Maurice Bardèche

Maurice Bardèche (1 October 1907 – 30 July 1998) was a French essayist, literary and art critic, journalist, and one of the leading exponents of neo-fascism in post–World War II Europe.[1] Bardèche was also the brother-in-law of the collaborationist Robert Brasillach, executed after the liberation.[2]

Academic career

Bardèche was born in a modest family of Dun-sur-Auron in the Cher department on 1 October 1907. A product of the educational opportunities of the Third Republic, Bardèche had received a scholarship, and completed hypokhâgne at the prestigious Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris.[1] There, he met Thierry Maulnier and his future brother-in-law Robert Brasillach, establishing lifelong connections. In 1928, he entered the École normale supérieure (ENS), where he met with the philosopher Simone Weil (whom he nicknamed the "Red Virgin", after Louise Michel), Claude Jamet, Jacques Soustelle, Roger Vailland and Georges Pompidou, future President of France. He was received at the Agrégation (literary section) in 1932, and started teaching at the Sorbonne University. A year later, he described himself as "a snail withdrawn into its shell".[1]

He was heavily influenced by the nationalist intellectual Maurice Barrès and the leader of the monarchist Action française (AF), Charles Maurras.[3]

Bardèche initially came to prominence as an associate of Brasillach and Maulnier, writing in their journals (1933, 1934, 1935), essentially as a literary chroniquer. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), he traveled several times to the country and wrote with Brasillach a History of the Spanish War, in which he called for the violent defense of "order" and of Francoism in front of "paralysing democracy, one like malaria". Seduced by José Antonio Primo de Rivera's Falange, his support of Fascism may be dated to this period. Bardèche also co-authored with Brasillach a History of Cinema (1935), a work that influenced cinema history for years.[4]

Bardèche completed his thesis on Balzac in 1940, titled La formation de l’art du roman chez Balzac jusqu’à la publication du Père Goriot, from which he would publish a biography, Balzac romancier. He continued to teach at the Sorbonne, moving to the Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille from 1942-4. He then became recognized for his critical works.

Bardèche began to write for the fascist journal Je suis partout in 1938. During the German occupation, he didn't take a position.[5] After the execution of Brasillach, he claimed that the Resistance's "excesses", the bombing of Dresden and post-liberation atrocities were war crimes.[1]

After World War II

After the liberation, he was briefly arrested for collaborationism but quickly released, while his brother-in-law, Robert Brasillach, was executed. He denounced Brasillach's death as "criminal".[1] Bardèche was expelled from the National Education, proscribed from giving courses in the public education system. He then founded his own literary publishing house, Les Sept Couleurs (The Seven Colours), and also founded a right-wing journal titled Défense de l'Occident in 1952, dedicating himself to rehabilitating Brasillach's works and ideology.[1]

He wrote a Lettre à François Mauriac in 1947, in which he attacked the épuration légale (legal purge) of Vichy supporters, defended collaborationism and criticized Resistance members whom he called "rebels against legality". His 1948 follow-up, Nuremberg ou la Terre Promise, which was an attack on the Nuremberg Trials and denial of the existence of gas chambers[6] saw him sentenced to a year's imprisonment for apology of war crimes, while the book was censored. This feat saw him become recognized as one of the leading thinkers of neo-fascism. However, Bardèche never served his prison term, as his sentence was commuted by President René Coty, and he was only imprisoned for a few weeks in Fresnes.

He was a founder of the European Social Movement (MSE) in 1951 and became its vice-president, which brought him together with leaders such as Oswald Mosley, Karl-Heinz Priester and Per Engdahl. He continued publishing his journal Défense de l'Occident from 1952 to 1982, in which ideas of a European nationalism were espoused.

In 1952, he wrote another negationist book, basing it on Paul Rassinier's arguments.

