I’ve been picking for many years now and have found lots of different “things” along the way. While most of my finds these days have a familiar (but nevertheless novel) quality I still occasionally happen across something I’ve never seen before. Usually it’s a tool of a trade or profession, or something related to a fairly niche interest. This time it’s hate literature published by various far-right, fascist, and Neo-Nazi organizations in Canada and France.
To be clear I’ve come across racist items before (like the Chief Wahoo toy I found a little while back), just nothing relating to or promoting any kind of overtly racist movement.
It’s fair to wonder if humanity would have been better off if I left these in the trash. However, I think it’s important that they continue to exist. These publications are actually pretty hard to find and might prove valuable to someone interested in researching the topic. And there’s always that old George Santayana quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It’s good to remember that these types of ideas still exist, even if we may not see any evidence of them within our social bubbles.
The literature dates from 1980 to 1994 and was published by a few different organizations. I’ll describe the groups briefly in the next few paragraphs, but if you prefer not to read about such things check back for my next post – I promise that my it will be very charming! (Hint: this week I found a great collection of kitschy embroideries and a large ceramic dog).
Le Flambeau was published by the PNFE (French and European Nationalist Party), a group of French Neo-Nazis and Skinheads that operated between 1987-2000. One of the covers celebrates the life of Léon Degrelle, a Belgian Nazi collaborator who later fled to Spain and became a prominent figure in fascist and Neo-Nazi movements. This group was blamed for several attacks on immigrants as well as the vandalism of a Jewish cemetery.
I haven’t looked to much into this pamphlet (that block of text would seriously challenge my French skills), but from a glance it seems to be a letter by Roger Dommergue (a holocaust denier) defending a guy named Robert Faurisson (another holocaust denier) against some type of charge against him.
Jeune Nation was a magazine run by the Cercle Jeune Nation. It’s hard to find any reference to it online outside of this 1996 article discussing Quebec’s Catholic far right. According to the article, Cercle Jeune Nation sought to “to construct a French Canadian fascist ideology” and considered race and religion the cornerstones of “a ‘true’ French Canadian identity.” This issue features an article by Günter Deckert, a holocaust denier who once led Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party. I have several copies of this magazine as well as a letter acknowledging a donation to the organization. Cercle Jeune Nation appears to have been based out of Laval, Quebec – just north of Montreal.
Serviam was (perhaps still is?) the journal of Canada’s National Unity Party. That party was created in 1934 by Adrien Arcand, a nut who referred to himself as the “Canadian Führer.” The party was banned in 1940, but it appears that they continued on an unofficial basis after that point. The Serviam magazines I found were all published in the mid-1980s. Each issue ends with a “Declaration of Principles” and the slogan “Vive le Canada; Vive le parti, Vive Arcand.” These magazines are largely French but also include the occasional English article.
A potentially interesting side note here is that I found these papers at the same spot that provided the interesting UFO ephemera a while back. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on that spot going forward.