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.[1]

Robert Brasillach
Brasillach portrait
Robert Brasillach (1938)
Born31 March 1909
Perpignan, France
Died6 February 1945 (aged 35)
Fort de Montrouge, Arcueil, France
Occupationjournalist, author

Biography

Born in Perpignan, he studied at the École normale supérieure, at the time a school of the University of Paris, and then became a novelist and literary critic for the Action française of Charles Maurras. After the 6 February 1934 crisis in the Place de la Concorde, Brasillach openly supported fascism. His politics are shared by several of the protagonists in his literary works, notably the two male main characters in The Seven Colours (see below).

Author

Brasillach wrote both fiction and non-fiction. While his fiction dealt with love, life and politics in his era, his non-fiction dealt with a great variety of themes, ranging from drama, great literary figures and contemporary world events. His work in the realm of cinema history (see below) was particularly influential.

Cinema

Brasillach was fascinated by the cinema and in 1935 co-wrote a detailed critical history of that medium, Histoire du cinéma (re-edited in 1943), with his brother-in-law, Maurice Bardèche. This work remained the "most prominent aesthetic history of film for at least a decade", and a work that exerted considerable influence, via its impact on Georges Sadoul (who nonetheless disliked the authors) until the 1970s.[2] Unlike several other authors and critics of the time, Brasillach did not see cinema through an overtly political lens, although the 1943 re-edition of his work did contain certain anti-Semitic comments not included in the original.[3] Despite being fervent nationalists and personally believing that each nation and people had a unique cinema, the authors instead focussed on international trends rather than local particularities.[4] Brasillach frequented Henri Langlois' Cercle du cinéma (Cinema Circle). His personal tastes are detailed in his major work on cinema and in numerous articles of the period. These tastes ranged from Russian cinema (Battleship Potemkin and Alexander Nevski[5]) to classics such as Charlie Chaplin, Georg Wilhelm Pabst, René Clair and Jean Renoir and to certain Hollywood films, such as those of John Ford, Frank Borzage and King Vidor. Brasillach was drawn to originality and explored foreign cinema, and became the first major critic in France to address Japanese cinema, namely Yasujirō Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi and Heinosuke Gosho.[6] While in prison, he worked on a third edition of his work on cinema and started to adapt a work on Falstaff which he hoped to film with Raimu.

Politics and wartime activities

He became an editor of Je suis partout, a fascist paper founded by dissidents from the Action Française and led by Pierre Gaxotte. Brasillach was attracted to the fascistic Rexist movement in Belgium, and wrote an article and later a book about the leader of the movement, Leon Degrelle. Brasillach admired what he perceived to be Degrelle's youth and charisma and Degrelle's insistence on being neither left nor right, supporting striking workers, encouraging love of God, the King and family and desiring to see the establishment of an anti-Communist and anti-capitalist, Christian-influenced corporate state.[7] Degrelle went on to collaborate with the German occupation of Belgium and served in the Waffen-SS. Brasillach was also greatly impressed by José Antonio Primo de Rivera and his Falangist movement.[8] By contrast, he described Mein Kampf as a "masterpiece of cretinism" in which Hitler appeared to be "a sort of enraged teacher."[9]

A soldier in 1940, Brasillach was captured by the Germans and held prisoner for several months after the fall of France. At his trial the prosecution alleged that his release was due to pro-German articles written while in captivity.[10] He was freed in early 1941 and returned to his editorial duties at Je suis partout. He wrote in favor of the Vichy regime but later embraced a more wholehearted germanophile policy of collaboration and Nazi policies and criticized the Vichy state. He joined a group of French authors and artists in a trip to meet with German counterparts in Weimar[11] and in November 1942 he supported the German militarisation of the unoccupied zone (Case Anton) under the Vichy government because it "reunited France".

