Philippe Pétain

Looking back on France's Vichy regime, Hitler's willing collaborators

France — Link

On the 80th anniversary of the date when the notorious Vichy regime took power in German-occupied France, Jim Wolfreys, a senior lecturer in French and European politics at Kings College London, analyses the reactionary currents in French politics and society it drew upon, and its legacy.

Historian Robert Paxton talks Trump, French polemicist Éric Zemmour and fascism

International — Interview

When the French language version of his book 'Vichy France' appeared in 1973, the American historian Robert Paxton opened French eyes to the Vichy regime's collaboration with the Nazis in World War II. At the age of 87 he remains one of the most knowledgable people about fascism. Mediapart spoke with the emeritus professor at Columbia University about Donald Trump, nostalgia for the wartime era of Vichy president Marshal Philippe Pétain, and the spectre of a return to the 1930s. Mathieu Magnaudeix reports from New York.

Macron backs down in face of anger over WWI tribute to Pétain

France — Link

A tribute, as part of ceremonies in honour of French WWI Marshalls, to General Philippe Pétain, who commanded French forces at the 1916 Battle of Verdun before leading France's collaborationist regime during German occupation of the country in WWII, will now not be held after President Emmanuel Macron came under fierce criticism for his comments that it was 'legitimate' to honour 'a great soldier' despite his later shame.

When Vichy regime leader Pétain was to be honoured on Armistice Day


Among the several ceremonies marking the centenary of the WW1 Armistice signed on November 11th 1918, France’s joint military chiefs of staff had planned a tribute, to be attended by President Emmanuel Macron, to the eight Marshals who fought in the Great War. The eight included Philippe Pétain, who led France’s collaborationist Vichy regime during German occupation of the country from 1940 to 1944. Macron’s office has made clear that the president will not attend any celebration of the disgraced figure, and said it is bewildered how such a ceremony "ended up" in the official presentation of Armistice centenary events without having been submitted for approval. Ellen Salvi reports.

France to rebaptise last street named after Vichy leader

France — Link

Only remaining street in France named after the leader of the country's collaborationist wartime regime, Marshal Philippe Petain, is to get a new name.

The cloud of Pétain rains on Sarkozy's May Day counter-parade

France — Opinion

The April 22nd first round of the French presidential elections left incumbent candidate Nicolas Sarkozy in a close second-place behind the Socialist Party’s François Hollande. In his campaigning before the final play-off between the two on May 6th, Sarkozy has caused controversy and dismay over his overt attempts to capture the electorate of the far-right Front National party, whose candidate Marine Le Pen scored almost 18% in the first round poll. While the outgoing president has placed immigration issues to the fore, he also announced plans to organise a rally in Paris on May 1st to honour what he deems to be "real labour", as a counter-demonstration against the traditional trades union-organised May Day parade. Mediapart economic and social affairs correspondent Laurent Mauduit argues here why the initiative is an outrageous throwback to the WWII collaborationist Vichy government of German-occupied France, whose leader, Marshal Philippe Pétain, attempted to transform this day of international workers’ solidarity into a day in honour of so-called "labour and social harmony".