Historian Laurent Jolie, Emmanuel Macron, has not used a negative consensus for French opinion of Marshal Petain.
Interviewed Allan Kaval
As the contradictions in recent days appeared, the shadow of Mars Pétain and what he embodied continued to assess the French historical memory, forcing politicians to take a position on his legacy. In this interview, the historian Laurent Jolywho has just published State against Jews. Vichy, Nazi and anti-Semitic persecution (Grasset, 368 pp., 20.90 euros), reviews the construction and deconstruction of this historical figure in national imagination.
President Macrona referred to the figure of a "great soldier", Petain, how after the First World War he became part of the French imagination?
Laurent Joly: Philippe Pétain became a national hero at the age of 60 years [en 1916]. He was not the most advanced general, nor the most in court (Generalissimo Joseph Joffre's reservations are well known to him). But this is the one who led the French troops in Verden in 1916. We know it. The press congratulates the great soldier. His famous program "Courage, we will have them"His attention on the fluff of everyday life, Verdun, was rescued, it made General Petaini very popular. In November 1918, he was promoted to the honor of the French marshal.
What is Petain's interwar period? And what did he embody in 1940? What are the expectations that he has created for part of the French people?
After the war, Petain is a hero who is hesitant between his silence and public affairs. Secretary General of the French Army in the 20th Century, who received the French Academy in 1931, in 1934 he was Minister in the Government of Gaston Doumergue. Almost 80 years old he is the last major military leader of the Great War: Ferdinand Foch and Joseph Jofre died, the first in 1929 and the second in 1931.
Almost good, …