Gwenn ha Of (terrorism)
See also: Gwenn ha of (homonymy) the
Gwenn ha Of the was an organization Breton Terroriste created fine 1930 with Paris by Célestin Lainé and Guillaume Berthou. She preaches the Direct action and publishes a confidential bulletin of “military” instruction aiming at explaining the terrorist methods. The reference to the Ireland is clear, and the first attack in 1932 takes place at one time when the WILL GO engages a new attack campaign in England.
Union of Brittany in FranceIn July 1932, decision is taken to destroy a monument which shocks the consciences of the Breton nationalists: the monument symbolizing the Union of Brittany in France, the sculptor Jean Butcher with Rennes. Its inauguration, 20 years earlier, was the occasion of the first manifestation of the Breton national Parti. Célestin Lainé manufactures a bomb in its room. It is about a condensed milk box filled with nitroglycerin. The detonator is provided by a wood docker, Rene Chassin of Guerny, husband of Jeanne Coroller-Danio. Olier Mordrel will indicate that he was informed of this operation.
OrganizationContrary to the legend it is not Célestin Lainé, but André Geffroy which, the August 7th 1932 in the morning, places the machine to destroy the monument of the Union of Brittany in France, on the place of the town hall of Rennes. This one represents the Anne duchess of Brittany with knees in front of the king of France. He places the machine behind the head of king de France, on the monument located at the center of the frontage of the town hall of Rennes. The detonation takes place at 4 o'clock in the morning, and tears off the bronze mass of its niche, projects it on the ground where it breaks. All the panes are pulverized in a radius of one hundred meters. The August 7th 1932, the bunch asserts the attack (the context is then that of the ceremonies which must take place with Vannes, in celebration of the fourth centenary of this union, under the presidency of Edouard Herriot, president of the Council).
ReactionsHumanity , newspaper communist, in its edition of the August 8th 1932, takes makes and causes for the separatists: “Large Herriot did not speak about the crushing of any Celtic civilization by France, of the cultural abandonment where the dominating country left Brittany, refusing to recognize the language of the country, destroying any culture, extending ignorance. Tank of men, park with butchery of war, it is all that Herriot considers in Brittany”. The group Gwenn ha Of the is unknown of all. The regional press and main road treat them criminals, vandals and the insane dangerous one. One of the preferred activities of the leaders of Breiz Atao then consists in going to be made photograph in front of the niche of the pulverized statue. It is as clear as these actions are done in relation to the Germany and the Ireland. Besides Célestin Lainé will publish in the review Stur an article summarizing its creed under the title “Our two bases, Ireland and Prussia”.
ArrestsQuickly, the official authorities suggest the hand from abroad, in fact Germany. The August 11th 1932, six militants separatists are stopped, from of which Theophilus Jeusset (which just came to request a passport for the Germany), and the brothers Catteliot. Four of challenged acknowledge that Guillaume Berthou provided the nitroclycérine. This last is condemned by the Kuzul Meur to be exiled with Marseilles to have denounced several Breton with the French police officers (source: Ronan Carléon in Gwenn ha Of the , and the Permanent revolution ). The prisoners retract, after more than fifty days in preventive detention, they are released.
PresentationGwenn ha of, which is seen by the public authorities like the armed wing of the Breton national Parti, does not have in fact of bonds with this one, although the leaders of the GNP are with the current of its activities. This organization continues during a few months its “terrorist” actions. A Kuzul Meur (the “Great secret Council”) made its appearance at that time, bringing together representatives of the Breton national Left, Gwenn ha Of and Bleun Brug. Anna Debauvais affirms in its book: “I had already kept explosives in my apartment in 1932, but as it was Fransez Debauvais which had taken care to store them, I had to take care only that nobody touches there. ”
AttacksThe November 20th 1932, Woolly Celestin and two assistants make jump the railway between Ingrandes and Champtocé, little before the official train of the chief of the government Edouard Herriot does not cross the steps of Brittany. The train stops in front of the rails cut by the explosive charges. Herriot goes however then to Nantes to celebrate the act of Union of Brittany in France. The police force stops the first assistant, who acknowledges and denounces Lainé, then the second assistant, who acknowledges in his turn and also denounces Lainé. In the final analysis everyone is slackened. Alain Déniel, in his book, bringing back its facts will wonder about these facts: “all that does not fail to be very disconcerting and resulted in wondering about the true nature of the relations of the police force with certain members of the movement”.
Three attacks followed:
- the April 13rd 1936, (date of the 20th birthday of the Irish Insurrection) with the fires of four prefectures (Rennes, Saint-Brieuc, Quimper and Nantes)
2. Monument of the Breton-angevine Federation
- the December 18th 1938, with the explosion of the Monument of the Breton-angevine Federation with Pontivy (either 4 days after the inculpations of Olier Mordrel and François Debauvais). Olier Mordrel precise in its book Breiz Atao , that it provided him even the material, stolen during one period of instruction that it had carried out as a reserve officer, and that the author of the attack was Henri Helloco, nephew of a magitrat which lived on the place.
3. Prefecture of Quimper
During the warThe May 13rd 1941, the Police force suspected this organization of one attack to the gendarmerie of Carhaix, following an official statement addressed to the members of the National council to Vichy that its commandos were ready to pass to the direct action if the delimitation of the future province would not respect the traditional borders of Brittany.
One finds in the Breton Hour, newspaper of the Breton national Parti collaborationnist, of the official statements of the clandestine , which in fact are known for their membership of the militia of Célestin Lainé.
InterpretationIt is an organization of the Thirties, a small handle of militants extremists cut of the Breton population. For Morvan Lebesque, “Gwenn ha Of, honni of the population, operated as a desperado, saved his attacks and fled a police force very few which never succeeds in discovering it; the FAS, telephoned practically its blows to him in a squared country by the Information. ”
MembersMembers of this secret organization: Woolly Célestin, Francis Bayer of Kern, Meavenn, Henri Helloco, Guillaume Berthou, Theophilus Jeusset, Augustin Catelliot
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