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On June 18, 1941, educator and writer Jean Guéhenno noted in his diary: Sociological problem: why so many pederasts among the collabora- tors? C..., F..., M..., D...(who, as they say, likes to go both ways). Are they waiting for the new order to legitimatize their loves? This observation, made while The Typewriter was still playing at the Hébertot, offers a clue to one of the ways through which the Nazis pursued their program of degeneration in Paris. Yet, in describing this phenomenon, I am obliged to differentiate it from previous discussions that have sought to conflate homosexuality and fascism. As Andrew Hewitt demonstrates in his analysis of reactions to works by Jean Genet, in postwar politics, “the linkage [between homosexuality and fascism] permeates a popular culture that has long understood decadence as effeminization and effeminization as homosexuality” (“Sleeping with the Enemy” 119). As I note later in this chapter, condemnation of the enemy as homosexual and vice versa was never limited to the Nazis and their sympa- thizers; in liberated France, the Left as well as the Right were capable of seeing the invert as culprit and the culprit as invert, as Jean-Paul Sartre’s famous post-war essay, “Qu’est-ce que c’est un Collaborateur?” makes clear. Yet Guéhenno’s remark, written a year into the Occupation, seems to be asking something else, not why all collaborators were homosexual but why, astonishingly, there were any homosexuals among those who collaborated. And Guéhenno’s surprise is understandable in light of the Nazi’s very public hatred of “pederasts.”10 In spite—and, ironically, because—of the Germans’ well known abhor- rence of inverts within the Reich, homosexuals
in what remained as France were neither legally penalized nor rounded up by the Germans. “Nazi-occupied Europe was largely to escape this homophobic persecution,” writes Antony Copley (153).11 Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS and, as George L. Mosse in Nationalism and Sexuality explains, the most outspoken Nazi leader for the “extinction [Ausloschung] ̈ of abnormal life” (169), was himself responsible for this peculiar policy of acceptance: Himmler argued that Germany’s interests lay in encouraging the de- generating consequences of homosexuality amongst the subject peoples, hence accelerating their decline. Homosexuals in [occupied] France had more to fear from homophobia within. (Copley 153) Summing up an address to the SS leadership at Bad Tolz in ̈ November 1937, Mosse points out Himmler’s belief that “[t]he conspiracy of homosexuals must be viewed side by side with the world Jewish conspiracy” for the two were “bent on destroying the German state and race as the implacable enemies of German virtue and will” (168). Thus, Himmler’s reasoning in permitting homo- sexuality outside Germany, as bizarre as it may seem today, perhaps made perfect sense to his fellow Nazis: This policy would allow the “slave nations,” to the benefit of the Reich, to destroy themselves from within.12 In the Reich, homosexuals were placed in concentration camps and eventually exterminated; in what Nazi Germany regarded as France, they were tolerated and in some cases even recruited. Of course, in those parts of France that were incorporated into the greater Reich, homosexuality was viewed quite differently. The awful history of Pierre Seel illustrates how in Alsace those suspected of homosexuality were imprisoned and murdered. Yet Seel’s chilling description of being sum- moned to the Gestapo and his ensuing confinement, remind the reader that he, like all in Alsace and in other areas directly appropriated by the Germans, was regarded as German, not French; in Germany being a homosexual remained a crime. In Paris, however, the Nazis found a subculture of homosexual men who might be of use to the Reich’s master plan, for from the beginnings of modern times, homosexuality had always had
a strong presence in the me- tropolis. Unlike Germany, Austria, and England, where homosexual acts had remained outlawed, homosexuality was legal in France: The Code Napoléon did not criminalize such acts except, writes Robert A. Nye in Masculinity and Male Codes of Honor in Modern France, for “forcible rape, child molesta- tion, and ‘outrage’ ” (108). Yet during the first three-quarters of the nine- teenth century, despite the liberalized laws, the Paris police relentlessly sought and harassed men for practicing various forms of homosexual behavior. Although, as Copley describes how, with the advent of the Third Re- public, medical researchers in France, as in other European countries, began to regard homosexuality as a pathological problem (135ff), the Paris police persisted in their “crackdown . . . on offenses against public decency, with consequent court appearance for men of all ages and all backgrounds” (147). In other words, Nye clarifies, the police were able to use what the Code called “public outrage” in order to criminalize and punish what were ostensibly legal but immoral acts (168). Even after the First World War, with the trans- lation of Freud into French (Copley 149) and the widespread belief that homosexuality ought to be treated psychiatrically, the culture continued to regard inversion as shameful, and the police went on with their arrests. Thus, in spite of an apparent legalized permissiveness, the prevailing atmosphere in Paris through the end of the 1930s remained, at least for males, somewhat repressive. Formally, homosexuality might not have been a crime, but homo- sexual behavior had become criminalized. Nevertheless, a large part of this repression was cultural rather than legal and focused on issues related to gender and gender roles. To be thought of as being capable of performing homosexual acts meant being thought of as a homosexual: as Nye puts it, “a behavior was converted to an identity” (102). Hence, the male who discreetly engaged in sexual acts with other males, had “little need to fear direct police intervention in his private life”; however, even the most wary of men “had much more to fear . . . from the judgments of his fellow citizens
about the quality of his masculinity” (107). George Chauncey, in his study of gay13 male sexual identity in New York City, explores a similar contemporary phenomenon. He is able to discern analogous cultural attitudes toward males whose effeminacy labeled them as homosexual and males who, in spite of their sexual attraction to other males, because of their lack of effeminacy, were viewed as “normal” (65–97). “Only in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s,” asserts Chauncey, “did the nowconventional division of men into ‘homosexuals’ and ‘heterosexuals,’ based on the sex of their sexual partners, replace the division of men into ‘fairies’ and ‘normal men’ on the basis of their imaginary gender status . . .” (13). Chauncey also offers evidence that men who performed sexual acts both with women and other males were identified (and identified themselves) not as homosexual but as “normal” “so long as they played the ‘man’s part’ [the dominant role] with both” (119). Thus, in this period of transition, not just one’s partner but one’s “role” in the sexual act and one’s social behavior were key elements in determining one’s sexual identity. Such distinctions had considerable influence on popular and private views of homosexuality in France. Indeed, the whole problematic notion of “the man’s role,” that social construct culturally assumed to incorporate maleness, lurked (and perhaps still lurks) behind every discussion of homo- sexuality. To speak broadly, homosexuality in France remained a threat to what had come (or what was coming) to constitute masculinity. Therefore, those who had been designated through their actions as “homosexual” were subjected to some of the culture’s more repressive measures and were in this sense criminalized. Of course, “repressive” must be admitted as a relative term. There had always been, in spite of cultural and other prohibitions, a lavender under- ground or demi-monde in Paris. True, in the 1920s Berlin was regarded as the gay capital of Europe. “For a brief moment in 1929,” writes Klaus Muller, ̈ “the burgeoning gay and lesbian movement even seemed likely to abolish” the German anti-homosexual laws; “[a] parliamentary commission that was rewriting the nation’s moral code voted to drop the anti-sodomy statute” (9). During
the Weimar Republic, homosexual men and women made a major assault on the legal and cultural restrictions against them, and generally, in spite of the existing legal restrictions, the atmosphere in Berlin was more tolerant than in Paris. However, after Hitler’s ascent, Magnus Hirshfeld’s Institute for Sexual Research and his efforts to repeal the sodomy laws came to a halt. After the Nazi takeover in 1933, recounts Copley, Ernst Rohm, commander of the SA and himself a ̈ known homosexual, unleashed his “stormtroopers—ironically themselves to become victims of the same homophobic campaign— . . . on the gay community.” While any evidence of homosexual behavior was now highly punishable in Germany (“a lewd glance would do,” notes Copley) and men labeled homosexuals were cruelly hunted down and detained (153), France, where the legal system and moral attitudes remained the same, now seemed less repressive to homosexuals, in the same way that it suddenly seemed more tolerant to Jews. After the Defeat, of course, Jews born in France and foreign Jews who had fled there would find a change of policy, but French homosexuals might discover a mixed though not always unwelcoming reception in the City of Light. Vichy, which stood for traditionalist values, the family, and mother- hood, was hostile to homosexuality. Statutes passed in 1941 restricted ho- mosexual behavior (Nye 106). In August 1942, the regime would pass the first legislation since the Code Napoléon (which, as specified earlier, al- ready punished the corruption of children) to deal explicitly with the pun- ishment of such behavior. “This related,” explains Copley, “to ‘les délits d’excitation habituelle de mineurs à la débauche’ ” and referred to seduc- tions (by males or females) of a minor between fifteen and twenty-one years of age; “it made no difference,” Copley adds, “if both partners were under age” (203).14 There is, nonetheless, a certain irony here, for the Vichy Minister of Education (1942–1944), Abel Bonnard, was well known to be a homosexual. Moreover, whenever they could, French (and German) fas- cists were eager to claim celebrity supporters, even “maverick” novelist Henry de Montherlant, whose clandestine but untiring penchant for
cruising pre-adolescent boys during the Occupation would play an important role in his new career as playwright. (My analysis of his play, Fils de Personne [Nobody’s Son], follows in chapter 7.) Yet what is significant here is not so much the Vichy government’s hy- pocrisy, which was pervasive and remains well documented, but the need of this weakening regime to delimit in its own way that which it perceived to be a danger and offense. On the surface, the Vichy decrees may seem rather feeble in comparison with the Nazis’ approach to controlling homosexuality in Ger- many through mass imprisonment and murder, but the laws’ invidiousness clearly lies in their statutory differentiation of the homosexual and lesbian from others in society and in their characterization and outlawing of specific acts and practices that were already prohibited socially. In spite of their apparent limi- tations, the decrees mark an attempt to legitimize cultural prejudices that had not since the French Revolution carried genuine legal weight. The Vichy decrees seem to have come partially in response to the apparent flourishing of homosexuality in German-occupied Paris. Although there has yet to be a full-length study on gay Paris under the Occupation, some of its shadow may be glimpsed. Edmund White’s masterful Genet: A Biography, written from an openly gay point of view, presents a wealth of detail about the homosexual demi-monde in Paris during the War. A world of nightclubs and clandestine pick-ups, with a select pornographic book trade among gentlemen with money and a steady traffic in male prostitution; an urban arts center of discrete cafes, bars, and clubs; a place where homosexual men held positions across society, including in the government, police force, and judicial system—occupied Paris witnessed not merely the sort of collabo- ration to which Guéhenno refers but in some cases (as in Genet’s) to a literal coupling with the enemy.15 In White’s cityscape, there lurk gay fascist sympathizers and traitors: Maurice Sachs, the half-Jewish poet who had converted to Catholicism with Cocteau and after the Defeat “sided with the Nazis and was then killed by them,” (266)16 is
notable. Indeed, Sachs himself has left “Suite au sabbat,” an uncompleted memoir featuring glimpses of the gay underworld just after the Defeat. In addition, there were homosexual men whose association with Dr. Epting’s German Institute and other cultural organizations would later be viewed as collaborationist, such as Montherlant, Marcel Jouhandeau, and Cocteau himself (176). André Gide, a longtime progressive thinker on homosexuality, was in the Free Zone when France fell and eventually left for North Africa. Daniel Guérin, who would become a gay activist, though in Paris during the Occupation, would not begin to address the topic seriously until after the War.17 White’s sketches of occupied Paris, however, do not focus clearly on 1940–1941 for two crucial reasons: First, much of the first year of the Occupation Genet spent not at large in Paris but in jail; and second, although Genet’s relationship with Cocteau (who opened the doors for him into the noncriminal, literary–artistic homosexual world) began during the Occupation, they did not meet until 1943, well after the curtain had come down on The Typewriter. The relative freedom with which homosexual males moved through Paris seems perhaps no greater than before the War, but in many significant ways it does not appear to have been very much less. Yet the very survival in Paris of a gay subculture—as Michael Bronski defines it, a “group ex- cluded from the dominant culture” whose “outsider status allows the devel- opment of a distinct culture based upon the very characteristics which separate the group from the mainstream” (7)—was not just an offense to Vichy, which postured moral righteousness no matter what its proponents did on the sly, but, more important, an outright affront to French collaborationists in Paris, like Doriot and some of the ultra-rightist journalists who would attack The Typewriter. After all, the PPF and other radical fascists had modeled them- selves on the Nazis; they had already eagerly begun promoting the occupiers’ hatred for the Jews (with which they had no quarrel), and they were no doubt distressed and annoyed that the Germans, who so energetically punished homosexuals within their own borders, should allow these degenerates such liberty in Paris.
