Croix de Feu

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Croix de Feu

 

a militarized fascist organization in France during the period between the two world wars.

The Croix de Feu arose in late 1927 as an association of former frontline soldiers who had been awarded combat orders. It was financed by the reactionary perfume manufacturer F. Coty. The leader of the organization, Colonel F. de La Rocque, advocated the reconstruction of the state in an authoritarian spirit and advanced demagogic demands for social reform. The Croix de Feu had a strong, militarized organizational structure; it took an active part in the attempted fascist putsch in February 1934. It had a number of branches, including the National Volunteers and the Sons of the Croix de Feu. Dissolved by the Popular Front government’s decree of June 18, 1936, the organization was converted on July 11 into the French Social Party, which ceased to exist during World War II.

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The far right had an impact on Jewish Muslim relations largely through the two largest quasi-fascist movements of the period, the Croix-de-Feu (CDF) and from 1936 onward the Parti Populaire Francais (PPF).
It was in this context that on April 4, 1936, the popular Jewish antiracist organization, the Ligue Internationale Contre l'Antisemitisme (LICA), ran a satirical cartoon on the front of its newspaper Le droit de vivre, targeting the Croix-de-Feu.
For a good discussion of the Croix-de-Feu, see Irvine (1991).