ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Penned By Petain Himself.

with 7 comments

A French historian has confirmed what most of us suspected, that Petain was an antisemite as well as a collaborator with the Nazis, France24 has more:

“Serge Klarsfeld, a leading Holocaust historian and Nazi hunter, says a newly discovered document is definitive evidence that French wartime leader Philippe Petain was an anti-Semite who actively supported the holocaust.

Vichy France is the term used to describe the government of France from July 1940 to August 1944, which was headed by Marshal Philippe Petain and generally encompassed the south, which maintained some legal authority under German occupation during World War Two.

The document, anonymously donated to the Paris Holocaust Memorial, is a copy of a draft bill from 1940 intended to change the official status of Jews in France. The typewritten document has handwritten additions that considerably toughen the law, expanding proposed bans on public jobs and posts for Jews. According to Klarsfeld, these notes were penned by Petain himself.

The draft bill – with Petain’s alleged changes – was adopted on Oct. 4, 1940, exactly seventy years ago, and marked a tragic turning point for Jews living France.

Over 76,000 Jews were deported from France to Nazi concentration camps between 1940 and 1943. Fewer than 3,000 returned alive.

Until the discovery of this latest document, the strongest evidence of Petain’s anti-Semitism was the testimony of the former minister of foreign relations under Vichy, Paul Baudouin. In his 1946 book, ‘The Private Diaries of Paul Baudouin’, he said that it was Petain who argued for harsher policies actions against Jews, and not his prime minister Pierre Laval, as was thought at the time.”

Update 1: I appreciate that many in Britain might not be fully informed on this topic. Some 76,000 Jews in France were rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps, to be killed.

These are historical facts, and no one outside of David Irving would dream of denying them or equivocation. I hope this explains it better:

“Jews were eventually banned from the professions, show business, teaching, the civil service and journalism. After an intense propaganda campaign, Jewish businesses were ‘aryanised’ by Vichy’s Commission for Jewish Affairs and their property was confiscated. More than 40,000 refugee Jews were held in concentration camps under French control, and 3,000 died of poor treatment during the winters of 1940 and 1941. The writer Arthur Koestler, who was held at Le Vernet near the Spanish frontier, said conditions were worse than in the notorious German camp, Dachau.

During 1941 anti-Semitic legislation, applicable in both zones, was tightened. French police carried out the first mass arrests in Paris in May 1941when 3,747 men were interned. Two more sweeps took place before the first deportation train provided by French state railways left for Germany under French guard on 12 March 1942.

On 16 July 1942, French police arrested 12,884 Jews, including 4,501 children and 5,802 women, in Paris during what became known as La Grande Rafle (‘the big round-up’). Most were temporarily interned in a sports stadium, in conditions witnessed by a Paris lawyer, Georges Wellers.

‘All those wretched people lived five horrifying days in the enormous interior filled with deafening noise … among the screams and cries of people who had gone mad, or the injured who tried to kill themselves’, he recalled. Within days, detainees were being sent to Germany in cattle-wagons, and some became the first Jews to die in the gas chambers at Auschwitz.”

Written by modernityblog

04/10/2010 at 20:19

7 Responses

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  1. So good to reveal…

    Patrick Mac Manus

    04/10/2010 at 20:27

  2. This story seems a bit cheap and nasty to me.

    Petain is long dead. He did a bunch of things during WW2 which the French themselves consider were odious. He was probably senile at the time. Certainly the French hanged Blum and Laval, not Petain.

    We should also remember that whatever is alleged to have taken place took place with the Luftwaffe bombing the hell out of French cities, and at gunpoint.

    So … what is the point of all this? Cui bono? Whose interests are served by raking all this up? Not the interests of ordinary people. And the argument that no-one is ever allowed to be anti-Jewish may have worked 10 years ago, but putting that argument today is more likely to increase anti-semitism, not lessen it. People resent being lectured by pressure groups.

    I suggest that we should live and let live, and let the dead bury the dead. De Gaulle wrote the epitaph for the hero of Verdun in WW1: “We honour him for what he was, and despise him for what he became.”

    Roger Pearse

    06/10/2010 at 14:33

  3. What’s the point?

    Having a valid assessment of major political figures, that’s the point.

    Having all the details out in the open.

    modernityblog

    06/10/2010 at 14:50

  4. “whatever is alleged to have taken place took place “

    There’s no ALLEGED about it.

    Jews were rounded up in France and shipped off to be killed, that’s what happened and you might do well to educate yourself on the matter.

    Some 76,000 rounded up, merely for being Jews.

    modernityblog

    06/10/2010 at 14:56

  5. “with the Luftwaffe bombing the hell out of French cities”

    Again Roger, in 1941 and 1942 when the many of the roundups took place, the Luftwaffe were not bombing France.

    modernityblog

    06/10/2010 at 15:05

  6. Erm, you wrote: “The document … is a copy of a draft bill from 1940 …”

    Roger Pearse

    06/10/2010 at 15:34

  7. Roger,

    If you’re going to be pedantic then you might try to be logical as well, after the fall of France in June 1940 and Petain’s rise to power, there were no Luftwaffe attacking the French.

    An elementary point, which I would have thought you would have known?

    modernityblog

    06/10/2010 at 18:56


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