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6-1-6THE COLLABORATOR THE TRIAL& EXECUTION OF ROBERT BRASILLACHALICE KAPLANTHE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESSCHICAGO AND LONDON

CONTENTSALICE KAPLAN is professor of Romance Studies and Literature at Duke University She is the author of French Lessons: A Memoir and Reproductions of Banality:Fascism, Literature, and French Intellectual Life.ONETWOThe University of Chicago Press, Chicago 60637The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., London 2000 by The University of ChicagoAll rights reserved. Published 2000Printed in the United States of America09 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 01 001 2 3 4 5FISBN (cloth): 0-226-42414-656)9 13THREE3262,FOURsK2 06 6Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataKaplan, Alice Yaeger.The collaborator: the trial and execution of Robert Brasillach / AliceKaplan.p. cm.Includes bibliographical references and index.ISBN 0-226-42414-6 (cloth : alk. paper)1. Brasillach, Robert, 1909-1945—Political and social views. 2. WorldWar, 1939-1945—Collaborationists—France. 3. Fascism and literature—France—History-20th century. 4. Fascism—France—History. 5. Trials(Treason)—France--History. 6. Intellectuals—France—Political activity.7. Authors, French-20th century—Biography. I. Title.D802.F8 B6985 2000848'.91209—[email protected] paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standardfor Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper forPrinted Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.FIVESIXPrefaceixThe Making of a Fascist Writer1Brasillach's War28The Liberation of Paris60Jail75Marcel Reboul: The Government Prosecutor92Jacques Isorni: Counsel for the Defense108SEVENMissing Persons: Brasillach's Suburban Jury122EIGHTCourt143The Writers' Petition189No Pardon202Reactions211After the Trial215NINETENELEVENTWELVETHIRTEEN JusticeFOURTEENin Hindsight227The Brasillach Myth230Acknowledgments235Notes237Index289

THE LIBERATION OF PARISTHREE THE LIBERATION OF PARISAfter the Allies invaded the coast of Normandy in June 1944, theGermans knew that their days in Paris were numbered. They preparedto retreat from the capital, while to the north, the D-day forces hesitated about their own military strategy. Shouldn't they bypass Paris,whose liberation was an expensive and time-consuming proposition,and march directly towards Alsace-Lorraine? De Gaulle lobbied Eisenhower to order a French-led battalion into France's capital. He arguedthat the French themselves needed to play a key role in expellingthe German occupiers from their headquarters and in striking downthe collaborationist Milice. De Gaulle's deeper concern was to wardoff potential threats to national unity, and to his own sovereignty. Hefeared an American occupation of France almost as much as he feareda communist takeover.It is a famous story. Eisenhower finally gave in to French lobbyingand allowed the French division under his command to enter the capital,bolstered by large numbers of Americans. The divisional commanderwas General Philippe Leclerc. On the evening of the 24th of August,1944, the first men in Leclerc's division crossed the city limits. Parishad been in the throes of a communist-inspired insurrection against theNazis since August 19.Bernadette Reboul, whose father, Marcel Reboul, sought the deathsentence for Brasillach, tells about the week of August 19 as thoughthere were a novel in her head. The Rebouls lived on the rue Geoffroy St. Hilaire, which ran alongside the Jardin des Plantes. Two daysbefore the insurrection, the curator of the Jardin des Plantes put thetricolore French flag up on the gate marking the entrance to the gardens.Everyone in the neighborhood gathered beneath the flag, to sing theMarseillaise. It was the first national anthem they had sung since Parishad been occupied, and little Bernadette's first, ever. Marcel Reboul,renowned for his speaking voice in the courtroom, sang completely offkey. Bernadette's mother sang and cried as she tried to hold her daughterin her arms. Jacques Isorni, their neighbor across the hall, their landlordand their friend, was with them. He was a successful lawyer in the Parisbar, who, by a quirk of fate and circumstance, was going to play opposite60Reboul six months later, as Brasillach's defense lawyer. Isorni said toMadame Reboul, "You can't sing, cry, and hold the little one at thesame time—I'll take her." Perhaps all Bernadette Reboul remembers, inher mind's eye, is the view of the trees from Jacques Isorni's arms, butby now, the scene at the Jardin des Plantes is a family legend, with all itsdetails and lines of dialogue intact. Today, she laughs at the idea that herfirst Marseillaise was in the arms of the man who defended Brasillachand Petain against the French state.At the garden, she says, the Reboul family heard the sound ofgunfirecoming from the rooftops. The snipers were collaborationists, membersof Darnand's militia. The FFI, the Forces Francaises de l'Interieur, whohad established