THE DIARY OF PIERRE LAVAL by Laval Josee - Ed.

THE DIARY OF PIERRE LAVAL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The title is misleading, for though this is done in a sort of diary form, actually it is not a day-by-day record, but an extenuation written in prison before his death, and intended as the basis of his defense at the trial that didn't materialize. It lacks even the questionable value of the Goebbels Diaries in that it is written after the even in explanation, elucidation and defense. He goes back to his stand on the Hoare-Laval plan, his regret at its failure. He discusses his attitude on Britain's financial crisis, on Mussolini and Ethiopia, on the armistice (and claims he was not consulted) on his disagreements with Petain's domestic policy- and his contribution to the foreign policy ( he takes credit for saving French Morocco from Franco). He skirts the DeGualle issue but takes credit for staying in France-for the Vichy set-up as bolstering French morale. He disclaims responsibility for the laws against Jews, Communists, etc., and traces the procedure in setting up exchange of prisoners for workers. He considers he bolstered Petain's turndown of the offer of an alliance after the North African landings, when Germany sought French support. He explains the position on the Caribbean fleet. He sums up his role, saying that his error lay in accepting the receivership of a nation in bankruptcy.... All very plausible- and very dull. Valuable for the record.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1948
Publisher: Scribner