Lenin studied how the French revolutionaries committed genocide in the western Vendee region of France in the 1790s, actually visited the region, applied what he learned in Ukraine and Russia after its own revolution, and the Soviets carried on similar crimes after him. The French Left still will not admit that the widespread, massive executions of noncombatant Catholic women and children in the 1790s happened in the Vendee with the approval of the Committee for Public Safety and the National Convention. According to Solzhenitsyn, the Vendee was the model for future genocides. The mass drownings at Nantes, but one of the outrages of the French Revolution, were imitated by the Soviet Union. Time for the French government to admit to their own internal genocide.
The book A French genocide: the Vendée / Reynald Secher ; translated by George Holoch, Notre Dame Press 2003, ISBN 0268028656 9780268028657, originally published in 1986 as Le genocide franco-francais: la Vendee-Venge by Reynald Secher, followed in 2011 by Vendee, du genocide au memoricide: mecanique d’un crime legal contre l’humanite? by Reynald Secher; Gilles-William Goldnadel; Helene Piralian; Stephane Courtois, with more information here.
Here’s a translation of the book blurb for Secher’s 2011 book:
“Twenty-five years after the publication of his book, A French Genocide: The Vendée, Reynald Secher, thanks to the discovery at the French National Archives of unreleased documents, demonstrates, with supporting evidence, that the genocide of the Vendée had been designed, voted upon and implemented personally by members of the Committee of Public Safety and the National Convention, and that the army and the administration had been carrying out orders. To escape their responsibilities and hide the ideological and political logic that inevitably led the Jacobin Republic to genocide, these criminals and their political heirs have denied facts, and imposed on the nation their self-amnesty and general impunity. They thus committed a second crime, that of memoricide which in a perverse reversal designated the Vendee victims as executioners and turned the Jacobin executioners into victims. This first scandal is added a second: these executioners benefited from all the favors and honors of the state, while the victims and their descendants were traumatized, silenced, and persecuted constantly, finding themselves thus excluded from citizenship that was rightfully theirs.”
I might add that some of the generals who committed the genocide are still memorialized on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and that the word “brigand” was used against the Vendee population.
A recent film by Daniel Rabourdin, The Hidden Rebellion: The Untold Story of the French Revolution, dramatizes the Vendee genocide.
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