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The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (French: Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l'Antisémitisme), better known simply as LICRA, is one of the French equivalents of organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Initially when founded in 1927, the name was The League against Pogroms, later changed to International League against Anti-Semitism (French: Ligue internationale contre l'antisémitisme, abbreviated LICA), before the name was changed to the current one in 1979.

Lobbying by the organization is a major cause of various legal restrictions on free speech in France (such as prohibition of "Holocaust denial") and many other forms of restrictive legislation against claimed anti-Semitism and racism. It is also a media surveillance organization threatening to sue any disliked speech or writing. The organization is also a supporter of the mass immigration to France.

LICRA is not explicitly Jewish, but has been argued to be mainly funded and controlled by Jews and to promote Jewish interests.[1]



The organization was founded in 1927 to defend the Jewish social anarchist Sholom Schwartzbard, who had killed the Ukrainian nationalist leader Symon Petliura, accused of having incited pogroms in Ukraine. This has some similarities with Leo Frank and the founding of the Anti-Defamation League. After Schwartzbard's acquittal, he became a prominent activist in the organization. Various sources have stated that Schwartzbard was a Soviet agent or had associations with Soviet intelligence agencies.

The founder was the Jewish Bernard Lecache, who was a member of the French Communist Party, the Freemasonry organization the Grand Orient de France, and the pro-Dreyfus Ligue des droits de l'homme.

Pre-war and war period

The organization supported restricting freedom of speech and was influential in the passing of the 1939 Marchandeau Act, later followed by several increasingly more restrictive laws. The Jewish LICRA member Léon Blum became Prime Minister during the 1930s. Prominent internal French targets included Charles Maurras and Action Française.

LICRA was also increasingly concerned with the international rise of fascism (broad sense) and National Socialism. It was involved in organizing the Pre-WWII anti-National Socialist Germany boycott. The organization is associated with the events surrounding the Kristallnacht. It has even been argued that LICRA deliberately incited the Kristallnacht as discussed in the Kristallnacht article.

Following the Battle of France, LICRA was outlawed. Some non-Jewish LICRA supporters became "collaborationists" while some other LICRA supporters joined the French Resistance.

The post-war period

Following the end of World War II, LICA regrouped, still under Lecache's leadership.

The organizations has had associations with the also "anti-racist" organizatsion MRAP, which in turn is more openly associated with the French Communist Party. One example is that the founder and leader Charles Palant was a youth president of LICA.

See also

External links



  1. The Culture of Critique in France: A review of Anne Kling’s books on Jewish influence, Part 1
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