He visited the site of the Katyn massacre, toured the Eastern Front, visited French volunteers and wrote, on his return to France, that he had gone from embracing a collaboration due to reason and rationality to being a collaborator for reasons of the heart ("De collaborationiste de raison, je suis devenu collaborationiste de coeur.")[12] He called for the death of left-wing politicians and in the summer of 1944 signed the call for the summary execution of all members of the French Resistance. He considered himself a "moderate" anti-Semite and was replaced as editor of Je suis partout in 1943 by the even more extreme Pierre-Antoine Cousteau.[13] He was a member of the Groupe Collaboration, an initiative that encouraged close cultural ties between France and Germany.[14] He went on to work for various journals, including Révolution nationale and le Petit Parisien.[15] After the liberation of Paris Brasillach hid in an attic, joking in his diary: "Jews have been living in cupboards for four years, why not imitate them?"[16] He gave himself up on September 14 when he heard that his mother had been arrested. He spent the next five months in prison and continued his literary endeavours while incarcerated.

Trial and execution

Brasillach was tried in Paris on 19 January 1945. His judge had served under Vichy.[17] The prosecutor re-iterated Brasillach's vehement anti-semitism, linked his praise of Germany and denunciation of the Resistance to SS massacres in France and played upon homophobic sentiments by repeatedly drawing the jurors' attention to the author's homosexuality, noting, inter alia, that he had slept with the enemy and approved of Germany's "penetration" of France.[18] In so doing the prosecution was making hay with Brasillach's own words, as he had suggested, as Liberation approached, that France had slept with Germany and would remember the experience fondly. Brasillach was sentenced to death. Brasillach responded to the outrage of some of his supporters then in attendance by saying "It's an honor!"[19]

The sentence caused an uproar in French literary circles and even some of Brasillach's political opponents protested. Resistance member and author François Mauriac, whom Brasillach had savaged in the press, circulated a petition to Charles De Gaulle to commute the sentence. This petition was signed by many of the leading lights of the French literary world, including Paul Valéry, Paul Claudel, Albert Camus, Jean Cocteau, Colette, Arthur Honegger, Jean Anouilh and Thierry Maulnier.[20] De Gaulle did not comply and Brasillach was executed by firing squad in Montrouge. It has been argued that De Gaulle refused to spare Brasillach because the author had on numerous occasions called for Georges Mandel's execution. De Gaulle admired Mandel, a prominent conservative politician (who happened to be Jewish), and who was murdered by the Milice during the closing days of the Occupation.[21] Brasillach called out "But all the same, long live France!" ("Vive la France quand même!") immediately before his execution.[22] He was buried in the cimetière de Charonne in the 20th Arrondissement of Paris. His brother-in-law, Maurice Bardèche, was later buried next to him.

Legacy

Brasillach sought to protect his own legacy as his life drew to a close. He composed several works while awaiting trial and execution, including a collection of verse and a letter to French youth of the future, explaining and justifying his actions (Lettre a un soldat de la classe de soixante (Lettre), see below). In Lettre he was unrepentant about his fascism, his anti-semitism or his wartime activity, although he insisted that he had no idea that French Jews were being sent to their deaths when they were deported.

His biographer Alice Kaplan noted that his death made him the "James Dean of French fascism" and a martyr to the extreme right. François Truffaut was both aware and appreciative of Brasillach, stating that Brasillach and Pierre Drieu La Rochelle shared similar political beliefs and that "views that earn their advocates the death penalty are bound to be worthy of esteem."[23]

Dominique Venner's Nouvelle Revue d'Histoire has praised the author's intellectual oeuvre.[24]

A group called Association des Amis de Robert Brasillach[25] celebrates the author's work and legacy.

Cultural references

  • The Jean-Luc Godard film Éloge de l'amour features the recitation of Brasillach's "Testament", written before his execution.
  • French singer Jann Halexander (born in 1982 in Libreville, Gabon) attacked the author's legacy and celebrated his execution in a song entitled "Brasillach 1945".
  • Brasillach is described in Jonathan Littell's novel Les Bienveillantes, where he is one of the fellow students of the main character Maximilian Aue.

Works

Below is a list of Brasillach's oeuvre (fiction, non-fiction and poetry), including posthumous works. Certain works have been briefly summarized.

