Aussi, le roi fit venir des Juifs d'Ouf ran. Pelov, Pans, Seventy years after the death of Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf is in the public domain and free to be republished. The history of its English version is relatively well-known, thanks to historians James and Patience Barnes. Its history in French is not.
While French journalist Antoine Vitkine wrote a global history of Mein Kampf and two French lawyers and a historian recently shed light on the French-language editions of Mein Kampf , neither book has been translated into English. When Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in , people around the world were fascinated with the Nazi leader known for his fiery rhetoric. Though Sorlot was sympathetic to anti-Semitism and fascism, he seemed motivated more by turning a profit than advancing any political agenda.
When Adolf Hitler caught wind of the French version, he and his publisher brought Sorlot to court, demanding that he cease publication. Hitler knew that Germany was not ready for war, and, on the international stage, he was doing his best to conceal his plans. During his trial, Sorlot claimed that he was acting out of patriotism, that he wanted to warn the French public of the looming German threat.
Even before the rise of Nazism, France was highly suspicious of its Eastern neighbor. On November 30, , however, there was a revolt at Camp Thiaroye. It came about after they demanded to be paid their salary arrears and demobilization allowance, which had already been denied to them in France before they returned to Africa.
They thus took General Damian as hostage.
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The night of December 1, , the battalion of Saint-Louis stormed the unarmed camp without warning. There were about 30 survivors who were condemned to one to year prison terms, fined, and denied their mobilization pay. They were only released in , by France's then-President Vincent Auriol. They were not restored their rights and were not entitled to a retirement pension. In contrast, the French administration tried to minimize the contribution of these soldiers in an effort to avoid paying what it owed them, before finally killing them. These men had fought for France and demanded to be paid for their time as POWs.
Their request had been refused by the Dakar military authorities, which was a transgression of the regulations at the time. This despoliation was covered up by the then Ministry of War. It falsely stated in a circular dated December 4, — thus after the massacre — that the repatriated soldiers had received the totality of their compensation before their departure from France.
To conceal the massacre, certain officers produced damning reports and fabricated an official account of a mutiny. In these reports, the ex-prisoners of war are described as being paid by the Germans and heavily armed.
In order to justify the heavy response, they were accused of being the first to shoot. The shooting began shortly after 9 am, but what followed isn't clear. The reports are so contentious that the historian has to become a sort of detective. Certain circulars and reports are nowhere to be found. Successive accounts communicate the idea of a response to machine or submachine gunfire from the mutineers. General Dagnan had a list made of the weapons allegedly found. Twenty-four were reported to have died during the attack and eleven at the hospital.
We still don't know where they are buried, probably in a mass grave nearby or in the small, forgotten military cemetery of Thiaroye. During his trial, Sorlot claimed that he was acting out of patriotism, that he wanted to warn the French public of the looming German threat.
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Even before the rise of Nazism, France was highly suspicious of its Eastern neighbor. In the lateth century, following the Franco-Prussian war of , Germany had annexed the French Alsace and Moselle, two border regions disputed by the two countries for centuries. World War I, of course, did nothing to ease the tensions between France and Germany. But, in , Hitler had the law on his side, and Sorlot lost the trial, forcing him to withdraw the unauthorized French translation from the market.
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