Jacques Doriot (Bresles in the Oise 1898 - Mengen in the Wurtemberg in Germany 1945) is a Politician and Journaliste French. The name of Doriot remains attached to the French Communist party, the French Fascisme (he was the founder of the French Popular party) and to the Collaboration.
The CommunistMetal-worker, he was general secretary of the Communist youth. Condemned for its positions against the War of Rif, it leaves prison thanks to its election to the station of deputy of Saint-Denis in 1924, city of which he becomes mayor in 1930. It was excluded from the Communist party in 1934 to have wanted two years too early to build the Popular front (what Moscow refused at the time). He was opposed to the policy Maurice Thorez and Komintern which refused any single face with the Socialists, and evolved to a certain form of Fascisme.
The collaboratorHe founded the French Popular party (PF) and the newspaper Freedom in 1936, fascinating position against the Popular front. Partisan of the Collaboration, it contributed to the creation of the Légion of the French Volunteers against the Bolchevisme (LVF) and thus fought under the German uniform on the Russian face, as a lieutenant.
According to a judicial enquiry, its partisans would have assassinated Constant Chevillon on March 25th, 1944.
It took refuge in Germany in 1944, and tried to set up a Comité of French release; it was killed at the time of the corrosion of its car by two planes, perhaps German. According to certain theses, it would have been victim of divergences between the Nazi S.
The rise of its political careerJacques Doriot was born on September 26th, 1898 with Bresles in Oise. He belongs to a working-class family: his/her father is blacksmith and his mother dressmaker. He starts to work in a factory at 15 years then finds an employment in a close dairy. In 1915, at the 17 years age, it settles with Saint-Denis and works in several factories as a Ouvrier metallurgist. In 1916, it is registered with the local section of the socialist Jeunesses which share the pacifist ideas of the minority of SFIO. He lives in a working medium tired of the Guerre.
In April 1917, it is mobilized, and in 1918 its unit is decimated with the Chemin of the Ladies. It is decorated with the Military Cross to have carried a wounded comrade, but it also was seen condemned to one month of prison for indiscipline, which illustrates its at the same time rebellious and interdependent attitude.
After its demobilization in 1920, it returns to Saint-Denis and joined the camp of the partisans of the Third International within SFIO. In autumn, socialist Youths are attached to the Internationale Communist of the young people, and Doriot is elected at the national committee. Marked by the war, without family fasteners, Doriot will become a professional revolutionist. From 1921 to 1923, it represents the French Communist youths with Moscow, near the International Communist of the young people. During its stay in Soviet Union, it makes the training of agitation and writes texts of Propagande. He travels much, speaks with many political meetings, and becomes acquainted with Lénine to which he dedicates a great admiration. On his return in France in 1922, one places it at the head of the Communist youths. Under its direction, they become an instrument of bolchevisation of the French Communist party (PCF) which is always strongly marked by the socialist model . In 1923, Doriot which is then 25 years old is condemned to one year of prison to have written a series of articles inviting the soldiers to disobey. In 1925, manpower of Communist youths highest reach the point of the Années 1920.
Doriot enjoys then a great popularity in the party, it seems a promising element. Its political career takes its rise at that time. Doriot is very ambitious, it aims at reaching management positions, but the International one does not allot the position to him only it seeks. It is folded up then on the French party in which it very influential and is very appreciated, and starts to be detached from the direction of the International one. Of the militant devoted Bolshevik that it was, it changes gradually to become a skilful politician and calculator. Its relationships to the group directing are tended, and it must face a rival, Maurice Thorez. In 1931, Doriot is elected mayor in Saint-Denis which becomes a bastion of PCF but also its personal fortified town. French Communist leaders, he one of is informed with respect to the international questions: spokesperson of the party, it denounces the Traité of Versailles and the Impérialisme French, it proclaims the right of the people to self-determination, including for the Alsace-Lorraine.
