By Alice Kaplan
Was Brasillach actually accountable of treason? was once he condemned for his denunciations of the resistance, or singled out as a suspected gay? used to be it correct that he used to be accomplished whilst others, who have been without delay answerable for the homicide of hundreds of thousands, have been let out? Kaplan's meticulous reconstruction of Brasillach's lifestyles and trial skirts none of those moral subtleties: a detective tale, a cautionary story, and a meditation at the demanding workings of justice and reminiscence, The Collaborator will stand because the definitive account of Brasillach's crime and punishment.
A nationwide booklet Award Finalist
A nationwide ebook Critics Circle Award Finalist
"A well-researched and vibrant account."—John Weightman, New York overview of Books
"A gripping reconstruction of [Brasillach's] trial."—The New Yorker
"Readers of this aggravating e-book may want to locate ethical touchstones in their personal. they will desire them. this is often one of many few works on Nazism that forces us to event how complicated the location relatively was once, and solutions will not come easily."—Daniel Blue, San Francisco Chronicle booklet Review
"The Collaborator is likely one of the best-written, such a lot soaking up items of literary heritage in years."—David A. Bell, New York occasions publication Review
"Alice Kaplan's clear-headed research of the case of Robert Brasillach in France has a great deal of current-day relevance. . . . Kaplan's wonderful ebook . . . exhibits that the passage of time illuminates diverse understandings, and he or she leaves it to us to mirror on which knowing is better."—Richard Bernstein, The ny Times
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Extra resources for The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach
Nazi Germany, the exotic and unknown neighbor, was the locus of soft-focus fantasy, the site of an imagined purity. By 1938, the year after he published Comme Ie temps passe, Brasillach had staked out what he considered a "moderate" position in the anti-Semitic diatribes filling the pages ofJe Suis Partout, which was now the leading proponent of fascism and anti-Semitism in France. This is what his moderation sounded like: "We don't want to kill anyone, we don't want to organize any pogrom. " This was cruelty clothed in the rhetoric of moderation, the same kind of false moderation he used in the 1937 essay on Nazi Germany, when he lauded the "Jews are not desired" signs for their politeness and reticence.
All the while, through the humor, the message comes through clearly. Jews should not be citizens; they are animals, not men. One has the impression, faced with the radical disjunction of his two styles-nostalgic and cruel, sentimental and dehumanizing-that, on the one hand, he wasn't able to channel anger and criticism into the world of his fiction, and, on the other, he wasn't able to nuance his critical judgment in the world of journalism. Both kinds of writing ended up lacking the kind of depth and maturity that comes from being able to move back and forth between toughness and kindness, criticism and generosity.
He himselfwas not BRASILLACH'S WAR a career military man as his father had been, but as a draftee with student status he was given the lowest officer's rank, sous-lieutenant, and a desk job. He was called up for duty in September 1938 and promoted to the rank of lieutenant. The French military was on alert for a war against Germany, an alert canceled upon the diplomatic agreement reached at Munich by the British, the French, and the Germans. After Munich, Brasillach was sent home. His first tour of duty over, Brasillach wrote his history of the Spanish Civil War with Bardeche, celebrating Franco's "Catholic fascist" victory.