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FTR #956 The National Front and French Deep Politics, Part 1

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

Mitterand's decades-long associate and financial angel Rene Bousquet (in fur coat)

Mitterand’s decades-long associate and financial angel Rene Bousquet (in fur coat)

Introduction: With the French elections headed toward a second round, there is renewed scrutiny on the National Front and its titular head Marine Le Pen, who finished second in the race. Networked with various figures ranging from the milieu of Donald Trump to that of Turkish president Erdogan, the National Front and the Le Pens (father Jean-Marie and daughter Marine) are carrying on the fascist tradition in France.

Key elements of discussion include:

  1. The prominent role of Nazi collaborators and French SS in the formation of the National Front: “. . . . Ex-wartime Nazi collaborators were prominent in the early leadership of the National Front in the 1970s–including members of the French SS and collaborationist Milice, and even a leading official of the French wartime anti-Jewish agency, a minor cog in the Holocaust. . . .”
  2. In the context of Le Pen’s kind words from “Team Trump,” we noted that, in FTR #951 Trump confidant and advisor Steve Bannon has been influenced by Charles Maurras, part of the French fascist Fifth Column that subverted French resistance to the Third Reich’s armies.
  3. Ms. Le Pen denied French complicity in the Vel D’Hiv roundup, directed by Rene Bousquet. ” . . . .  . . . . On 2 July 1942, Bousquet and [SS] Carl Oberg [in charge of the French Police] prepared the arrests known as the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup (Rafle du Vel’ d’Hiv). Bousquet personally canceled orders protecting some categories of people from arrests, notably children under 18 and parents with children under 5. After the arrests, some bishops and cardinals protested; Bousquet threatened to cancel tax privileges for Catholic schools. . . .”
  4. Bousquet was held in high regard by Heinrich Himmler: ” . . . . In April 1943, Bousquet met with Heinrich Himmler. Himmler declared himself ‘impressed by Bousquet’s personality’, mentioning him as a ‘precious collaborator in the framework of police collaboration’. . . .”
  5. Aides of Ms. Le Pen manifest affinity for the Third Reich. “. . . . ‘They [Le Pen aides Frederic Chatillon, and Axel Loustau]  have remained National Socialist,’ said Aymeric Chauprade, once Ms. Le Pen’s principal adviser on foreign affairs. . . . ‘The only debatable point, in the use of the term ‘neo-Nazi,’ is the wrongful qualifier ‘neo,’ the affidavit states. . . . . . . . French television recently broadcast video from the 1990s of Mr. Loustau visiting an aging prominent former SS member, Léon Degrelle, a decorated warrior for Hitler and the founder of the Belgian Rex party, a prewar fascist movement. Other video showed Mr. Chatillon speaking warmly of his own visit with Mr. Degrelle, who was a patron saint of Europe’s far-right youths until his death in 1994. . . .”
  6. Of considerable importance in the context of the coverage of the Nazi influences of the National Front is the fact that the post-war perpetuation of French fascism extends far beyond the Le Pen milieu. Mainstream, even “socialist” French politicians such as Francois Mitterand are bounded by definitive links with figures from the Vichy collaborationist government. “. . . . An example is his membership of the Volontaires Nationaux (National Volunteers), an organization related to François de la Rocque‘s far-right league, the Croix de Feu, for one to three years, depending on the source.[2] On 1 February 1935, Mitterrand joined the Action française march, more commonly known as ‘l’invasion métèque’, to demonstrate against foreign doctors setting up in France with cries of ‘La France aux Français’.  [This is similar to the theme of the National Front!–D.E.] There are two photos that show Mitterrand facing a police line,[3] published in Les Camelots du Roi by Maurice Pujo.[4]  . . . .”
  7. Mitterand’s fascist activities extended to opposition to supporters of Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, who resisted Mussolini’s takeover of his country: ” . . . . During the winter of 1936, François Mitterrand took part in action against Gaston Jèze. Between January and March 1936, the nationalist right and the Action française, campaigned for Jèze’s resignation.because he acted as a counsellor for Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, after he was driven from Addis Ababa by Mussolini’s troops during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. . . .” 
  8. Perhaps most important for our purposes concerns Mitterand’s postwar relationship with Bousquet, who financed Mitterand’s political career and did so for other left-wing French politicians. . . . The most damming of all charges against Mitterrand and his right wing connections is probably his long lasting friendship with René Bousquet, ex secrétaire général of the Vichy police. Charles de Gaulle said of Mitterrand and Bousquet ‘they are ghosts who come from the deepest depths of the collaboration.'[24] . . . In 1974, René Bousquet gave financial help to François Mitterrand for his presidential campaign against Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. In an interview with Pierre Favier et Michel Martin-Roland Mitterrand claimed that he was not the only left wing politician to benefit from Bousquet’s money, as René Bousquet helped finance all the principal left wing politicians from the 1950s to the beginning of the 1970s, including Pierre Mendès France. . . .”