Laubreaux’s second review of the play, which appeared in the next issue of Je suis partout (19 May 1941), includes the same gay bashing but adds an ample helping of anti-Semitism and accuses the play’s director, Raymond Roulleau, of being “a purveyor of pornography” (9). Laubreaux even went on in a later issue to defend Rebatet’s and his own reviews and to abuse Cocteau again. Thus, the sort of ruination Laubreaux and others had in mind was to defame Cocteau by provoking, as Nye puts it, “the judgments of his fellow citizens about the quality of his masculinity” (107). Marais, of course, would have been guilty by association. His assault and battery of the critic drama- tizes another question, one that had perhaps become every bit as urgent by the spring of 1941 as the question, What does it mean to be French? Indeed, Marais’s behavior asks, in its own belligerent way, What does it mean to be a Frenchman? Although different playwrights would respond to this question in different ways, Marais, who was an actor, could only act out his answer. The melodramatic nature of the vignette takes for granted the machismo Marais felt it necessary to deploy in order to contradict the critic: In his own telling of the incident, Marais emasculates Laubreaux by first taking, then disposing of his cane, and then wounding him and exacting revenge, first physically, then psychically. Up to now, Marais had been assured protection from such personal criticisms through that cultural system that had identified him not so much by his choice of sexual partners— Cocteau, Morihien, and others—but by his sexual role and social (as well as stage) presentation of himself. Marais’s close friend, former lover, and patron, was generally perceived not just as a flaming aesthete but as an effeminate, and as Steegmuller acknowledges, “the nature of [Cocteau’s] sexuality was always well known to be passive” (18). Thus far, Marais’s sexuality had escaped public scrutiny. Now, with his film career poised for success, Jeannot needed to maintain the identity of a hand- some young man who was attractive (and attracted) to females. While the attack may appear to have its
basis in the politics of culture, economics seems to have been a cause as well. The power of the collabo press did not harm Marais the movie star: Cocteau complains throughout his wartime journal how teenage girls relentlessly follow Marais on the street and wait for him outside their apartment in the Palais Royal.21 This issue of masculinity was important not just to Marais, who per- haps felt obliged to demonstrate his manhood, but to Laubreaux, who be- longed to an ultra-conservative elite that had in fact, either consciously or unconsciously, displayed a penchant for the homoerotic while at the same time maintaining a fierce homophobia. Mosse detects such a trend in the writings of collaborator and homophobe Drieu La Rochelle, in which the pursuit of love and praise of war “were accompanied by consciousness of the beauty and strength of the male body.” Drieu’s work, Mosse surmises, “was the written equivalent of the nude statues that guarded Nazi buildings [such as Arno Breker’s male nudes flanking Hitler’s Chancellery] . . . ; but here [in Drieu’s writings] the male eros remained intact” (175). At the same time, Drieu “lumped homosexuals together with Jews as creatures of the city, unhealthy and rootless.” Reviewing the works of Montherlant and Robert Brasillach along with those of Drieu, Mosse concludes, “French fascism al- most flaunted homoerotic, if not homosexual, attitudes that other fascisms sought to suppress. Here the consequences Himmler wanted to abort seemed to emerge into the light of day” (176). Perhaps the real difference may have been that in Germany much fascist art took a graphic and plastic form, whereas in France it was almost exclusively literary.22 Only to the extent that linguistic representation could be more explicit than painting or sculpture, then, can the homoerotic be seen as being “flaunted.” At the same time, “Any discussion of fascism and sexuality,” notes Mosse, “must always return to the worship of masculinity and to the commu- nity of men as the ruling élite” (176). The masculinity that fascist Frenchmen had been “celebrating,” was, at least in part, an expression of what Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick has called “homosocial desire,” which refers to
“social bonds between persons of the same sex” (1). Sedgewick, in discussing “homosocial desire,” hypothesizes about “the potential unbrokenness of a continuum between homosocial and homosexual—a continuum whose vis- ibility, for men, in our society, is radically disrupted” (1–2). For French fascists, then, whose control over Paris was mocked daily by the very pres- ence of the Germans (who had brought the French fascists to prominence), the pervasiveness and tolerance of male homosexuality made evident a major link between two points that for them were supposed not to be connected at all—the worship of masculinity and homoeroticism. Thus, that men (or, as the ultra-rightists might have put it, males) such as Cocteau and Marais were left to do as they pleased, posed a bitter reminder that, despite all their collaborative efforts, the French fascists had been effeminized by those whom they would have liked to think of as their German allies. Freud hypothesized what later experiments seem to have shown to be true, that extreme ho- mophobia is manifested by men who are themselves aroused by homosexual thoughts; in such instances the denial of same-sex attraction becomes all the more vehement and violent. Unfortunately, hatred of homosexuals was never the exclusive franchise of the fascists. While homosexuals were rounded up by the Germans, “anti- fascists attempted,” writes Mosse, “to prove that the homosexuality of Ernst Rohm had infected the ̈ whole [Nazi] movement” (186). Heger explains how “[d]uring the 1930s and 1940s, homophobia would become one of the most frequently used tools of both Nazi and Stalinist propaganda to portray the other side as morally degenerate” and that “[p]ostwar films about the Nazi regime often included these homophobic posturings without challenging them” (10). Copley looks skeptically at Jean-Paul Sartre’s “description of the sexual opportunities opened for his character, Daniel, in Les Chemins de la Liberté, by the presence of German troops” (203); but after the Liberation some would see, in the real or alleged willingness of some homosexuals during the war to collaborate, a reason not to repeal Vichy’s anti-gay laws. Ironically, even though Marais was maligned by Vichy and the
French fascists, he was also denied entrance into an actor’s unit of the Résistance because, as one of its members, Louis Jourdan, later put it, “Cocteau talks too much” (Steegmuller 445), an idea that Marais himself had uttered to Cocteau (Cocteau, Journal 551). Lottman, chronicling the intellectual life on the Left Bank in the 1930s and 1940s, adds an interesting twist to Marais’s clash with the press: When Cocteau complained to his German friends about the attacks on him in Je Suis Partout, they replied, “It’s the French who are attacking you; you’re not liked by your colleagues.” Marais physi- cally assaulted the distasteful collaborationist critic Alain Laubreaux and was saved from arrest, it is said, by a phone call from Cocteau to Breker—the German had given his private number to Cocteau for just such an emergency. (169) Although Marais never refers to any help from Breker, Cocteau had been a friend of the sculptor since the 1920s and would continue as one throughout the Occupation and after. His recurrent mention of the gratitude he owed Breker, who performed a number of services on his behalf (some of them to benefit Marais), has led the editor of Cocteau’s wartime journals to infer that the sculptor may indeed have been responsible for quelling Laubreaux’s ef- forts against Marais (112n). This may help explain Cocteau’s loyalty to Breker, for whose May 1942 opening at the Orangerie Cocteau composed a highly flattering address, which was later published and which in part prompted many to charge Cocteau with collaboration. Whether or not the phone call that Lottman mentions ever occurred, such an event is credible and could easily have taken place. The curious cultural links and ruptures between fascist aesthetics and homoeroticism are further examined in chapter 2. The question remaining here, however, regards Cocteau as a person and an author. Exactly who was Jean Cocteau, or perhaps more significantly for this study, who was Jean Cocteau during the German Occupation of Paris? During the four years that followed the Defeat, the Cocteau who seemed to
embody so much of Vichy’s enmity and who would bear the burden of so many fascist French attacks, became, despite his increasing time in the public eye, ever more elusive. Cocteau in Occupied Paris In addition to being a poet, novelist, screenwriter and director, artist, painter, and designer, Jean Cocteau (1889–1963) was a dramatist of some repute. Of all the arts in which he worked, the theatre perhaps came most naturally to him. On the claustrophobic and often treacherous social stage of the Occupation, he managed to transform his vast social circle into a cast who sup- ported him through the War. As a widely known homosexual trapped in a “situation limite,” Cocteau played to whatever part of the audience might best appreciate him, no matter who might be seated in that section of the house. Although a biographical sketch that would do justice to Cocteau is beyond the range of this study, a number of aspects about him are pertinent here. For example, although brought up in a proper middle-class family, a teenage Cocteau apparently ran away from home and lived in hiding for about a year (or so he told people) in the Old Port district of Marseilles (which the Germans destroyed during the War). Steegmuller refers to a monologue written for Edith Piaf (probably during the Occupation), itself based on a short story Cocteau published in 1933, in which “a young [male] thief, having disguised himself as a female prostitute to escape the police, allows himself to be courted by an elderly gentleman—with fatal conse- quences” (17). During the 1920s, his affair with the young writer, Raymond Radiguet, who died in 1923, caused him to return to smoking opium, an addiction—described in detail in his memoir Opium (1929)—that he would never completely shake, except perhaps during the Occupation, when narcot- ics were impossible to buy (Steegmuller 440). Among his earlier important dramatic works are Orphée (1926), La Machine Infernale (1934), and Les Parents Terribles (1938), which he attempted to revive after The Typewriter. He had already written and directed the film Le Sang d’un Poète (1931) and would go on to write the screenplay for the 1943 classic, L’Eternel Retour. His relationship with Marais, which lasted
until Cocteau’s death, began in 1937, when Marais was cast in the chorus of Cocteau’s Oedipe. By the time The Typewriter had been produced, their romantic connection seems to have cooled (both having found other love interests) but not the intensity and intimacy of their friendship; they continued to live together for many years. Cocteau’s homosexuality was publicly and tacitly recognized, but his confessional novella, Le Livre blanc, was published anonymously, first in 1928 (by Maurice Sachs), and again in 1930 (this time with illustrations obviously by Cocteau), as was the 1953 edition (published by Paul Morihien). In an English translation, brought out in 1957, Cocteau admits to composing the drawings and writing the preface, in which he declares, I have even, yes, in several preceding editions accompanied this text with drawings which are patent evidence of the fact that if I do not specialize in a taste for my own sex, I do nonetheless recognize therein one of the sly helping hands fond nature is wont to extend to humans. (8) Cocteau’s original explanation for his denial of having written the book, offers Margaret Crosland, was “that he did not wish to upset his mother,” but Mme Cocteau died in 1943 by which time, if she had looked at any of the reviews that her son’s plays had received over the past three years, she could not have helped but be aware of his sexual orientation. “His reasons for not conceding authorship, even in 1957,” Crosland suggests, “seem to constitute a game he was playing both with himself and with his readers” (9). This “game,” as Crosland calls it, was played out according to cultural and legal rules: Cocteau’s anonymity had probably more to do with the same impulses that had caused Marais to thrash Laubreaux. Even after the war, the Vichy decree against pederasty stayed in place and attitudes about sexuality had not greatly changed; the same cultural repression of homosexuality that had operated during the Third Republic and the Vichy regime lingered into the 1960s. Certainly, Mme Cocteau had more than enough opportunity to recognize her son’s sexual preferences, but what is clear from Marais’s be- havior, as well as Cocteau’s, is that being a homosexual was rather different
from being called a homosexual. Unlike Montherlant, both Cocteau and Marais appear to have been able to accept being known for who and for what they were so long as the who and the what went unnamed. In an age when even widely known gay figures, such as Gide and Jouhandeau, remained married, Cocteau and Marais were uniquely “out,” although, during the war at least, a portion of the public (including Marais’s female fans) may not have under- stood the implications of their identities. Thus, if Marais battered Laubreaux for identifying him, and Cocteau shied away from acknowledging his HOMOSEXUALITY, COLLABORATION, AND RESISTANCE IN OCCUPIED FRANCE by Julian Jackson Towards the end of 1943, the novelist and journalist Robert Brasillach, one of France’s most prominent literary collaborators, looked back over the Occupation. He no longer had any illusions about the outcome of the war, but remained unrepentant about the political choices he had made. He reflected that his support for collaboration had developed from being a rational position to an emotional one:
Now I love the Germans . When I see German soldiers, on the street or in the countryside, these soldiers against whom I waged war in 1940, as my own people have done for three generations, I want to talk to them, to shake their hands for no particular reason, as though they were our own boys. It must be since they've received some bad blows that no one can deny. ... I tell myself that they are courageous beyond what we even know, I tell myself that they're strong, and especially, I tell myself that they are ours... I want to shake them by the arm, talk to them and give them moral support, explain our misunderstandings to them frankly, tell them, as if I were speaking to my brothers, that they've made mistakes, errors, but that, so what! We're still side by side, and friends of the same race [copains du meme sang]. To sum it up, I was once a collaborationist out of logic; I've become a collaborationist of the heart.