Novels

  • 1932 Le Voleur d'étincelles (The Spark Thief/The Stealer of Sparks)
  • 1934 L'Enfant de la nuit (Child of the Night)
  • 1936 Le Marchand d'oiseaux (The Bird Merchant)
  • 1937 Comme le temps passe (How The Time Passes By), nominated for Prix Femina 1937
  • 1939 Les Sept Couleurs (The Seven Colors), nominated for Prix Goncourt 1939.
The book begins with the courtship of Patrice and Catherine, two students, in Paris in the 1920s. At one point the young couple meet two children, who are also called Patrice and Catherine and who claim to be a couple. His studies completed, Patrice leaves to work in Italy, where he becomes enamoured with Italian fascism. Catherine, desiring a more stable relationship, eventually marries a Communist she has met at the office where she works, François. Patrice leaves Italy and serves a five-year stint in the Foreign Legion, where he befriends a young Nazi. After his time in the Legion, Patrice goes to work in Nazi Germany, where he finds Nazi ritual (e.g. Nuremberg rallies, the banners and marches) very engaging. Patrice learns from a friend from his Paris days that François has become a fascist, having turned from both Communism and the Third Republic following the 6 February 1934 crisis in which the extreme right rioted against government "corruption" and perhaps planned to overthrow the state. Ten years after he last saw Catherine, Patrice returns to Paris to visit Catherine and she agrees to go away with him but asks for a few days to collect her thoughts. She decides to stay with François instead, but François misunderstands and believes she has left him. François leaves France without a word and joins the Nationalist cause in the Spanish Civil War, where he has a brief encounter with the Nazi Patrice met in the Foreign Legion. Catherine stays faithful to François, although she meets a young Frenchman who fought for the Republicans in Spain and who turns out to be the young Patrice she had met while he was a child in the 1920s. Meanwhile, the elder Patrice marries a young German woman. The book ends with Catherine on her way to visit François in hospital in Spain after learning that he has been seriously wounded at the front.
The title of the book stems from the seven styles in which it is written: a narrative of Patrice and Catherine's time together in the 1920s; letters exchanged between Patrice and Catherine while Patrice is in Italy; Patrice's journal entries while he is in Germany; a series of reflections or maxims, mainly on the process of aging and turning 30; dialogue, in the form of a play, between François and Catherine and Catherine and Patrice in the mid-1930s; a series of "documents" François has put together in a scrap book about the Spanish Civil War; and finally a "speech" ("discours"), in which Catherine describes her thoughts as she travels to meet François in hospital.
The book is very sympathetic to fascism as a regenerating ideology. However, given his future as a collaborator, readers may be surprised that Communism and socialism are not attacked outright and that the "Patrice" character mentions several times that Nazism may not be as enduring as fascism and that Frenchmen may have to fight the Germans in the future. Also, it is of note that Catherine, who calls herself a "petite bourgeoise" and who exemplifies French rationalism (and perhaps represents France herself) as noted in the dialogue section, chooses François, the French/native fascist and turns away from Patrice, who has immersed himself in Italian and German ideology.
  • 1943 La Conquérante (The Conqueror; gender suggests a female conqueror)
  • 1944 Poèmes (Poems)
  • 1944 Poèmes

Non-fiction

  • 1931 Présence de Virgile (The Presence of Virgil)
  • 1932 Le Procès de Jeanne d'Arc (edited and introduced by Robert Brasillach) (The Trial of Joan of Arc)
  • 1935 Portraits. Barrès, Proust, Maurras, Colette, Giraudoux, Morand, Cocteau, Malraux, etc., (Portraits)
  • 1935 (re-edited in 1943) Histoire du Cinéma, two volumes (with Maurice Bardèche)
  • 1936, Animateurs de théâtre (Theater Directors/Organizers)
  • 1936 Léon Degrelle et l'avenir de « Rex » (Léon Degrelle and the Future of Rexist Party)
  • 1936 Les Cadets de l'Alcazar (with Henri Massis, see French Wikipedia) (The Cadets of the Alcazar); later renamed the Defenders of the Alcazar
This short work chronicles the siege of the Alcazar in Toledo by Republican forces in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War. While it lionises the defenders, Brasillach does not shy from mentioning the execution of the Republican prisoners in Toledo's hospitals after the relief of the city and the Alcazar. The author also discounts certain elements of Nationalist propaganda concerning La Pasionaria, Communist Dolores Ibárruri. The work remains heavily pro-Nationalist, with Falangist and Carlist songs reprinted in its pages.
  • 1938 Pierre Corneille, a biography of the famous dramatist
  • 1939 Histoire de la guerre d’Espagne (with Maurice Bardèche) (History of the Spanish Civil War)
  • 1941 Notre avant-guerre (Our pre-war)
  • 1944 Les Quatre Jeudis (The Four Thursdays) A series of articles about literature, literary figures, trends, politics and society largely published in the press earlier in Brasillach's career (drawn from articles often originally printed on Thursdays).

