(a rough English translation by Google)
Veronika Krasheninnikova — Director General of the Institute for Foreign Policy Studies and Initiatives, Moscow.
May 5, 2017
Like the United States six months ago, France on Sunday, May 7, will have an unpleasant electoral choice to make.
On the one hand, the establishment representative, Emmanuelle Macron, is an adherent of the policy of Brussels, transnational corporations and global financial capital, essentially a European version of President Obama. On the other hand, ultra-right nationalist Marine Le Pen, whose party, the National Front, carries a dark legacy of fascism is confidently distributing promises to disappointed authorities, poor and frightened Frenchmen.
Of course, Macron will not solve the systemic problems of France. Globalization, driven by the indomitable thirst of corporate capital, does not take into account the needs of ordinary people. But Le Pen will not only not solve French problems, but will profoundly endanger the political existence of the Fifth Republic. Some persons in Russia are happy about that. But the joy of these people will be short-lived. In politics, there are different levels of risks and threats. Germany in the form of the Weimar Republic was a repulsive and difficult partner for the Soviet Union. But the Third Reich became an absolute evil, and the victory over it, the 72nd anniversary of which we are preparing to celebrate, cost more than 20 million lives of Soviet people.
In recent months, Russian state media has criticized Macron as energetically as they recently criticized Hillary Clinton. About Marine Le Pen and her "National Front", Russians learned only of her promises flattering to the Russian ears - exactly the same as they about Trump. An enthusiastic fascination with the supposedly "pro-Russian" candidate and a quick disappointment - all of this we have just been through. With stubborn persistence Russia has made the same mistake for the second time in six months.
Le Pen’s flattering statements about Russia are readily explained simply by the loans she received by from the Russian bank - and I must say, for the double-digit number of millions, she could have said more and better. Although these words are paid for dearly, they are cheap.
The victory of Marin Le Pen in the elections is very unlikely. Although, if its campaign is conducted by specialists in military psychological operations from Cambridge Analityca and Strategic Communications Laboratory, as in the case of Trump, the chances are marginally higher. But in any case, the Le Pen clan and the "National Front" will remain on the political stage and continue their fierce struggle for power.
Russian media over the past few years have been telling horrible tales about the dominance of immigrants in Paris. So why did only 5% of the Parisians vote for Le Pen in the first round? Why are there numerous antifascist demonstrations now against Le Pen? Why in all previous years, no French and no European bank gave Le Pen any money?
We Russians need to know the real nature of Le Pen and the National Front. Because the vast majority of the French know it. Because we have to pay dearly for our mistakes. Because the consequences of the policy of Le Pen for Russia are not limited only to its empty promises with regard to our country, but also by its actions in all other areas.
The "National Front" was founded in 1972 by the staff of the collaborationist government of Vichy and was replenished by neo-fascists, rightwing pagans, fundamentalist Catholics and other ultra-rightists. Among the founders of the National Front, along with Jean-Marie Le Pen were collaborators like milice officer François Brigneau, corporal in "Charlemagne" Division of the SS Pierre Bousquet - one of the 300 French Nazis who defended Hitler's bunker in Berlin in April 1945, and a member of the Legion of French Volunteers fighting against Bolshevism, Viktor Barthélemy; LVF fought near Moscow. And these are just a few names.
All this was a long time ago, the leaders of the National Front and their supporters claim. But Marine Le Pen persistently continued her father's ideological path. Her student friends, members of the youth extremist group Groupe Union Défense (GUD), Frederic Chatillon and Axel Loustau are still with her. Châtillon finances and organizes the elections of Le Pen and the National Front through his company RIWAL. Loustau, a regional deputy of the National Front, is engaged in the same activities through another affiliated structure of Le Pen, the microparty "Jeanne", created to bypass laws on the financing of political campaigns. Châtillon, Loustau and other members of Le Pen's close circle still like to celebrate Hitler's birthday, whom they call " the uncle", use Nazi symbols and greetings, and make jokes about the millions of Jews who died in gas chambers. In the 1990s, they enthusiastically visited the head of the Belgian division of SS Leon Degrelle - Hitler considered him almost his son, while Jean-Marie Le Pen considered Degrelle one of his closest friends.