Although Brasillach wrote that he had been "astounded by the destiny of a people who, twice in twenty-five years, saw the entire world join together against it," Brasillach's own "love affair" with the Germans was never more intense than it was about to end and when he could begin to reexperience it in memory and write about it as a lost plenitude. Never had mere language made him feel as alive as did the "musical sorcery" without which "Germany could conceive nothing, neither religion, nor fatherland, nor war, nor politics, nor sacrifice." Any other theater seemed meager compared to the Nazi "theater of the masses," with its "monumental beauty," its "cathedral of light," its "perfectly ordered movements," its " music and song." It was not empty show, Brasillach assured his readers. "It is all founded on a doctrine, an intelligence, a sensibility, and these grandiose spectacles are bound to a representation of the world, to rock- solid ideas about the value of life and death." In 1945, when all was lost and nazism lay under a cloud of war crimes, Brasillach, writing in prison while awaiting execution, would, partly to justify the cause which had been his undoing, call attention to the last-ditch stand the Germans had made against the Allies:
"If Germany was great, it was not during its period of conquest but by the courage it showed in disaster. In these years when she had been hard on others, Germany showed that she accepted, with the same hardness, the blows she received from others. She proved, superabundantly, her vitality, her genius for adaptation, her courage, her heroism. Throughout her cities burned by phosphorous bombs, a whole people stiffened, and in the conquered countries from which American and Russian power finally expelled him, the German soldier, besieged as he was, fought with the energy of the outlaw that some used to admire when their souls were loyal.... It is impossible that all these virtues will be lost forever. They are part of the common treasure of our civilization.
In an article in February 1944 he put this point even more explicitly:
I was not pro German before the war, nor even at the beginning of the policy of collaboration. . . Now things have changed; it seems that I have contracted a liaison with the genius of Germany and I shall never forget it. Whether one admits it or not, we have cohabited together; during these last few years, Frenchmen of any intelligence have more or less slept with Germany, not without quarrels, and the memory of it will remain sweet. ("Lettre a quelques
jeunes gens", Revolution Nationale [February 19, 1944).
Exactly a year later Brasillach found himself on trial for collaboration, and the public prosecutor, Marcel Reboul, made effective use of this incendiary phrase when he denounced this sweet memory "This feeling that dare not say its name ... is love!" “qui n’ose pas dire son nom.” The allusion to Oscar Wilde’s famous characterization of homosexuality will not have been lost on Reboul’s audience, but he went on to make his point explicit in case anyone had not picked up the reference: Reboul put forward three arguments. In the first place, Brasillach had committed treason in order to get out of prison camp, that is, out of self-interest. Secondly, yet another instance of the weak yielding to the powerful, he had let himself be seduced by the invader’s strength: that was a nearexplicit charge of homosexuality, based on the pleasure Brasillach had taken in the humiliation of France (Kaplan 179). Alluding to Brasillach’s claim in his article “La Naissance d’un sentiment” that, “During those years, thinking Frenchmen effectively got into bed with Germany, with a few arguments, and the experience will have left them with happy memories” (cit. Isorni 138), Reboul said: “Your almost carnal attraction to brute force may have made you try to lead your country into that bed of such happy memories,” and he greeted with derision Brasillach’s claim of attachment to the “emasculated France” that was left. After he was condemned, Brasillach seemed to accept Reboul's characterization of him as the feminized lover of Germany in a
remarkable poem called "Bijoux." In the poem, his manacles become adorning bracelets. If it was perverse that he slept with Germany, he implies, it was even more perverse that France now clad him in the costume of one who had done so. By dressing him as the sexually ambiguous seducer it feared him to be, and by binding him to mutually titillating effect, France acknowledged his seductions. This insinuation of a homosexual undertone to collaboration was not new in 1945. It occurs, for example, in the wartime journal of the former Popular activist and opponent of collaboration, Jean Guéhenno. On 18 June 1941, he wrote: “Problème sociologique: pourquoi tant de pédérastes parmi les collaborateurs? C…, F….,. M…., D….. Attendent-ils de l'ordre nouveau la légitimation de leurs amours?”
“Sociological problem: why so many pederasts among the
collaborators? C..., F..., M..., D...(who, as they say, likes to go both ways). Are they waiting for the new order to legitimatize their loves?"
On 7 August, he returned to the question: “Solution d'un problème sociologique: pourquoi les pédérastes collaborent? Leur joie est celle des pensionnaires d'un bordel de petite ville quand vient de passer un régiment” (178, 199).
“Solution to the sociological problem of why the pederasts collaborate: they are like the pensionnaires of a provincial brothel when a regiment passes through.”
According to writer Jean-Louis Bory, the German army exercised a distinctly sexual allure. It consisted, he claimed, in "a taste for boots, leather, metal, and the famous Nuremberg masses in which ... someone like Brasillach the exaltation of a humanity to their liking." Over thirty years later, in 1976, the novelist Jean-Louis Bory (himself homosexual and involved as a very young man in the Resistance) noted the same phenomenon and offered his interpretation: “[L]e mythe de la virilité. La virilité confondue avec la force et une espèce de
courage [...] le goût de la boxe, du cuir, du métal” (Halimi 225).3 The writer Emmanuel Berl, who had been vaguely sympathetic to Vichy in its early days but never a collaborator, put it even more bluntly: “Dans cette fascination du chef et de la force, il y avait beaucoup de féminité latente, une certaine forme d'homosexualité. Au fond, chez la plupart de ces intellectuels fascistesje pense à Brasillach, à Abel Bonnard, à Laubreaux, à Bucard, il y avait le désir inconscient de se faire enculer par les SS Ce n'était pas du tout des modèles de beauté aryenne. Ce n'était pas du tout des modèles de beauté aryenne, vous savez, ces intellectuels fascistes! Il suffisait de voir la bedaine de Laubreaux, la voix de fausset et la taille minuscule d'Abel Bonnard, les épaules étriquées de Rebatet. ... J'ai toujours trouvé que ces intellectuels fascistes n'avaient pas le physique de leurs idées.”. (Berl 74). The suggestion of a relationship between collaboration and homosexuality has, therefore, a long history.4 This article aims briefly to explore the origins, reality, and limitations of the idea; to discuss the situation of homosexuality in occupied France; and to suggest, finally, that, in addition to the story of homosexuality and collaboration, there is also another story that could be told – of homosexuality and resistance. Remaking France: Masculinity, Homosexuality and the Vichy Regime. The locus classicus of this idea of a relationship between homosexuality and collaboration is Jean-Paul Sartre's 1945 article “La Collaboration.” While not going as far as to posit a causal relationship between the two phenomena, Sartre saw homosexuality as a possible social and psychological terrain in which collaboration could flourish. He identified collaborators as “éléments mal assimilés par la communauté nationale” and attracted by force: Ces prêtres de la puissance virile et des vertus masculines s'accommodent des armes du faible, de la femme. On relèvera partout dans des articles de Chateaubriant, de Drieu, de Brazillach [sic] de curieuses métaphores qui présentent les relations de la France et de l'Allemagne sous
l'aspect d'une union sexuelle où la France joue le rôle de la femme [. . .]. Il me paraît qu'il y a là un curieux mélange de masochisme et d' homosexualité. Les milieux homosexuels parisiens ont d'ailleurs fourni de nombreuses et brillantes recrues. (Sartre. 58) Sartre's subsequently embodied this idea in fictional form in La Mort dans l'Ame, the third volume of his Chemins de la Liberté novel sequence, where the homosexual character, Daniel, wanders through Paris in a state of exaltation on the day the Germans arrive in the city: “Il se gorgea de ces cheveux blonds, de ces visages hâles où les yeux semblaient des lacs de glacier, de ces tailles étroites, de ces cuisses incroyablement longues et musculeuses” (Sartre Œuvres. 1219).
“He gorged himself on their blond hair, their bronzed faces where the eyes seemed like glacier lakes, on their tight waists and their incredibly long and muscular thighs.