Starting from the Years 1930, the Nazism and the Communisme go up in power. Doriot at the time of going in Germany to give to the Communist party of Germany the support of PCF, and observes beyond the rhine the striking down success of the Nazi party. In the years 1932-1934, the Communist party declines in force and influence. With the legislative elections of 1932, while the party undergoes an important retreat, Doriot obtains a frank victory, but he is the only Communist elect of the first turn. He benefits from this success to go to Moscow and draws up a severe assessment of the state of the party. He then emphasizes his personal success to obtain the direction of all the Paris region, which represents a third of manpower of PCF, but the Komintern does not give him satisfaction. Indeed, the ambitions of Doriot, its search for personal interests show through in its speeches, which returns the being wary it not very reliable to the eyes of leaders. Doriot wants to remain in the communist movement, it wants to also gain the direction of the French party but for that it depends on the International one. It shows its allegiance towards this one, and seeks to gain its favors, but refrene not an assertion of identity and independence. He refuses to be only one pawn of International and seeks the statute of partner rather, the situation is thus tended. To that the establishment of the Dictature hitlérienne is added, and the crushing of the Communist party of Germany who represents for International the largest defeat of his history.
Within the Communist party, Doriot thus undergoes faintnesses caused by its frustrated ambitions. It feels with narrow, and would like to give to the party a new orientation, from where tensions with the leaders.
Divergences with the CominternIn 1933, talks begin between Socialists of the SFIO and Communists for the organization of public controversies on the topic of the working unit, but these talks are broken, which disapproves Doriot which would like to create a common front. In fact, Doriot wants to exploit the weakening of the SFIO which has just excluded its right wing néo-Socialist and his wing from Extreme left, the socialist Action. Its goal is to bring closer the two parties, so that Communism finds influence. The International one disallows its proposal, which she considers opportunist. Doriot insists in its proposal to change tactic by showing the advantages which could result from this: the proposals for a single face that it is a question of sending to the socialist direction would make it possible to widen the scission of the right-hand side and to rejoin with the Communist party the group of the socialist Action. And especially, the bringing together with the socialist party could make it possible the Communist party to take the head of a movement of mass antifascist. But the International continuous one to disallow this proposal and Thorez recalls that the socialist party is an enemy. Indeed the Socialists were perceived like weakening the class struggle while collaborating with the Bourgeoisie.
Doriot is exasperated by the rigidity of the Komintern. In 1934, he denounces the fascistic threat which appears at the time of the riots of February 6th. He again calls in question the direction of the party and request the formation of a coalition with the Socialists to fight this threat. In fact it perceives, like many men of the left, that division between the Socialists and the Communists in Germany played in favor of Hitler and wants to avoid seeing the same error reproducing in France. But this call aiming at changing policy is regarded as a failure to the discipline of the party by Thorez and the Comintern. Thorez then makes use of the newspaper Humanity to tarnish the reputation of Doriot and to deform its position. Doriot reacts: February 8th, 1934, it benefits from the reaction of the left with respect to the riots of February 6th to negotiate with the persons in charge of SFIO to Saint-Denis, without taking account of the orders of PCF. It takes share with the creation of the Committee of vigilance antifascist of Saint-Denis which constitutes Communists and local representatives of the SFIO and CGT.
In reaction, Thorez organizes a meeting of the communist representatives of Paris to make return Doriot in the row. It is the occasion of a vote on the questioning of the policy of the party, where a majority of deputy decide in favor of the official policy. As a protest in front of this failure, Doriot decides to resign of its function of deputy and mayor of Saint-Denis. April 11th, it writes a letter with the Comintern to again expose its will to link socialist and Communists against Fascism. It is even further presenting a coherent alternative project, which leaves side the Révolution Prolétariat and aims at reaching the capacity thanks to a policy based on the collaboration of the classes. The Internationale convenes Doriot with Moscow, but he refuses to go there. In June, the International one adopts the policy of alliance with the left, which was however regarded before as heretic. But the refusal of Doriot to go to Moscow, its disobediences, and its ambitions on the direction of the PCF are not tolerated. With the annual convention of June, Thorez proposes to exclude Doriot from the party and the Motion is adopted unanimously.