Posthumously published works

  • 1945 Poèmes de Fresnes
  • 1946 Lettre à un soldat de la classe 60 (Letter to a Soldier of the Class of 1960).
In this 'letter', written while Brasillach was awaiting trial, the author expressed his thoughts and hopes to a future generation. He argued that he had few regrets about his social and political role in World War II era France. He admitted that certain excesses had occurred under the occupation but contrasted the Germans’ worst crimes against Frenchmen (e.g. Oradour-sur-Glane massacre) to the well documented atrocities committed by the French in their colonial empire, especially Indochina. He re-iterated his commitment to anti-semitism, although he insisted that he did not know of and entirely repudiated the holocaust despite having advocated the deportations of French Jewry. In the letter Brasillach insists that Franco-German relations would inevitably continue to improve and that the occupation had ultimately brought the two nations closer together. While these statements would have shocked many at the time, when one considers the rapid rapprochement between the two nations post-war, the general idea of Franco-German unity he expressed in some way presages the development of Franco-German cooperation and the pivotal role of the two nations in the European Community/Union, although the causes of this rapprochement may not have been what he foresaw. Brasillach also re-iterated his commitment to fascism and argued that, whether it survived as an ideology or not, the generation of the class of 1960 would doubtless look back on and consider German fascism with a sense of awe. Brasillach also argued that he believed that the spirit of fascism should be mixed with the English sense of liberty and free expression, despite the apparent contradiction in terms.
  • 1947 Chénier, La Pensée française (Chénier: French Thought)
  • 1950 Anthologie de la poésie grecque (Anthology of Greek Poetry) ISBN 2-253-01517-2
  • 1952 Lettres écrites en prison (Letters Written in Prison)
  • 1953 Six heures à perdre (Six Hours to Kill)
  • 1954 Bérénice (Berenice) (play, first run - 1957)
  • 1955 Journal d'un homme occupé (Journal of an (Pre)Occupied Man)
  • 1961 Poètes oubliés (Forgotten Poets)
  • 1961 Dom Rémy
  • 1962 Commentaire sur La Varende (Commentary on La Varende)
  • 1963 En marge de Daphnis et Chloé (On the Edge of Daphnis and Chloé)
  • 1963 Nouvelle prière sur l'Acropole (New Prayer on the Acropolis)
  • 1967 Écrit à Fresnes (Written at Fresnes)
  • 1968 Une génération dans l'orage (A Generation in the Storm)
  • 1970 Vingt lettres de Robert Brasillach (Twenty Letters)
  • 1971 Abel Bonnard biography
  • 1974 Les Captifs incomplete novel
  • 1984 Le Paris de Balzac (Balzac's Paris)
  • 1985 Hugo et le snobisme révolutionnaire (Hugo and Revolutionary Snobbism)
  • 1985 Montherlant entre les hommes et les femmes (Montherlant between Men and Women)
  • 1992 Fulgur novel, compilation
  • 1999 La Question juive, articles de Brasillach et Cousteau (The Jewish Question: Articles by Brasillach and Cousteau)
  • 2002 Relectures Robert Brasillach (Re-reading Robert Brasillach)

