The French are back with a vengeance, as they’ve brought back the faux-Nazi chic that made them a worldwide sensation back in the day.
We caught up with some of the country’s top anti-fascists, from the French Resistance to the National Front, to hear their thoughts on the movement’s resurgence.
French Resistance member André Breton, who went by the pseudonym of the “Vanguard of the French National Resistance” in the mid-1970s, remembers the first time he heard about the movement.
“The French Resistance was a very small group of people who started out in 1972 and the first year of its existence was a big disappointment,” he told us.
“We thought we’d just be part of a small group, and it didn’t take long for the whole thing to become something bigger than it had ever been before.”
The group’s leadership and other members of the movement were largely comprised of former Nazis.
Breton recalls a few years later that he was invited to a party hosted by an unnamed party, and when he arrived he found that there was already a party of former Nazi Party members there.
“That was my first real feeling that the FNR was not just a group of former fascists,” he says.
“That the FNC had a true fascist movement that actually belonged to us, and that we were in fact fascists.”
The FNC, he continued, was “a very strong, militant, violent organization, which at that time was in a very strong position, and we were able to bring together this whole movement.”
Breton recalls the moment when he first met his former comrades, who told him about the FNA’s history.
“They told me that the Nazi Party in France had been a party founded in 1891 by a German named Hans Christian Otto, who had been sentenced to death,” he recalls.
“They had no idea what he was actually up to.”
Bretons first encounter with the FNF occurred in 1974, when he was attending a party with some friends at the French Embassy in Washington DC.
Bretons says that the party had a very young and inexperienced group of men.
“I remember the first person I met there was a guy who I knew was a member of the FNP, and I thought, ‘Oh my God, he’s the leader of this FNC,'” he recalls, adding that the other two people he saw were also members of a fascist party.
Breton then attended a FNC meeting, where he witnessed the FN members discuss the need for a new political party in France.
He was intrigued by the idea of “a new French nationalism,” and so he joined the FNN.
He recalls that he initially opposed the FNT, but after a meeting with FN leader Jean-Paul Dumont in 1978, Breton was convinced to support the party.
“He said, ‘We want you to join us because the FNH is the most important party in the country,'” he says, adding, “And we agreed.”
In 1979, Bretons was appointed as the head of the party’s National Council.
He says that his role at the time was to support Dumont, who was running against his former party’s current leader.
“He said he was going to be the president of the National Council, and if Dumont got elected he would give him a mandate to run,” Breton remembers.
Dumont, however, ended up winning the election, and was appointed the next president of France, in 1987.
The next year, the FNS was banned, and in 1990, Bretsons and the FFN disbanded, along with many of its members.
He now lives in New Jersey, and his wife and daughter are now the owners of a real estate business.
“We were not really aware that what we were doing in our home was actually illegal,” he explains.
“And I think that made us all a little bit nervous, because we were just following our conscience.”
When asked about his current position, Breanson said, “I think it’s a good time to tell you about it.
I am a member now of the national council of the FN.
I will be doing a lot of things in the future.”
BreTON has been a part of the anti-fascist movement for more than 25 years, and says he considers himself to be an “anarchist-syndicalist.”
He says that he’s seen a resurgence of the fascist movement in France in recent years.
“There are many more young people than there were 20 or 30 years ago,” he tells us.
Breanson says that there are still people who believe in the Nazis, and “it’s always very difficult to separate yourself from the ideology of the Nazis.”
Breanson also says that, for him, it was important to see the FNGL come back, even though it had already lost much of its original energy.
“For me, the moment the FGNL was no