Communists and Collaborators: The Dark Origins of Franco-Jewish Ethnic Lobbies
The LICRA and the CRIF, and their ancestor organizations, have been influencing French political life since before the Second World War. The LICRA, originally called the League Against Pogroms, was founded in 1927 by the Communist Jew Bernard Lecache, an early apologist of Soviet totalitarianism. He founded the League to organize the legal defense of Sholom-Shmuel Schwartzbard, a Russian Jew who had murdered Ukrainian nationalist leader Symon Petliura in broad daylight in the streets of Paris. Schwartzbard blamed Petliura for the pogroms in Ukraine and was subsequently, bizarrely, acquitted.
The LICRA then, far from being a body dedicated to universal brotherhood, was founded to justify an act of tribal vengeance. Lecache himself would, in the typical manner, enormously exaggerate the sufferings of his co-ethnics, claiming that 300,000 were killed in the Ukrainian pogroms (the Red Cross estimated the figure at between 60,000 and 120,000).
Lecache would lead the LICRA until 1968. He remained a communist despite being formally expelled from the French Communist Party in 1923 because he also chose to remain a Freemason (the Party did not allow dual-membership). His successor Jean-Pierre Bloch, who led the group from 1968 to 1992, was also a Freemason.
Already in the interwar period, the League’s influence rapidly grew in the French Third Republic’s parliamentary regime, with members across political parties, including prime ministers Léon Blum (Jewish, who led a Socialist-Communist coalition government) and Édouard Herriot (whose 1898 essay on the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria brought him national attention). In 1933, Herriot would as an MP return from a fact-finding to the Ukraine and deny any famine there, stating that it was “a garden producing to the full.” (Between 2.5 and 7.5 million people are estimated to have been killed in this engineered famine, known as the Holodomor).
The LICRA spent the interwar years agitating to open France to Jewish immigration and stoking opposition to National Socialist Germany. More moderate Jews feared the LICRA’s activism under Lechache would provoke anti-Semitism, with the printer Georges Lang declaring in 1937:
A Lecache would justify, if it were possible, a [Louis] Darquier de Pellepoix [an anti-Semitic activist who would later in be in charge of Jewish affairs under the Vichy Regime], but a Lecache is far more dangerous to Jews than a Darquier de Pellepoix.
The organization would successfully exert pressure to pass an April 1939 censorship law creating the notion of “criminal offense of racist insults and defamation” in French law.
The League’s influence in France as a Jewish lobby was studied and commented upon by German intelligence. Wolfgang Diewerge, an official at the German Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment, would write in a study on the matter:
The policy of the [LICRA] represents a permanent and incredible intervention in French domestic and foreign policy: Strong attacks against French decrees affecting foreigners, against the expulsion of Jews and the restrictions of the political rights of naturalized citizens, strong attacks against nationalist organizations.
Kling is aware of the enormous over-representation of Jews among the early communist regime’s elites, whether among political leaders, cultural elites, or the oppressive Cheka. She ably cites U.S. and French sources demonstrating this (and also mentions Sigmund Freud’s ambitions of radically changing Western civilization through attacks on traditional religion and family). She notes that while the French Revolution emancipated the Jews, the Bolshevik Revolution went further in making anti-Semitism punishable by death (while simultaneously, persecuting Christians).
Kling is keen to highlight the hypocrisy of League’s leaders as apologists of communist tyranny and deniers of its mass murders (as deserving of the term “genocide” as any). She quotes Vladimir Lenin on his avowed ends-justify-the-means amorality. She cites the estimate that 29,000 Frenchmen were extrajudicially executed at the Liberation, largely by communist death squads. The LICRA would only be critical of the Soviet Union in the postwar years when it turned towards anti-Zionism and during the Refusenik problem — i.e., narrow Jewish ethnic interests. And even then, their critique of communist totalitarianism and murder would always remain extremely nuanced as compared with their demonization of European nationalist regimes.