References

  1. ^ Salon.com - Poison pen Archived 2009-07-25 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ David Bordwell, On the history of film style, Harvard University Press, 1997, at p. 40 and 42
  3. ^ 1943 additions: On the history of film style, p.40
  4. ^ On the history of film style, p.39
  5. ^ Philippe d'Hughes, "L'étincelante génération Brasillach" 41 (March–April 2009) NRH, 25-27
  6. ^ see Maurice Bardeche and Robert Brasillach, Histoire du cinéma «Le cinéma japonais» Tome II, p:381-412, Les sept couleurs, Paris, 1964
  7. ^ "Lettre a une provinciale: visite a Leon Degrelle" Je Suis Partout, 20 juin 1936
  8. ^ Philippe D'Hugues, "Brasillach et l'Allemagne", in La Nouvelle Revue d'Histoire, Numero 50, 2010 at p. 45
  9. ^ Philippe D'Hugues, "Brasillach et l'Allemagne", in La Nouvelle Revue d'Histoire, Numéro 50, 2010 at p. 46
  10. ^ Quatre procès de trahison devant la cour de justice de Paris: Paquis, Buchard, Luchaire, Brasillach (réquisitoires et plaidoiries) (Les éditions de Paris, 1947)
  11. ^ Philippe D'Hugues, "Brasillach et l'Allemagne", in La Nouvelle Revue d'Histoire, Numero 50, 2010 at p. 47
  12. ^ Philippe D'Hugues, "Brasillach et l'Allemagne", in La Nouvelle Revue d'Histoire, Numero 50, 2010 at p. 47-48
  13. ^ for a history of Je suis partout see: Pierre-Marie Dioudonnat Je suis partout (1930-1944). Les maurrassiens devant la tentation fasciste (éd. La Table ronde, 1973, rééd. 1987); Les 700 rédacteurs de « Je suis partout », éd. SEDOPOLS, 1993
  14. ^ Karen Fiss, Grand Illusion: The Third Reich, the Paris Exposition, and the Cultural Seduction of France, University of Chicago Press, 2009, p. 204
  15. ^ Philippe D'Hugues, "Brasillach et l'Allemagne", in La Nouvelle Revue d'Histoire, Numero 50, 2010 at p. 47
  16. ^ Kaplan, Alice (2006). The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 71. ISBN 0-226-42414-6.
  17. ^ Kaplan, Alice (2006). The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 187. ISBN 0-226-42414-6.
  18. ^ Quatre procès de trahison
  19. ^ Kaplan, Alice (2006). The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 187. ISBN 0-226-42414-6.
  20. ^ Jean Lacouture, La raison de l'autre, Montesquieu, Mauriac, Confluences, 2002.
  21. ^ Jean-Luc Barré, « Brasillach, Robert (1909-1945) », Dictionnaire de Gaulle, Paris, Éditions Robert Laffont, coll. Bouquins, 2006, p. 147.
  22. ^ Kaplan, Alice (2006). The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 210. ISBN 0-226-42414-6.
  23. ^ Antoine de Baecque and Serge Toubiana, Truffaut: A Biography (University of California Press, 1999)at p. 85
  24. ^ Philippe d'Hughes, "L'étincelante génération Brasillach" 41 (March–April 2009) NRH, 25-27
  25. ^ http://www.brasillach.ch/

Further reading

  • Fascist Ego: A Political Biography of Robert Brasillach by William R. Tucker ISBN 0-520-02710-8
  • The Ideological Hero in the Novels of Robert Brasillach, Roger Vailland & Andre Malraux by Peter D. Tame ISBN 0-8204-3126-5
  • Translation of Notre Avant-Guerre/Before the War by Robert Brasillach, Peter Tame ISBN 0-7734-7158-8
  • Wesseling, H. L. (2002). "Chapter 6: Robert Brasillach and the Temptation of Fascism". Certain ideas of France: essays on French history and civilization. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-32341-6.

External links

1909 in France

Events from the year 1909 in France.

1945 in France

Events from the year 1945 in France.

1945 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1945.

Alice Kaplan

Alice Kaplan is the John M. Musser Professor of French and chair of the Department of French at Yale University. Before her arrival at Yale, she was the Gilbert, Louis and Edward Lehrman Professor of Romance Studies and Professor of Literature and History at Duke University and founding director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies there. She is the author of Reproductions of Banality: Fascism, Literature, and French Intellectual Life (1986); French Lessons: A Memoir (1993); The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach (2000); and The Interpreter (2005), about racial injustice in the American army witnessed by Louis Guilloux. In March 2012, Kaplan's book about the Paris years of Jacqueline Bouvier, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis, Dreaming in French, was published by the University of Chicago Press. A French edition of Dreaming in French, entitled Trois Américaines à Paris: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, Angela Davis, was published by Éditions Gallimard in October 2012, translated by Patrick Hersant.