Program Highlights Include:

  1. Review of the French fascist Fifth Column that subverted the French military resistance to Hitler.
  2. Discussion of the Cagoulard plot to overthrow the social front of Leon Blum.
  3. Noting the concentration of economic ownership in prewar France and how that generated support for the Social Front of Leon Blum.

1a. Another of the fascist influences on Steve Bannon, Trump’s top strategist, is French anti-Semite and Nazi collaborator Charles Maurras. This article and the subsequent discussion of the French fascist Fifth Column of which Maurras was part are excerpted from FTR #951.

“Stephen Bannon Is a Fan of a French Philosopher . . . . Who Was an Anti-Semite and a Nazi Supporter” by Pema Levy; Mother Jones; 3/16/2017.

Stephen Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, recently spoke approvingly of the ideas of an anti-Semitic French intellectual who was sentenced to life in prison for cooperating with the Nazis during World War II.

In an article on Bannon’s interactions with European right-wing nationalists who want to break apart the European Union, Politico reported last week that Bannon has “expressed admiration for the reactionary French philosopher Charles Maurras, according to French media reports confirmed by Politico.” Recent articles in French media claim Bannon favorably cited Maurras to a French diplomat. . . .

. . . . But Maurras was more than a nationalist. He was an infamous anti-Semite, whose anti-Jewish views were central to his outlook. From 1908 to 1944, Maurras edited the anti-Semitic paper L’Action Francaise, the organ of an eponymous movement that was anti-democratic and pro-monarchy. The movement was born out of the Dreyfus Affair, an international controversy in which an innocent Jewish soldier was convicted in 1894 of passing secrets to the Germans, a crime for which he was later exonerated. The movement’s “founding prejudice” was that Dreyfus was in fact guilty and that those who supported him were undermining France, according to Frederick Brown’s The Embrace of Unreason: France, 1914-1940. Maurras spent years writing anti-Semitic articles. He referred to the French government, known as the Third Republic, as “the Jew State, the Masonic State, the immigrant State.”

In 1936, Maurras served eight months in prison for inciting the attempted assassination of Jewish politician Léon Blum and other French officials. According to Carmen Callil’s Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family, Fatherland and Vichy France, Maurras penned numerous articles calling for Blum to be lynched and shot in the back and have his throat slit.

Maurras blamed World War II on the Jews, faulting them for the German occupation of France. “The barbarous occupation of 1940 would not have taken place without the Jews of 1939, without their filthy war, the war they undertook and they declared: our occupiers were introduced by them, it was the Jews who launched us into catastrophe,” he wrote, according to 2001 article by Callil in the New Statesman. Callil also noted that Maurras’ newspaper supported the Nazis and “named names, hunted down enemies, and called for hostages, resistants, Jews and Gaullists to be shot.” In his political column during the war, Maurras wrote that “if the death penalty is not sufficient to put a stop to the Gaullists, members of their families should be seized as hostages and executed.”
At the end of the war, Maurras was sentenced to life in prison for complicity with the Nazis. He reportedly called his conviction “Dreyfus’ revenge.” Due to his failing health, he was released from prison shortly before his death in 1952.

According to Politico, Bannon approvingly cited Maurras’ distinction between what the French philosopher called the “real country” of the people and the “legal country” led by government officials. Maurras put Jews in the latter category, according to Brown, and referred to all Jews as foreigners. . . .

