Marcel Bucard

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Marcel Bucard (December 7, 1895, Saint-Clair-sur-Epte – March 13, 1946, Fort of Châtillon) was a French Fascist politician.

Early career

A decorated soldier who earned a reputation for bravery in World War I[1], Bucard became active in politics after 1918, initially as a member of Action Française (an Integralist royalist nationalistic group) and then as a member of the overtly fascist and antisemitic Faisceau of Georges Valois.

In September 1933, Bucard founded his own group, the Mouvement Franciste - arguably the most extreme group of the time, and one financed by Benito Mussolini's government. On February 6, 1934, the Francistes joined the other right-wing parties in the riots in front of the Palais Bourbon (a protest provoked by the Stavisky Affair, and possibly intended as a coup d'état). Subsequently, the Popular Front government banned his movement (as well as other all other right wing 'leagues', fascist or otherwise) upon its emergence in 1936; Bucard was imprisoned briefly. His attempt to recreate the movement as a Party (Parti Franciste) in 1938 was without lasting success, as it too was outlawed.

World War II

After the Fall of France in World War II, and the start of the National Socialist German Occupation and Vichy France, Bucard's Parti was again active (from 1941), this time as a collaborationist force. Bucard called upon his Francists to give whatever support they could to the Germans, including military intelligence and information concerning the Resistance.[2] His role in the period was, however, limited, as he was usually absent due to suffering caused by old wounds; nonetheless, he was the co-founder of the Légion des volontaires français contre le bolchevisme. After the D-Day landings he argued that Francists should join the French Waffen SS or French/foreign units in the NSKK or Kriegsmarine.[3]

Death

In 1946, after the German defeat, Bucard was sentenced to death for treason, and executed a month later. At his trial the prosecutor, Vassart, accused the Francists of routinely infiltrating French resistance groups to betray them to the Germans, of numerous crimes (including murder of opponents and violently resisting French police even before the Liberation) and Bucard was blamed for the deaths of Soviet, Allied and French combatants due to his wholehearted support for the German occupier and his recruitment activities on behalf of the LVF, Milice and French Waffen SS.[4]

References

  1. Plaidoirie du Maitre Landowski in Quatre procès de trahison devant la cour de justice de Paris (Paris: Les éditions de Paris, 1947), at pgs. 61-64
  2. Réquisitoire de M. le Procureur de la République Vassart in Quatre procès de trahison devant la cour de justice de Paris(Paris: Les éditions de Paris, 1947), at pgs 53.
  3. Réquisitoire de M. le Procureur de la République Vassart in Quatre procès de trahison devant la cour de justice de Paris (Paris: Les éditions de Paris, 1947), at 46.
  4. Réquisitoire de M. le Procureur de la République Vassart in Quatre procès de trahison devant la cour de justice de Paris (Paris: Les éditions de Paris, 1947)