Pierre Laval

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Pierre Laval.

Pierre Jean Marie Laval (28 June 1883 – 15 October 1945) was a French politician. He was Prime Minister of France between 1931 and 1932, and a second time between 1935 and 1936.

Following France's defeat in 1940, Laval served in prominent roles in the French State ("Vichy France"), first as the Vice-president of the Council of Ministers from July to December 1940, and later as the head of government from April 1942 to August 1944. After the invasion of the Allies, he was arrested, quickly found guilty of high treason in a show-trial, and almost immediately executed by firing squad. Even politically correct sources admit it was a miscarriage of justice.

Laval's manifold political activities left a complicated and controversial legacy, resulting in more than a dozen conflicting biographies of him.


  • Pierre Laval and the Eclipse of France by Geoffrey Warner, University of Reading, U.K., London, 1968. (Sympathetic)
  • The Destiny of France by Alexander Werth, London, 1937. Many references to Laval.

See also