Tendance Coatesy

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French President Macron Backs Down on Plan to Honour Pétain at Commemorative Ceremony.

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The Man Macron Wished to Honour…

CNN reports,

The French government has backed down over apparent plans to pay tribute to Marshal Philippe Pétain — who collaborated with the Nazis in the deportation of Jews from France during World War II — as part of commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

French President Emmanuel Macron came under fire Wednesday after he said it was “legitimate” to honour Pétain’s role as a “great soldier” in World War I.
Hours later, French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said in a Facebook post that no tribute would be paid to Pétain in Saturday’s ceremony.
We had announced that we would honour the marshals of the Great War. Some have deduced that Pétain was one of them; this is not the case. If there was confusion, it was because we were not clear enough on that point,” Griveaux said.

 

This follows this in le Monde which gives a different version of the story to that spun by Griveaux.

Macron dénonce une « fausse polémique » sur Pétain, qui ne sera pas honoré le 10 novembre

Le chef de l’Etat a d’abord jugé « légitime » d’honorer le maréchal de 14-18 et dirigeant de Vichy. La présidence a finalement annoncé qu’il n’était pas dans la cérémonie aux Invalides.

The Head of State had at first judged it legitimate to honour the Marshal of the Great War, and the Vichy leader. The Presidency has in the end announced that he will not be commemorated in the official ceremony at the Invalides.

Macron notably stated that one could not rub out the role of Pétain in the Great War.

 Il a été un grand soldat, c’est une réalité. La vie politique comme l’humaine nature sont parfois plus complexes que ce qu’on voudrait croire (…). J’ai toujours regardé l’histoire de notre pays en face. »

He was an important, a great, soldier, that’s the truth. Political life, like human nature, is sometimes more complicated than one would wish to believe. I have always looked history straight in the face.

Many were quick to challenge the role of the Army leadership during that conflict, citing executions of their own soldiers, and the giant causality rates in all the armies.

But the key note was Pétain’s  collaboration with the Nazis.

Clearly earlier attempts to ward off this link failed:

As this did not work they tried to claim that there was never any intention to honour Pétai:

 

Which as I write – nice try Griveaux – is flopping completely.

The response began at lunch-time…..

Background:

French President Emmanuel Macron waded into controversy Wednesday by praising a general who helped win World War I but became a top Nazi collaborator in World War II – comments that triggered outrage among French Jews.

Marshal Philippe Petain’s name appears alongside seven other top military chiefs to be honored this Saturday in a ceremony at the Invalides monument, site of Napoleon’s tomb, to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1.

Touring battlefields ahead of a formal commemoration of the Nov. 11, 1918, armistice that ended the war, Macron said Petain was worthy of the honor for his leading role in the World War I victory.

“Marshal Petain was also a great soldier during World War I” even though he made “fatal choices during the Second World War,” Macron said in the northern town of Charleville-Mezieres.

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Written by Andrew Coates

November 8, 2018 at 5:57 pm

4 Responses

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  1. He he he… Thanks for this.

    oiltranslator

    November 8, 2018 at 6:32 pm

  2. He was responsible for thousands of deaths. Jews, resisters and allied escapers.

    Dave Roberts

    November 8, 2018 at 9:00 pm

  3. ARIS (AFP) –
    The French government said there will be no official French homage to Nazi collaborator Philippe Petain at World War I ceremonies this week, after President Emmanuel Macron drew fire for calling the Vichy leader a “great soldier”.

    “The marshals whose honour has not been tarnished, and only those, will be honoured by the republic,” spokesman Benjamin Griveaux posted on Facebook late Wednesday.

    “If there was a confusion, it’s because we weren’t sufficiently clear on this point,” he said.

    A chorus of protests had erupted after Macron indicated Petain would be among the eight marshals honoured Saturday for their role in leading the French fight, saying he had earned the country’s gratitude.

    “It’s right that we honour the marshals who led France to victory,” Macron said in the town of Charleville-Mezieres, part of a tour of northern France marking the centenary of the end of the 1914-18 war.

    “He was a great soldier, it’s a fact, he added, though he stressed that Petain had made “disastrous choices” during World War II.

    His comments set off a storm of criticism from rival politicians as well as Jewish leaders, who accused the president of discounting Petain’s treasonous collaboration with the Nazi occupiers in the 1940s.

    “The only thing we will remember about Petain is that he was convicted, in the name of the French people, of national indignity during his trial in 1945,” Francis Kalifat of the CRIF association of French Jewish groups.

    Macron himself tried to tamp down the controversy later Wednesday, acknowledging that Petain was complicit in “grave crimes.”

    “I’m not forgiving anything, but I’m not going to erase anything from our history,” he said.

    – Uneasy legacy –

    French army officials had announced that all eight WWI marshals would be commemorated at the Invalides military hospital and museum in Paris on Saturday.

    Macron will be represented by a general who is his top military advisor.

    Petain is not among the marshals at the Invalides, having been buried on the Ile d’Yeu off the Atlantic coast.

    For years French leaders have treaded lightly when dealing with Petain’s legacy, which continues to divide the nation decades on.

    Historians generally consider the marshal a brilliant tactician during World War I, not least for halting the German advance at Verdun in 1916.

    He also earned soldiers’ admiration by advocating strategies which avoided unnecessary fighting and deaths — though he nonetheless condoned the execution of attempted deserters.

    Hailed as a hero after the armistice, Petain would be called on to lead again after Germany invaded in 1940, taking over much of France.

    But as head of the Vichy regime, he actively collaborated with the Nazi occupiers, pursuing French resistance fighters while enacting second-class status for Jews and helping German soldiers round them up for the death camps.

    After the war’s end he was arrested for treason and given the death sentence, which was commuted to life imprisonment given his age. He died in 1951, aged 95.

    The debate over his legacy reflects a longtime divide along political lines, with rightwing groups often praising Petain’s endorsement of what he considered traditional Catholic values.

    As head of Vichy France, he replaced the country’s motto of “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” with the more imperious “Work, Family and Country”.

    https://www.france24.com/en/20181108-france-says-no-petain-homage-after-great-soldier-outcry

    Andrew Coates

    November 9, 2018 at 12:23 pm

  4. And so was ‘Agent Cob’ responsible for the of deaths of thousands of Jews, resisters and allied escapees. It doesn’t make him a bad person though.

    Hannuk

    November 12, 2018 at 2:36 am


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