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cover / introduction table of contents

The Audacious Story of Père Doriot

Jacques Doriot, leader of the Parti Populaire Français (P.P.F.), greets his followers with a gesture meaning “En avanti!”, “Forward!”

In late 1916, he became a member of the Socialist Party. He belonged to the radical faction that fought for independence from the International. He spoke at socialist meetings and was a fervent fighter who found the methods of his party too weak and inconsistent. He then joined the Communists. After a study trip to the Soviet Union and a six-month stay in Germany, he became the general secretary of the Communist Youth Organization in 1923. After a few months of political imprisonment, he became a deputy. In 1936, he refused to go to Moscow on Thorez‘s orders and was expelled from the Communist Party. Comrades who supported him in his fight against Moscow remained loyal to him, and with them, he founded the Parti Populaire Français with the mission to “destroy the communist conspiracy against international peace, social peace, civilization, and human dignity.” His social program read: “Capital in its place; labor in its place, but completely in its place.” After the armistice, he offered his organization to the new order of the Marshal. On June 22, 1941, he launched the idea of a French Volunteer Legion. Shortly after, he himself joined this Legion. In the winter of 1941-1942, he fought on the Eastern Front. Recently, he has gone to the East again, now promoted to lieutenant. “Doriot au pouvoir” is written on a wall: “Doriot in power!“ However, “Au pouvoir” has been crossed out and changed to “au poteau”: “to the gallows.” – February 15, 1944

Not from the life of Père Goriot
And Balzac‘s “Droll Stories”*
Today, I will tell you about Doriot‘s
Daring life course.

He knows and understands everything,
At home in all markets,
Monsieur Doriot, not bad at all,
He constantly improves himself without pause.

He is pursued by all dogs,
He is washed in all waters,
Mr. Jacques Doriot, you can now see
Him feasting from Hitler‘s feeding trough.

A political chameleon,
He always makes a new turn,
And he has come with a new message
Time and time again.

Jacques Doriot can, in a short time,
Thoroughly change his worldview,
Originally a socialist,
He couldn‘t hold on for long.

*The title is a reference to two book titles by Honoré de Balzac: “Père Goriot” and “Droll Stories,” which have nothing to do with the content.

The socialists were too weak for him,
Which can be understood to some extent,
And that‘s why Jacques Doriot turned away,
You saw him quickly switching sides

To communism. Radically,
Jacques Doriot waves the red flag,
Fighting fiercely against the capital,
He acts as a partisan.

He practices real politics,
Mr. Doriot knows everything better,
He is the hyperbolical Bolshevik,
And he is a capitalist eater.

And father Doriot climbs up
The ladder of a high career,
And he appears everywhere,
He knows only one goal: always further.

Loyalty to principles is foreign to him,
He leaves that to others,
He changes beliefs like a shirt,
So you always see him wandering further,

Ahasverus of politics,
Jacques Doriot, the great hit,
He goes through thin, he goes through thick,
From one camp to the other.

He soon abandoned
The communist ideal,
And has lost his heart radically
To fascism.

The red mayor of Saint-Denis
Created his own movement,
He is its “leader,” guiding it
And regulating its excitement.

His hatred of the capital
Now seems considerably smoothed,
The industry, you know,
Knows how to bind such people to itself.

Following Hitler‘s example,
He propagates Nazi community phrases,
But he fascinated only a few
With his charm, his rage.

The Doriot group remained quite weak,
As France is very democratic,
And everything Mr. Doriot said
Was unsympathetic to the French.

Then Hitler needed to take power
Through traitorous circles in France,
And over France, the night fell,
Advertisements were made with a grey-haired man,

Who, like Hindenburg once did for Germany,
Would save France from its distress,
They prophesied salvation through
Marshal Pétain, the puppet.

The mining capital reigns,
The de Wendel family reigns,
And Laval pulls the strings
And makes deals with Hitler.

And since Doriot received
A lot of money from this firm,
He was now obliged, as thanks,
To join this front.

Together with the capital
He wants to find the new order
“For France, pour le maréchal,”
Suddenly, you hear him proclaim.

And as France‘s grand bourgeoisie
Trembles before its imminent end,
And in the Hitler tyranny,
It still hopes for a reprieve,

The famous Doriot
Now has to recruit French people for Hitler,
With propaganda and cheers,
Dying in Russia can be so nice.

Doriot‘s career is enormous,
Should we laugh or cry?
We see him in a German uniform,
Appearing as a Hitler lieutenant.

Whether it is the last role,
Will Jacques soon disappear from the stage?
I am an optimist after all,
And I believe in the imminent atonement.

Post-Editing: Sylvia Stawski, Ernst Sittig