2a. Next, we excerpt part of FTR #951, discussing the French Fifth Column to which Charles Maurras belonged.

The account of the actions of the French Fifth Column relies heavily on the account provided by Pierre Cot, the French minister of aviation under the Leon Blum government. In his 1944 book Triumph of Treason, Cot discussed the subversion of the French military resistance to the Germans by members of the armed forces sympathetic to the fascist cause. The Vichy government then undertook to pin the stunning military defeat on the Blum government, instead of the conspiratorial activities of some of its own sympathizers.

Triumph of Treason; by Pierre Cot; Copyright 1944 [HC]; Ziff-Davis; p. 14.

. . . First of all, it was necessary to ‘preserve the honor of the Army.’ General Weygand thundered these words like a command. He used, unconsciously, the same terms that leaders of the French Army had invoked during the Dreyfus affair to prevent public opinion from discovering their critical mistakes. ‘Preserve the honor of the Army,’ to French military men, is to secure by every means-including those outlawed by moral law and the Penal Code-the defense of the military corporation.

The question of the responsibility of military leaders in the military defeat of France either had to be evaded or posed in distorted terms. To ‘preserve the honor of the Army,’ the scapegoats of the defeat had to be chosen from the political personnel of the Third Republic. . .

2b. The combination of ineptitude and deliberate subversion by elements of the armed forces was relatively well known at the time.

Ibid.; pp. 14-16.

. . . In truth, at the end of June, 1940, the question of who was responsible was in everyone’s mind. In the two weeks preceding the armistice, I was in touch with the crowd of refugees that slowly and painfully followed the roads southward. In the offices of the prefects, in the town halls, restaurants, and relief centers, I listened to many conversations received many confidences, heard many opinions. Opinions differed on governmental policy, but all agreed in denouncing the blunders of the French General Staff. The country was unanimous, not against Blum, Daladier, or me, nor even against Laval, Pierre-Etienne Flandin, Georges Bonnet, or Jacques Doriot, but against the generals who had been incapable of understanding the conditions of modern warfare and who were guilty of not knowing the rudiments of their profession. ‘Just as before 1914 they had prepared for the war of 1870,’ the people said, ‘before 1939 they prepared for the war of 1914.’ . . .

. . . .The severest condemnation came from the soldiers. Lost on the roads in pursuit of dispersed divisions and phantom regiments, thrown together with the refugees whose uncertainties and anxieties they share, the men in uniform cursed the conduct of their leaders. They repeated that they never had been schooled in the techniques of modern warfare, especially in the combined use of tanks and aviation, and they were amazed at the ineptness of their commanders in the battles of May and June. They asked why the Meuse and Seine bridges had not been blown up before the arrival of German motorized columns; why Paris had not been defended street by street, as the Spanish Republicans had defended Madrid (and as the Russians were to defend Stalingrad); and they wanted to know why more than half of the tanks and airplanes had been left in the rear-in Orleans, Toulouse, Lyon, North Africa-instead of being massed for a counterattack that might have changed everything. They knew that the depots were bursting with the cannon, airplanes, and equipment they had needed. . . .

. . . . One began to hear quoted the disturbing remarks with which General Weygand had tried to persuade the cabinet to ask for an armistice: that he needed his tanks to master the revolutionary elements, if it should become necessary. That is to say, the Commander-in-Chief of the French Army preferred fighting French workers to throwing all his forces against the German troops. The soldiers praised the bravery of certain leaders-Giraud, Lestien, De Gaulle, Lucien, Delattre de Tassigny, and many others-but they declared that most of the officers had been the first to flee. ‘They left in automobiles and we left on foot,’ they said, talking about those officers, faithful followers of l’Action Francaise, [Bannon influence Charles Maurras’s publication–D.E.] Je Suis Partout, Gringoire, and other Fascist newspapers which had said in various forms, during the winter, that this was a democratic war and consequently did not interest them. . . .

. . . Their anger was legitimate. It was inexplicable, after all, that the General Staff, after deciding to abandon Paris and thus opening the east to the Germans, had not ordered the troops which occupied the Maginot Line to fall back toward the south. More than a million men, the best of the French Army, were caught in the German trap, a disaster which could have been prevented by an order from General Weygand. . .