Kling notes that the LICRA’s flirting with totalitarianism “would however never lead to the absolute ostracism which strikes in contrast — and a priori — the defenders of Identitarian and patriotic ideals, and notably the Front National.” She mentions the case of Frédéric Zeller, a senior Freemason who worked as Leon Trotsky’s secretary during the exiled Soviet leader’s stay in Norway. Zeller, who would later join the LICRA’s honorary committee, said in 1958 of his ideal politics: “This socialist party will need to achieve at any cost the synthesis between the social-democratic tradition, in what was valid in it, and that of Leninist communism in what it had of positive.” What if a nationalist were to make a similar statement about taking “what it had of positive” concerning Fascism or National Socialism?
Needless to say, though the LICRA and CRIF have demanded endless apologies and admissions of collective guilt for the supposed crimes of the French people during the years of war and occupation, it would never occur to them to assume collective responsibility and apologize for the crimes of their co-ethnics murdering and tyrannizing under the banner of communism.
A similar double standard is evident in the history of the CRIF’s ancestor, the General Union of Israelites of France (UGIF). In France, Jews had been blamed prior to the war for spreading Bolshevism and agitating for war with National Socialist Germany. After the Battle of France of 1940, the Vichy Regime — which governed the non-occupied southern third of the country — banned Jews from certain senior government positions and tried to limit Jewish over-representation in influential professions such as the law through quotas (in effect, affirmative action for gentiles). At the same time, inevitably, there were many Jews at Vichy, and Marshal Philippe Pétain even had a Jew among his speechwriters (one Emmanuel Berl).
The UGIF engaged in collaboration with the Vichy and German authorities in order to help Jewish deportees, prisoners and civilians. However, Jewish collaborators were not tried by the French judiciary, but internally and leniently by Jewish courts. According to historian Jean-Claude Valla:
How unjust were the convictions striking the goyim engaged in the same struggle [collaboration]. How many Frenchmen, who were not of Israelite confession or culture, were executed, put down like dogs, heavily punished or ostracized from society for having, them too, tried to outsmart the enemy and save what could be saved? Yet, with the exception of Joinovici, no Jews suspected of collaboration were taken before the courts. It is citizen juries established by the Representative Council of Jews of France [CRIF] which judged the suspects behind closed doors and systematically acquitted them.
The CRIF was then founded on the notion of tribal justice and special leniency for Jewish wartime collaboration, even as it has sought to demonize France as a whole for Vichy’s collaboration.
Winning the Victimhood Olympics: The Primacy of the Shoah
The CRIF and LICRA have sought to make Jews unique victims, indeed superior victims, whose wartime suffering and deaths are more morally significant than those of mere political opponents, soldiers, civilians or what have you. In addition France and indeed Western civilization as a whole are deemed collectively guilty. The result is to radically delegitimize both. As the LICRA declared on the fortieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz:
One needs to draw the lesson from, to highlight Jewish martyrology [sic] and the passivity of the free world; one needs to remind the civilized world of the debt incurred towards the Jewish people and denounce all those who, once again, provoke and feed racist and anti-Semitic hatred.
This attempt to impose a Judeo-centric vision upon humanity, Jewish dead being presented as more important than non-Jewish dead, is sometimes explicit. In January 2010, the CRIF reported after a meeting with UNESCO that it had stressed “first of all … the importance of the memory of the Shoah, [and] … the current risk of relativizing of this memory and on the dangers of confusion [amalgame] between the Shoah and various crimes which do not at all have the same significance.”
This idea of the primacy of the Shoah, a crime superior to all other crimes at once justifying Jewish power (such as Israeli misbehavior) and demonizing European nationalisms forever, was imposed in France through legal and cultural struggle.
This was done in particular through so-called “crimes against humanity” trials in which various wartime French and German functionaries were sued for complicity in the Holocaust, generally for having assisted in deporting Jews. We have to immediately stress the double standards: No aging, reclusive octogenarians have ever been brought to court for the millions of dead in the Holodomor in Ukraine or the other mass murders in the early decades of the USSR, the firebombings of Dresden and Tokyo, the nuclear annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the ethnic cleansing of millions of German civilians in the Sudetenland, Silesia and East Prussia, or the rapes of thousands of German women by Allied forces. The concept of “crimes against humanity” is selectively used by ruling Western and Zionist politico-media elites to demonize their enemies, to promote immigration and multiculturalism, and to justify their wars of aggression.