themselves as the armed forces of the Liberation, came tothe Jardin des Plantes and announced to the people who had gathered,"It's too early, don't come out yet. It's dangerous. Go back home."It was indeed dangerous to be walking in the streets of Paris thatweek, but Bernadette's mother, a handsome forty-year-old with shiningblack eyes and gray hair, wanted to see what was happening. On August18, she stopped on the street for conversation with a judge's son,complimenting him on the tricolore rosette—a symbol of the Frenchnation—that graced his lapel. He told Madame Reboul that there wasa man selling the rosettes in the metro, out of an upside down umbrella.The merchant had a friend keeping an eye out for him, because ifGerman soldiers saw him, he would be arrested. The next day, theday of insurrection, Madame Reboul found the rosette merchant; hewas making a fortune in the entrance to the Maubert Mutualite metrostation. She bought a rosette and put it proudly on her blouse. She walkeddown the rue des Ecoles, on her way to the boulevard Saint-Michel. Atthe Ecole Polytechnique, she saw a German officer coming at her in theother direction. He looked at her and stopped in his tracks. Mrs. Reboulfroze. He pulled out his gun and cocked it. There was a moment whennothing happened, when she trembled. Slowly, almost reluctantly, thesoldier put his gun back in his holster and walked the other way. Whenshe stopped shaking, she remembered the tricolore symbol on her blouse.How could she have forgotten it! She put it quickly into her purse andcontinued on her way, her legs like jelly. She made it home alive.The residents of 51, rue Geoffroy St. Hilaire, had become intimatefriends during the Occupation, because of the hours spent hoveringtogether in the basement, during the bombing raid alertes. During theinsurrection, neighbors Marcel Reboul and Jacques Isorni went out61

THE LIBERATION OF PARIS62CHAPTER THREEinto the street together to turn sacks of sand, cobblestones, and oldbed frames from their basement into barricades. Tanks couldn't bestopped by sandbags, so the barricades didn't make much logisticalsense anymore, but they were a Parisian custom, Bernadette Reboulexplains, a revolutionary ritual. Isorni and Reboul had never beenon the same side judicially, with Isorni at the bar and Reboul at thebench. They had already participated on opposites sides of the sametrial during the Occupation in a black-market case—Isorni defendedthe black marketeer, Reboul prosecuted for the Petainist state. Butthey were colleagues, part of the same legal community. The Brasillachtrial would change that relationship forever, take them beyond theirneighborhood, beyond their legal community and into a larger worldof political contention. In August 1944 they were still comrades in arms.Marcel Reboul did not belong to any official resistance network.He had signed an oath of loyalty to Petain, along with every member ofthe magistrature, save one. But he identified fully with the Liberationforces. On August 23, the day before Leclerc's division arrived in the city,Reboul was with members of the resistance who had taken possessionof the Palais de Justice when the insurrection began.On the afternoon of August 24, Madame Reboul made her way tothe Palais to get her husband; a friend was dying, and it was time to goto his bedside. The Rebouls took their familiar route home, crossing theIle de la Cite towards the river. On the Pont Neuf, a working-class man,who seemed to recognize Reboul, stopped them. "Go to the balconyand open your window at dawn tomorrow morning, and you'll see theFrench flag floating atop the Hotel de Ville." He knew that GeneralLeclerc and his tanks were approaching Paris.Nearly a week had passed since Isorni and the Rebouls had sung theMarseillaise at the Jardin des Plantes. That night of the 24th, BernadetteReboul's parents were at the bedside of their dying friend. Paris wasnearly silent. Suddenly Bernadette heard a noise on the street. The littlegirl peeked through the curtains out her living room window and sawan enormous tank coming up from the Cuvier Fountain on the otherside of the street. A machine gun sticking out of its turret was scopingthe rooftops."Is it more Germans?" she said to her grandmother."No dear," she remembers her grandmother answering, "this timeit's the Americans and we're free."There were apartments on one side of the rue Geoffroy St. Hilaire;the other side was the wall of the public gardens. The apartments werebourgeois, with decorative wrought-iron balconies and tall, narrowwindows. The night of the 24th, if you walked along that street, youwould have seen every window thrown open wide. Inside the apartmenthouses, every household opened its doors to receive people. The hostswent into their cellars, where for four years they had gone regularlyduring the air raid alerts, to dig out their last bottles of champagne ortheir last bottle of good wine to drink with the liberators.Bernadette remembers that her parents came home and took herout onto the rue