. . . . By its composition, the government of Vichy was representative not of the French people but of the General Staff. Its first cabinets were headed by Petain, the spiritual leader of the French Army, the man who had played the most important part in the preparation of the war and in the formation of the General Staff. And these cabinets were composed largely of members of the General Staff-General Weygand, General Pujo, Admiral Darlan, General Huntzinger, General Bergeret, and Admiral Platon. As the French proverb says, ‘the wolves do not eat each other’! . . .

2c. Cot discusses in detail the appointment of Cagoulard fascists to positions of influence within the Vichy government, in addion to the use of Fifth Column activity by fascists in the 1930s and 1940s. (AFA 10 contains an account of the 1934 coup attempt in the United States by powerful economic interests who hated Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.)

Ibid.; pp. 17-18.

. . . . To their astonishment the French people saw Petain slowly fill the most important posts of authority in local, departmental, and central administrations with men who had taken part in the Cagoulard plot, with those who had repeated the infamous refrain ‘rather Hitler than Leon Blum,’ and even with some of those who before or during the war had been arrested for treasonable domestic and foreign activities. The people were applying to the government the old proverb, ‘tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.’ They were alarmed to see Vichy employ for its most delicate missions Ferdinand de Brinon, Jean Montigny, Jean Goy, Jean Luchaire, and Gaston Henry-Haye-members of the Comite France-Allemagne, an organization which, before the war, had been inspired and financed by Otto Abetz, after 1940 Hitler’s Ambassador in Paris.

They learned with fury that on the night of the armistice, when France was in mourning, Frenchmen and Frenchwomen of the aristocracy, high finance, and industry had drunk at Bordeaux to the defeat which had rid them of the nightmare of democracy and the Popular Front. The people understood that the Fifth Column in France, as in Spain, had opened the door to Hitler’s agents. And they watched with awe the agents of the Fifth Column become masters of France, the France of Petain, Weygand, and Laval.

The activity of the Fifth Column will not be considered by historians a special phenomenon of French public life, but as an integral part of Fascism. The Fifth Column has appeared wherever Fascism has tried to gain a foothold. It was at work in Spain, Austria, and Czechoslovakia before it turned up in France, and there are Fifth Columns in the United States, India, and Latin America. By the Fifth Column I do not mean only spies and licensed traitors. The Fifth Column includes all who, by accepting fascist doctrines or methods, become the conscious or unconscious accomplices of a foreign power. Treason and complicity have their degrees and nuances. The General Staff of the Fifth column consists principally of ambitious men who try to seize power by destroying or paralyzing the democratic system.

The body of the Fifth Column is composed of people who think they are saving their country from the ‘communist menace’ or from ‘British imperialism,’ and who do not even know in whose favor their actions are operating. Through hate of the Popular Front, good Frenchmen, or men who considered themselves such, served Hitler gratuitously by doing work to which they would never have consented, had they had been offered payment. Why? Because they detested the Republic and democracy more than they loved France.

They accepted the idea of the defeat as a necessary evil which permitted them to rid France of the democratic system and to keep in power, in the neighboring countries, the Fascist dictators whom they considered solely capable of maintaining order in Europe. They then became unconscious collaborators of these dictators. They thought they were doing their duty in letting Hitler free France from the ‘Judeo-Masonic’ influence, and Europe from the Communist peril. . . .

. . . .They preferred the risks of an entente with a victorious Hitler to the risks of a democratic victory that would cause the collapse of the Fascist dictators in Europe. Considering Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, and Franco in Spain as knights of an anti-Bolshevist crusade, they became precursors and later partisans of ‘collaboration with Hitler’s New Order.’ . . .

2d. More about Cot’s account of the Fifth Column:

Ibid.; pp. 62-64.

 . . . . 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 ad 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. . .We have every reason to accept their affirmations, which tally so perfectly with the events. . . .