Unlike some of his contemporaries, Bardèche made no secret of his fascism and famously wrote in the introduction to his 1961 work Qu'est-ce que le fascisme? "I am a fascist writer." He was particularly attracted to the Italian Social Republic and sought to use that model as the basis for a more contemporary ideology that he termed fascisme amélioré ("improved fascism"). Bardèche also became a leading critic of the official Holocaust narrative and wrote extensively on the subject in his later life.[7]

He died in Paris in 1998. He was described as "a prophet of a European renaissance for which he had long hoped" by Jean-Marie Le Pen [1], leader of the National Front party. His wife Suzanne died in 2005.

In 2012, the eldest of his five sons, Jacques Bardèche, discussed the life of Maurice Bardèche on Radio Méridien Zéro.[8]


  • Histoire du cinéma (avec Robert Brasillach), Denoël et Steele, 1935, éd. complétée en 1943 ;
  • Histoire de la guerre d’Espagne (avec Robert Brasillach), Plon, 1939 ;
  • Balzac romancier : la formation de l'art du roman chez Balzac jusqu'à la publication du père Goriot (1820-1835), Plon, 1940 ; éd. refondue en 1943 ;
  • Lettre à François Mauriac, La Pensée libre, 1947 ;
  • Stendhal romancier, La Table ronde, 1947 ;
  • Nuremberg ou la Terre promise, Les Sept Couleurs, 1948 ;
  • Nuremberg II ou les Faux-Monnayeurs, Les Sept Couleurs, 1950 ;
  • L'Europe entre Washington et Moscou, R. Troubleyn, 1951 ;
  • L'Œuf de Christophe Colomb. Lettre à un sénateur d'Amérique, Les Sept Couleurs, 1952 ;
  • Les Temps modernes, Les Sept Couleurs, 1956 ;
  • Suzanne et le taudis, Plon, 1957 ;
  • Qu’est-ce que le fascisme ?, Les Sept Couleurs, 1961 ;
  • Histoire des femmes (2 vol.), Stock, 1968 ;
  • Sparte et les Sudistes, Les Sept Couleurs, 1969 ;
  • Marcel Proust, romancier, Les Sept Couleurs, 1971 ;
  • L'Œuvre de Flaubert, Les Sept Couleurs, 1974 ;
  • Balzac, Juillard, 1980 ;
  • Louis-Ferdinand Céline, La Table Ronde, 1986 ;
  • Léon Bloy, La Table Ronde, 1989 ;
  • Souvenirs, Buchet-Chastel, 1993.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "French with tears", Obituary: Maurice Bardeche in The Guardian, 6 August 1998.
  2. ^ "C'est la guerre?" in The Australian, 9 August 2000.
  3. ^ Carmen Callil, "Action man; Known to thousands as 'Le Maitre', Charles Maurras was an intellectual giant of the French canon", New Statesman, 9 April 2001.
  4. ^ "Killed for His Words; A bold new study exhumes the case of fascist writer Robert Brasillach, executed by the French in 1945", Time, 15 May 2000; David Bordwell, On the History of Film Style, Harvard University Press, 1997, pp. 40, 42.
  5. ^ Le Figaro, 31 July 1998. (in French)
  6. ^ See Nuremberg ou la Terre Promise, 1948, p.133, concerning denial of the real role of gas chambers.
  7. ^
    • "Early forms of Holocaust denial took shape in the late 1940s in the writings of Maurice Bardeche, a French fascist." Holocaust Denial: From East to West Archived 4 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Anti-Defamation League, 2001. Retrieved 1 June 2007.
    • "In Bardèche's second book he laid out his objectives, which remain, almost verbatim, the credo of contemporary deniers... Bardèche, Rassinier, Barnes, App, and others among the first generation of deniers differ from those who followed them...." Deborah Lipstadt. Denying the Holocaust – The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, Penguin, 1993, ISBN 0-452-27274-2, p.p. 59,60.
    • "The denier movement gained some of its first supporters in France. One of these, Maurice Bardèche, presented one of the deniers’ fundamental arguments, namely that the Holocaust was caused by the Jews themselves. The Jews were the enemies of Germany and were treated accordingly. Bardèche was also one of the first to question the authenticity of the source material. For instance, he strongly doubted that the gas chambers at Auschwitz had been used to kill people. Instead, he advanced the proposition that they had been used for disinfecting clothes – since then one of the deniers’ most persistent allegations." Holocaust denial: Historical view Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, The Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 2002. Retrieved 1 June 2007.
  8. ^ Émission n°124 "Un homme, un destin : Maurice BARDECHE" on Radio Méridien Zéro with Jacques Bardèche and Patrick Canet. Animateurs: Gérard Vaudan et Eugène Krampon.