These trials relied on the 1945–46 Nuremberg Military Tribunal’s jurisprudence. Whereas wartime atrocities are traditionally automatically forgiven upon the peace as a tragically inevitable byproduct of warfare’s inherent lawlessness, Nuremberg created a new category whereby deaths more-or-less arbitrarily deemed “crimes against humanity” are open to prosecution. The Allied justices at Nuremberg — representing powers who had committed war crimes against millions of innocent civilians (something more honest observers such as U.S. Air Force General Curtis LeMay recognized) and waged wars of aggression (including the Soviet Union’s annexation of the Baltic states and continued occupation of Poland despite the notional casus belli of “Polish sovereignty”) — created this ex post facto notion. American figures as diverse Supreme Court Justice Harlan Fiske Stone, Senator Robert A. Taft and diplomat George F. Kennan deemed the Nuremberg trials a fraud, an arbitrary, hypocritical and unlawful example of victors’ justice.
Apparently corresponding with the steadily rising influence of ethnocentric Jewish groups in France, a series of highly-publicized trials were thus organized from the 1980s onwards, typically with the LICRA among the plaintiffs. SS-Hauptsturmführer Klaus Barbie was extradited from Bolivia in 1983 to face trial in France for crimes committed as head of the Gestapo in Lyon and sentenced to life imprisonment. Paul Touvier, an officer in the Vichy Regime’s militia, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1994 for participating in the execution of seven Jewish prisoners in 1944 in retaliation against the assassination of Vichy Secretary of State for Information and Propaganda Philippe Henriot. (Touvier claimed to have negotiated down the number of executions demanded from 30 to seven, thus saving 23 lives.) Maurice Papon, a French wartime police officer in Paris and Budget Minister in the 1970s, was sentenced in 1997 to ten years in prison and died in 2002. René Bousquet, secretary-general of Vichy’s police and a successful postwar businessman, was about to be brought to trial before he was assassinated in 1993 by a mentally unstable celebrity-seeker.
The alleged criminals were often found and revealed by “Nazi hunters” Serge and Beate Klarsfeld. The French courts tied themselves in knots trying to find a valid definition of “crime against humanity” as opposed to run-of-the-mill wartime atrocity. In 1985, the Cour de Cassation decided to extend the notion of “crime against humanity” so as to cover not only crimes against Jews but also against fighters in the Resistance. In a wonderful example of ethnocentric “logic,” his decision was immediately criticized by Serge Klarsfeld:
By introducing active adversaries [resisters] of such a power (the Nazis) among the eventual victims of crimes against humanity, the judges of the Cour de Cassation have weakened the protection of innocents as was envisaged by the writers of the Nuremberg Charter.
The iconoclastic lawyer Jacques Vergès in contrast argued: “The legal corpus built for 40 years by Zionist lawyers following the Nuremberg jurisprudence was tantamount to considering only crimes against Jews to be crimes against humanity.”
The point of these legal proceedings was to produce show trials as powerful propaganda. As Klarsfeld said of Bousquet, even though the latter died before a trial a could be organized, “the affair itself has been a wonderful pedagogical lever.” Indeed, ‘pedogagical’ is a word that recurs endlessly in the pronouncements of the LICRA and the CRIF, who evidently think of themselves as Kulturkämpfer. The point has been to raise the Jewish community to the apex of the victimhood pyramid, thus endowed with special protections and privileges, and to delegitimize the majority native French population through collective guilt.