Former adviser to Marine Le Pen on international issues, European MP Aymeric Chauprade, says of Marine Le Pen’s GUD friends: "When I came to the party, they explained to me that these people are the best friends of Marine, that they like to have fun together. She does nothing without them, and she will not do anything against them. There are no grounds for this group to quit the scene: if Marin comes to power, she will be obliged to all of them. They make her money, they keep all of her secrets. If she wins, these people will be in power. " Chauprade left the National Front in 2015.
These and many other details are proved in the book “Marine est au courant de tout: : Argent secret, financements et hommes de l'ombre, une enquête sur Marine Le Pen”, by the journalists Marine Turchi from the publication "Mediapart" and Mathias Destal of journal "Marianne", who have long and closely studied the dark depths of the National Front.
Marine Le Pen, of course, knows and understands her situation even better than journalists, and therefore "temporarily" stepped away from her position has head of the "National Front" after the first round of elections. To her post she appointed her deputy Jean-François Jalkh. However, three days later he resigned after the media recalled that he had previously cited with admiration the loathsome French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, arguing that, regarding the Nazi practices in concentration camps: "it is technically impossible - I stress it is impossible - to use this gas (Cyclone B) in massacres". Additionally in 1991, Jalkh participated in a church ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the death of Petain, the head of the Vichy collaborationist government. Thus, even in the critical two weeks between the two rounds of elections, when it is absolutely necessary to avoid any mistakes, Marine Le Pen could not find in her party at least one person who could be represented without disgrace to French society.
Ultimately, at the finish line, Marine Le Pen dropped even her own surname: now she is just "Marine", so that her own name does not hang like a heavy stone around her neck. And after the elections, everything will return to their places.
Conservative Catholic traditionalist François Fillon, who came in third, called for a vote for Macron - yes, Macron is a competitor for him, but Le Pen is a threat to the existence of the French state: "The history of the National Front party, created by Jean-Marie Le Pen, is known for violence and intolerance. ... Extremism can bring only the misfortunes and division of France," Fillon declared.
It is clear that the votes that Macron will get above the 24% he collected in the first round can be considered a vote of protest against Le Pen - the principled French do not vote "for" Macron, but "against" Le Pen.
Le Pen represents ultra-right nationalist forces - not to be confused with the national interests, which were defended best by General de Gaulle. And he fought against the pro-Hitler government and cadres of Vichy France and Marshal Petain - the ideological predecessors of the "National Front".
The hatred of immigrants and Muslims that the National Front propagates is typical of far-right discourse in order to collect the voices of the poor and angry masses. This is one of the favorite topics of modern fascism in its rush to power, having to restrain itself to stay within the law and expand the ranks of voters. The National Socialists headed by Adolf Hitler did the same in crisis times in the Weimar Republic - then the "Jews" and "Communists" were the guilty. And they show their true face quickly after coming to power. Transformations through which fascism and Nazism went in the postwar 50 years are clearly described in the book of American anti-fascist researcher Martin Lee "The Beast Reawakens: Fascism's Resurgence from Hitler's Spymasters to Today's Neo-Nazi Groups and Right-Wing Extremists."
For the multinational Russian state, in which more than 20 million Muslims live peacefully and millions of migrant workers come to work, Le Pen's statements fall under article 282 of the Criminal Code "Raising hatred or enmity, as well as humiliation of human dignity".
By giving a favorable light to Le Pen and the National Front, we associate ourselves with ultra-right circles and reject the vast majority of French society and the establishment, with which we in any case will have to work. We demonstrate ignorance and misunderstanding of French affairs, lack of political principle and adventurism. Finally, supporting the heirs of the French collaborationism, we betray the ideals of the Great Victory over fascism by the Soviet people.
The eve of Victory Day over fascism is a good occasion to restore the core of our values and adjust the coverage of European affairs. Otherwise, another error - and not just a mistake, but a profound insult to our history and values - will be the support of German neo-fascists integrated into the ranks of the ultra-right party "Alternative for Germany" and the Pegida movement, ahead of the coming September elections in Germany.
Dear friends, my congratulations to you on the Victory Day! The victory over fascism is the main value of our national identity. So let us be worthy of the great example of our grandfathers. Before the memory of the millions of victims and the mass heroism of Soviet people, we have no right to let modern fascism climb to power, no matter in what "decent" populist disguise it may clothe itself.