Kaplan is also the translator into English of Louis Guilloux's novel OK, Joe, Evelyne Bloch-Dano's Madame Proust: A Biography, and three books by Roger Grenier: Piano Music for Four Hands, Another November, and The Difficulty of Being a Dog.

Kaplan's research interests include autobiography and memory, translation in theory and practice, literature and the law, twentieth-century French literature, French cultural studies, and post-war French culture. Her recent undergraduate courses include courses on Camus, Proust, and Céline; theories of the archive; French national identity; “The Experience of Being Foreign”; and “Literary Trials.” Upcoming courses include “The Modern French Novel” (with Maurice Samuels) and a film course on French cinema of the Occupation. She currently sits on the editorial board at South Atlantic Quarterly and on the usage panel for the American Heritage Dictionary, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is represented by the Marly Rusoff Literary Agency.

Charles Lescat

Charles Lescat (19 February 1887 – 1948) was an Argentine citizen, who studied in France and wrote in Je suis partout, the ultra-Collaborationist review headed by Robert Brasillach.

Born as Carlos Hipólito Saralegui Lesca in Buenos Aires, he was a volunteer during World War I in France. There, Lescat became a personal friend of Charles Maurras, leader of the Action française (AF) monarchist movement. Part of the AF, he presided over the administration council of Je suis partout, and was editor in chief of this review for a time. In 1941 he published an anti-Semitic book titled Quand Israël se venge (When Israel takes revenge), through the Éditions Grasset publishing house.

At the Liberation of Paris, he took refuge in Germany before travelling to Francoist Spain. He arrived in Uruguay in 1946, and later established himself in Juan Peron's Argentina. There, he organized one of the ratlines used by collaborators and Nazi fugitives. Lescat helped Pierre Daye find refuge in Argentina.

Lescat was sentenced to death in May 1947 by the High Court in Paris, but, despite extradition requests from France, was never extradited. He died in Argentina in 1948.

Cultural Amnesia (book)

Cultural Amnesia is a book of biographical essays by Clive James, first published in 2007. The U.K. title, published by MacMillan, is Cultural Amnesia: Notes in the Margin of My Time, while the U.S. title, published by W.W. Norton, is Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories From History and the Arts. The cover illustration was adapted from a work by German Modernist designer Peter Behrens.

Fausta Garavini

Fausta Garavini (born 1938, Bologna, Italy) is an Italian writer and translator.

She studied French and Occitan literature at the University of Florence She later worked as a literature professor at this university and as an essayist in several publications like "Paragone", "Nuovi Argomenti", "Revue d'histoire littéraire de la France" and "Littérature".

Henri Béraud

Henri Béraud (21 September 1885 in Lyon – 24 October 1958 in Saint-Clément-des-Baleines) was a French novelist and journalist. He was sentenced to death – later commuted to life imprisonment – for collaboration with the Germans, in 1945.

Je suis partout

Je suis partout (French pronunciation: ​[ʒə sɥi paʁtu], lit. I am everywhere) was a French newspaper founded by Jean Fayard, first published on 29 November 1930. It was placed under the direction of Pierre Gaxotte until 1939. Journalists of the paper included Lucien Rebatet, Alain Laubreaux, the illustrator Ralph Soupault, and the Belgian correspondent Pierre Daye.

Jean Madiran

Jean Arfel (14 June 1920 – 31 July 2013), better known by his pen name Jean Madiran was a French far right nationalist and a traditionalist Catholic writer who was born in Libourne. He has also used the pen name Jean-Louis Lagor.

During the German occupation of France, Madiran was the private secretary of Charles Maurras and was awarded the Order of the Francisque, the decoration, in the form of a stylised double-headed francisca, that was granted by Vichy France. He contributed to the newspaper Action Française. This was the organ of the movement of the same name and was published from 21 March 1908 to 24 August 1944.

After the Second World War, he retired to Madiran in southwestern France (whence his pen name) and became noted as a journalist and essayist. In 1948, he published his first book, La Philosophie politique de saint Thomas (The Political Philosophy of Saint Thomas), under the pen name Jean-Louis Lagor and with a preface by Maurras.