Further reading

  • Bardeche, Maurice & Robert Brasillach (Iris Bar, trans.) (1938). History of the Film. London: George Allen & Unwin. p. 412 pp.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)

External links

1907 in France

Events from the year 1907 in France.

1998 in France

Events from the year 1998 in France.


Bardeche is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Fabrice Bardeche, French professor and the current vice president of the IONIS Education Group

Maurice Bardèche (1907–1998), French essayist, literary and art critic, journalist

Blueshirts (Falange)

The Blueshirts (Spanish: Camisas Azules) was the Falangist paramilitary militia in Spain. The name refers to the blue uniform worn by members of the militia. The colour blue was chosen for the uniforms in 1934 by the FE de las JONS because it was, according to José Antonio Primo de Rivera, "clear, whole, and proletarian," and is the colour typically worn by mechanics, as the Falange sought to gain support among the Spanish working class. In Francoist Spain the Blueshirts were officially reorganized and officially renamed the Falange Militia of the FET y de las JONS in 1940.

Brit HaBirionim

Brit HaBirionim (Hebrew: ברית הבריונים, The Strongmen Alliance (Alliance of Thugs)) was a clandestine, self-declared fascist faction of the Revisionist Zionist Movement (ZRM) in Mandatory Palestine, active between 1930 and 1933. It was founded by the trio of Abba Ahimeir, Uri Zvi Greenberg and Yehoshua Yeivin.


Crypto-fascism is the secret support for, or admiration of, fascism. The term is used to imply that an individual or group keeps this support or admiration hidden to avoid political persecution or political suicide. The common usage is "crypto-fascist", one who practices this support.

Denying the Holocaust

Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory is a 1993 book by Deborah Lipstadt, in which the author discusses the Holocaust denial movement. Lipstadt named writer David Irving as a Holocaust denier, leading him to sue her unsuccessfully for libel (see Irving v Penguin Books Ltd). She gives a detailed explanation of how people came to deny the Holocaust or claim that it was vastly exaggerated by the Jews.

Lipstadt sees Holocaust denial as "purely anti-Semitic diatribe" and a form of pseudo-history; she outlines the history of Holocaust denial, claims that it is increasing and should not be disregarded. Holocaust deniers were originally a "lunatic fringe" and could be seen as harmless cranks but are now more numerous and influential than before as some radical racist groups have adopted it, and that the trend could increase as Holocaust witnesses die of age.

Lipstadt claims that after World War II in France Maurice Bardèche and Paul Rassinier denied outright that the Holocaust ever happened, as did various Nazi sympathizers in America. According to Lipstadt, Austin App, a professor of English at La Salle College and the University of Scranton first put out several notions that later Holocaust deniers followed. App and others denied that the Nazis had any genocidal intent, that gas chambers existed, and that innocent Jews were killed by the millions, and they claimed that defeated Germany was compelled to admit false crimes by the Allies. From these beginnings, she details how these charges were picked up and became "a tool of the radical right."

Lipstadt gives many examples of allegations that six million Jews were not systematically exterminated, but, rather, 300,000 to 1.5 million Jews died of disease and other causes. Lipstadt shows that tens of thousands of witnesses of the Holocaust are still alive and there is conclusive documentary evidence for it. Lipstadt claims that distorting history in this way risks undermining the western tradition of objective scholarship i.e. the scientific method and make distorting history for political purposes appear legitimate.

She accuses groups like the Institute for Historical Review and people like David Duke of spreading lies about the Holocaust. Lipstadt claims this is now an international movement where Holocaust deniers call themselves 'research centres', for example, and produce what they say are independent publications to make themselves look more scientific than they are. In Lipstadt’s opinion current value relativism helps Holocaust denial to thrive.