. . . . No, France received no exceptional treatment from Hitler and Fascism. A general plan coordinated the activity of the Fifth Columns all over the world. All were recruited from the same circles and had the same social and political composition. The object was the same everywhere: to divide and unnerve public opinion, weaken the resistance of the regime, and prepare a governmental group ready to execute a Fascist coup d’etat at a moment of trouble or confusion. The methods were the same everywhere: cultivation of the seeds of disunity which normally exist among free men and in free countries, exaggeration and inflammation of all racial and religious conflicts, all class rivalries, all political antagonisms, gradual conversion of opposition and dissent into hate, creation of an atmosphere of civil war. The means used were the same everywhere: campaigns of calumny against the democratic leaders capable of opposing Fascism (Blum in France, Roosevelt in the United States), the development of anti-Semitism, because anti-Semitism is the first manifestation of racism and contains in petto the whole doctrine of Hitler, use of the fear of Communism among the middle classes, because anti-Communism is the best way to prevent the union of all anti-Fascist forces. This last device has been the most efficacious; the fear of Communism has become, in European and American politics of recent years, a much more important factor than Communism itself. . . .

 

3. The program details Marine Le Pen’s exoneration of France’s role in the Vel d’Hiv Roundup, one of the most prominent roundups of French Jews during the Holocaust.

The discussion also notes the Nazi/Vichy roots of the National Front.

“Le Pen Redirects Blame in ’42 Roundup of Jews” by Adam Nossiter; The New York Times; 4/11/2017.

A casual remark about France’s wartime anti-Jewish actions by Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front, threatened on Monday to derail her yearslong effort aimed at “un-demonizing” her party just as she is emerging as a strong contender in this month’s presidential election.

The remark was made on Sunday during an interview in which she referred to the most notorious roundup of Jews in France during World War II, when nearly 13,000 were arrested in Paris by the French police on July 16 and 17, 1942, in what is known as the “Vel d’Hiv roundup.”

“France wasn’t responsible for the Vel d’Hiv,” she said. “If there was responsibility, it is with those who were in power at the time, it is not with France. France has been mistreated, in people’s minds, for years.” . . . .

. . . . It was the French government’s police chief, Rene Bousquet–a favorite of the head of the government at the time–who organized the roundup, impressing his German counterparts with his energy. . .

. . . . Ex-wartime Nazi collaborators were prominent in the early leadership of the National Front in the 1970s–including members of the French SS and collaborationist Milice, and even a leading official of the French wartime anti-Jewish agency, a minor cog in the Holocaust. . . .

4. Next, we present an article about the Nazi sympathies of key members of the French National Front.

“Le Pen’s Inner Circle Fuel Doubts About Bid to ‘Un-Demonize’ Her Party” by Adam Nossiter; The New York Times; 4/13/2017.

. . . . “They [Le Pen aides Frederic Chatillon, and Axel Loustau]  have remained National Socialist,” said Aymeric Chauprade, once Ms. Le Pen’s principal adviser on foreign affairs until a falling out, partly over his pro-Israel stance. . . . Separately, an affidavit filed in a 2014 defamation lawsuit (later dropped) offers a fuller portrait of Mr. Chatillon’s extremist views from that era.

In the affidavit, Denis Le Moal, once a member of G.U.D.[Groupe Union Defense–a far-right student group] described Mr. Chatillon’s nostalgia for the Third Reich and his closeness to Holocaust deniers.

Mr. Le Moal told of a 1993 rally Mr. Chatillon organized for the student group in Paris that resounded with “Sieg Heils” and Nazi salutes.

“During that period, every year, Frederic Chatillon organized a dinner on the birthday of the ‘fuhrer,’ April 20, to pay homage to ‘this great man,’ the affidavit states.. . .”The only debatable point, in the use of the term ‘neo-Nazi,’ is the wrongful qualifier ‘neo,’ the affidavit states. . . .. . . . French television recently broadcast video from the 1990s of Mr. Loustau visiting an aging prominent former SS member, Léon Degrelle, a decorated warrior for Hitler and the founder of the Belgian Rex party, a prewar fascist movement. Other video showed Mr. Chatillon speaking warmly of his own visit with Mr. Degrelle, who was a patron saint of Europe’s far-right youths until his death in 1994. . . .”

6. It isn’t just the National Front that has roots in the Fifth Column/Vichy. Socialist Francois Mitterand was part of the Fifth Column milieu and was very close to Rene Bousquet, who helped finance his political career and those of other left-wing French politicians.

