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Alphonse de Chateaubriant. Catholic collaborator by Kay Chadwick

By Kay Chadwick

The second one global warfare spawned notorious collaborators comparable to Brasillach and Drieu los angeles Rochelle, males who betrayed France during the career. between their quantity stands the Catholic author Alphonse de Châteaubriant. writer of the prize-winning novels Monsieur des Lourdines and La Brière, he became his literary abilities to the propagation of a collaborationist message within the pages of the notorious essay La Gerbe des forces and the both ignominious newspaper La Gerbe. even supposing not anything predisposes a Catholic to be a collaborator, Châteaubriant’s dedication to the National-Socialist reason arose from an idiosyncratic analyzing of Christian doctrine which justified racism and elitism within the identify of religious regeneration. He seen his stumble upon with nationwide Socialism as a long-awaited assembly of minds, and championed its representatives as males of imaginative and prescient who may re-evangelise the realm. After the conflict, Châteaubriant fled to Austria. Condemned as a traitor in his absence, he indulged in an try out at self-revision and fulminated opposed to his judges until eventually his death day. This booklet explores the harmful pathways down which lost idealism can lead. It demanding situations those that could imprecise the correct telling of Châteaubriant’s involvement, or hinder a becoming narrative of the Vichy years.

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Patriotic duty commanded national solidarity. 1 Bolstered by the belief that right was on France’s side, that war would offer delivery from the many dissatisfactions of civilian life and create an opportunity for moral, social and political renewal, and that a short war would suffice to ensure victory, the national mood in the summer of 1914 was one of widespread optimism, enthusiasm and exhilaration. 2 Germany declared war on France on 3 August 1914. Alphonse de Châteaubriant was mobilised the following day and stationed in barracks in Nantes until his departure on 15 August for Maubeuge, on 1 2 Raymond Poincaré, Au service de la France, 10 vols (Plon: 1926–34), IV (1928), 546.

98–99). Democracy, abhorred by many Catholics, is defined by Châteaubriant as the political manifestation of destructive modern ‘progress’ (p. 236), and an ideology which therefore has equally damaging consequences for âme and esprit as science and rational thought. He contrasts democratic society with ancient societies, which are ‘plus morales que les nôtres, plus respectueuses en fait de la personnalité humaine’ (p. 58), and argues that there is no comparison between ancient societies based on centuries of culture and discipline and those based on ‘modern’ democracy (pp.

18), the orchestrator of the community, so harmonised to his environment that he and the estate ‘sortaient bien du même sol; ils étaient presque de la même couleur’ (p. 17). Des Lourdines is as devoted to his peasants as he is to the land: 19 30 Châteaubriant probably took the name Petit-Fougeray from a commune located twenty-five kilometres south of Rennes, his birth city. There is no real place of this name in the Poitou. his right-hand man, Célestin, is not only his employee but also ‘son vieil ami’ (p.

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