Geoffroy St. Hilaire, hours past her bedtime. One ofthe French boys asked permission to kiss her mother. He had been inChad, he said, had crossed the desert, had come to Paris with Leclerc andwas going on to take Alsace. He hadn't seen his family in two years. "Ofcourse my mother kissed him," Bernadette remembers. The Americanswere distributing chocolate, oranges, chewing gum, bananas. She hadnever seen a banana, and she bit into one without peeling it. "Of courseI had never seen an orange, either." Everything had been requisitionedby the Germans.That first night, the neighbors housed the Allied officers in apartments along their street. The enlisted men, the GIs, slept in tentsunder the beautifully sculpted trees inside the Jardin des Plantes. ThusBernadette's tale of Liberation begins and ends in a mythical space, agarden of liberation.That summer, a young man from the southwest named Roger Grenierwas living in Paris, managing the distribution of flasks, glasses, and bottlesfor a government agency called the OCRPI. He was also a member ofthe resistance. As the Liberation approached, he decided to keep trackof events in the city, day by day, in notes he could share later with hisfiancee in Clermont-Ferrand. His modest journal describes how theLiberation made him a reporter, one of the new generation who wouldreplace the Robert Brasillachs of France.On August 16 he wrote, "There's no more metro now. Yet I'msupposed to go to the office. It's odd, I still don't write everythingdown. The habit of suspicion is tenacious." That evening he continuedtaking notes, and what came out on the page were terse headlines:"The gas is cut. They're going to close the restaurants. . . . The policestrike continues.""These brief news items?" he added with a young writer's selfconsciousness, "remind me of one of the techniques that Malraux usesto explain a situation?'63

64CHAPTER THREETHE LIBERATION OF PARISAugust 17: "In the morning, around 6:30, I'm awakened by theangry voices of people standing in line at the bakery. I try to go backto sleep, but we're very nervous right now. You hear detonations inthe distance." The food shortages were at their worst, and people werewilling to get up with the sun for the dark-brown, unrefined, tastelessdoorstops that counted as bread. What Grenier was hearing were thesounds of the Allied troops at Dreux, a few hours west of Paris:camera and threw it into the gun turret of one of the German tanks.Grenier tried to protest: "Photo . . . expensive," but the soldier simplyThey say that the Germans will leave today and that the Americanswill come. I ate at Solange's bistro, everyone was talking about it. It'sidiotic, because the Americans still have the Germans right in frontof them and the Germans, too, will have to go somewhere. When Ilook at Paris, I try to take its pulse, not from people's faces, but fromthe avenues and intersections. What kinds of faces are the housesmaking, tonight? The ones at the corner of the Gobelins don't looklike they're expecting an important event to happen. . . . There areno more German vehicles on the boulevard. Perhaps that's a sign.By Friday, the 18th, the distress of the departing German soldiers waspalpable: "It seems that they fire on the crowd at any provocation--overnothing [pour un rien]. They're leaving for good this time, in haste." Itwas in this tense setting that a soldier would almost gun down MadameReboul for wearing a rosette on her lapel. Crowds were rushing toscavenge buildings as quickly as the Germans abandoned them, lookingfor food and coal. "Resistance posters are calling for insurrection,"Grenier noted. "The printers are on strike, the hospitals are on strike.There are no newspapers. Last night's explosions were gasoline suppliesbeing detonated by the Germans." His last comment for the day: "I getscarcely a tiny dribble of water from my faucet."He announced the insurrection on August 19: "Tricolor flags atthe Hotel de Ville, the Palais de Justice, Notre-Dame. Germans passby in their cars and look surprised." Going to work was inconceivable.Grenier walked through what he called the "nerve centers" of the city,with his jacket slung over his shoulders to hide his camera, a Voigtlander.He was planning to take pictures.At the center of the battle, boulevard Saint-German and boulevardSaint-Michel, the Germans were making people cross the street withtheir hands in the air. At a calmer intersection, rue de Bellechasse andthe boulevard Saint-Germain, a soldier stopped him, searched him,put a machine gun under his nose. He tried to show his work papersfrom the OCRPI; the soldier ignored them. Instead, he seized Grenier'sbarked, "Go!"Another search twenty meters later was a different story. The German soldiers stopped him and ordered him to put his hands in the air.He felt another machine gun pushed into his back. They searched him.No one looked in his vest pocket, where he had put a tricolor rosettethat he, like Madame Reboul, had purchased from a street merchant.It was a good thing he'd forgotten about it, he