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Quel Pays
February 21, 2007 9:43 PM   Subscribe

Nazi collaborator buried in France with his Légion d'honneur medals.
posted by pwedza (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Maurice Papon also commanded the 1961 Paris Massacre.
He was stripped of his honors, but still took them to his grave.
posted by pwedza at 9:44 PM on February 21, 2007


*
posted by Wolof at 9:59 PM on February 21, 2007


Did you read your own links?

Papon was stripped of the medal by decree in November 1999 as is the case for any appointee to the Legion who is convicted of a crime.

He might not have surrended the physical medal, but he was certainly stripped of the honor....

The grand chancellor of the Legion of Honour, General Jean-Pierre Kelche, on Monday issued a statement to confirm that Papon was stripped of the order following his 1998 conviction for complicity in crimes against humanity. The governing Union for Popular Movement (UMP) party and the opposition Socialists said they opposed to the request, saying that he did not deserve France's highest distinction.


You might find a more receptive audience for your un-informed France hating over at the Free Republic.

Vive la French Fries!
posted by three blind mice at 10:23 PM on February 21, 2007


Cool it, man; what's being said here is that he was buried with the physical medal although officially stripped of it. At least that's my reading of it.
posted by Wolof at 10:33 PM on February 21, 2007


Cool it, man; what's being said here is that he was buried with the physical medal although officially stripped of it. At least that's my reading of it.

Then the FPP might have said [Disgraced] Nazi collaborator buried in France with[out the honor of] his Légion d'honneur medals.

Which is no news at all.
posted by three blind mice at 10:37 PM on February 21, 2007


Funny. I've lost a ton of sleep over a bunch of other medals tonight.

Personally, I don't think it matters what he is buried with. It's not like he is in a glass cage...
posted by bugmuncher at 10:38 PM on February 21, 2007


three blind mice, I gather he did read his own links, since the first comment in this thread was by the OP:

Maurice Papon also commanded the 1961 Paris Massacre.
He was stripped of his honors, but still took them to his grave.
posted by pwedza


I didn't detect any "France hating", hopefully pwedza can chime in and clarify.
posted by spaltavian at 10:56 PM on February 21, 2007


I didn't detect any "France hating", hopefully pwedza can chime in and clarify.

I think the "France hating" that TBM is referring to is perhaps found in pwedza's title: "Quel Pays", which would translate as "what a country", as if to imply that France, as a whole, is somehow complicit in the burying of Papon with his medals.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:03 AM on February 22, 2007


It took so long for the Vichy legacy to be widely and properly addressed in general as I understand it. What a shame Papon only got a mild taste of his due so late in life.
You'd assume the nominal fine for wearing the medal after it was stripped would be a matter of protocol, with the Legion not wanting to look like it was prosecuting him for the money.

Looking at pwedza's profile, he lives in the Comores and gives his details in French. Are you perhaps guilty of filtering this through the lens on North American attitudes tbm? (though I may be being presumptuous myself there) God knows I reserve the right to despair of my home nation and my adopted place of long-term residence.
posted by Abiezer at 12:17 AM on February 22, 2007


Are you perhaps guilty of filtering this through the lens on North American attitudes tbm?

Although my coordinates are east of the Greenwich meridian I admit to being guilty as charged.

I maintain, however, that the wording of the FPP is intentionally misleading and more appropriate for the Drudgereport than for Metafilter.

The defense rests. You may strip me of my honors, but don't take my medals!
posted by three blind mice at 12:39 AM on February 22, 2007


Sure. No hating here per se.

This is causing quite a stir in France. A country that is not at total ease with its past and that is increasingly being hard on its immigrants. (Trust me, I have reason to know - Sarko is changing the laws left and right and a lot of France seems to be slipping into a reactionary funk).

Today, a general attitude is one of regret that so many immigrant families - especially North Africans - were permitted to come into the country to "regroup." That is to say, to allow women and children to come join the men who were working in French factories.

People like Le Pen are saying things they know many French like to hear.

