‘We are not fascists’
The veterans and the extreme right
in From victory to Vichy
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This chapter concerns the period from 1934 to the election of the Popular Front in June 1936. The issue of French fascism is a key debate in the historiography of twentieth-century France. Scholars disagree on the strength of fascism in interwar France; some argue that fascists groups were weak and insignificant, while other claim that fascism was popular and powerful in French politics. This chapter challenges previous scholars' assertions that ordinary veterans rejected the extreme right. UNC leaders sought an informal alliance with the anti-Republican leagues, especially the fascist Croix de Feu, while some provincial members joined these groups and frequented their meetings. The chapter thus demonstrates that though some French veterans rejected political extremism, the assertion that the veterans (and the French) were 'immune' to fascism is untenable.

From victory to Vichy

Veterans in inter-war France


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