He meets and seduces a young man to whom he explains the significance of the Germans' arrival: “we must love the Germans” so as to undermine bourgeois morality. '“Tu veux saper la morale bourgeoise? Eh bien, les Allemands sont là pour t'aider [. . .] tu verras ramper les pères de famille [. . .] Il faut aimer les Allemands”'. (1286-87).6 In the next volume in the sequence, which was never completed, Daniel was to be become a full collaborator. The suggestion of a link between fascism and homosexuality had been popularized initially in the 1930s by anti-fascist German émigré circles until it became almost a cliché of antifascist polemic. The 1936 Soviet propaganda film The Fighters (1936) by the German exile Gustav von Wangenheim depicted the Nazis as effeminate homosexuals (Plant 16). This idea was probably inspired originally by his assassination in 1934. It was given intellectual credibility the notorious homosexuality of Ernst Roehm, leader of Hitler's SA, but it persisted after his assassination in 1934. It was given intellectual credibility by
the Nazis' idealization of virility and their utilization of the German nationalist ideal of the Männerbund: the idea that the strength of the nation-state was bolstered by the existence of an elite of men, sharing the values of virility and comradeship. The Männerbund was indeed celebrated by those. German homosexual propagandists who belonged to Adolf Brand's “Communityof the Special” (Gemeinschaft der Eigenen). Brand developed a misogynistic vision of homosexuality celebrating the homoeroticism of male communities like the Knights Templar and idealizing the martial virtues of ancient Sparta. Among those as- sociated with Brand's Community was the writer Hans Blüher who did misguidedly sympathize with the Nazis until the Roehm purge. (Oosterhuis; Steakley). Although after 1934 the homophobic nature of Nazism became increasingly apparent, the idea that there were affinities between fascism and homosexuality had taken hold, and it was theorized by members of the Frankfurt School in exile during and after the war: Theodor Adorno famously wrote in 1951 that “homosexuality and totalitarianism belong together” (46). Erich Fromm's. The Fear of Freedom (1942), combined Marxism and Freudianism to explain the appeal of fascism in terms of a masochistic “longing for submission” (202). This sexual reading of of fascism resurfaced in the 1970s in Karl Theweleit's influential psychoanalytical reading of Nazism, Male Fantasies. The idea is also present in films like. Visconti's The Damned or Bertolucci's The Conformist based on. Alberto Moravia's novel of the same name. Applied by Sartre to the case of collaboration, the identification of fascism with homosexuality and femininity was combined with another well-known trope that cast Germany and France as a male-female couple: Germany as a strong, masculine, and techno- logically-oriented culture and France as a frivolous, feminine, and arts-oriented civilization.8 This characterization was exploited by some German and French defenders of collaboration to demonstrate the necessary
complementarity of the two nations, and designate the roles that each would be called to play in the new Europe. The identification of fascism with homosexuality aimed to subvert fascism's exclusive claim to represent the values of mas-culinity. It was indeed the mirror image of a fascist discourse that portrayed liberalism and democracy as decadent, weak and effeminate. This was an obsessive theme of the French collaborationist newspaper Je Suis Partout in which Brasillach often wrote. Fascists also associated femininity with modernity. The rejuvenation of France was seen as requiring a return to the noble and virile values of classical Greece, or to the “chevalier viril” (Brasillach) or the “Christ viril” (Drieu la Rochelle) of the Middle Ages (Tumblety 17). “Pederasts” and Jews played an equal role in Drieu la Rochelle's well-stocked arsenal of hatred and invective: they both epitomized for him the politics of sterility and decadence (Carroll 166-68).10 Another notorious collaborationist, Lucien Rebatet, stigmatized Jean Cocteau's play La Machine à écrire, which opened in Paris in. April 1941, as “the type of inverted theater” with its “physical and intellectual perversions” that had characterized the Third Republic. (Krauss 10-34). This theme prevalent among the collaborationist fascists in Paris, was also part of the rhetoric of the Vichy regime. Vichy's ideology was pluralist in many ways, but not when it came to the moral project of regenerating the French people, “ravagé d'alcoolisme, pourri d'érotisme, rongé de dénatalité” as one writer put it in 1941 (Olivier 30). A collaborator of the Vichy minister Paul Marion presented the National Revolution as a “réaction très virilement humaine à une République féminisée, une République de femmes et d'invertis” (Jackson 393). For Vichy, no writer more perfectly embodied the enemy than André Gide – the apostle of pederasty – in his tract Corydon. A small cause célèbre arose in the spring of 1941 when a planned lecture by Gide on a purely literary subject had to be called off because the Vichyite Légion des Combattants had threatened to
disrupt it. When Henri de Montherlant was taken to the police station in July 1940 in Marseilles after having been denounced by a boy whom he had been trying to pick up, the police chief told him that it was people like him that who were responsible for the defeat; his friend Roger Peyrefitte was told almost the same thing when detained by the police for a similar reason a few weeks later (Correspondance 85). A famous cartoon by Sennep satirized these kinds of attitudes showing a bemused peasant being told that the reason for the defeat was that “vous faisiez vos délices de Gide, de Proust, de Cocteau.”
“you gorged yourself on the works of Gide, Proust, and Cocteau.
The reader will certainly have taken the point: all these writers were known as homosexuals. In its crusade against immorality, Vichy passed a raft of legislation against alcoholism, prostitution, adultery, abortion – and homosexuality. On 6 August 1942, a law was promulgated amending article 334 of the penal code. It imposed a fine and a prison sentence of between six months and two years for anyone who “pour satisfaire ses propres passions, [aura] commis un ou plusieurs actes impudiques ou contre nature avec un mineur de son sexe âgé de moins de vingt et un ans” (Journal 2922). There were two novelties in this law. First, article 334, making no distinction between homosexual and heterosexual acts, had previously covered only cases where young people were corrupted in order to satisfy a third party (that is, for purposes of prostitution) and not merely to satisfy “their own passions.” Secondly, the law introduced into French jurisprudence the notion of “unnatural acts” for the first time since the Revolution, when the crime of sodomy had been abolished. It should be noted also that Vichy's law was specifically directed against homosexuality rather than just being about the protection of the young from abuse since it also criminalized behavior involving two people under 21. Unlike the laws against homosexuality in Germany and Britain (which, however, were not restricted to those under 21 years old) the Vichy law also included women as well as men. Recent
research has convincingly established that the origins of this law, like much Vichy legislation, go back to the Third Republic. It is a textbook example of what Gérard Noiriel has dubbed “the republican origins of Vichy.” Courts had been trying unsuc- cessfully since the beginning of the century to extend the remit of article 334. The Naval Ministry in particular had been concerned, for reasons of morality and national security, about casual homosexual prostitution among sailors. A law modifying article 334 had been drafted for inclusion among a batch of decree laws issued by Daladier's government in November 1939 but it was not ready before the government's right to issue decree laws lapsed. The issue was taken up again by Vichy in response to a report by a public prosecu- tor in Toulon frustrated that existing law did not allow him to pursue a man who was having sexual relations with consenting boys under 21 (Boninchi 147). The Vichy authorities were particularly willing to act because they feared that the new youth camps – the Chantiers de la Jeunesse – which were such an important feature of their campaign to moralize the young ran the risk of encouraging homosexuality. Although the new law conformed perfectly to Vichy's moral agenda, one must not exaggerate its importance. Its promulgation was not accompanied by any publicity, and there is no sign that it was considered a major priority, like the campaigns against abortion and adultery, or that it was the signal for any major clampdown against homosexuality. Although not technically illegal before 1942, homosexuality had been repressed in various ways – for example using the laws against public indecency – and this went on much as before. A few cases have been discovered of individuals being punished under the new law – including one case involving lesbianism (Olivier 259-70) – but, so far, research does not tell us how many. The sentences do not seem to have been especially severe. Overall, it is likely that homosexual life went on much as before the war. In Paris the curfew might have imposed some new difficulties, but the presence of large numbers of German troops in search of amusement (under the
cover of darkness) will have offered new possibilities. What was the attitude of the German authorities to homosexuality in France? In occupied Europe the the Nazis were inconsistent in their treatment of homosexuality of Poland, homosexual acts were not prosecuted if both offenders were Poles, whereas in the Netherlands, where homosexuality had previously been legal, the German occupation authorities almost immediately issued an order applying the German legislation criminalizing homosexuality (Paragraph 175 of the German Penal Code) although the policing of the measure was left to the Dutch police who seem not to have been particularly zealous (Grau 200-02). In France, it was only in the de facto annexed region of Alsace and the Moselle that the occupiers applied German legislation on homosexuality. Using lists supplied by the French police, they arrested homosexuals under paragraph 175. Research by the Mémorial de la Déportation has so far come up with the names of 207 individuals arrested for homosexuality in Alsace and Moselle, and interned in the Natzweiler-Struthof and Schrimeck concentration camps. One of these victims, Pierre Seel, who was arrested at the age of seventeen and sent to Schrimeck for a few months before being released and forcibly enrolled in the French army, published a harrowing account of his experience in 1994. In other cases, the Germans simply expelled homosexuals to the unoccupied zone of France. There is evidence that at least ninety-five homosexuals were deported in this way between June and April 1940 (Sibalis. 211-212). In the rest of France, the Germans took no other initiatives. It has been suggested by one historian that this laissez faire attitude had a Machiavellian purpose: “Himmler argued that Germany's interests lay in encouraging the degenerating consequences of homosexuality among the subject peoples, hence accelerating their decline (Copley 153). There is, however, no evidence to support this idea (nor indeed to refute it). It is true that the Germans were not particularly assiduous in applying Nazi cultural norms in occupied France
(except to ban any works produced by Jews). Indeed there was in some respects more artistic freedom in occupied Paris than in the Vichy Zone. For example, it was the German Propaganda Abteilung which intervened to allow Cocteau's play La Machine à écrire to re-open after the French authorities had closed it down. This attitude was partly a pragmatic attempt to win the support of French artistic and literary circles, but also the Germans saw no reason to combat French cultural “decadence.” As Hitler said to Speer “What does the spiritual health of the French matter to us? [. . .] Let them degenerate.” The Germans certainly did not want to export to France “the secrets of Germany's cultural renaissance” (Jackson 369). But it is dubious if this philosophy was explicitly applied to matters of sexuality if only because the German military authorities in France were obsessed with protecting their soldiers from sexual and moral contamination.14 For German soldiers, a posting in France came to be seen increasingly as offering “rest and recreation" from the rigors of the eastern front, but France equally had the reputation of being a hotbed of sexual license, immorality, syphilis, and criminality. To confront this danger, the Germans organized, in cooperation with the Vichy authorities, a regulated system of prostitution, reserving certain brothels for German soldiers and imposing strict medical surveillance upon them. The Germans tried – unsuccessfully – to discourage any other contacts between German soldiers and French women. Once the Resistance attacks started in the summer of 1941 this also became a matter of security as well as morality and health. These two ideas combined in the paranoid fear that the Resistance might be using prostitutes consciously to infect German soldiers. Homosexuals did not figure as prominently in the German image of France as did loose women, but one of the motives for organizing prostitution, explicitly mentioned in a memorandum
by von Brauchitsch in 1941 was to prevent German soldiers from the temptations of homosexuality (Meinen 109). Although the Germans did not interfere in the French policing of homosexuality among French people, they seem to have acted vigorously when Frenchmen approached their own soldiers (Sibalis 313). The attempt to keep German soldiers from homosexual activities was probably just as unsuccessful as the attempt to keep them away from French women outside brothels. Germans were not allowed to enter openly homosexual establishments like the Select (Sachs 101), but there were many other ways of making sexual contacts. The historian Michael Sibalis has recorded some inter- views with Frenchmen who willingly mention their sexual contacts with Germans. One of them recalled: “[T]here were encounters at the Place du Trocadero, where German soldiers even turned up in uniform [. . .] Some of them really went at it in the street urinals. You saw it from outside, the military pants dropping” (Sibalis 312). Homosexual encounters between Germans and French are also recounted in semi-autobiographical novels such as Les Amours Dis-sidentes or Le Monde Inversé (Arnold; Du Dognon). Sleeping with the Enemy: Homosexuality and Collaboration. This is not of course what Sartre and other writers were referring to when discussing collaboration and homosexuality. Collaboration was a fluid category that did not exist before the begin- ning of the Occupation, and its meanings evolved over time. What caused moral outrage when French women and Germans consorted was precisely the publicity of the act: it flaunted the defeat and underlined the humiliation that had occurred. For many resisters, seeing women and Germans together was the moment that crystallized their shame at defeat.
