Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Petain’s Name Was Linked with French Cagoulard Plot, Reporter Discloses

June 23, 1940
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The New York Post revealed yesterday that the name of Marshal Henri Petain, French premier, was among those uncovered in the Fascist “Hooded Men” (Cagoulards) scandal in France several years ago. According to Edward Hunter, former special correspondent for the Post in Paris, Petain’s name received no public mention in connection with the scandal out of deference to his World War fame won at Verdun.

Petain, Hunter said, was the dupe of the conspirators who aimed to replace the republic with a totalitarian dictatorship which he would head as a patriotic duty. Hunter said that Petain, who was named to form a cabinet to make peace with Germany following collapse of the French Army, had been used by the French Fascists in a manner reminiscent of the way Hindenburg, last president of the Weimar Republic, had been utilized by the Nazis.

According to Hunter, French Fascist papers boasted of Petain’s Fascist leanings and such newspapers as Je Suis Partout, violently anti-Semitic publication, were the only ones to publish interviews with him.

The name of former Premier Berre Laval, Hunter said, was also identified with the Hooded Men but was suppressed.

Recommended from JTA