Home > General Politics, News from Abroad > Absolutely no evidence at all of the French National Front being full of Neo-Nazis

Absolutely no evidence at all of the French National Front being full of Neo-Nazis

Recently I received some criticism for calling the French Front National (FN) a bunch of neo-Nazis.  I was told that the FN leader going as guest of honour to a neo-Nazi lovely ball in Austria was purely circumstantial, almost certainly perfectly innocent, and not a symbolic gesture of allegiance to the ideological roots of her father’s party , as I had suggested.  Even a bit.

Very reasonable criticism indeed, despite the FN’s ever-so-faintly neo-Nazi looking approach to citizenship based on European bloodline, which is probably just ironic, or post-ironic.

Given this, I make absolutely no Neo-Nazi claim about a party with a member like the charming M. Thierry Maillard, responsible for the poster on the left (the one on the right is a 1939 Nazi one, just in case you wanted to compare):

After all, I accept completely the charming M. Maillard’s explanation that it was all the work of a graphic artist working for his ‘educational group’ La France Nationaliste (absolutely no links to the Front National, oh no), and that M. Maillard really had no idea about the poster’s design roots before he was told about them. 

I mean, blond Aryan boys are what you’d expect any graphic artist to put on your campaign poster for you, surely, if you wanted to develop a youth movement committed to your revolutionary aims, aren’t they?

The fact that the poster remains available for download on the group’s website a year after its publication is, I’m sure, a simple oversight, as is the decision by Marine Le Pen’s party not to seek any disciplinary action against M Maillard (other than a suspension for scrapping with a journalist, but that can happen to anyone). 

Mme Le Pen did, after all, take firm action against an FN regional councillor, M. Alexandre Gabriac, photographed giving a Nazi salute.  The apparent discrepancy in approach to the two men clearly has absolutely nothing to do with Nazi saluter M. Gabriac coming from the Rhône-Alpes region (notoriously loyal to Bruno Gollnisch, who lost out to Le Pen in the FN leadership contest and whose supporters are now crying ‘purge’ after several explusions), while M. Maillard is a Le Pen loyalist from the Reims area.

Equally, I accept in full the explanation of Pascal Erre, a member of the FN’s national political office, and a candidate in the recent legislative elections, about his stepson’s interesting choice in tatoo:

M. Erre is categorical in his denial that he knew nothing about the lad’s idiosyncratic choice of ‘blood and honour’ body art, despite his wife’s acknowledgment that she knew all about it, and despite M Erre having driven said lad (also a FN candidate in local elections) to the tatoo parlour several times. 

I mean, asking what kind of tatoo he was getting wouldn’t come up in conversation during the ride home, would it, even if M. Maillard, who also happens to be from Reims, thinks M. Erre lying through his teeth, and that M. Erre couldn’t possibly not have  known what was on his stepson’s back.

What’s that you say?  Confused that someone accused of lying through their teeth about a Nazi poster is accusing someone else of lying through their teeth about a Nazi tatoo?  Well I am a bit too, but I’m sure Mme Le Pen can explain it all:

“Je ne sais pas ce qui a poussé ce jeune homme à faire quelque chose d’aussi affreux. Un Very Bad Trip peut-être ?” [I don't know what made this young man do something so terrible.  Maybe A Very Bad Trip?]

That’s cleared that up, then, It was all just Un Very Bad Trip.  Why she would want to comment on M. Erre’s driving skills, I’m not entirely clear, but I’m sure she has her reasons.

So nothing to see here, people.  No hard evidence at all of hardcore Neo-Nazis operating at the very heart of the FN, deliberately protected by Marine Le Pen.  

Nothing whatsoever to contradict the Daily’ Mail’s view that the FN has been rehabilitated under Mme Le Pen, and has moved on from its “unacceptable past”. 

I’m sorry I even mentioned it.

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  1. Richard
    June 23, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Fine piece, Paul. Just wondering if any of the French Left blogs would take it as a guest blog.

    • paulinlancs
      June 25, 2012 at 9:24 am

      Maybe I’ll try Christophe (see below)

  2. Edgar
    June 24, 2012 at 11:28 am

    You should concentrate on their rabid Islamophobia rather than their fucking artwork. This tells you more, why do you underplay this?

    • paulinlancs
      June 25, 2012 at 9:27 am

      What an odd comment. Are you insinuating that by not focusing on the FN’s Islamophobia in this blog, which has its roots in a LibCon commenter’s defence of the FN against an early neo-Nazi accusation, that I am in some way condone the FN’s Islamophobia? It’s a blog, not a book about the FN.

  3. June 24, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    I hope that the French are likely to read your papers, they will learn what their own media hide most often about the reality of the National Front.

    May I for my part, if you wish, complete the information very accurate which you mentioned, by adding that the face of Hiltler is visible on France Nationaliste’s poster … but in detail, zoomed? This make it even more unlikely the explanation of Maillard. See this comment on Politproductions: http://politproductions.com/content/le-jeu-des-diff% C3% A9rences-between-the-fn-and-the-Nazi Party # comment-283

    cordially

    • paulinlancs
      June 25, 2012 at 9:30 am

      Christophe

      Thanks for this and the link. I can’t see the Hitler image myself, but I have no doubt that it is a direct copy.

      I hope French people will read this too. If you want to republish it at Politproductions, with your own, always interesting, intellectual commentary, please feel free to do so.

      Cordialement

      Paul

  4. Richard
    June 27, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Paul, I think Christophe’s right about the Hitler image in the background. A friend asked what was the shading so I put the image through a reverse zoom and the shadows match up to those on the original. It’s great that Christophe republished it so a wider French audience will read it.

    • paulinlancs
      June 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      I’ll take your word for it, though I don’t really get what you did.

  5. June 28, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Hello Paul,

    Thank you very much for your autorisation; a link in a comment on our forum “Why oppose the National Front”, is already pointing to your article, but since you give me permission, I will publish it on the home page.

    Also, yes, Richard and his friend have carefully analyzed the image. Translated here for your visitors (as I can, sorry for my english) the comment which has revealed (on our site) the origin of the shadows of the background :

    “To make the picture the designer did not, however, was not inspired by Serge Dalens Prince Eric, although he was an active member of the FN! Instead of copying and pasting, the designer selects, enlarges the face of the teenager. The France Nationalist poster is a capture, a part of a whole. Remains the background … Appears in detail “the face of Hitler himself.” Just find the effect of the zoom. This reveals that, from top to bottom right, the selected frame – the ring of eye, cheekbone, chin and wrinkles – the document is used, all that, even truncated, persists in the part. The designer has indeed used the Nazi propaganda poster of Hein Neuner, but Thierry Maillard did not know “from what he had done the photo … ” which is also for the youth!
    No more than the framing, the rest masks nothing, neither the origin of the captured face nor background ……” (by MK)

    That said, I am not Christophe, but the site administrator. Christophe Ricerchi, is a friend who standed for the French presidential election and that we supported. Best regards.

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