It wasn't until the 80s that Papon was denounced. He was not completely exposed until 1997.

I find it hard to believe that De Gualle wasn't aware of who this man was when he gave him the medle in 1961. De Gualle was a resistant unlike Papon, who falsely claimed to have been one when the allegations started to come out. A year later Papon commanded a massacre in the heart of Paris.

France has a way of sweeping things under the rug and acting like they arent there, all while having lessons to give everybody else. But, sometimes they have to look at things in the face. Papon was not even looked into during the "epurition" - the search for collaboritionists after the war. He went straight from the Vichy regime to the Minister of the Interior. Some say that De Gualle knew perfectly well who this man was. Of course he did.

But, most of all, Papon is the embodiment of collaboritionist France. Christ, he was head of the Commissariat Generale aux questions juives (Jewish Question Service [??] -- the service responsible for rounding up and shipping out jews).

For him to die taking one of the country's highest honors with him into the grave is - even if it was stripped from him - at least makes you stop to think. (that is how I interpret the reaction at least).

I know France intimately, and sometimes I just wonder. Last year, they nearly tore the country in half when the CPE contract was being floated. NOw, they are on the verge of electing Sarkozy, who has much greater reform in mind ??!?!? That is why I say "quel pays."
posted by pwedza at 12:52 AM on February 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


Well pwedza, the belief that DeGaulle "perfectly knew his past" is the view expressed on the France-hating Free Republic. It is also the view expressed on the fuckfrance website. You know, because some things never change.

Did De Gaulle really know Papon's past? De Gaulle's hatred of Nazis and his opposition to Vichy government would at least suggest otherwise. But to those who wish to portray modern France as a bunch of Jew-hating, xenophobic, Nazi collaborators it is a convenient conclusion.

Americans, in particular, who accuse the French of being collaborators need look no further than their own history. A little known (or conviently swept under the rug) fact is that the United States of America gave full diplomatic recognition to the Vichy government - until 1945.

I have spent enough time in France to understand that it is a complex and confusing and, in many ways, a contradictory society. Anyone who attempts to paint "France" with a single color is doing its population a disservice.
posted by three blind mice at 1:44 AM on February 22, 2007


You might find a more receptive audience for your un-informed France hating over at the Free Republic.
the France-hating Free Republic
the fuckfrance website
Americans, in particular

You know who else hated France? HITLER.
posted by goetter at 2:03 AM on February 22, 2007


For him to die taking one of the country's highest honors with him into the grave is - even if it was stripped from him - at least makes you stop to think. (that is how I interpret the reaction at least).

Papon was protected inside the French establishment for an unconscionably long time. The Occupation and exactly who did what is still an unbearably sore point in France. But to represent Papon's funeral as if he was buried with full honours is merely foolish.
posted by Wolof at 2:26 AM on February 22, 2007


You know who else hated France? HITLER.

I do think he was looking forward to summering in Provence, however, once the Reich had secured all the Lebensraum it needed... I imagine he might've secured himself a nice flat in Paris, as well.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:50 AM on February 22, 2007


Well pwedza, the belief that DeGaulle "perfectly knew his past" is the view expressed on the France-hating Free Republic. It is also the view expressed on the fuckfrance website.

Will you please not descend to this shit? It's perfectly possible to disagree with another member without going implying that because some Bad People say similar things he must be one of the Bad People. I don't think you'd like it if the same sleazy trick were played on you. And I don't see how you can read pwedza's comment and come to the conclusion he's some sort of France-bashing ignoramus. He clearly knows France well and cares about it.
posted by languagehat at 5:48 AM on February 22, 2007


Will you please not descend to this shit? It's perfectly possible to disagree with another member without going implying that because some Bad People say similar things he must be one of the Bad People.

WTF languagehat? "Descend to this shit?" I cast no aspersions on pwedza personally, but I thought it fair to point out that his particular views are also held by people who very much do hate France. How is this a "sleazy trick?"