Thus relations between French women and German soldiers quickly found a central place in the protocols of unacceptable behavior elaborated by the Resistance. Sex between Frenchmen and German soldiers was a doubly transgressive act, and it was inevitably a secret one. The argument of those who stigmatized homosexual collaborators was not that homosexual sex with Germans was collaboration but that homosexuality predisposed in favor of collaboration. What is the evidence for this? There is often vagueness about who is targeted by this accusation. Guéhenno offers only the initials “C. . ., F. . ., M. . ., D. . .” (178). The most prominent literary collaborators who might match these initials are Chardonne or Chateaubriant, Fernandez or Fraigneau, Montherlant and Drieu; the only names mentioned by Sartre were Chateaubriant, Drieu, and Brasillach. The problem with these various names is that no one has ever suggested that Cha- teaubriant, Chardonne, or Fernandez were homosexual – quite the contrary – nor Drieu unless one were to exaggerate some incidents from his youth or assume that his almost frenetic heterosexuality and and obsessive homophobia were in fact a kind of repressed homo- sexuality. Or it is that the allegedly “feminine" attitudes of these writers indicate latent or repressed homosexuality? Leaving aside such reductionist and psychoanalytical speculations one can nonetheless compile quite a significant list of writers, known or strongly suspected to be homosexual, who were involved in collaboration or at least consorted to some degree with the Germans: Marcel Jouhandeau, André Fraigneau, Brasillach, Abel Bonnard, Bernard Fäy, Abel Hermant, Henry de Montherlant,. Roger Peyrefitte, Maurice Sachs, Jean Cocteau. Even if one could easily draw up much longer lists of heterosexual collaborators, there does seem at least a question worth addressing: after all, four of the seven French writers who attended the infamous writers' congress at Weimar in October 1941 were probably or certainly homosexual. (Brasillach, Jouhandeau, Fraigneau, Bonnard). The problem with the explanations of this phenomenon offered by Sartre and others is that they are based upon a stereotypical representation of homosexuality, upon the dubious notion that there is a
universal and fixed homosexual personality type or sensibility that can be equated with femininity or masochism. But, in fact, there is a world of difference between the celebration of transgression and violence to be found in the writing of Genet and the fastidious, classicizing pederasty to be found in the writing of Peyrefitte; Gide despised what he considered “inverts” in the style of Cocteau. And even if the tired cliché about attraction to leather and tough masculinity does correspond to one pattern of homosexuality, does it necessarily imply any political position? Daniel Guérin, for example, certainly had sexual tastes of this kind – and indeed the book he published in 1933 describing his travels in Germany just before and after the arrival to power of Hitler does note the homoeroticism of Nazism16 – but none of this prevented Guérin from being a life-long libertarian. Socialist: “la virilité, le harnachement des jeunes Nazis auxquels, certes, je n'ai pas été insensible, n'ont pas fait de moi un fasciste, mais, bien, un fasciste intraitable” (Guérin 12). To the extent that his sexuality impinged upon politics it led him to idealize the young workers of the Popular Front. As he wrote in his memoirs: “j'étais venu au socialisme par le phallisme” (Guérin 44). The writer who played most explicitly with the erotic possibilities of fascism was Jean Genet in his novel Pompes funèbres. The novel is an elegy to a virile young resister, Jean D., with whom the narrator had been in love. Jean D. is killed by collaborators and Genet creates a hallucinatory erotic fantasy imagining the narrator sleeping with Jean's killer, whom he names Riton, and then imagining Riton having sex with a German soldier whose lover had been the Berlin public executioner. At one point, the narrator imagines himself as Hitler. This novel, where identities melt into each other, and nothing is fixed, where the sacred is profaned and the profane sacralized, inhabits a space outside politics, as did Genet himself had spent much of the Occupation in prison for committing minor thefts. When not in prison he had sexual crushes on, and affairs with,
both a resister (the original of Jean) and a German (the original of Erik). Looking back on the Occupation many years later, he remarked that, as a criminal and outlaw in France, he had welcomed France's defeat, and enjoyed “the delicate happiness of seeing France terrorized by kids between 16 and 20 years old” (White 322). Like most of Genet's political stances, this is likely to have been in large part a subsequent pose, but even if it does represent his true feelings, it does not imply any sympathy for fascism as an ideology or aesthetic. To the extent that. Pompes funèbres has a political message, it is about challenging the idea that political divisions can be mapped on to sexual boundaries (Meyers “Jean Genet”). Pompes funèbres, although it hasbeen seen as exemplifying the “erotic allure” that could be exercised by fascism (Sontag 103), gives us more insights into Genet himself than into the relationship between homosexuality and collaboration during the Occupation. It would be more productive, as Didier Eribon has suggested, to explore the homosexual-collaborationist axis as a manifestation of social and political conservatism draping itself in classical values (192-93). In the 1930s and 1940s, homosexuality was often associated with a certain cultural elitism centred upon the cult of classical antiquity. This might well apply, for example, to the cases of Abel Hermant and Abel Bonnard, both members of the Académie. Française, and closer in sensibility to Action Française, for whom the classical reference was a signifier of a static and timeless conservatism, rather than to fascist dynamism. They were collaborators because they were conservatives rather than because they were homosexuals. It is this kind of elitist conservatism that Shari Benstock has employed to explain the reactionary politics of certain lesbian circles in interwar Paris. One author for whom the classical reference operated somewhat differently was Henri de Montherlant was steeped in the cult of antiquity, but in his case it was accompanied by a Nietzschean glorification of energy and war that had more affinities with fascism than with Action Française (even if he
was too much of an individualist ever to join any political organization). His much reprinted interwar book Les Olympiques celebrated sport as a way of continuing into peacetime the heroism and camaraderie of war. The book for which Montherlant was most reproached after the war was the series of articles (many of them originally appearing in collaborationist journals) published in November 1941 as Le Solstice de juin. In this In book, Montherlant expressed his view of the defeat as the victory of virile paganism over decadent and weak Christianity. France had been fairly defeated as in a boxing match, and it was not for balding and bespectacled intellectuals to bemoan the success of the vitality of the Germans “ruisselant de sueur” (Montherlant, Solstice 259). One chapter that caused particular shock was his description of a moment in the summer of 1940 when he had observed the contortions of a caterpillar on which he was urinating. Having showed his strength to the creature, he then spared it. The analogy was clear – the French were the caterpillars. – and so was the moral: the French must throw themselves on the mercy of their conquerors. Le Solstice de juin opens with a curious essay titled “Les. Chevaleries” where Montherlant recounted how he and a friend. “P” had founded their own secret Chivalric Order opposed to the values of bourgeois order, which was closed to priests, women and, of course, bourgeois. He was inspired by and employed the models of Sparta, the Templars, the Teutonic Knights, and the Samurai. The secret key to this new chivalry is to be found in Montherlant's correspondence with his friend Roger Peyrefitte (presumably “P”) in the years 1938-41. In these letters, they recounted to each other their sexual escapades and relentless hunt for boys in playgrounds, cinemas, and parks, and their frequent run-ins with the police. One of the conceits of the correspondence is that they have created a new Chivalric Order of defenders of pederasty in July 1940. When they both had trouble with the police in the summer of 1940 they described themselves as two “blessés de l'Ordre” (Montherlant Correspondance 95). Peyrefitte and Montherlant seem almost heroic in their ut- ter indifference to the plight of their country:
in their letters “notre guerre” is their eternal pursuit of boys (131). In general Montherlant steered clear of explicit political statements or commitment – he refused the invitation to attend the writers' congress at Weimar – and it was this that saved him from major reprisals at the Liberation. Nonetheless he did give an interview to the ultra-collaborationist paper La Gerbe in January 1942, where he interpreted the current struggle as the “lutte de l'élite héroïque de la nouvelle civilisation européenne contre les bas-Européens” (Spiriot 193). And in April. 1943, he wrote in a German newspaper an appreciation of Karl-Heinz. Bremer, who had served as the deputy director of the German Institute in Paris until he was sent to fight on the Russian Front (where he was killed at the end of 1942). Another Frenchman affected by the death of Bremer was Robert Brasillach who described him in his obituary article as “a blond young Siegfried.” Brasillach saw his friendship with Bremer as a microcosm of Franco-German collaboration: “once peace came we wanted to go walking, camping, find twin landscapes, fraternal cities of our two countries” (Kaplan 48-49). Unlike Montherlant,. Brasillach was unreservedly and openly committed to collaboration. Although nothing is actually known about his private sexual life – if he had one – Brasillach's writing is saturated with homoeroticism, and most people believed him to be homosexual. For Brasillach, fascism was about fraternity and youth, a means of transposing the idyll of adolescence into politics. He contrasted its virile fraternity with the “relents de pourriture parfumée qu'exhale encore la vieille putain agonisante [. . .] la République toujours debout sur le trottoir” (Je Suis Partout, 7 February 1942). In an article entitled "The Anti-Fascist Conspiracy at the Service of the Jew," which appeared on February 7, 1942, is how he denounced the republic:
Will an end finally be put to those whiffs of perfumed rot we still get from the moribund old slut, the syphilitic whore reeking of patchouli oil and leukorrheac ooze, the Republic still displaying her wares on the sidewalk? She is still there, at her doorway, all wrinkles, but surrounded by her pimps and dogged toyboys ... She has served them so well, tucked so many
banknotes in her garters for them, how could they have the heart to desert her, cankered though she is?