Among those described as Holocaust deniers in Denying the Holocaust are:

Austin App

Arthur Butz

Robert Faurisson

Roger Garaudy

David Hoggan

David Irving

Paul Rassinier

Bradley R. Smith

Richard Verrall

Ernst Zündel and Fred A. Leuchter

European Social Movement

The European Social Movement (ESM) was a neo-fascist Europe-wide alliance set up in 1951 to promote pan-European nationalism.

The ESM had its origins in the emergence of the Italian Social Movement (MSI), which established contacts with like-minded smaller groups in Europe during the late 1940s, setting up European Study Center and publishing a magazine Europa Unita. On the back of this work they organised a conference in Rome in 1950 which was attended by Oswald Mosley, whose Union Movement was advocating closer European unity with its Europe a Nation policy, representatives of the Falange, allies of Gaston-Armand Amaudruz and other leading figures from the far right. After submitting plans for a centrally organised Europe a second congress followed in 1951 at Malmö, the home of Per Engdahl, where it was agreed that the ESM would be set up as an alliance to this end. Engdahl was chosen as leader of a four-man council to head up the group, also featuring MSI leader Augusto De Marsanich, French writer Maurice Bardèche and German activist Karl-Heinz Priester.The ESM suffered early setbacks however, arguing that a war against communism was, at least initially, impractical for a united Europe, whilst some delegates felt that racialism had not been sufficiently underlined as necessary for the new Europe. These problems proved particularly acute for some members of the French Comité National Français, with leading members René Binet and Maurice Bardèche quitting both the French group and the ESM as a whole, before becoming instrumental in the formation of the New European Order.Continuing its activity despite the split, the ESM encountered difficulties in 1956 when a delegate was invited to the annual conference of the MSI. Following his attendance he recommended a total split from the MSI, whom he accused of being too preoccupied with Italian politics to be of use to pan-Europeanism. With divisions growing and competition from other movements biting the movement had largely become moribund by 1957. Its role was later taken over by the similar National Party of Europe, which had many of the same members but was more formalised.


Fascio (pronounced [ˈfaʃʃo]; plural fasci) is an Italian word literally meaning "a bundle" or "a sheaf", and figuratively "league", and which was used in the late 19th century to refer to political groups of many different (and sometimes opposing) orientations. A number of nationalist fasci later evolved into the 20th century Fasci movement, which became known as fascism.

Hans Oehler

Hans Oehler (18 December 1888 – 7 January 1967) was a Swiss journalist and a sympathizer of Nazism.

Initially a journalist, Oehler turned his attention towards producing pro-German material. Later he was one of the founders of the Schweizerische Monatshefte für Politik und Kultur (SM) in 1921. This very quickly became the mouthpiece for the Popular League for the Independence of Switzerland, a group he had participated around the same time which opposed the League of Nations. He briefly met Adolf Hitler when Hitler visited Switzerland in 1923 and became an sympathizer of both Fascist Italy and Othmar Spann.

Although the Popular League proved to be short-lived, Oehler continued to publish SM as an outlet for his political ideas until, in 1932, he joined the New Front. 1934 he had to resign as an editor of SM because of his pro-nazism mindset. With the launch of the National Front in 1934 Oehler took charge of editing the new party's paper Nationale Front, as well as being appointed foreign affairs spokesman. Ousted from SM by the Front he founded a new paper, Nationale Hefte and by 1938 had split from the Front altogether. After the split he joined with Rolf Henne in forming the hardline Nazi Bund Treuer Eidgenossen Nationalsozialistischer Weltanschauung, another minor group which was absorbed by the Nationale Bewegung der Schweiz in 1940.

Oehler's profile fell as World War II neared its conclusion and he became very much a marginal figure in post-war Switzerland. Having attended a meeting in Munich in 1940 organised to bring together pro-Nazi Swiss leaders, Oehler was tried for treason by a federal court in 1957 and sentenced to two years in prison. Upon his release Oehler became a leading member of the Volkspartei der Schweiz and headed up the Swiss branch of Nation Europa, an international neo-Nazi journal. He also adopted the pseudonym Hans Rudolf to translate works into German, notably Nuremberg ou la Terre Promise of Maurice Bardèche, as well as writing for the far right journal Turmwart. Oehler continued his political activity until his death at Dielsdorf.

