Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Collaboration Has Become Popular in FRANCE.

There is an incredible exhibit in Paris now at the Archives Nationales on the Collaboration in France. If you know French the commentary on-line is fascinating as well.  Don't miss this if you are in Paris before March 2.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Picture of Deloncle and the Collaborationist Crew

I have here today a picture of Eugene Deloncle taken during World War II.  The problem is identifying the others in the picture.  The source that gave me the picture said the young man is Jacques Correze, Deloncle's close and much younger affiliate.  The man in the rear is Marcel Deat, and it sure looks like the man is the middle is Pierre Laval...but that's harder to say for sure.  Correze and Deloncle lead the pack.  The picture probably dates from the period of the RNP--Rassemblement National Popular, a collaborationist party founded in 1941 that included Deloncle's MSR for a time.  So who are the men in this picture, especially the bald man in the middle next to who I think is Laval?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Annette and I continue to make progress on our sequel to Murder in the Metro.  And no, that's not what turned my hair gray!  We have more than half of the book drafted now.  It became clear as we worked on profiling Dormoy's assassins that we needed to know more about the "Amicale de France," a Vichy propaganda organization.  I had the opportunity to attend a colloquium at the Chateau de Vincennes, just outside Paris, in March.  I'm giving a paper there related to my research on French Guiana, at a conference, "The Spiritual Geopolitics of the Early Modern World, 1500-1800."  I'm taking the opportunity to spend a few extra days in France, and to do some work at the Archives de Paris, where I will delve into the box PEROTIN 212 79/3/47, which is the box (about the size of a ream of paper) containing the classified documents on the Amicale de France.  As the very helpful archivist at the AP just reminded me, we actually have special permission to consult a total of 30 such boxes, which in themselves only constitute a portion of the material, much of it classified, that we are using for this book.  Wait . . . now I know why it's taking so long!

The man who ran the Amicale de France was Gabriel Jeantet.  He was the gunrunner for the Cagoule and the lover of Laetitia Toureaux.  

Our victim, of course, was Marx Dormoy.  Annette and I try to keep him in mind at all times as we work on this project, to remind ourselves why his murder was so important.

So on this trip I unfortunately won't have Annette in the archives with me - we'll have to wait for the summer of 2016 for that - but I will be getting some more material from the AP. 


Gayle K. Brunelle will be featured on two of the panels at this writer's conference, on Saturday, February 21.  Aspiring or established writers in the Los Angeles region should check it out!

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Gayle soon to be in France!  I'm thinking about the Archives de Paris today on the outskirts of Paris at 19 Blvd. Serurier, 75019 Paris.  The building is hard to get to but in many ways it is one of the nicest archives that I have worked in these many years of going to France for research (since 1984).  The reading room is pleasant, there is free wifi, and no one has given us grief about our "Cagoule" documents in many years now----not since the 1990s!  When my son came with we a few years ago (he was 11) the personnel made over him wonderfully, gave him his own reading card, and supplied him with comic books to look at while I worked!

Gayle has a trip to France coming up in March and she will be visiting the Archives de Paris as well to check out a certain box 47 of the PEROTIN series.  We are also hoping sooner or later that the restrictions on photographs will be lifted.  There are some "choice" photos of the assassination of Marx Dormoy that we'd like to put in our book, Vengeance: Vichy and the Assassination of Marx Dormoy.  

Here is a photo of Gayle and Annette at the Archives de Paris a few years back.  I note that the city of Paris has now put a farm around the archives and one can admire sheep on lunch break (an attempt at an environmentally friendly workspace).  Gayle, you'll have to fill us in on that one!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Here is Annie Mourraille, assassin of Marx Dormoy, and the principal character of the next chapter we'll be writing for Vengance - yes folks, we are moving ahead on the book.  Annie was a "femme moderne," even though as an ultra-nationalist and extreme conservative, she would have rejected both that label and "feminist."  Here she's wearing a man's pants, tied up with a belt, as she often did, walking along the boardwalk at Nice, where she lived and worked as an actress after she fled Occupied Paris.  Yet she's also wearing a sort of homemade "bikini" top, well before bikinis were introduced to the general public, brazenly showing off her good looks and tan regardless of the scandal she might cause.  Annie was a war hero, decorated in 1940 for her courage under fire driving ambulances and supply trucks to the battlefield under enemy fire.  She was a devoted follower of Petain and the National Revolution, and like Beatrice Bretty, profiled in an earlier posting of this blog, determined to carve out a role for herself as a warrior for the National Revolution, and willing to use her feminine sexuality as a weapon.  She is a fascinating woman, even though she was involved in a terrible crime, or perhaps because of it!  We will be exploring her life, and that of her lover and fellow Yves Moynier, in the next chapter of Vengeance.