to their past, and, at worst, that they reject it entirely. But this reading equally is something of a myth whose propagation distorts the true picture.