Keyword: Philippe Pétain
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.
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.