“Mitterand and the Far Right”; Wikipedia.

. . . . Les Volontaires Nationaux, la Cagoule and l’invasion métèque[edit]

. . . . An example is his membership of the Volontaires Nationaux (National Volunteers), an organization related to François de la Rocque‘s far-right league, the Croix de Feu, for one to three years, depending on the source.[2] On 1 February 1935, Mitterrand joined the Action française march, more commonly known as “l’invasion métèque“, to demonstrate against foreign doctors setting up in France with cries of “La France aux Français”. There are two photos that show Mitterrand facing a police line,[3] published in Les Camelots du Roi by Maurice Pujo.[4]  . . . .

. . . .Similarly, many young people, mostly students, lived at 104, rue de Vaugirard, Paris with the “pères maristes”, and they all knew the leaders of La Cagoule (a right-wing terrorist organisation), Eugène Deloncle and Eugène Schueller, without overtly adhering to their cause. Pierre Guillain de BénouvilleClaude Roy (the writer), Mitterrand and André Bettencourt all regularly visited the apartments in rue Zédé and rue Chernoviz, where La Cagoule met.[6] That does not prove that Mitterrand was a member of la Cagoule. He, however, kept up relations and family ties with Deloncle.[7]

During the winter of 1936, François Mitterrand took part in action against Gaston Jèze. Between January and March 1936, the nationalist right and the Action française, campaigned for Jèze’s resignation.because he acted as a counsellor for Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, after he was driven from Addis Ababa by Mussolini’s troops during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. . . . 

. . . The most damming of all charges against Mitterrand and his right wing connections is probably his long lasting friendship with René Bousquet, ex secrétaire général of the Vichy police. Charles de Gaulle said of Mitterrand and Bousquet “they are ghosts who come from the deepest depths of the collaboration.”[24] Georges-Marc Benamou quotes Mitterrand as saying of Bousquet “his career shattered at the age of 35, it was dreadful. . . . In 1974, René Bousquet gave financial help to François Mitterrand for his presidential campaign against Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. In an interview with Pierre Favier et Michel Martin-Roland Mitterrand claimed that he was not the only left wing politician to benefit from Bousquet’s money, as René Bousquet helped finance all the principal left wing politicians from the 1950s to the beginning of the 1970s, including Pierre Mendès France. Worse still after Mitterrand’s 1981 win René Bousquet was received at the Élysée palace “to talk politics”. In an interview with Pascale Froment (René Bousquet’s biographer) Mitterrand declared “I listened to him as a political commentator. He saw me as a continuation of his halted career.”[26] Only in 1986, when media criticism of Bousquet began to gain in volume, did Mitterrand stop seeing him and he did not comment on the matter until the 1994 interview with Jean-Pierre Elkabach.[27] Lionel Jospin commented that he was little impressed by the President’s explanation saying “One would have liked a simpler and more transparent rise to power for the leader of the French left during the 70s and 80s. What I can’t understand is the continuing relationship into the 80’s with the likes of Bousquet who organized the mass arrests of Jews”[28] and Charles Fiterman also felt let down: “these revelations leave the uncomfortable impression of having been deceived by the man. 50 years later we see no trace of regret nor critical analysis, but a continuation of a compromising relationship which casts new light on events such as putting flowers on Pétain’s tomb. This seems to show a continuity in the choices of a leader calling in favors from a network of friends.”[29] Pierre Moscovici, commenting on Pierre Péan’s book said ” What shocked me is his rubbing shoulders with someone who was instrumental in state antisemitism and the ‘final solution’. We can’t tolerate such tolerance of evil, and for me René Bousquet was absolute evil”[30] and the historian Pierre Miquel commenting on the TV interview said “the comments… of the President of the Republic are part of a discourse from the right… on the subject of the occupation”[31] . . .

7. In light of Mitterand’s long-standing, profound relationship with Bousquet, more detail about Bousquet’s wartime activities is instructive.

“Rene Bousquet”; Wikipedia.