would have been evenmore frightened. The soldier pushed him, asked him to advance andturn around more completely."I was certain it was all over," Grenier wrote in his diary. "AlthoughI remained quite attentive, I was thinking deep inside that I hadn'taccomplished anything yet in my life; 'already?' I said to myself, andI was furious."A couple of old people who could speak German emerged fromthe doorway of their apartment building down the street and startedtalking to the Germans, distracting them. Finally the soldier made asign. "I didn't understand very well that I could go. In my doubt, I toldmyself that at the point where I was, I couldn't risk anything worse.The German in charge repeated his sign. I took one step, then another,and I left timidly, turning my head around to see if they weren't callingme back."The boulevards were jammed, so Grenier took a circuitous routehome to his apartment at the Gobelins. "I stopped in a cafe to drinkwater with mint syrup [menthes d l'eau]," he wrote. "My thirst wasinextinguishable."That afternoon he finally made contact with his comrades in theCDLR—the resistance group known as "Ceux de la Resistance" [thoseof the resistance]. At dawn they were going to occupy the Hotelde Ville, the big wedding cake of a building on the right bank of theSeine and the headquarters of Paris's administrative prefect. Grenierjoined them early in the morning of August 20. He spent the restof the week occupying the prefect's office, as the organizer of theliberation movement's press dispatches. The taking back of the Hotelde Ville, the arrest of the collaborator prefect, was one of the highmoments of Liberation week. Grenier's adjunct duty, the same week,was to serve as CDLR representative for the eighteenth arrondissement,in Montmartre. He had never before set foot in the eighteenth, butthere weren't enough members of the CDLR to go around. Each65

66CHAPTER THREEarrondissement, or district, of Paris had its own city hall, and eachcity hall was liberated by a "Committee of Liberation," composed ofrepresentatives from the major resistance groups. Under the umbrella ofde Gaulle's provisional government, the local Committees of Liberationtook power the week of August 19, replacing the collaborationist mayorsand city council members. Veritable mosaics of the resistance, theCommittees of Liberation furnished the mayors, the adjunct mayors,the members of the city council in every arrondissement and suburb ofParis after the war. In the heady months of fall 1944, the Committeesof Liberation purged the collaborators in their own communities andserved as official advisers to the justice system, helping compose lists ofpotential jurors. That was how the members of the jury for the Brasillachtrial were chosen.In the thick of the fighting between the free French and theremaining Germans, Roger Grenier ran back and forth from the Hotelde Ville to the eighteenth arrondissement, due north. He stopped fromtime to time to take shelter in the entryways of apartment buildingsalong his way. There were bodies in the streets, blood everywhere; andwherever he went, he had to be on the lookout for stray bullets. Alongthe quais, he witnessed an attack on a German truck: two men killed,six prisoners taken. He dragged one of the dead to the Hotel de Villeentrance: "He was heavy and I had to run. This morning, I had beenhome to put on a light-colored suit jacket and a new tie to receive someof the big shots with dignity. A great idea, since I then had to crawl fromoffice to office [avoiding bullets] after dragging this dead man who waspissing blood."On the 22nd of August, he wonders, "When will we see the Allies?We've held out for four days, most often thanks to a bluff, with a fewarms taken from the enemy. Still, it pains me to think about the momentwhen the battle will stop. You have to imagine the luxurious officeof the prefect: wood paneling, mirrors, gilded surfaces, and preciousantiques. I eat a sandwich next to an FFI shooting from the windows,important fellows are carrying on conversations underneath tables. Myfriend Andre Brane, in a corner, looks for jazz on the radio, a cameramanis filming nonstop. That's the usual ambiance.""They're here," he announces on Thursday, August 24, in a passagemarked "10:30 P.m.":Everyone ran out screaming in joy. On the square the first ofLeclerc's cars arrived, and light tanks. We shot all that was left ofTHE LIBERATION OF PARISour ammunition in the air, and flares, too. I climbed on the tanks,tanks manned by Frenchmen. A collective delirium. . . I phonedup all the newspapers. The bells are ringing, ringing in all of Paris.On August 25, dazed and exhausted, but satisfied, Grenier writes:I played the American reporter. . . Today I organized the pressservice. I am happy with my exclusive on the arrival of the Frenchtroops and on the broadcast of the interview with the lieutenantthat Lerclerc's avant-garde left behind, along with two tanks. Actually, the situation is very confused. There are tank battles all overParis. I have to sleep a