In 1956, Madiran and Louis Salleron co-founded Itinéraires, a review of Catholic themes which later became a leading organ for criticism of the reforms within the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council of 1962–65.Itinéraires originally appeared monthly, but after the 1988 Ecône Consecrations became quarterly. Madiran remained its editor until publication ceased in 1996. He was also one of the founders in 1982, of the daily newspaper Présent, of which he was editor in chief. This publication is associated with the Front National, but refused to take sides in the conflict between Jean-Marie Le Pen and Bruno Mégret, whereupon Le Pen called for it to be boycotted.

In an article published in Itinéraires, Madiran declared:

If we are asked to state what we are and what our position is, our answer must be understood. Our answer modifies François Brigneau's formula or rather completes and develops it in its full truth: "We are to the right of the far right." This does not mean that we despise indiscriminately everybody and everything that official jargon calls "the far right". Here again we reject the arbitrary left-wing attitude that inspires and imposes a classification at variance with the truth. In reality there is no extremism, right-wing or other, in wishing a society based on "Work-Family-Fatherland", "Serve God First".On 6 February 1995, the fiftieth anniversary of the execution, for collaboration with the German occupation, of Robert Brasillach, the poet, writer and journalist supporter of Action Française, Madiran, with François Brigneau and others, organised a meeting in Paris, at which Madiran declared: "Young people who are here this evening, we entrust to your hands the remembrance of the National Revolution, we entrust to you the remembrance of the France that awaits, hopes for and desires its liberation."

La Gerbe

La Gerbe (French pronunciation: ​[la ʒɛʁb], The Sheaf) was a weekly newspaper of the French collaboration with Nazi Germany during World War II that appeared in Paris from July 1940 till August 1944. Its political-literary line was modeled after Candide and Gringoire, two right-wing newspapers founded in the interwar period.

Founder and editor was the writer Alphonse de Châteaubriant, and chief editor was Marc Augier. Also involved in the management was the German journalist Eitel Moellhausen, who wrote under the pen names Aimé Cassar and Pierre Cousinery. Gabrielle Storms-Castelot, the mother of André Castelot and mistress of Châteaubriant, was director's secretary.

The first issue of La Gerbe, announced by a huge poster campaign in Paris, consisted of only four pages. But within three months the publication's size had reached ten pages and its circulation 100,000. In 1943 it sold 140,000 copies.The newspaper's title was taken from Châteaubriant's 1937 naively pro-Hitler book La gerbe des forces. But it also alluded to the position it advanced: France, destined to be an agrarian country, should become a part of the new Europe created by Hitler. Violently anticommunist, antirepublican and antisemitic, and hostile to the Popular Front, the newspaper drew its ideology from Fascism and more particularly from Nazism.

According to La Gerbe, the country had to undergo a "national alignment" and had to fight with all its strength against individualism. Châteaubriant's vision of Hitler was that he would form a unified Catholic Europe as it last existed under Charlemagne.Openly eugenic and racist, the newspaper made its columns available to Georges Montandon, and declared in its edition of 7 November 1940: "The time has come to say that Apollo and Pallas Athena are the images of the Nordic man and the Nordic woman, an affirmation that was impossible at the time of the Jewish conspiracy."

Like its founder, La Gerbe synthesized Catholicism and racism. The newspaper demanded that the mass should accentuate what would bring it closer to a racist ceremony (21 November 1940) and asked: "Joy, said Father Janvier in one of his talks, is the motor of life. Did Hitler say otherwise when he said 'Kraft durch Freude' [i.e. Strength Through Joy]?"

Strongly pro-nazi intellectuals writing for the newspaper included Drieu La Rochelle, Louis-Ferdinand Céline and Robert Brasillach. Other writers were the pro-nazi Henry de Montherlant, Jean Giono, and the more ambiguous Marcel Aymé, Jean Anouilh and Colette. Further contributors included Paul Morand, Lucien Combelle and André Castelot, who was in charge of the theatre reviews. It was closely associated with the Groupe Collaboration, an initiative established by Châteaubriand in September 1940.La Gerbe was subsidized, and in some sense created, by the German embassy, with Châteaubriand serving as a front for the ambassador Otto Abetz. As the only French newspaper created by the German occupants, it was meant to replace Candide and Gringoire. Some of the newspaper's last editorials referred to the Allied bombings as terrorism. After the Liberation of Paris the police searched the offices of La Gerbe in Rue Chauchat, which were then taken over by a newspaper of the French Resistance.