Although one must not forget that Brasillach's wartime journalism contained violent denunciations of Communism and frenetic anti-Semitism, he viewed fascism as a kind of poetry, “la plus haute création artistique de notre temps” (Je Suis Partout, 29 January 1943). Here homoerotic fantasy does indeed seem to be co-substantial with collaboration. A world apart from Brasillach's adolescent and naïve homoeroticism was Marcel Jouhandeau's pitiless analysis, in his anonymously published book De l'abjection (1939), of the homosexual condition as experienced by a devout (and married) Catholic. Jouhandeau was not a committed collaborator like Brasillach, and the only political text he published during the Occupation was an enthusiastic article in December 1941, describing his impressions of Germany after his return from the writers' congress in Weimar: “j'ai vu un peuple discipliné et, quand on m'avait promis des esclaves, j'ai vu des hommes libres” (Dufay 158). But the very fact of having agreed to go to Germany was a step that others, like Montherlant, had avoided. Jouhandeau's experience in Germany had a homosexual sub-plot which he described in his posthumously published Journal sous l'Occupation (1980) revealing that he had more or less fallen in love on that trip with two Germans: Gerhard Heller, the German functionary who had organized it, and the Nazi poet Hans Baumann. Thus when Jouhandeau wrote that he wanted to “faire de son corps un pont fraternel entre l'Allemagne et nous” he was speaking liter- ally as much as metaphorically (84).18 Nonetheless, the fundamental explanation for Jouhandeau's collaboration, such as it was, is to be found in his politics rather than his sexuality. In 1936, to the alarm of some of his admirers, Jouhandeau had suddenly announced his conversion to anti-Semitism, and published in 1937 a book entitled Le Péril juif where he remarks prophetically that “je me suis toujours senti instinctivement mille fois plus près [. . .] de nos ex-ennemis allemands que de toute cette racaille juive” (12) (although he was also living a passionate affair with a young Jewish musician). After the war, he repented of this, and
his Journal sous l'Occupation avoids the subject. But in the notes he took during the writers' congress, but never published, he is quite explicit on the subject: [C]'est ce que j'ai éprouvé en 1936 qui me conduit ce soir logiquement à Bonn: tout plutôt qu'une victoire juive, tout plutôt qu'une domination juive et c'est à quoi nous destinait une défaite allemande dans cette guerre qui est une guerre juive.19 (Roussillat 243). In short, there were many individual trajectories that could lead these writers to collaboration. The Untold Story: Homosexuality and Resistance. If commentators have often alluded to the subject of homosexuality and collaboration, albeit in rather simplistic terms, no one seems to have discussed the subject of homosexuality and Resistance in France. Of course, no serious historical purpose is served in compiling a list of “good” homosexual resisters to balance the list of “bad” homosexual collaborators unless it is possible to suggest some connections between their homosexuality – their experience of being homosexuals – and their reasons for engaging in the Resistance and/or their success in adapting to it. Such connections are not implausible. There were distinct itineraries of entry into resistance, both individual and collective, and homosexuality might well have been one of those. It could be that the experience of leading a double life came more easily to homosexuals; that homosexuals were particularly likely to be alienated by the moralism of the Vichy regime; that having no family – or at least children – homosexuals were freer of commitment; that already having made one break with convention they might have been more susceptible than other members of society to make another; or that resistance offered the chance to break with family, which many found found liberating (Bouchoux). Claude Bourdet, one of the leaders of the Combat movement, suggested that resisters were often people who had already broken in some way with their social and professional milieu. In similar terms, Emmanuel d'Astier de la Vigerie, founder of the resistance movement Libération-Sud, stated after the war that one could
“only be a resister if one was maladjusted” (Sorrow 118). Was it perhaps partly for this reason that he made particular efforts to recruit the journalist Pascal Copeau whom he had encountered before the war, and whose homosexuality was well known even if Copeau tried to keep it secret? Copeau was to become one of the most important leaders of the Resistance, and became the second in command of Libération-Sud. Since he was always tight lipped about his clandestine and often turbulent homosexual life, Copeau left no clue about how, if at all, it affected his identity as a resister or his reasons for resisting, although in the skeleton chapter plan he produced for the memoirs he never wrote there is an intriguing entry for 1940 – “Les Beaux Allemands arrivent en chantant. C'est la faute d'André Gide. Masochisme et Sodomisation.” – which suggests that he was sensitive to the anti-homosexual moralism of the period, even if it is impossible to prove that this played any part in his engagement in resistance (Leenhardt 244). Copeau, like many homosexuals in this period, was a man of masks. On occasion, he turned up during the Occupation to visit his father, the famous theater director Jacques Copeau, accompanied by others who might have either been objects of affection or resistance comrades. On one such occasion in November 1941, Jacques, who knew of his son's sexual activities, and probably suspected his resistance en- gagement, wrote in his diary: “Je suis toujours très déconcerté dès que je touche à ces relations occultes de Pascal. J'ai l'impression de commettre une noire indiscrétion, d'aborder un monde qui m'est interdit” (Leenhardt 92). This is a world that is also largely “interdit” to historians for lack of evidence. There are only two examples of resisters who, looking back on the war, explicitly linked their homosexuality to their resistance: Denis Rake and Roger Stéphane. Denis Rake, was a perfectly bilingual Englishman, who had worked in cabaret, before volunteering to work for SOE in occupied France. In 1969, interviewed for the film Le Chagrin et la pitié, he was asked: “Do you think that being a man of the theater predisposed you for these underground activities?” He
answered: “Very much so. I used to sing as a transvestite.” He was used to disguises, and in the Resistance, communist workers lent him dungarees in railway yards where he was preparing sabotage operations. But Rake explained the deepest motive for his engagement in the Resistance in the fol- lowing way: I had nothing nothing to lose – I had no relatives, I wasn't married. That's why I did that kind of work [. . .] I think deep down what I wanted to do was to be able to display the same kind of courage my friends who had become flyers had. Being a homosexual, one of my strongest fears was lacking the courage do certain things.21 (Sorrow 104-06). In 1939, Roger Stéphane was a 20-year-old journalist of. Jewish origins (his real name was Worms) who had been ferociously opposed to the Munich agreement. Almost immediately after the defeat, his brother became involved in a resistance network linked to the British Intelligence services. Stéphane himself contemplated trying to get to London, but later said that as a Jew he did not want to be seen to be escaping the country. This background would certainly have pre-disposed him in favor of the Resistance, but the factor that clinched his decision was meeting Jean Sussel in August 1941, who was working for the Combat movement. Having fallen in love with Sussel, Stéphane, with the aid of Gide, overcame the young man's inhibitions about his homosexuality, and it was Sussel, in return, who overcame Stéphane's final reservations about committing himself to the Resistance. As Stéphane wrote in his memoirs: Je travestirais les choses si je faisais état de mon antipathie pour Vichy ou de mon désir de contribuer à la victoire. Naturellement, je n'aimais pas Vichy; naturellement, je souhaitais la victoire la victoire alliée. Mais ces sentiments ne m'ont pas déter- miné [. . .] Pour des êtres qui s'éprennent de leurs semblables, il est essentiel d'acquérir l'estime de l'aimé et il me semble que l'amour s'épanouit dans l'entreprise commune. Je crois que les hommes de ma sorte sont obsédés par la nécessité de le faire [. . .] C'est pour Jean que je suis entré dans la Résistance. (Stéphane 175-76) In the Resistance, Stéphane found himself part of a whole group of homosexuals some of whom he had known before the war, and others whom he now
met for the first time: Joseph Rovan, who was running an operation forging papers in Lyon; Joseph Beauffret (as it happens also a close friend of Jouhandeau), a teacher in Lyon who was involved in the same operation; François Vernet, a writer, who did the same in Paris, as well as help Jews avoid deportation. (all the time subletting a flat from his friend Maurice Sachs) (Philipponnat and Lenhardt 253-63). Apart from the cases of Stéphane and Rake, we can only speculate about the extent to which their sexuality might have influenced the motivations of other homosexuals in the Resistance – like Jean-Louis Bory (Garcia 46-47), briefly a member in 1944 of the Maquis du fôret d'Orléans, like Gide's close friend Pierre Herbart (Herbart168-79), like the Alsatian journalist, Aimé Spitz, who was arrested as a resister, but after the war, having become a homosexual activist was the first witness to write in France of the treatment meted out to homosexuals in the Nazi camps (Spitz, “Homosexua-lité”)22 – or in the Free French – like Roger Wybot, who worked for the Gaullist intelligence services, like the artist Maurice van Moppès, who worked for the French service of the BBC. Indeed, we do not even know who most of them were. For example ... There was no gloss on this decision except the notation that it was "inspired by the desire to prevent the corruption of minors." It is not so surprising that a regime born out of the resistance against Germany should have been favorable to this part of Vichy's moral agenda. Despite deﬁning itself in opposition to Vichy. the Resistance had also sought to reappropriate many of the moral values to which Vichy laid claim. Vichy and the Resistance shared common ground, ever more so as the Resistance became more rooted in French society and less the preserve of a few exceptional individuals. This is particularly striking in relation to gender roles. Women entering the Resistance at the beginning of the war had more opportunities to take leadership positions than those joining later who found themselves conﬁned to "female" tasks. As the Liberation approached, the Resistance
became more identiﬁed with military action than it had been in 1940. The archetypal image of the resister in 1944 was the armed soldier-citizen manning the barricades whereas an archetypal image of collaboration was the tondue, the woman whose head was shaved for sleeping with Germans. The speciﬁc allegations against such women were often vague, and the head-shavings can also be read as a restoring of sexual order, punishing women who had taken too many liberties in their style of life during the occupation.“ The language of virility was omnipresent in 1945." lt is visible in the outlook of Albert Camus, an intellectual who perfectly incarnated the Liberation Zeitgeist. Writing in the Resistance newspaper Combat on August 31, 1944, he called for a “virile and transparent press" and no return to “the sensibility of the shop-girl“ of the pre-war years. The next day he wrote: The men of the Resistance are men who have been thrown alone into the alternative of shame or action. [L]es hommes de la Résistance ont été des hom- mes jetés solitairement dans l' alternative de la honte ou de l'action [. . .] C'est bien un nouvel ordre qui se trouve fonde. . . . A new orderis being founded . . . where the face of man appears in a harsh clear light. Politics is no longer dissociated frorn individuals. It is about men directly addressing other men. It would be hard to ﬁt the word “man” more often into three sentences. Far removed from Fabre-Luce's Parisian sophistication was Jean Giono who spent most of the Occupation in Provence, dreaming of the day when the peasantry would march on Paris and sweep away the rotten civilization of the city. When indulging these fantasies, the supposedly pacific Giono happily imagined 'rivers of blood'. In this context it is not surprising to find him telling a fellow-writer in August 1940 that the defeat of France was insignificant compared to the fact that a world based on machines was coming to an end. Since German civilization was based on machines, it was doomed, and if the defeat had ruined the industry of the northeast of France, it was
to be welcomed. In these circumstances, Giono's five contributions to Drieu's NBF and others to La Gerbe are not surprising, nor that he was the subject of a flattering article in the German magazine Signal in March 1942. Other AW contributors included the philosopher Alain whose lifelong pacifism made him an easy target for Drieu's invitation, even if his entire philosophical and political writing had been about defending the freedom of the individual; the critic Ramon Fernandez, unable to survive without his name in print; and Paul Morand whose anti-Semitism and conservatism had become more pronounced in the 1930s: his Chroniques de Ihomme maigre (1941) celebrated a Paris free of Americans and Polish These trajectories all have their own logic: pacifism in the case of Alain; a sort of peasant Messianism in the case of Giono; a cult of force in the case of Montherlant; conservative solipsism in the case of Chardonne; Europeanism in the case of FabreLuce. Their degree of commitment varied. How many collaborationist papers did they write for? How long did they continue doing so? How political were their contributions? Did they go on either of the two trips to Weimar organized by the Germans in October 1941 and October 1942? The answers to these questions defined each individual's level of commitment. Chardonne was one of only three writers on both Weimar visits, but after 1942 he abstained from further public statements, and decided not to publish a third collaborationist volume, already in proof, from which his already tarnished reputation would never have recovered. Jouhandeau went on the first Weimar trip, but avoided public statements. Giono, who was well viewed by the Germans, went on neither trip. He turned down an invitation to the second on the grounds that his mother was sick, and despite the fact, as he wrote to the German consulate in Marseilles, that 'I had been waiting for it with impatience' since it 'would have allowed me to continue
with yet more faith in the work of Franco-German reconciliation for which I have worked since 1931'. Montherlant went on neither trip and gradually distanced himself from collaboration. He contributed to no more collaborationist publications after February 1943. One must not exaggerate the number or importance of the writers on this list. Intellectual collaboration was the case of a few names spread thinly, not the abdication of an entire elite. Raymond Aron in London concluded that 'none of the great names' of French literature were collaborating, the most significant ones being, in his estimation, Chardonne, Montherlant, and Fabre-Luce. A year into running the NItF, Drieu noted that he had attracted only 'second rank' people: 'apart from a few pages of Montherlant I have published nothing worthwhile'. In January 1943 he recognized that 'almost all that is intelligent and lyrical in France is against contributions? Did they go on either of the two trips to Weimar organized by the Germans in October 1941 and October 1942? The answers to these questions defined each individual's level of commitment.