little. My friends under attack at the PalaisBerlitz don't answer the phone anymore. I hope they were able toevacuate. Victory.From this point on, for another five pages, what he writes has the feelof an epilogue. Paris is liberated.For Arlette Grebel, the arrival of Leclerc and his tanks was an "immenserumor that crossed Paris and made the entire city shudder . . . the cry ofa young boy running in the streets, 'They're at the HOtel de Ville!' . . .the clacking of a thousand shutters and windows that popped out likecorks on every facade . . ." Citizens of occupied Paris had been paintingtheir windowpanes navy blue so that no glimmer oflight could get out toguide the Allied airplanes in their nightly raids. Now the windows wereopening. Fifty years later, recalling the events of August, Grebel refersto a description of liberated Paris she has never forgotten, an evocationof the buzzing noise coming from inside the Tuileries gardens. Thegardens were teeming with people making love. "How can I describeit. We had overthrown Nazism; we had our whole future in front of usand we were going to build a new world."In August 1944, Arlette Grebel was twenty years old, a recentgraduate of a journalism school on the rue Notre-Dame des Champs inParis. There she had attended lectures by Georges Montandon, the racialanthropologist and friend of Celine's who was a member of the school'sconseil d'administration. Another of the school's administrators wasAlphonse de Chateaubriant, the editor of the anti-Semitic newspaperLa Gerbe, a white-haired, bushy-bearded ideologue who would finishout his days as a hermit in the Black Forest, escaping a French deathsentence for treason. Grebel despised him. The faculty of her school alsoincluded a priest in the resistance who rounded out his lectures with67

THE LIBERATION OF PARIS68CHAPTER THREEcourageous anti-Nazi remarks. In this confused ideological atmosphere,Grebel graduated first in her class, knowing something about how anewspaper functioned.Like Bernadette Reboul, Arlette Grebel was alone with her grandmother, on the rue Danton in suburban Levallois-Perret, the nightthe Allied tanks arrived. Her brother, a member of the resistance whohad spent the last months of the war in hiding, appeared at the housewith a suitcase full of bottles of champagne that he had seized fromthe abandoned quarters of a German officer. When they opened thewindows, they saw the other open windows and the Allied flags flying—Russian, American, and British flags. The neighbors had pieced themtogether from precious scraps of fabric.On June 22, 1944, De Gaulle's provisional government declared thecollaborationist press illegal and ordered its assets seized. The anarchistdiarist Jean Galtier-Boissiere baptized Brasillach's former newspaper "Jesuis parti" [I'm out of here!]. The abandoned headquarters of Je SuisPartout on the rue de Rivoli were immediately ransacked. A new presscorps had organized itself out of the various resistance movements—byAugust, once clandestine papers were ready to go public. They tookthe names, and the moral guarantee, of resistance groups: Franc-Tireur,Combat, Liberation, France-Libre. This was the world that Arlette Grebellonged to join.The week of August 25, these papers were so newly "above ground"that their addresses were still unknown. Arlette Grebel's brother, nowa member of the Forces Francaises de l'Interieur in Paris, discoveredwhere France-Libre had set up shop and brought her a freshly printedpaper on its first day of publication. (France-Libre's printing presses weretaken over from La Gerbe.) Dressed in her only decent outfit, whitebobby socks and a scout skirt, Arlette presented herself at the FranceLibre editorial office. The editor on the scene was overwhelmed bythe events in the city and the challenge of reporting them. "I'm not sogreat at reporting, but I'm excellent at writing columns," she announcedboldly. She didn't have a day of newspaper experience in her life. Hewas charmed by her innocence, and besides, he was short of reporters."There's a lot happening, go out in the street, find a story, write it up,and we'll see." He added, "Don't get yourself killed."She spotted George Steven, the famous American news photographer, taking photos from a jeep. She jumped up into the jeep, shook hishand, and introduced herself for the first time in her life as a colleague:"I'm with France-Libre." With her bobby socks and scout skirt and theresults of the Occupation diet, she was afraid she looked fifteen, ratherthan twenty.She took her story back to her editor, who gave her suggestionsand told her to go out again the next day. It was the day of de Gaulle'simmortal speech at the Hotel de Ville, the speech where the brilliantstrategist of the Free French had seized the symbolic meaning of theinsurrection, claiming that Paris had "liberated itself," thus giving a senseof healing power and control to the people who had been defeated andhumiliated for four years:Paris brise, Paris martyrise, mais Paris libere! libere par lui-meme![Paris has