This effort has often been explicit. As Klarsfeld told Le Monde in 2009 regarding the Vel d’Hiv roundup which led to the deportation of some 13,000 Jews: “July 16th, 1943 is the darkest page in the history of France,” effectively relegating all other tragic days of French history to irrelevance (Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre, Vendée genocide, Napoleonic Wars, Paris Commune, Battle of Verdun…). Similarly, CRIF President Richard Prasquier said at a commemoration of Jewish wartime suffering: “It is today the annual confrontation of France with the most shameful page of its national history,” affirming that mistreatment of Jews is the worst act in French history and will be used to ritually shame the nation every year ad infinitum.
In passing, there were 190,000 French Jews and 140,000 foreign Jews in mainland France in 1940. Of these, 75,000 were deported, including 20,000 French Jews. Whatever the varying death rate estimates, France was one of the countries with a lower proportion of dead, along ironically with Fascist Italy. Despite the Holocaust, the French Jewish population has tripled since the war.
The CRIF has aggressively targeted the young in its propaganda efforts. In 2009, the CRIF called on all students in the county of Isère to be required to go the Museum of the Resistance and Deportation in Grenoble. At a May 2010 event at the elite Lycée Condorcet high school, the CRIF asserted: “It’s this entire [Jewish] universe which was swept away between 1942 and 1944, by the anti-Semitic madness of the Occupier, with the complicity of a certain number of Frenchmen.” Can we imagine the CRIF saying of communist tyranny, which killed far more people throughout the world than National Socialism, was achieved “with the complicity of a certain number of Jews”?
More generally, the LICRA and CRIF have sought to distort and sanitize history for their own ends. This has included pressure to change street names deemed politically incorrect. One particularly egregious and self-interested case took place in 2002 when the rue Alexis-Carrel in Paris, named after the famed eugenicist and winner of the 1912 Nobel Prize in medicine, was renamed the rue Jean-Pierre-Bloch, after the corrupt 1968–1992 president of the LICRA.
Similarly, these groups have pushed to block the republication of books such as the collaborator Lucien Rebatet’s Les Décombres. More recently, the LICRA has sued Alain Soral’s book company Kontre Kulture for republishing various texts dealing with the Jewish question including Édouard Drumont’s La France juive, Léon Bloy’s Le salut par les juifs and French translations of Henry Ford’s The International Jew and Douglas Reed’s The Controversy of Zion. For now, French judges have agreed that these books must be censored or outright banned, although Soral has won one judicial case in that he is free to publish Paul-Éric Blanrue’s Anthologie des propos contre les juifs, le judaïsme et le sionisme, a collection of Judeo-critical quotes from famous historical figures. The parallels between banning historical documents and Nazi book-burning are evidently lost on the LICRA.
Jewish groups have fought to permanent transfers of funds to their community under the banner of “reparations.” In 2000, Klarsfeld successfully pressured the government to issue a decree granting a 3,000 franc (about $500) monthly stipend or 180,000 franc lump sum ($30,000) to people made orphans by the Shoah, in effect a Jews-only compensation policy for wartime dead. This manifest inequity eventually led to a new decree extending eligibility to “orphans whose parents were victims of acts of barbarism during the Second World War,” that is to say, children of deported resisters, political deportees, executed resisters or massacred civilians. But this notion was not extended to those whose parents died courageously fighting in the Free French forces or in the regular French Army!
Evidently the French government prefers to compensate victimhood rather than reward heroism.
The LICRA, CRIF and other Jewish groups’ pressure on successive French governments to accept responsibility for the Shoah bore fruit in July 16, 1995, on the anniversary of the Vel d’Hiv round-up, when newly-elected President Jacques Chirac declared: “Yes, the criminal folly of the occupier was, everyone knows, seconded by Frenchmen, seconded by the French State … . We retain towards [the Jewish deportees of France] an imprescriptible debt.” Current President François Hollande doubled down in 2012, declaring the event: “a crime committed in France, by France.” The Catholic Church in France made a similar mea culpa in 1997.
The LICRA and CRIF use the admission of collective guilt for their political and pecuniary ends, such as marginalizing European nationalists and getting financial “reparations.” The Holocaust narrative motivates the most hysterical ethnocentric excesses, as the Jewish writer André Néher said in 1978:
Auschwitz is the failure of God, who wants man to be free. But man misused his freedom. The consequence is that there was a definitive break between the Jews and humanity. The majority of humanity betrayed.