Another writer known for his descriptions of provincial society was Marcel Jouhandeau who had created in his fiction the imaginary community of Chaminadour in the south-west. His public conversion to anti-Semitism in 1936 went hand in hand with increasingly conservative politics. In this context his eight contributions to Drieu's NIU-' are not surprising. He also attended the Congress of European writers at Weimar in 1941. In his diary of the trip he wrote that his presence was meant to demonstrate that 'France is not necessarily Germanophobe even in the present circumstances' and 'to make my body a fraternal bridge between France and Germany'. Given that he was pursuing an affair with a German officer while on the trip, this was, as Burrin remarks, more than a figure of speech.
Henry de Montherlant was also not insensible to the physical charms of German soldiers, although he is not recorded as having any affairs with them. Montherlant arrived in Paris in May 1941 after his compulsive pursuit of young boys had led to two close shaves with the police in the Unoccupied Zone. His rallying to collaboration was not to have been predicted since no one had more violently excoriated the Munich agreement. He declared that the French had become a nation capable only of listening to the Corsican crooner Tino Rossi and playing helote. The same contempt for weakness which inspired Montherlant's condemnation of Munich now led him to admire the force which had swept France away. For Montherlant, who liked sporting metaphors, France had been fairly beaten, and she must be sportsmanlike in defeat. It was not for 'narrow-shouldered ... balding' intellectuals to carp at the vitality of these young German troops 'streaming with sweat'. In Je suispartoui in November 1941 Montherlant wrote: 'Europe will only be saved by a virile aristocracy, a heroic elite which has always to go against Christian morality.' Montherlant published his reflections on the defeat in Solstice dejuin (1941), a collection of articles which had previously appeared in La Gerhe and the NRF. He saw France's defeat as the victory of healthy paganism over feeble Christianity. The swastika was the wheel of fate, and 1940 was a moment in the eternal cycle of defeat and victory. The passage that caused most shock was Montherlant's description of a moment in the summer of 1940 when he had watched the writhing of a caterpillar on which he was urinating. Having shown his power over the creature, he had then spared it. The analogy was clear enough—the French being cast in the role of the caterpillar— and so was the moral: the defeated must throw themselves on the mercy of their conquerors. For all his celebration of virility, Montherlant's was a counsel of prudence and realism. In fact he was an exceptionally timid individual always worried that his sexual escapades would come to the attention of the police. Walking around Paris one day with the writer Jean Grenier, he
insisted they lower their voice when passing in front of a building occupied by the Germans in case they were overheard.6' Montherlant's argument for collaboration as a moment in the millennial rise and fall of civilizations was also employed by Alfred Fabre-Luce who compared France's defeat to that of Greece by Rome. Like the Romans, Fabre-Luce argued, the Germans were 'respectful, almost timid, conquerors' whose rough edges would be smoothed out by time: French intelligence would prevail over German force. A longstanding advocate of Franco-German reconciliation, in the Occupation Fabre-Luce was one of the most seductive and sophisticated proponents of collaboration. His anthology of French writers who allegedly prefigured 'the New Europe' gave Hitler a pedigree which included Renan, Paul Valery, Peguy, Maurras, Pascal, and Gide. Nazism was almost transformed into part of the French patrimony. Fabre-Luce was one of those grands bourgeois—son of the founder of the Credit Lyonnais bank—whose Europeanism derived from a sense of belonging to a cosmopolitan civilization of taste, refinement, money, and manners, collaboration as viewed from a grand apartment on the Avenue Foch. During the Occupation, he published three successive volumes of his Journal de la France. These offer a wellinformed portrait of the period and also function as subtle apologetics. The first volume contains a passage showing that the --By associating admirers of fascist leaders with the seduced and infected crowd, it reinforced the lost individuality and damaged manhood of French men who viewed foreign fascists favorably. Additionally, the homoerotic implications of this theory are
evident. If French praise of Germany was in fact homosexual infatuation, left wing journals not only reiterated that Germany was dangerous, but also implied that the deviance of damaged French men could result in France’s complete collapse at the hands of Germany. An article from the August 18, 1937 issue of Marianne illustrates this trend and also exemplifies how literary intellectualism and journalism were often merged in French weeklies. This particular article, written by J.N. FaureBiguet, is a review of Alphonse de Châteaubriant’s recently published La Gerbe des forces, an adoring portrait of Nazi Germany that advocated amity and collaboration between France and its primary enemy. Châteaubriant, who won the Prix Goncourt in 1911 for his first novel, Monsieur des Lourdines, and the Prix de l’Academie française for his second, La Brière, was well known, respected and older than the more avant-garde young right wing of men like Brasillach and Drieu La Rochelle. During World War II, he would become one of the most notorious collaborators in France, and even fellow right wing extremists found La Gerbe des forces distasteful. Brasillach, reviewing it in Action française, dismissed it as a “frightening example” of a “failure of intelligence.” The novel reflects Châteaubriant’s traditionalist and spiritual beliefs, yet Faure-Biguet cites extensively from the book to discredit it by demonstrating its undeniably homoerotic nature. Choosing a particularly revealing section about Hitler, Faure-Biguet quotes Châteaubriant: His body vibrates, without escaping for a second the curve of his uniform; the movement of his head is youthful, the nape of his neck is hot. His back is one that has not been dented by the dirty passions of politics: he is solid and pure like an organ pipe. His delicate hand is alive, supple, intelligent, and feminine. Yes, without a doubt, there is, there remains womanhood in that man. Fortunately! “Alright, alright, let’s not overdo it,” writes Faure-Biguet, following a longer version of this citation, but he makes his point rather clearly. Still, it must have been hard for the left to resist going after works like La Gerbe des forces. As Faure-Biguet’s sparse commentary illustrates, in this particular case the extremely homoerotic writing more or less made the left’s argument for
them. While this is perhaps one of the most blatant examples, there was no absence of homoeroticism in the works of other major literary figures of the French far right, notably Céline, Drieu La Rochelle, and Brasillach, who in the end paid for it with his life. (see footnote, page 32).Although ostensibly only a book review, the article uses Châteaubriant’s infatuation with Hitler as a jumping off point to warn against the consequences of aligning oneself with Germany, and of losing oneself and one’s masculinity in the spreading crowds. In this sense, homoeroticism and collective passivity become part of a larger discourse on male deviance and damaged masculinity that Marianne and Vendredi employed to delegitimize fascists and the extreme French right.
Drieu: Collaborationism as Self-Hatred
The only consistent thread to Drieu's politics lay in his belief in France's decadence. In Mesitre de France (1922), he concluded that France's victory had set the seal on this decadence. France had only won thanks to her allies, and the French soldier had not shown the fighting qualities of the British or Germans. Drieu felt increasing disgust for his compatriots: 'it is horrible to go for a walk and encounter so much decadence and ugliness ... the bent backs, the slumped shoulders, the swollen stomachs, the small thighs, the flabby faces'. He particularly despised the 'small, brown Frenchmen of the South and the Centre'. The French, he said, were only interested in fishing, aperitifs, and belote. During his PPF period Drieu wrote a hagiographical biography of Doriot. Unlike the average 'pot-bellied intellectual' politician, Drieu's Doriot was a real man, 'an athlete who embraces the debilitated body of France ... and breathes into it his own bursting health'.'" But France's decadence was moral as well as physical. The
hero of Drieu's autobiographical novel, Gilles, returns from the front to find Paris rotted by drugs, sodomy, modern art, and dancing. The symbol of this decomposing modernity was the Jew: 'I cannot stand the Jews because they are par excellence the modern world', says one of his characters. 'I hate the Jews. I have always hated the Jews', he wrote in 1942.In fact, he was not even consistent in this. In the 1920s, he claimed not to be a racist. His first wife, Colette Jeramec, whom he married in 1917 and divorced three years later, was Jewish. If the depiction of the marriage in Gilles is to be believed, Drieu could not forgive her for the fact that he had married her for her money. In arguing that the French should succumb to the virile embrace of their conquerors, Drieu displayed in almost pathological form the prostration before strength—even self-annihilation—so characteristic of many intellectual collaborationists: 'I have loved force ...Since my childhood I have known what force is, but the French no longer like it.' The case of Drieu was one of the inspirations for Jean-Paul Sartre's famous 1945 essay 'What is a Collaborator?' which diagnosed a 'mixture of masochism and homosexuality' in collaborationism. Sartre noted the recurrence in collaborationist writing of metaphors 'presenting France's relationship as a sexual union, in which France plays the woman's role'. Sartre was not alone in noting that collaborationism was supported by a surprising number of homosexual intellectuals. Apart from Jouhandeau, Montherlant, Bernard Fay, and possibly also Brasillach (although his sexuality remains unclear), one could mention Roger Peyrefitte who wrote to his friend Montherlant that the 'Germanic ideal is closer to that of antiquity, and thus our own' than France's 'civilization of shopgirls'. Although he was no collaborator, homosexual fascination with the German occupier is a theme of Jean Genet's Funeral Rites, although he was no homosexual, the idea that the French had become 'devirilized' is a key theme in the writing of Rebatet. Drieu was not homosexual—although his obsession with 'pederasts' (the second favourite insult in his Journal, after 'Jew') and his combination of profound misogyny with a Don Juanesque
pursuit of women has led to suggestions of repressed homosexuality —but otherwise he fits Sartre's analysis well. Ashamed of his petitbourgeois background and of his periodic bouts of indolence; wanting to be a warrior, but feeling himself to be only a narcissistic dilettante; haunted by fear of sexual impotence, despite being one of the sexual athletes of his era, Drieu, in his own words, 'transposed on to France the weakness of my being [la defaillance de I etre en moi]*. Later, his foreboding of German defeat turned his thoughts to suicide: 'Always masochistic for France as for myself. Even while hoping in June 1940 that Nazism might be the 'aristocratic and warlike socialism', the 'virile force', which Europe required, Drieu was wondering if Germany would be infected by France's decadence like the 'soldier by the syphilitic girl'. By 1942 he concluded that collaboration had not worked, and he reverted to the morbid pessimism with which he was most at ease. His final definition of collaboration was: 'Germans who did not believe in Hitler enough supposedly indoctrinating French who believed in him too much.' Once he realized that Germany had lost, Drieu's consolation was that Stalin would succeed where Hitler had failed: in destroying the rotten French bourgeoisie. With 'savage joy', he contemplated a Europe dominated by Stalin whose men were 'aristocrats such as have not been seen for centuries'. They would represent the triumph of 'totalitarian man', of strength over weakness. But Drieu knew there was no place for him in that new world. As he dreamt of the immolation of bourgeois Europe, he pondered Hinduism and the peace of non-being. He refused all opportunities to escape, and after two failed suicide attempts in the summer of 1944, he finally succeeded in poisoning himself, on 15 March 1945, in an apartment belonging to his first wife.