I don't see how you could read the totality of this thread and not come to the conclusion that pwedza's FPP was anything but inaccurate, ill-worded, and utterly misleading.
posted by three blind mice at 6:09 AM on February 22, 2007


Hmmm... folks are getting a little testy. Let's all take a deep beath and listen to La Marseillaise. Very catchy little number.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:34 AM on February 22, 2007


It's good to see that France supporters are just as irrational, illogical and prone to ad homen attacks as the France haters around here.
posted by kjs3 at 7:11 AM on February 22, 2007


This guy's life story is mind-blowing, and I never would have known about it if not for this post.
posted by stammer at 7:11 AM on February 22, 2007


three blind mice: "Well pwedza, the belief that DeGaulle "perfectly knew his past" is the view expressed on the France-hating Free Republic. It is also the view expressed on the fuckfrance website. You know, because some things never change."

If thinking of Charles DeGaulle as slightly fascist makes you anti-France, then you'll be surprised to discover that a huge number of people who claim to love France, and whose families have been there for generations, are anti-France, too.

""WTF languagehat? "Descend to this shit?" I cast no aspersions on pwedza personally, but I thought it fair to point out that his particular views are also held by people who very much do hate France. How is this a "sleazy trick?""

Before "Godwin" stopped meaning anything, it meant "pointing out irrelevant links with obvious evil with the intention of discrediting." You have a perfect right to do this. I'll only mention that this sort of "sleazy trick" is used constantly by those who hate America and wish to aid the Terrorists.
posted by koeselitz at 7:34 AM on February 22, 2007


Besides, it would be a rank fool completely uneducated about the world and about history who thought that the French would happily honor and celebrate a Nazi collaborator. I have a feeling pwezda knew this. We don't need to dumb down our posts just because there are complete idiots on some shitty internet sites who might believe that FRENCH=NAZI.
posted by koeselitz at 7:38 AM on February 22, 2007


I cast no aspersions on pwedza personally, but I thought it fair to point out that his particular views are also held by people who very much do hate France. How is this a "sleazy trick?"

What koeselitz said, especially the part about how your form of rhetoric is used by those who hate America and wish to aid the Terrorists. How do you like them apples?
posted by languagehat at 8:02 AM on February 22, 2007


Note that I cast no aspersions upon you! Only upon your form of rhetoric!
posted by languagehat at 8:03 AM on February 22, 2007


Besides, it would be a rank fool completely uneducated about the world and about history who thought that the French would happily honor and celebrate a Nazi collaborator.

Ahem:

Papon was not even looked into during the "epurition" - the search for collaboritionists after the war. He went straight from the Vichy regime to the Minister of the Interior. Some say that De Gualle knew perfectly well who this man was. Of course he did.

But, most of all, Papon is the embodiment of collaboritionist France. Christ, he was head of the Commissariat Generale aux questions juives (Jewish Question Service [??] -- the service responsible for rounding up and shipping out jews).

For him to die taking one of the country's highest honors with him into the grave is - even if it was stripped from him - at least makes you stop to think. (that is how I interpret the reaction at least).


Sounds like someone who believes that the "French would happily honor and celebrate a Nazi collaborator."

How do you like them apples?

They taste like oranges to me, languagehat.
posted by three blind mice at 9:23 AM on February 22, 2007


For him to die taking one of the country's highest honors with him into the grave is - even if it was stripped from him - at least makes you stop to think. (that is how I interpret the reaction at least).

Papon was protected inside the French establishment for an unconscionably long time. The Occupation and exactly who did what is still an unbearably sore point in France. But to represent Papon's funeral as if he was buried with full honours is merely foolish.

Which I haven't done.
posted by pwedza at 11:43 PM on February 22, 2007


Sounds like someone who believes that the "French would happily honor and celebrate a Nazi collaborator."

Uh, no.
posted by pwedza at 11:44 PM on February 22, 2007


This went well!
posted by Wolof at 12:20 AM on February 23, 2007


This went well!

Heh, heh! Yeah, where's wendell?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:41 AM on February 23, 2007


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