The zealous practices of the Council of State in direction of Jews beneath the Vichy regime | EUROtoday

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The line was very clear, and had been mounted as soon as and for all, in 1947, by the eminent President Bouffandeau: the Council of State had behaved admirably throughout the battle; it had been a valuable bulwark to make sure “the continuity and safeguarding of the principles of French public law”.

Tony Bouffandeau, member of the distinguished litigation part of which he took over the presidency a number of years later, then had the blessing of René Cassin, vice-president of the Council of State since 1944. René Cassin was unsuspected: Jewish, hunted then condemned to loss of life by Vichy, the long run Nobel Peace Prize winner was one of many first to affix General de Gaulle in London.

It's additionally René Cassin who on December 23, 1944 delivered a vibrant tribute to Alfred Porché, his predecessor on the Council of State beneath the Occupation – discreetly retired, to keep away from scandal –, in whom he noticed a person “having not hesitated to cancel, in the midst of German occupation, numerous decisions taken at Vichy in violation of the fundamental principles of our public law”. This is how “the Bouffandeau doctrine” was engraved in stone; the excessive administrative jurisdiction had been the vigilant guardian of republican rules – it was certainly mandatory to save lots of the Council of State from the shadows of Vichy, whose existence even was hotly contested.

The golden legend continues to be present in 1974, within the imposing sum led by advisor Louis Fougère for the 175e anniversary of the Council of State: he devotes a big chapter to the battle, however stays evasive on the function of the establishment in direction of its Jews. And in 1988, the previous resistance fighter and vice-president of the Council of State, Bernard Chenot, nonetheless held to this sort model in a speech earlier than the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences.

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It was one other advisor who delivered to mild a considerably crueler fact. In 1989, for the convention “Vichy and the French”, the Institute of History of the Present requested Jean Massot, president of the finance part of the Council and a historical past buff, for a contribution on the function of time of its eminent establishment.

A 12 months later, the advisor concluded, to the good amazement of his colleagues, that the Council, beneath Vichy, had certainly “dirty hands”. “I asked my vice-president, Marceau Long, if he wanted us to repeat the refrain of the Bouffandeau doctrine, explains the 88-year-old gentleman today. He replied: “I think we must now put things on the table.” »

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