Thursday, May 18, 2017

Smearing France, Smearing Catholic priests

While I remain unconvinced that the Vichy regime during the war was as bad as it has been pictured Prof Gottfried is right to discuss the truth of the matter.  Leftists will scream but Paul Gottfried sets the matter straight:

Although I’ve long considered the former Bush-speechwriter and AEI and Fox-news fixture Marc Thiessen to be the ultimate GOP-establishmentarian, until this week I assumed he was a person of sound judgment. Most of what I’ve heard Thiessen express as a Washington Post-columnist and Fox-news contributor has seemed reasonable. Besides, unlike our verbally intemperate and ungrammatical chief executive, Thiessen frames his comments with an imperturbable precision. Even in the face of wild accusations from leftist sparring partners, he manages to smile (perhaps superciliously) and responds in measured phrases.
That’s why I found his latest column celebrating the discomfiture of Marine Le Pen, as an anti-Semite with fascist tendencies to be truly unsettling. One might expect such prose from the foaming Ralph Peters, who seems to lapse into rage syndrome every time he mentions a European (as opposed to Israeli) nationalist. But from Thiessen I expected better. Thiessen hammers Marine for asserting that the entire French nation should not be held guilty for a particular misdeed: In 1942 13,000 Paris Jews were rounded up at the V√©lodrome d’Hiver and deported to concentration camps. Thiessen cites this as evidence that like her abrasive father, Jean-Marie, Marine is at least an implicit Holocaust-denier. But what Marine said which Thiessen finds outrageous happens to be true. The Resistance leader Charles de Gaulle, the Jewish chronicler of the French Resistance Robert Aron, and more recently, a Moroccan Jewish journalist Eric Zemmour have all made the same point as Marine, namely that it is wrong to accuse the French people generally for the crime committed by the German SS and their Vichy collaborators. Indeed the French saved almost all of the indigenous French Jewish population; the notorious roundup (rafle) that Thiessen mentions only affected foreign Jews, many of whom had fled to France in order to escape Nazi persecution. Zemmour points out that limiting the deportation to this mass of hapless Jews had been the result of a deal struck between the collaborationist Vichy government and the Nazi German occupiers of France. But there is no reason to assume that most of the French supported this deportation.
Indeed the inspiration for the dark view of the French that Thiessen regurgitates comes principally from two sources, the French Communist Party and their leftist successors and the American historian Robert Paxton. In Vichy France, Paxton sets out to incriminate the entire French nation for collaborating with the Nazi occupation. Those who did not actively participate in this regime are accused of “passive” collaboration, a charge that makes about as much sense as the current leftist assertion that all white Americans are complicit in ”systematic  racism.” Zemmour observes that the French translation of Paxton’s work in 1973, plus its sequel Vichy and the Jews in 1981, created in France a replacement for the national history of “the Great Michelet.”  Just as the nineteenth-century French historian Jules Michelet built his chronicle of the French nation around the Revolution, his antifascist successors have worked to instill in French youth a “new doxa.” This replacement dogma stresses national shame, for an evil deed that only a minority of the French were involved in, while their country was being occupied by a foreign invader.


Read the whole article.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So what about the "passive collaboration" of certain Semites in what was done to Jesus? (Not to mention the active collaboration).

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