 . . . . On 2 July 1942, Bousquet and Carl Oberg prepared the arrests known as the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup (Rafle du Vel’ d’Hiv). Bousquet personally canceled orders protecting some categories of people from arrests, notably children under 18 and parents with children under 5. After the arrests, some bishops and cardinals protested; Bousquet threatened to cancel tax privileges for Catholic schools.

Under the pretext of not separating families, Pierre Laval ordered that Jewish children under 16 be included in deportation convoys, thus surpassing the requirements of the Nazis. Bousquet obliged, personally settling that children under 2 years also be included. Children were actually deported separately from their parents.

In January 1943, he organised with Carl Oberg a massive raid in Marseille, known as the Battle of Marseille. During this repressive operation, the French police assisted the German police, in particular in the expulsion of 30,000 people from the Old Port, and the subsequent destruction of this neighborhood, considered as too dangerous and as a “terrorist nest” by the German police, because of its winding, small streets. Bousquet eagerly offered his services during this operation. The French police controlled the identity of 40,000 people, and the operation succeeded in sending 2,000 Marseillese to the extermination camps. The operation also encompassed the expulsion of an entire neighborhood (30,000 persons) before its destruction. For this occasion, SS Carl Oberg, in charge of the German Police in France, made the trip from Paris, and transmitted to Bousquet orders directly received from Himmler. It is a notable case of the French police’s willing collaboration with the Nazis.[1]

In April 1943, Bousquet met with Heinrich Himmler. Himmler declared himself “impressed by Bousquet’s personality”, mentioning him as a “precious collaborator in the framework of police collaboration”. . . .

8. The program concludes with review (from Miscellaneous Archive Show M61 “Why Johnny Can’t Identify Il Duce”) about the Cagoulard plot in France, the milieu of which Mitterand was deeply ensconced. The material is from the book Armies of Spies by Joseph Gollomb.

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #956 The National Front and French Deep Politics, Part 1”

  1. It is no accident that the National Front tried to put a Holocaust Denier (read Nazi) to be head of the party. Marine’s father is a Holocaust Denier and Anti-Semite (read Nazi).

    On a separate note, I suspect that the Nazis are secretly supporting in various ways most of the nationalist movements. This is the a foundation of the German National Socialists Workers Party even though the Workers Party was a rouse for wealthy industrialists, financiaciers, and aristocrats to gain power in the Democratic Weimar Republic. Consider the similarity with President Trump’s Nationalist “America First” and his pro-workers stated position, while quitely supporting pro business and monied interest’s government and tax policies. America First was originslly a movement supported by the Nazis to keep America out of the war while Germany conquered Europe. It was established to replace the unpopular German American Bund which was viewed as a bunch of street thugs. However, America First gained more mass appeal.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4454572/Le-Pens-replacement-turns-party-role-amid-Holocaust-controversy.html

    Marine Le Pen’s National Front replacement turns down the job amid claims he ‘is a Holocaust denier who once questioned the existence of Nazi gas chambers’
    ¥ Jean-Francois Jalkh turned down the role of leader of the National Front party
    ¥ It comes days after Marine Le Pen stepped down from her role as party leader
    ¥ Reports claim that Mr Jalkh, 59, once questioned the historical fact of Zyklon B being used to exterminate Jews in German concentration camps
    ¥ Jalkh plan to file a legal complaint over what he called unfounded accusations
    ¥ FN chiefs immediately insisted that the interview had never in fact taken place 

    By Peter Allen for MailOnline and Reuters
    PUBLISHED: 03:16 EDT, 28 April 2017 | UPDATED: 06:27 EDT, 28 April 2017

    The man designated to replace French presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen as head of the far-right National Front party has refused the job and will focus on defending himself against allegations he made questionable comments about the Holocaust, National Front member Louis Aliot said.

    Jean-Francois Jalkh, a hitherto little-known vice-president of the party, did not want to take up the post in the current climate, Aliot, Marine Le Pen’s partner in private life, announced in television interview with BFM TV on Friday.

    Aliot said Jalkh would file a legal complaint over what he called totally unfounded accusations of ambiguous stances on the mass killing of Jews during World War Two. 

    Jalkh is also among seven people called to trial in an alleged illegal financing scheme for the party – one of the other challenges facing Le Pen’s campaign.