This kind of extreme ethnocentrism is evident whenever the more militant Jewish groups oppose a European nationalist leader or simply a mainstream leader with a pseudo-compromised past. Thus, when former United Nations secretary-general Kurt Waldheim became President of Austria in 1986, he was widely excoriated for his service in the Wehrmacht during the Second World War, in which he had been conscripted. A Viennese Jewish leader, beyond caricature, told the LICRA at the time: “We are not through with Hitler. He is exterminating us a second time. He attempted to eliminate us physically, and now he wants to make us disappear morally.”
The Shoah has taken on a quasi-religious significance. As a LICRA member said at 1988 debate: “The Shoah is a historical event, but it is not within the reach of historians.” As the journalist Éric Zemmour said of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in 2012:
I wish they would defend free speech always and everywhere. … Since Voltaire and the eighteenth century we have completely ruined religious sacredness’ claim of governing our Western societies, which is not the case in Muslim societies. However, that doesn’t mean there is no more sacredness. We have simply replaced one sacredness with another. … They would never make fun of the Shoah.
This sacredness is evident in the outlawing of revisionist history questioning the claims of the Nuremberg Military Tribunal (as discussed in Part 4). Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls, notorious in pandering to the Jewish community, has also been explicit in asserting the Shoah’s supernatural, religious character in justifying censorship: “The Shoah, the extermination of the Jews, the genocide must be sacralized, sacred.”
As Kling argues:
Over the years, the message unequivocally strengthens: Westerners, more or less, are particularly guilty of the shoah – which is presented as the incredible and incomprehensible expression of a pathological and irrational hatred towards Jews – either for having perpetrated it themselves, or for having let it be done.
She correctly calls this “a formidable instrument of political power.”
For context and comparison, 5 to 9 million civilians and combatants lost their lives to war, famine and disease over the course of the 1917-1922 Russian Civil War. Kling, La France LICRAtisée, 37-8.
From the French translation. Ibid., 47.
Joseph Joinovici was a Jewish scrap merchant who provided metals to the Germans, becoming a billionaire, and also gave funds for the Resistance (diversifying his investments?). He was found guilty of collaboration in 1949 and sentenced to five years in prison, but was set free in 1952. Kling, Le CRIF, 37-38.
Kling, La France LICRAtisée, 66.
Kling, Le CRIF, 171.
These rapes were not committed exclusively by the Red Army. German historian Miriam Gebhardt estimates that the Americans, British and French raped some 270,000 German women. “Les terribles viols des Alliés occidentaux en Allemagne en 1945,” Le Point, April 12, 2015.
The Klarsfeld family itself is a telling symbol of our decadence: Serge is a hyper-ethnocentric Jew, Beate is a self-hating German, and their son Arno has served in the Israeli Defense Forces (by his own admission to defend Jewish rather than French interests). Arno is still strangely allowed to serve as a French judicial official despite his conflicts of interest, and he continues to agitate in French media-political circles on behalf of his people.
Kling, La France LICRAtsée, 100.
Kling, Le CRIF, 133.
Incidentally, Kling notes that eugenics is not completely alien to the French Left. A stamp issued under the Socialo-Communist Front Populaire coalition government in the 1930s featured a mother and child under the slogan “Save the race.”
Kling reports that Pierre-Bloch as an MP was involved in drafting the law privatizing Vichy’s numerous publications and was in turn given the presidency of the company in charge with this privatization. Like a post-Soviet oligarch, Pierre-Bloch became a millionaire through these schemes, though his mismanagement caused a scandal by 1947, but causing no lasting damage to his career. He would later receive a medal from the Supreme Soviet. (Kling, La France LICRAtisée, 84-85).
Kling, Le CRIF, 89.
Kling, La France LICRAtisée, 94.
Kling, La France LICRAtisée, 70.