This exclusion causes a tearing at Doriot, but especially a great anger and a thirst for revenge against the direction on the party. It remains in the political game, but fears to be made évincer by the collaboration which is being formed between the two great working parties. In reaction Doriot decides to overbid in the working unit; July 5th, 1934 it launches the watchword “only one classifies, only one CGT, only one party”. To diffuse its point of view, it uses the national Émancipation , newspaper which it directs. He seeks to constitute a party of synthesis, but refuses a fusion in an existing party. For him, the division of the labor movements is the imperative reason of the defeat vis-a-vis Fascism, and he seeks the solution in something of nine with him as a leader. But Doriot does not succeed in making the opening which he hoped for, and remains an element isolated within the extreme left Frenchwoman. Its policy to fight against Communism becomes increasingly clear, and it is accompanied by a fight for the Paix which passes to the first rank of its propaganda. He affirms a will of agreement with the Nazi Germany.
This peace campaign marks a turning in the political life of Doriot. By there, it gives up the fight with the profit of the conciliation and announces an open combat against the Communist party. This policy marks also the failure of the working unit which he sought. Doriot is thus in a fragile position, with for only motivation revenge. In 1935 he is always a politician of left. The elections of 1936 confirm the precarious situation of Doriot and its loss of influence. Shortly after the elections of 1936, Gabriel Leroy-Ladurie, president of the bank Worms, contact him. It represents the large companies which would like to destroy the base of the Popular front, and asks Doriot to form a political party to help it in this operation.
The French Popular party
The creation of the party and its rise to power
The historians are of agreement to say that the French Popular party represents the form nearest to the type Fasciste which existed in France, however certain historians goes further and estimates that one can qualify it true fascistic party.
In the beginning, neither in the design of its founder, nor in reality, the French Popular party (PPF) was a fascistic party. On the contrary, it initially seems a party of rival extreme left of the Communist party. Its foundation occurs in June 1936, just after the wave of strikes of the Labor movement. They is the June 27th and 28th that Doriot presents the PF to a few hundreds of people. This party is defined as a movement of national gathering which sought to gather all the French, except the Communist leaders, to ensure the country peace and independence. In this logic, Doriot is not affirmed opposite with the Popular front.
The program of the new party is very vague, in particular on the plan of the Institution S. the social movement of June causes a fear of the right , which is beneficial for the PF which then receives the support of certain newspapers of right-hand side and the rallying of men of Extreme-right-hand side, and the material support of part of employers.
Doriot, to continue to profit from these supports, proposes the fight against Communism in its political program and makes pass in second plan the fight against the Conservatisme and large the Capitalisme. However, it aims above all at a national gathering and for this reason, it does not let its party slip indefinitely on the right.
Thus, during the first year of existence of the PF, it keeps a rather flexible and moderate line which privileges the insulation of the Communist party and the bringing together of the capacity. The revenge of Doriot on the party which excluded it thus feels always strongly on its policy.
As for the relations with the Socialists, they remain measured. In July 1936, Doriot affirms its objective clearly: it wishes to reach the capacity to proceed to a national revolution. The party is presented like new type, at the same time popular, national and social.
Vis-a-vis the question of Fascism, one can wonder which are the elements of fascistic nature in the organization of the PF. It should initially be noted that the party refuses to obtain a paramilitary organization, but is undoubtedly not to direct the opinion by imitating the fascistic leagues or parties. There are nevertheless elements of ceremony which strongly borrow from the fascistic movements: one can quote safety almost similar to the Roman hello, the cry “ahead, Jacques Doriot”, the existence of a badge, a flag, an anthem and especially of an oath of fidelity.
The first congress of the PF proceeds in November 1936 and illustrates what the party claims to be: a party of national gathering and a popular party. The central committee is also divided between the men come from left, mainly Communists, and, Volontaires nationals but also patriotic Jeunesses and the man men of the right of the French Action. With respect to the foreign policy, the Pacifisme remained since the departure one of the principal points of the policy of the PF: in its speeches, Doriot recalls its past of war veteran and the horrors of the war. The party thus supports the desires of peace of the French and indicates the Communist party like a party of the war. Doriot supports in its propaganda which peace is the only thing which can make find in France “its dynamism, its force, its prestige”. It puts as ahead as the success of the PF is the only solution of peace which remains in France.
Doriot is posed as a defender Liberté S threatened by the Communists, who would be helped by the Socialists: he shows them to prevent the exercise of the rights of expression and meeting. He launches the formula of the Front of freedom, to call with a gathering of all the groupings and political parties which are between extreme right-hand side and the Socialists.