Le Crapouillot

Le Crapouillot was a French magazine started by Jean Galtier-Boissière as a satiric publication in France, during World War I. In the trenches during World War I, the affectionate term for le petit crapaud, "the little toad" was used by French soldiers, the poilus, to designate small trench-mortars.

Les Parents terribles

Les Parents terribles is a 1938 French play written by Jean Cocteau. Despite initial problems with censorship, it was revived on the French stage several times after its original production, and in 1948 a film adaptation directed by Cocteau himself was released. English-language versions have been produced under various titles including Intimate Relations and Indiscretions.

Les Sept Couleurs

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

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. Bardèche was also the brother-in-law of the collaborationist Robert Brasillach, executed after the liberation.

Pension Mimosas

Pension Mimosas is a 1935 French drama 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. It was produced by the French subsidiary of the German company Tobis Film.

Pierre Daye

Pierre Daye (1892, Schaerbeek, Belgium – 1960, Buenos Aires, Argentina) was a Belgian journalist and Nazi collaborator. As supporter of the Rexist Party, Daye exiled himself to Juan Peron's Argentina after World War II.

In World War I Daye served in the Belgian Army on the Yser Front and in East Africa. In 1918 he published a book about his experiences in the Battle of Tabora.

Pierre Daye was in charge of foreign politics in the Nouveau Journal, a newspaper supporting the National Socialist thesis created in October 1940 by Paul Colin and under the direction of Robert Poulet.Daye was a shareholder in the Editions de la Toison d'Or created during the war (out of a total of 150 shares, 135 were owned by the Slovak group Mundus, which was responsible to the Reich Foreign Affairs Minister headed by Joachim von Ribbentrop.) .

Daye was a correspondent of Je suis partout, the ultra-collaborationist French language review headed by Robert Brasillach. He was sentenced to death as a collaborator on 18 December 1946, by the Brussels War Council.After the war, he fled to Argentina with the help of Charles Lescat, who also worked at Je suis partout. There, he took part in the meeting organized by Juan Perón in the Casa Rosada during which a network (colloquially called ratlines) was created, to organize the escape of war criminals and collaborationists. Along with countryman René Lagrou and others such as Jacques de Mahieu, Daye became central to the Nazi escape routes.In Argentina, Daye resumed his writing activities, becoming the editor of an official Peronist review. He returned to Europe where he wrote his memoirs, and died in 1960 in Argentina.

Six Hours to Lose

Six Hours to Lose (French: Six heures à perdre) is a French romance film from 1946, directed by Alex Joffé, written by Alex Joffé and Jean Lévitte, starring André Luguet. The film starred Louis de Funès. The film was based on the novel of Robert Brasillach, with the same title Six heures à perdre, edited posthumously in 1953.

Épuration légale

The épuration légale (French "legal purge") was the wave of official trials that followed the Liberation of France and the fall of the Vichy Regime. The trials were largely conducted from 1944 to 1949, with subsequent legal action continuing for decades afterward.

Unlike the Nuremberg Trials, the épuration légale was conducted as a domestic French affair. Approximately 300,000 cases were investigated, reaching into the highest levels of the collaborationist Vichy government. More than half were closed without indictment. From 1944 to 1951, official courts in France sentenced 6,763 people to death (3,910 in absentia) for treason and other offenses. Only 791 executions were actually carried out, including those of Pierre Laval, Joseph Darnand, and the journalist Robert Brasillach; far more common was "national degradation" — a loss of civil rights, which was meted out to 49,723 people.Immediately following the liberation, France was swept by a wave of executions, public humiliations, assaults and detentions of suspected collaborators, known as the épuration sauvage (wild purge). This period succeeded the German occupational administration but preceded the authority of the French Provisional Government, and consequently lacked any form of institutional justice. Approximately 10,500 were executed, before and after liberation. "The courts of Justice pronounced about 6,760 death sentences, 3,910 in absentia and 2,853 in the presence of the accused. Of these 2,853, 73 percent were commuted by de Gaulle, and 767 carried out. In addition, about 770 executions were ordered by the military tribunals. Thus the total number of people executed before and after the Liberation was approximately 10,500, including those killed in the épuration sauvage", notably including members and leaders of the milices.

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