Sartre indicts the homosexual as the having the greatest tendency towards collaboration. In a 1945 article, “La Collaboration,” which discussed the writings of some literary collaborators:
These priests of virile strength and masculine virtues employ the weapons
of the weak, of women. One will ﬁnd throughout their articles curious metaphors presenting the relations between France and Germany under the guise of a sexual union where France plays the role of the woman. . .
He writes, One sees curious metaphors throughout articles by Chateaubriand, Drieu, and Brasillach, [metaphors] which depict the relationship between that of France and Germany in the form of a sexual union, in which France plays the woman’s role. And most certainly the feudal bond (liaison) between a collaborator and his master, has a sexual aspect to it. As much as one can The collaborator speaks in the name of strength, but he is not strength: he is tricky, a trickiness that feeds off of strength. It is even charm and seduction, because it claims to have the influence that French culture has over the Germans, according to him. It appears to me to be a strange mixture of masochism and homosexuality. The homosexual milieu of Paris furnished many brilliant recruits.133 Sartre not only descends into his most dangerous (and insulting) generalization regarding homosexuals as a group over-sexed of masochists willing to sell themselves in order to have the joy of being “conquered” by a strapping blond in jack-boots, but he also utterly ignores the consequences of homosexuality in a fascist state, most particularly within the Reich itself. -Lecarme also does not shy away from discussing writers' sexual proclivities in explaining their political choices as well as their personal dealings with each other. Reprising a theme articulated in a number of histories of the period, he underscores the link between collaboration with Nazism and homosexuality, pederasty in particular: "...il n'est pas niable que cette sexualite-la, pratiquee, refouleeo u sublimee,c onscientep, reconscientoe u inconscienten, ourritt oute une franged e la collaboratione,t surtoutl es discoursd es intellectuelsq uil ont rejointe."( 384).The occasion for this observation is a discussion of Robert Brasillach whom Drieu, obsessed with virility and proud of his reputation as a womanizer (despite his own homosexual dalliances revealed in 1992 with the
publication of his Journa1l9 39-1955la) beled" le pederasted e Barcelone. But as Lecarme also shows, pederasty and homosexuality were certainly not exclusive to collaboratorns, or were they significant exclusively in mapping the political landscape of the Occupation. Following the break-up of their friendship, Drieu took pleasure in emphasizing the Communist Aragon'es pederasty and offering a cruel portrait of it in his novel Gilles. On September 7th, 1944, when he was in Kirchhorst, Jünger learned that Drieu had committed suicide in Paris. “It seems,” he wrote, “that under the terms of some law, those who had noble reasons to cultivate friendship between peoples fall without mercy, while the low profiteers wriggle away.” In his conversations with Julien Hervier, he later said that he was “deeply distressed” that Drieu “committed suicide in a moment of despair.” “His death,” he added, “truly pained me. He was a man who had suffered much. Thus there are people who feel friendship for a certain nation, as many Frenchmen came to feel for us, which brought them no luck.” -Sexual contacts between French women and German soldiers were numerous, but the post-war fixation upon them is largely revealing of male sexual anxieties and jealousies. Quite apart from the homosexual encounters between German soldiers and Frenchmen, which history has not recorded, little was said after the war about the numerous liaisons between German girls and French POWs or French workers in Germany. How many of those who shaved the heads of women were assuaging their own guilt at having done so little to resist the Germans? How many of the maquisards who punished women were expressing their own sexual frustrations after months of enforced sexual deprivation?
For other homosexuals, the fascistic fascination seems more like a quest for self- destruction. Having internalized the prejudices of society, they endeavor to prove how abject they are. Self-hatred, vice, betrayals, these are the stations of the cross that they see as inevitable. Maurice Sachs is a good example. Sachs was born in 1906; his real name was Ettinghausen. He was Jewish but refused to admit it. Even as a child, he wanted to be a girl. He studied in a self-managed school inspired by the English model. There was a lot of sports activity there, and the boys made special friendships. Sachs became the victim of certain pupils, was tortured and perhaps raped. He had several homosexual experiences. His novel The Sabbath talks about this period of especial debauchery which ended with the expulsion of a great number of pupils in 1920. Thereafter, Sachs spent time at trendy clubs and met famous homosexuals: Abel Hermant, Jean Cocteau. Then he met Albert Cuziat. In 1926, he entered the Carmelite seminary, but fell in love with a fifteen- year-old American, Tom Pinkerton. The scandal ended his religious career. From there on out, he lived a very chaotic life. In 1936, although he had hitherto been adamantly against Stalinism, he signed a contract for Maurice Thorezet la Victoire communiste. Just about then, Gide returned from the USSR, and Sachs seemed to be politically off-balance. After 1940, he was living on the fringes. He got involved in the black market, traded with war profiteers, signed up for dirty work of various kinds, but did not get involved with the Germans. Then he suddenly left his apartment in 1942, and his trail became enigmatic: in November 1942, he was in Hamburg; but he was Jewish, homosexual, and did not speak German. It is possible that since 1942 he was in the Gestapo in France. In Germany, he was a voluntary worker in a camp. He met a homosexual doctor, anti-Nazi, for whom he translated the evening news from London Radio. Then, he met another homosexual doctor, a Nazi, who named him a French deputy to the executive committed of the camp At the end of April 1943, he wanted to get out of that but still wanted to make himself useful to Germany. He worked for the secret service of the Wehrmacht, while continuing to pursue a very active
homosexual life. November 16, 1943, he was arrested with his friends for reason homosexuality, pursuant to §175. He was interned at the Fuhlsbüttel prison, north of Hamburg, and died there in April 1945, one day before the British arrived, lynched by his cellmates. An absolute outsider, like Genet he made disloyalty his rule. Nietzschean, influenced by Gide and his theory of the gratuitous act, he planned his own descent into hell , like the necessary sanction for a sin that can never be expiated. Liberation: “Beautiful Babies” and Unruly Youths The Liberation thus celebrated a balanced and domesticated ideal of masculinity distinct from the submissive “passivity” of the collaborator and the unruly "hyper-virility” of the fascist. This model of masculinity would permit men to play their role as patriotic citizens in a regenerated democracy—but also as responsible fathers and husbands in the demographic recovery of the nation at a moment when the natalist obsession had lost none of its intensity.“ ln a speech of March 1945 de Gaulle famously announced that France needed the birth of "twelve million beautiful babies” in the next ten years. Although the Liberation government had extended the vote to women, it exalted the duties of motherhood hardly less insistently than Vichy had. The generous family allowances granted in I939, and continued by Vichy, were extended after 1945. Historians have described this as the golden age of family policy in France." Motherhood was presented as a civic obligation and also a domestic science underpinned by the discoveries of psychiatry and sociology." The post-Liberation years also witnessed a moral panic over juvenile delinquency, making the responsibilities of parenthood seem all the more urgent. Much ink was spilled over the future of the so-called "J-3 generation,” J-3 being the ration-card
category of adolescents under the occupation. Since over one million Frenchmen had spent the occupation as POWs in Germany, many children had been raised without their fathers in a society where the black market was a way of life, and where it might be a civic duty, in the Resistance, to kill or rob." As one of the]-3 generation later wrote: “we learnt the art of speculating . . . selling, stealing, surviving on the margins of the law.""' The question preoccupy-ing commentators after 1945 was how this generation could be socialized into peacetime life. The murder in April 1949 of a tailor in the town of Va-lence by a group of youths led to headlines about the "J-3 Valance Gang." Such cases kept the issue of juvenile crime in the public eye." Juvenile delinquency rates had soared during the occupation, and de Gaulle's provisional government addressed the issue as a priority, passing on February 2, I945, a law that remains the basis of France’s youth justice system today. lt created children's judges (juges d'enfants) who could place offenders in special observation centers where they underwent a panoply of psychological tests." The years after 1945 were the heyday of psycho-pedagogical experts, like the influential doctor Georges Heuyer (1889-1977), a pioneer in the ﬁeld of pediatric neuropsychiatry, who offered the courts and social services the categories of interpretation, and models of "normality," that they solicitously applied in their quest to save French youth.” Heuyer wrote in 1948: "The war is over, but its memory remains with the silent anguish of a new threat to people and, above all, youth. . . . The Occupation has instilled habits that have left their mark on the behavior of young people.”"Jean Chazal, chief judge of the Paris juvenile Court, and author of a frequently reprinted study of Uenfance délinquante, suggested a connection between the antisocial behavior of delinquents and that of homosexuals—both rooted in dysfunctional family relationships.”
The fear of delinquency lay behind an infamous law of July 16, 1949 regulating the content of publications directed at children. Penalties were imposed on any material presenting a favorable picture of "banclitry, lying, theft, idleness, cowardice, hatred and debauchery"—for example, American comic strips encouraging violence.” The most restrictive clause in the law (article 14) extended its remit to publications not speciﬁcally directed toward children but presenting a “danger” if liable to fall into their hands. Such publications could now be banned from public display or from being sold to children under age eighteen. The law also set up an independent commission to monitor publications and make suggestions to the government about what should be banned from public display. In 1950, the ﬁrst year of its operation, the commission recommended forty-two publications as suitable only for adults. Homosexuality was not uppermost in the minds of those who drafted this law, but, as we shall see, it came to be used to repress the homosexual press. Also, on two occasions, in 1954 and 1958, the commission proposed that homosexuality be included among the unfavorable characteristics listed under article 14, and that the “appropriateness of a government bill repressing homosexual propaganda be examined." Such a bill was never passed, but the commission did its best to remedy such a deﬁciency. In 1959, when André du Dognon's novel Le beldge was banned from public display, the commission's chairman observed that this was done because while scenes of heterosexual sex would not be banned unless they were "crude and precise," any depictions of homo-sexuality were unacceptable.” Moral Order One indicator of the moral climate of France in the postLiberation years was the response to two important publications
that challenged sexual orthodoxies. The ﬁrst of these was Alfred Kinsey's 1948 report on male sexuality, which was translated into French at the end of the same year.