been broken, Paris has been martyred, but Paris has beenliberated, by herself!]At the Hotel de Ville, members of the Milice started shooting from theirhiding places on the rooftops; a young soldier sheltered Arlette behinda tank.An older, experienced reporter turned in his own version of thoseevents. He got the by-line. But Ayme-Guerrin, the editor at FranceLibre, liked Arlette's prose. He took choice phrases from the article sheturned in and inserted them in the text signed by the seasoned reporter:The Joy of ParisOh yes, look at us, in our own home now! People are going upto one another and they're hugging one another and they're kissingone another, men, women, children, in this incredible fervor . . .Four months later, Arlette Grebel became a regular staff reporterfor France-Libre. As the newspaper's special correspondent in Lyon, shecovered the trial of Charles Maurras, beginning January 25, 1945, onlyten days after Brasillach was condemned to death by the Paris Court ofJustice. The Maurras trial was her chance to make a name for herselfat France-Libre. Arlette was so green that her editor had had to explainto her who Charles Maurras was: the founder of the royalist ActionFrancaise, the most important right-wing polemicist of the century,but also, a notorious anti-Semite and collaborator. "Don't think ofhim as Charles Maurras, the great writer," Ayme-Guerrin advised her,"think of him as a man on trial for treason." The Maurras trial was anincongruous spectacle where, in response to the charges against him,the great polemicist of the Action Francaise responded with an eighthour lecture defending his entire intellectual and political career. Inher article of January 29, Grebel explained: "It isn't the politician we69

70CHAPTER THREEare judging, but the man who, during the Occupation, encouragedthe repression of patriots, denounced many communists and Gaullists,stirred up persecutions of the Jews."The staff at France-Libre clamored to read Arlette's daily dispatches,to see if anyone so young could possibly do the story justice. The oldroyalist escaped a death sentence with life in prison, prompting Brasillachto hope for his own pardon: "It seems to me a good thing in and ofitself, and good for me," he wrote to Maurice Bardeche from his cell:"It's an argument, the master and the disciple, etc."After the Maurras trial, Arlette Grebel, now a proven court reporter,was part of a lively scene of Liberation journalists, and she recalls withparticular fondness her visits to Combat, where Roger Grenier, too,was starting out as a reporter. The seven-story building at 100, rueReaumur, housed the major resistance dailies: Franc-Tireur, Defense dela France, and Combat—each on a separate floor, sharing a commonprinting press and typesetting stone. They had taken over the space fromthe Pariser Zeitung, the daily German-language newspaper of occupiedParis. With its three cramped offices and big pressroom, Combat, morethan any paper in liberated Paris, had the feel of a collective. Grebel wasinspired by the paper's sense of adventure and high purpose, and by theintense friendship among its staff. Whenever she arrived at Combat, sheremembers, the office boy who sat at the front desk used to cry out,"France-Libre is here!—which one of you is waiting for France-Libre?"While his colleagues were on trains heading towards Germany, escapingcertain arrest and perhaps death sentences; while Arlette Grebel, RogerGrenier, and the Reboul family were anxiously awaiting the arrival ofthe Allies in Paris, the formerie Suis Partout editor was enjoying a lastdinner at the German Institute, the Nazi-sponsored cultural center. Itwas a warm August night. Dinner was served in the gardens, underthe trees. Brasillach sensed all around him the ghostly presence of hisbeloved Karl-Heinz Bremer; he was almost happy his friend wasn'talive to see their common dream of a Franco-German collaborationgoing down to defeat. Brasillach had already refused several chancesto flee to Germany. Jean Luchaire, the collaborationist editor of LesNouveaux Temps and head of the syndicate of the press, suggested it first.Brasillach's position was: he hadn't emigrated during the Occupationand he certainly wasn't going to leave his country now! By this stage ofthe war, he took a nationalist line whenever he talked to the "ultras"—the die-hard collaborationists. His former comrades fromJe Suis PartoutTHE LIBERATION OF PARISdid leave with Luchaire. Now Karl Epting, the head of the GermanInstitute, tried to convince him to join them, and he said no again.In the course of their long dinner, Brasillach performed his Frenchpatriotism for Epting and Heller, who reciprocated with nostalgic regretsabout leaving France. "We stayed chatting in the garden for a long time,evoking what had been, wha

ALICE KAPLAN THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS CHICAGO AND LONDON . CONTENTS ALICE KAPLAN is professor of Romance Studies and Literature at Duke Univer-sity She is the author of French Lessons: . the German occupiers from