Little answers, but the new position of PF establishes the party with the hinge between the moderate line and the extreme-right-hand side. The Front of freedom thus obtains a weak adhesion, and at the same time the PF shows breathlessness.
To this lose speed in May 1937, the revocation of Doriot of the town hall of Saint-Denis is added, which marks a turning in the history of the party. It is an administrative survey, carried out by the Minister of Interior Department Marx Dormoy, which puts at the day of the irregularities and conduit to this revocation. Doriot resigns then of the municipal council, pushes to organize new elections, but it undergoes a defeat.
This failure is symbolic system, considering which it means return of Saint-Denis to the hands of the Communists and that it shows the failure of Doriot clearly to gather around him the working class.
Doriot reacts then by giving up its mandate of deputy, which means to break the last bond which attaches it to the institutions. From there, the fascisation of the party is accentuated even more clearly. The persons in charge of the PF, such as Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, Victor Arrighi, Bertrand de Jouvenel await party which it becomes the French equivalent of the Nazisme. The doriotists see like a need for creating in France a new elite, like are in Germany and Soviet Union the Nazi party and the Communist party.
Thus, in front of the failure of the national gathering, the PF changes: it is aligned on the fascistic models and sees an increase in extremists attitudes. The party approaches the extreme right-hand side enormously, going even until the French Action: Doriot, with respect to the Monarchy, declares that he is not opposed to this solution but which is not yet enough “ripe”.
A fascistic project of Totalitarisme continues more and more, as the speech of Doriot to the 2econgrès shows it PF in March 1938: he wants to see reappearing a strong Paysannerie, deplores the proletarianization of France, and introduces the family like the fundamental cell of the Nation. He presents also the Nationalisme like the paramount doctrines of the party and ambitionne to even work a new man. This new man must have “the taste for danger, the self-confidence, the direction of the group, the taste of the collective dashes”. Doriot works out a charter of the work which takes again the model mussolinien.
The fascistic sets of themes and methods thus clearly settled in the party and other indices attest also fascisation: when Doriot arrives by plane and flies over the stage with the birthday of the creation of the party in June 1938, it is a republication of the descent of Hitler on Nuremberg.
It is as in the field of the Xénophobie, the Racisme and the Antisémitisme as changes occur. Thus in the congress of March 1938, one discusses of the “Jewish Question” in North Africa. The press doriotist finally expresses in an open way its admiration for the fascistic modes, the voyages in Germany and Italy of the doriotists multiply, and propaganda becomes harder.
In foreign policy, the PF intended to play on an equal level with the fascistic modes Italian and German, but in front of their rise to power, this policy took the form of a co-operation passivates then of a tender.
Indeed it should not be forgotten that as of its creation, the party proposes its pacifism, and in spring of 1938 Doriot organizes series of demonstrations against the war, by preaching a union for the maintenance of peace.
But in this same year 1938, the loss of confidence in the PF is generalized: the party, which does not propose a conquering policy, lack of dynamism. To give again attraction with the party, Doriot evokes the new topic of an external mission, the exhortation to gain something in the world.
But this proposal, which corresponds in fact to the fundamental dimension of Fascism, appears soft and absurd, it arrives too much late. Year 1938 clarifies the increasingly marked crisis of the PF, in particular by the resignation of several of its leaders (Arrighi and Marion).
In 1939, the party takes a nationalist dimension of tradition. Doriot, in its speeches, deplores the fall in the birth rate, caused according to him by the liberal Capitalisme and the Marxisme. He also deplores in youth a loss of the respect of the faith, authority, of the family, nation and fatherland.
This fold towards a traditional line can be explained by the opportunism and the disappointment of Doriot in front of the bankruptcy of its movement. September 3rd, 1939, France enters in war to the side of the Great Britain and Doriot is mobilized. He affirms that the goal of the Alliés must be that to remove the German power, but he adds that Stalin is the enemy as much that Hitler. He hopes that the post-war period will see to settle the new order of which he dreams, with a chart of Europe redrawn with the detriment of Germany and the USSR.
