14 February 2024


Zoom lecture

Modernist Paris 4

The Birth of the Radical Right in France, 1900-1939

A lecture based on the exhibition at the Petit Palais, Paris

(until 14 April 2024)

with Mariam Habibi

Croix De Feu armband (detail)
Croix De Feu armband (detail)

Acrtion Française poster, 1916
Acrtion Française poster, 1916

With the rise of the Far Right in France today, we forget that France had already witnessed the birth of National Socialist ideas in the early years of the 20th century. Already in the late 19th century anti-republican sentiments were rampant. The challenges of modernity, technology, speed, and large-scale industry as well as the trauma of World War One gave rise to a new, more violent, and militarized form of opposition. Though National Socialism of France failed to take over the control of the Assembly and the government, its ideology remained popular.


This talk will trace the early beginnings of these movements - Action française, Croix du Feu, Jeunesses Patriotes, Le Faisceau - in the context of the ever-changing society of modern France. By looking more closely at their message and their leaders, it will give a glimpse of another, less known, feature of French history.

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