Article 5119

Title of the article



Orlenko Olesya Evgen'evna, International programs manager, “Historical memory” foundation for actual historical researches (building 9, 5/6 Volkhonka street, Moscow, Russia), E-mail: 

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Background. Having appeared after the end of the Second World War, the tendencies to speak about the collaborators with the Nazis in a positive way have entered both historiography and political rhetoric in many countries. At the end of XX – beginning of XXI centuries the theses related to the justification of the collaboration have become part of the historical content preached by the official authorities in many countries, at times – being part of the state legislation, or simply the opinion of particular politicians or political movements. The basis for this justification is mainly a statement regarding the impossibility to assess such complex phenomenon clearly. At the example of a trial of high-ranking French official, the consequences of it and the reaction to this case from the public and experts, we will show how complex issues related to historical memory and the need for applying the international legislation to it have been solved in France.
Materials and methods. This article is based on scientific and popular science publications and research papers related, published memoirs, as well as on the collections of documents on the process against Papon, and on the articles in media and video recordings of the interviews about this court case. The methodological basis of the article is a comparative analysis of sources which reveals the significance of this process from the social and political point of view. The methodology of historicism has also been used to study the history of the legal practice of modern-day France to the extent at which the country has been influenced by the Papon trial.
Results. The article analyzes various views on the causes, course and consequences of the trial against Maurice Papon, examines its influence on public opinion, as well as on the study of the history of the Holocaust in France and the period of the collaborationist state. The contradictions have been identified in views on the actions of France after the Second World War in both international and domestic policy, which is potentially a destabilizing factor in the state, and the authorities’ reaction to them, aimed at preventing conflict situations. This research might also continued by more detailed disclosure of other circumstances and nuances of the trial against Papon.
Conclusions. The taboo on this issue in France has caused sharp public reaction on the issues related to it and a wide public resonance as the main result of this process. This also became the reason for the underdeveloped practice of applying international legislation in the field of crimes against humanity in the country, despite the large participation of France in its spread. The process has influenced the perception of the authorities on this issue, contributed to the awareness of the French responsibility for the dark pages of its history, which has contributed to the formation of the experience of expressing respect for various categories of citizens in France. The correlation between the events of the Papon case and the interest in the amount of scientific research on the history of the Holocaust in France has also been noted. The article also discusses the issues of the adaptation of French law to international norms.

Key words

crimes against humanity, the history of the Holocaust, collaborationism, Vichy regime, international law 


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Дата обновления: 24.06.2019 08:49