Cagoulards

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Cagoulards

 

members of a French fascist organization in the 1930’s called the Secret Committee of Revolutionary Action. They received the name Cagoulards from the French word cagoule, a hood with openings for the eyes, worn by members of the organization at secret meetings.

The Cagoulards were secretly supported by certain groups among the French bourgeoisie and the reactionary military. The organization maintained arms caches, was responsible for bombings and arson, and committed acts of terrorism against democratic political figures. In 1937 the Cagoulards assassinated the Rosselli brothers, well-known Italian antifascists, and raided the building of the Confederation of French Entrepreneurs. The Popular Front governments (1936-38) took action against the Cagoulards, and by 1940 the organization had virtually disintegrated. After the occupation of France by fascist Germany in 1940, many Cagoulards became active collaborationists and supporters of the Vichy regime.