After the defeat of France and the signature of the armistice in June 1940, Doriot - by a new dash of Opportunism - seeks to obtain a place in the Régime of Vichy, but it is kept away. It approaches Marcel Déat (1894-1955) with which it builds a project of sole party, but which does not succeed.
It regains Paris in 1940, and attempts to give on foot the PF which was disorganized by the defeat. Mid-October, it launches the cry of the People , a newspaper which must be used to attract the Working class while benefitting from the absence of Humanity. Its efforts of regrouping are ineffective, the PF does not develop, and to that a mistrust towards the authorities of occupation is added.
But gradually, it enters in relation to the winner of the war, which brings the support and the essential resources to him to remain in the race. The PF accentuates thus its position of collaboration, and posts its confidence in the victory of Germany. Doriot becomes increasingly racist, to undoubtedly like its contacts of the S, and attacks it of Germany against the USSR on June 22nd, 1941 definitively makes it pass in the German camp. Doriot supports creation on July 8th, 1941 of the LVF, the Légion of the French volunteers who fight under the German uniform. It engages itself, and on the whole accomplishes long stays 18 months) on the face of the east, especially in 1943-1944. It is decorated with the Croix of iron by the Germans.
Exile and dead
After the allied unloading, it flees in Germany. Arrived at Sigmaringen with all nebula collaborationnist, Jacques Doriot was then optimistic, his departure for Germany covering for him a tactical aspect. Indeed, according to him, the “French forces” had been exiled in Germany in order to ressourcer in front of the imminence of the bad blow of the Communists who came, always according to Doriot, to begin their catch to be able in France. The goal of Doriot was consequently the advent of a “French popular State”, where it would have obviously an eminent role, and free of the defects of Vichy. For Doriot, result of this company depended the return on France as a capable European power to discuss equal to equal with Germany hitlérienne. Doriot, Déat, Bucard and Brinon met the Führer itself in December 1944 in order to conclude this ambition.
However energy for Doriot missed all this even more activist that never, in spite of the escape of the leaders collaborationnists. Also he announced creation, on January 6th, 1945, of a “Committee of French release”, retorts collaborationnist of the company gaullist in England. This Committee was to gather the small world of exiled of Sigmaringen and, finally, to thus ensure the capacity the chief of the PF.
However, two of the collaborator leaders were shown still reticent: Déat, the rival eternal, and Bucard, always in cold with Doriot since the PF had become in 1937 the official recipient of the financial aid granted by Mussolini, before backer of the organization of Bucard, the Parti francist. Also, go was taken with Déat for on February 22nd, 1945. The bringing together between the two men was profiled.
This February 22nd, Doriot, its driver and a secretary of the Committee took seat in the car of the adviser of embassy Struve, the personal vehicle of Doriot being broken down. To a few hundred meters of Mengen, the car was attacked in piqué by two unknown planes. Doriot, already reached by a first gust, tried to leave the vehicle, but not rather quickly so that a second gust did not strike it mortally this time. Prevented by the secretary miraculeusement unscathed, Déat and faithful lieutenant de Doriot, Marcel Marshall, arrived on the spot and could only note the death.
In spite of many speculations, the membership of the planes (allied forces or elements of the Gestapo having solved to get rid of an activist considered to be dangerous) is still unknown today.
Doriot was buried with the cemetery of Mengen where it always rests. In 1961, soldiers of occupation discovered his tomb, trampled it and soiled it. A little later the ordinance of the French Army which prohibited to maintain it fell into the lapse of memory.
Until a very recent date, Victor Barthelemy and Marcel Marshall organized each February 22nd a ceremony with the memory of that which was their chief.
the mystery Doriot
Various testimonys “show” that in Germany, in 1945, Doriot would have been in contact with allied agents. It is known that the Anglo-Saxon wanted to arrive possible further before the Soviet S and had infiltrated many agents in Europeans of Germany (Collaborateurs, STO, etc), and had turned over much among those to establish networks in Germany. A theory speaks about Doriot turned over and become Anglo-Saxon agent, even French and assassinated by the Germans. One also speaks about an agreement: PF of France would have adopted the Résistance Anticommuniste. It is known that chiefs of the PF had been turned over. One also knows that with Sigmaringen, office of the governmental Commission in exile (“legal” successor of Vichy, without real capacity, even about the French of Germany. Multiple intrigues, conflicts, etc divided it, mixing with the fights between German services and groups and with intrigues PF. A Committee, directed by Doriot supplanted it.)
