Neo-fascist presidential candidate Marine Le Pen says France was not complicit in rounding up Jews

I really hate that we need to engage in these kinds of semantic games around nationality, as if that’s the only proper measure of protection that we should enjoy as human beings. The majority of Jews killed in the Holocaust weren’t even German, but from further east. It’s irrelevant, though, because many of them were gassed to death. and those that weren’t were shot outside their villages at the edges of pits and shoved into mass graves.

We can’t let this constant slicing and dicing of meaning in history cloud our views of what people like Spicer and Le Pen are implying with their rhetoric. They are fundamentally on board with a kind of national purity which should worry us all.


Or really even “people” at all, as far as the Nazis were concerned! That’s why dehumanizing the opposition is such a key part of getting people to commit atrocities.


I’ve also heard of some Orthodox Jews in France and elsewhere making common cause with or at least downplaying the noxious nature of right-wing populist parties in recent years. Whatever the reason driving them to do so – bigotry, fear, ignorance of history, a feeling that “this time it’ll be different” – it’s mind-boggling idiocy.


Just pointing that not only she’s an antisemite as much as her father, but she’s also an hypocrite: she’s anti-UE and wants a “Frexit” but for years she (and 20 other members from her party) was happy being employed by UE parliament… for barely any work there.


OH! My bad, I think I misread your comment! Apologies! Carry on!


Perhaps I wasn’t obvious enough in my sarcasm…As if petty legalisms could somehow make the holocaust less horrific.


This thread brings to mind for me Daniel Goldhagen’s book Hitler’s Willing Executioners. His thesis, in a nutshell: A history of antisemitism in Germany led to ordinary Germans willingly participating in the Holocaust. Such “ordinary” citizens were not, indeed, ignorant of what was happening and instead were complicit. If his thesis holds true for Germany, and I, for one, think it does, then it holds true for most nations. Obviously those citizens in nations in greater geographic proximity may have known more, but the US refused to raise immigration quotas for Jewish refugees during WWII. Ultimately, humanity is complicit when something like the Holocaust happens.


The “Spicy” should have given it away…

Of course, there are people seriously engaging in that line of thinking, in my defense.


Of course, he was at odds with Christopher Browning’s argument in Ordinary Men.

Here is an overview of this particular historiographical debate, for those who are interested:


And, in the view of post-war governments, they were an illegitimate government.

Vichy’s claim to be the legitimate French government was denied by Free France and by all subsequent French governments[1] after the war. They maintain that Vichy was an illegal government run by traitors, having come to power through an unconstitutional putsch. Pétain was constitutionally appointed the Premier by President Lebrun on 16 June 1940, and he was legally within his rights to sign the armistice with Germany; however, his decision to ask the National Assembly to dissolve itself while granting him dictatorial powers has been more controversial. Historians have particularly debated the circumstances of the vote by the National Assembly of the Third Republic, granting full powers to Pétain on 10 July 1940. The main arguments advanced against Vichy’s right to incarnate the continuity of the French state were based on the pressure exerted by Pierre Laval, former Premier in the Third Republic, on the deputies in Vichy, and on the absence of 27 deputies and senators who had fled on the ship Massilia, and thus could not take part in the vote.

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And to think that 25 years ago the national front was seen as a desease and every kid sang this song…



I think in part this is the point she’s making. In doing so she is trying to step away from being the ‘Vichy Continuity Party’ (“We are not the political descendants of Vichy France - because no-one is; they are not France”), and lay claim to the legacy of the Free French government. It’s a slippery move and one she shouldn’t be allowed to get away with.


So, let me guess, the France-which-is-true-France is not so easily negated by some abject military failure when it comes to less deeply shameful matters…

“Holocaust Centers” besides being an unusual term suggesting a broad unfamiliarity with the topic, elides over the monstrous crimes of the Einsatzgruppen


Christ, what insinuating, dumb sophism. I mean, I get it: Arguably you can’t step into the same river twice, so the France of 1944 (or whatever) is not the France of today (and neither is the France today the one of yesterday, so there’s your bullshit ad absurdum already)

  • But, really? This is your argument? No one is ever responsible for anything because causality does not reach through time? Responsibility is a futile mindgame of the weak, I take it? And we should really just let go of all that and get with the system, hmn?. Let the strong take what’s rightfully theirs maybe, yes?
    Fascist pig, no other word for it. Screw this!

The far right are sympathetic to fucking Adolph Hitler. Who fucking knew?


No, that’s just the kind of language you use when you’re chummy with the deniers…


And more to the point, while one can argue that Vichy France is a non-existent state with no successor state (Continuity of statehood could be argued to derive from the Free French, even though that government was in-exile), you can’t then conflate continuity of statehood with continuity of political parties, and their aims - and even if there is no direct descendancy - no baton passed from politician to politician between the Vichy regime and the FN Party, the ideological ancestry is pretty irrefutable - as is the similarity of the composition of their supporters.


Seeing as how it’s still an offline time for my Jewish friends in France I can’t yet get their opinions. I’m more curious as to what they have to say about this.