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by Pierre Cot
1944, Ziff-Davis, 432 pages
Pierre Cot’s book is a remarkable first-hand account of the subversion of France by powerful domestic interests, who saw political control by their ideological allies (and cartel business partners) in Germany as preferable to power-sharing with their own democratically-minded citizens. (Cot had been the French Minister of Aviation in the immediate pre-war period, and witnessed the deliberate, successful attempts at weakening France’s ability to resist the Nazis militarily. The traitors who subverted French democracy then blamed the French collapse on their patriotic political opponents.)
A scathing and outspoken critique, Cot’s words prefigure recent events in the U.S. as well.
“Enough evidence has been published already to prove that France was stabbed in the back by those who saw in Hitler the new St. George who would slay the Communist dragon. When Pierre Lazareff, former editor-in-chief of Paris Soir (the French newspaper with the widest circulation), reports royalists as saying: ‘We need the defeat to wipe out the Republic;’ when Elie Bois, former editor of the Petit Parisien (the most influential political newspaper), reports great industrialists admitting to him, during the winter of 1939-1940, that a plot had been organized to replace the democratic regime by a ‘government of authority’ and that this plot presupposed a Nazi victory; when Anatole de Monzie writes, in a book passed by the censor of the Vichy government, that Marshal Pétain said in February, 1940: ‘They will appeal to me in the third week in May’; when Genevieve Tabouis tells of the work accomplished in the Parisian salons by the Fifth Column’s ‘brigade mondaine’; when Henri de Kerillis, former officer and nationalist deputy, exposes the inroads of the Fifth Column in the conservative and military circles which he knew; when Henry Torres reveals to us what was going on in the offices of the official propaganda . . . we have every reason to accept their affirmations, which tally so perfectly with the events. . . .”
Triumph of Treason, page 63