    Jean-Francois Jalkh (right), a hitherto little-known vice-president of the National Front, turned down the role of the party’s leader days after Marine Le Pen (left) stepped down. He will instead focus on defending himself against allegations he made questionable comments about the Holocaust.

    Aliot said Jalkh will be replaced as party leader by Steeve Briois, mayor of Le Pen’s electoral fiefdom of Henin-Beaumont in depressed northern France. 

    Now reports have claimed they have evidence showing Mr Jalkh, 59, once questioned the historical fact of Zyklon B being used to exterminate Jews in German concentration camps. 

    Mr Jalkh said in an interview that was published in 2005: ‘I believe we should be able to discuss this issue.’

    Speaking about the chemical agent with a scientist, Mr Jalkh said: ‘I consider that from a technical standpoint it is impossible – and I stress, impossible – to use it in mass exterminations. 

    ‘Why? Because you need several days to decontaminate a space…when you use Zyklon B.’ 

    This is an argument regularly use by Holocaust deniers, who say it could not have been used by the Nazis to kill people in gas chambers installed at camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau. 
    Mr Jalkh’s views were resurfaced this week by Laurent De Boissie, a journalist with La Croix newspaper, and they were immediately published by other French media, including Le Monde.

    Magali Boumaza, the PhD student who interviewed Jalkh for her dissertation on the National Front that was published in the French research journal Le Temps des savoirs in 2005, confirmed to Buzzfeed that Jalkh did make the remarks.  

    On Monday, Ms Le Pen stepped down as FN leader, saying she wanted to be the leader of all France, and not just the party which her father founded in 1972

    Thousands have gathered in Paris and several major French cities to protest against the results of the first round of the French presidential election

    She said she recorded the interview, which lasted for three hours at the National Front headquarters. 

    She said that during the conversation, ‘there was this revisionist release which lasted two or three minutes at the most’. 

    ‘Nothing has been falsified. I confirm the words are as they were written down,’ Boumaza told BuzzFeed News by phone from Istanbul.  

    FN chiefs immediately insisted that the interview had never in fact taken place, and that political enemies fabricated the row.

    Mr Jalkh himself said: ‘It’s the first time I’ve heard of this rubbish. I have no memory of this. I may have given an interview but these are not my preferred subjects.’

    He added: ‘It’s possible that I saw these people in 2000, but I can see students who show up wanting to talk about Zyklon B coming. 

    ‘I’m no FN novice, I’ ve been here since 1974: I challenge anyone to say they’ve heard me talk about these matters.’ 
    Florian Philippot, Le Pen’s closest adviser, also dismissed the accusations as ‘a campaign polemic’. 

    It comes after Ms Le Pen herself this month denied that the French were responsible for rounding up Auschwitz-bound Jews in Paris during the war.

    This prompted fierce criticism around the world, including from the government of Israel, who accused Ms Le Pen of historical revisionism.

    Recent French presidents have all admitted that many of their fellow countrymen collaborated with the Germans in the Holocaust. Ms Le Pen’s own father, the FN father Jean-Marie Le Pen, is a convicted anti-Semite and Holocaust denier. 

    One of his most recent convictions was for describing the mass murder of millions of Jews as ‘a detail of history’.

    Despite claims by Ms Le Pen that she has ‘detoxified’ the party, Mr Le Pen remains its honorary chairman, and is funding her presidential election campaign to the tune of millions. 

    On Monday, Ms Le Pen stepped down as FN leader, saying she wanted to be the leader of all France, and not just the party which her father founded in 1972.

    Ms Le Pen won through to the second round of the presidential elections last Sunday, and will now go head-to-head with independent candidate Emmanuel Macron on May 7th.

    Opinion polls suggest Mr Macron is the overwhelming favourite to beat Ms Le Pen by more than 60 per cent of the vote.

    Read more:
    ¥ The New Leader Of France’s National Front Questioned The Existence Of Nazi Gas Chambers

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4454572/Le-Pens-replacement-turns-party-role-amid-Holocaust-controversy.html#ixzz4fqzpVRoz

    Posted by Brad Thornton | May 1, 2017, 10:57 am

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