It was supposed that Fernand de Brinon contacted Giraud to push it to carry out a movement against De Gaulle and PC and to take part in it. It is difficult to separate truth from the forgery. Various elements plead in favor of the assassination of Doriot: - the driver said: “they are German planes” - Doriot, which knew the various planes, did not worry. One spoke about competitions, rancours, etc between services, groups and chiefs German (one would have been avenged on Doriot for his guards, for example, or these intrigues would be frays with those of the French in Germany). -->
“ the overcome Bolchevism will make plain Europe. ”
- to make a success of your career within the Communist party, here a council of friend: be right never six months before the others (Appeared in the Emancipation in 1936 )
- I make fun of the old politicking combinations! I make fun of what think or can think the delayed strategists of the old mode! I do not want to make a radical party, a party SFIO, a republican federation! I want to make a totalitarian party! I want to make a fascistic party! (words pronounced at the time of a speech of November 7th, 1942).
the Army and the defense of capitalism , Courbevois, Cootypographie/Paris, Bookstore of Humanity, “Library of the young Communists”, 1924.
- (and Marcel Cachin), Against the Dawes plan and socialist treason, for the recognition of the Soviets . Speeches made with the House of Commons, August 22nd and 23rd 1924, preface Paul Marion, Paris, French Communist party (S.F.I.C.), “the Books of the militant”, 1924.
- French Militarism with work in Morocco. A sensational document , Paris, Bookstore of Humanity, 1925.
- (and Marcel Cachin), For the defense of the Soviet Union . Speech of Marcel Cachin to the House of Commons, meeting of November 6th, 1930. Against the Young plan and treaties of slavery . Speech of J. Doriot to the House of Commons, meeting of November 13rd, 1930, Paris, Offices of editions, “the Communist party and the foreign politics”, 1930.
- Syria with the Syrians! Speech made by Doriot, with the House of Commons, on December 20th, 1925, Paris, Georges Daugon-Bookstore of Humanity, 1926.
- the Colonies and Communism , Paris, Montaigne-Sapwood, 1929.
- the Communists and Unemployment , Paris, Office of editions, 1932.
- You want peace, working socialist , Paris, Bureau of editions, 1932.
- Journée seven hours with eight hours wages , Paris, Bureau of editions, 1932.
- the Soviets want peace . Speech made with the House of Commons on May 17th, 1933, prefaces of Marcel Cachin, Paris, the revolutionary Publications, 1933.
- France will not be a country of slaves , Paris, French Works, 1936.
- All the evidence. It is Moscow which pays , Paris, Flammarion, 1937.
- the ″ Front of Freedom ″ vis-a-vis Communism , Paris, Flammarion, 1937.
- “Foreword”, Paul Guitard, found France , Paris, French Works, 1937.
- “Foreword”, Simon Sabiani, Colère of the people , Paris, French Works, 1937.
- France with us! , Paris, Flammarion, 1937.
- To remake France , Paris, Grasset, 1938.
- Anguish of Communism . Speech made in Lyon on June 22nd, 1941 Congress of the French Popular party, Paris, Curial-Archereau Printing works, 1941.
- I am a man of the Marshal , Paris, Grasset, 1941.
- the Legion of the French volunteers against the Bolchevism with the combat . Is marked speech on February 1st, 1942 with the Sport hall, Paris, Printing works of the P.P.F., 1942.
- France Gaulliste? Not! Look at… , Paris, central Office of Press of the P.P.F., 1942.
- the Movement and the men , Paris, Editions of France, “Times new”, 1942.
- Realities , Paris, Editions of France, “Times new”, 1942.
- the French Destiny , Paris, Printing works of the P.P.F., 1944.
“Foreword”, the Labor regulation and the Defense of the young workmen , Paris, without date.
- “Foreword”, Communists of Saint-Denis and the events from February 6th to 12th , Paris, without date.
the Cry of the people (1940-1944). Daily newspaper of Paris. Director: Jacques Doriot; editor association: Henri Labre.
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