Pierre Laval: Dirty rotten scoundrel or French politician extraordinaire?

Discussion in 'General' started by Warlord, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Born in 28 June 1883, Laval began his career as a socialist, but over time drifted far to the right.

    He was head of two French governments, before, following France's surrender and armistice with Germay in 1940, working with the Vichy Regime. He served in a prominent role under Philippe Pétain as the vice-president of Vichy's Council of Ministers from 11 July 1940 to 13 December 1940, and later as the head of government from 18 April 1942 to 19 August 1944.

    After the liberation of France in 1944, Laval was arrested by the French government under General de Gaulle. In what some historians consider a flawed trial, Laval was found guilty of high treason, and executed by firing squad. His manifold political activities have left behind a complicated and controversial legacy, including over a dozen biographies.

    His political career includes "highlights" such as:

    • Public speeches in defense of mutinous troops after the battles at Chemin-des-Dames, 1917, asking for a peace based on the "ideals" of the recent Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.
    • The almost completion of the Hoare-Laval Pact, which in 1935, looking for a feasible peace between Italy and Abyssinia, proposed massive "territorial realignments" in the Horn of Africa... without consulting the Abyssinians!
    • The political thrust behind "collaboration" - including fighting Britain in the name of Maréchal Pétain - during the Vichy regime.
    • Signing orders permitting the deportation of foreign Jews from French soil to Nazi death camps.

    Who was, then, Pierre Laval?
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Hope their aim wasnt too straight & he suffered .

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