Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

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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