Les Sept Couleurs

Les Sept Couleurs is a French publishing house of the extreme right founded by Maurice Bardèche in 1948.

Nation Europa

Nation Europa (also called Nation und Europa) was a monthly right-wing magazine, published in Germany. It was founded in 1951 and was based in Coburg until its closure in 2009. It is also the name of the publishing house that develops the magazine (Nation Europa Verlag).

National Fascist Party (Argentina)

The National Fascist Party of Argentina (Partido Nacional Fascista) was a fascist political party formed in 1923. In 1932, a group broke away from the party to form the Argentine Fascist Party, which eventually became a mass movement in the Córdoba region of Argentina.

Pension Mimosas

Pension Mimosas is a 1935 French film directed by Jacques Feyder. Based on an original scenario by Feyder and Charles Spaak, it is a psychological drama set largely in a small hotel on the Côte d'Azur, and it provided Françoise Rosay with one of the most substantial acting roles of her career.

Peter Hartung

Peter Hartung (born c. 1959) is the director of the Holocaust denial organization Adelaide Institute having previously been a successful businessman and political adviser. He is a native of Adelaide, Australia.

Hartung assumed the role of director of the Adelaide Institute in 2009, following the incarceration of Gerald Fredrick Töben for three months in South Australia for contempt of court. On assuming the role from Toben, Hartung defied the Federal Court by publishing the revisionist material that led to Toben’s three months jail time.

Proletarian nation

Proletarian nation was a term used by 20th century Italian nationalist intellectuals such as Enrico Corradini and later adopted by Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini to refer to Italy and other poorer countries that were subordinate to the Western imperialist powers. These powers were described by Mussolini as "plutocratic nations" (nazioni plutocratiche). Corradini associated the proletariat with the economic function of production and believed that the producers should be at the forefront of a new imperialist proletarian nation. Mussolini considered that the military struggles unfolding in Europe in the mid-20th century could have revolutionary consequences that could lead to an improvement in the position of Italy in comparison with the major imperialist powers such as Britain.

Nazism rejected the Marxist concept of internationalist class struggle, it identified "class struggle between nations" and sought to resolve internal class struggle in the nation while it identified Germany as a proletarian nation fighting against plutocratic nations.

Robert Brasillach

Robert Brasillach (French pronunciation: [ʁɔbɛʁ bʁazijak] (listen)) (31 March 1909 – 6 February 1945) was a French author and journalist. Brasillach is best known as the editor of Je suis partout, a nationalist newspaper which came to advocate various fascist movements and supported Jacques Doriot. After the liberation of France in 1944 he was executed following a trial and Charles de Gaulle's express refusal to grant him a pardon. Brasillach was executed for advocating collaborationism, denunciation and incitement to murder. The execution remains a subject of some controversy, because Brasillach was executed for "intellectual crimes", rather than military or political actions.

Tropical fascism

In African political science, tropical fascism is a type of post-colonial state which is either considered fascist or is seen to have strong fascist tendencies. Gnassingbé Eyadéma dictator of Togo and leader of the Rally of the Togolese People, Mobutu Sese Seko dictator of Zaire and leader of the Popular Movement of the Revolution and Idi Amin dictator of Uganda have all been considered an example of tropical fascism in Africa. The Coalition for the Defence of the Republic and larger Hutu Power movement, a Hutu ultranationalist and supremacist movement that organized and committed the Rwandan Genocide aimed at exterminating the Tutsi people of Rwanda, has been regarded as a prominent example of tropical fascism in Africa. Pol Pot and The Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia has been called a tropical fascist regime, as they officially renounced communism in 1981.

Young Egypt Party (1933)

The Young Egypt Party (Arabic: حزب مصر الفتاة‎, Misr El-Fatah) was an Egyptian political party.

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