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FRANCISQUE GALLIQUE


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Who was given these things?

Hello Chris & Steve,

Let's call them "cronies" of P?tain : selected friends of the Mar?chal received these personally from his own hands between 1941 and 1944. The decoration is known to have been awarded to the late former president of France, Fran?ois Mitterand, among others.

I believe PK is right about this one not having been awarded : awarded ones were numbered on the reverse (Mitterand's was No. 2202). I'm in full agreement with PK's price level as well.

Cheers,

Hendrik

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Quite a good Wikipedia page on the award here: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordre_de_la_francisque Check out some of the prominent recipients!

PK

Hi,

Thank you all for the advice of three offers. It seems that good ones dont turn up that often as they are usually damaged.

now listed in for sale section.

cheers

steve

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Hi,

Thank you all for the advice of three offers. It seems that good ones dont turn up that often as they are usually damaged.

now listed in for sale section.

cheers

steve

IF, and I stress IF, that list of recipients on Wikipedia is correct, it is quite amazing......

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It is a measure of the confusion of the times, Raoul Salan received it AND commanded a Division fighting the Germans in 44-45.

Fascinating. I can't imagine he got both this thing and the Order of Liberation?!

Must be a story there . . . .

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IF, and I stress IF, that list of recipients on Wikipedia is correct, it is quite amazing......

All those names check out against the list compiled after the liberation. Mitterand is probably the most amazing recipient of all.

PK

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All those names check out against the list compiled after the liberation. Mitterand is probably the most amazing recipient of all.

PK

For Mitterand the footnote is VERY important:

"Pierre P?an, op. cit., p. 292-295. Jean Pierre-Bloch, chef de la section non militaire du BCRA ? l'?poque, ?crit : ? C'?tait sur notre ordre que Fran?ois Mitterrand ?tait rest? dans les services de prisonniers de Vichy. Lorsqu'il a ?t? propos? pour la francisque, nous avons parfaitement ?t? tenus au courant ; nous lui avions conseill? d'accepter cette ? distinction ? pour ne pas d?voiler. ? (De Gaulle ou le temps des m?prises, ?d. La Table Ronde, 1969, p. 216"

Jan

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Il y a ceux qui diraient ?blanchissage!?, mon cher... Perhaps Fran?ois Mitterrand was advised to accept the award in order to maintain his cover, if one accepts that he was already working against Vichy by then. Like many of his generation, Mitterrand spent time as a prisoner of war after the Franco-German armistice in June 1940. When he returned to France in 1941, he joined the Vichy administration and became a junior minister in charge of POW affairs.

Until very late in life, Mitterrand used to lay a wreath on P?tain's grave every year on the anniversary of the Mar?chal's death. He also maintained his friendship with various very dodgy Vichy figures, including Ren? Bousquet, and others, like Maurice Papon, enjoyed his protection. Of course, many Vichy-related collaborators were protected by the French establishment after the war, including Mitterrand. It is true that he switched allegiance and began working for or, at least, with the Resistance in 1943. However, when his Vichy past was first publicised in the 1950s, Mitterrand denied having received the Francisque. As a sidenote, the French lawyer Jacques Verg?s and others have sometimes suggested that the trial of Klaus Barbie was a show trial aimed in part at diverting criticial attention away from the questionable past of France's socialist Pharaoh.

Mitterrand was extremely right wing as a young man and belonged for about a year to les Volontaires nationaux, a sub-unit of the ultra-nationalist, even fascist Croix de Feu movement. The CdF began in 1927 as a militant veterans' association whose cadre comprised holders of the Croix de Guerre. It was also anti-semitic but given the extent of anti-semitism in France, this was probably irrelevant. However, Mitterrand himself certainly ascribed to classical fascist views, as his comments in December 1942 in the the official Vichy paper France, Revue de l'?tat Nouveau indicate: "Si la France ne veut pas mourir dans cette boue l?, il faut que les derniers fran?ais dignes de ce nom d?clarent une guerre sans merci ? tous ceux qui, ? l'int?rieur comme ? l'ext?rieur, se pr?parent ? lui ouvrir les ?cluses : juifs, ma?ons, communistes...toujours les m?mes et tous gaullistes". This translates as: "If France wishes to avoid dying in this mud, the last Frenchmen worthy of the name must declare war without quarter upon all of those who, internally and externally, are preparing to open the floodgates against us: Jews, Freemasons, Communists...always the same people and all Gaullists".

Mitterrand was also a Christian or Catholic militant in as a teenager, belonging to the youth wing of the Action Catholique movement. His dalliance with the Croix de Feu movement lasted about a year, from mid-1935 to 1936, when CdF was banned by the newly elected Popular Front government. CdF morphed into the more extreme Parti Social Fran?ais. Some allege that Mitterrand was a PSF member but no proof of this has ever been established. The Vichy regime later took its Travail Famille Patrie slogan from the PSF, which faded away after the outbreak of the war. Mitterrand did however write for the L'Echo de Paris newspaper, which supported the PSF and he was involved in various hard right street demonstrations as well as having family and personal ties with members of the far right Cagoule terrorist group in the late 1930s. Confronted about these aspects of his past in the 1990s, Mitterrand airily dismissed them as youthful mistakes.

That's fair enough. Nobody should be crucified for the rest of their lives for les conneries de la jeunesse. However, individuals like Mitterrand do to some extent epitomise the state of denial in which France, as a nation, has sought refuge since the Liberation. He was a very complicated man but while we should pardon his youthful excesses, we should not allow any whitewashing (blanchissage) of history as revisionism is always unhealthy. Mitterrand didn't ship anyone off to the Nazi gulags, as far as we know, but he was a fairly typical example of the arch-conservative, Catholic French mindset that saw nothing too wrong with forming a partnership with Nazi Germany, whose leader was perceived as a bulwark against Bolchevism and therefore a jolly good chap. That Hitler and his mob also detested Jews was icing on the cake as far as many bourgeois French people were concerned. Like many of these people, Fran?ois Mitterrand's conversion to the Gaullist cause was somewhat tardy and prompted by the realisation in the wake of events like Stalingrad, the collapse of the remnants of the Afrikakorps, the invasion of French North Africa and the invasion of Italy that the whole house of cards would inevitably come tumbling down.

PK

Edited by PKeating
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Very interesting comments.....

They certainly show how difficult it is to understand what was life in a period one did not live through personnally. Many who did are still confused about many events, if not most .

It is hard to convey the state of ignorance one lived in and the amount of shear propaganda prevalent in those days.

Situations can seem so cut and dry when looked at a few decades later....

With my very best regards

Veteran

Edited by Veteran
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  • 2 years later...

Hi,

I just would like to correct one huge error in this topic. The order of the Francique has never been numbered.

There is a list of attributions with numbers, but its only classification numbers. The badge itself is never numbered, I insist on this point, and if you see one for sale with a number than you have 99,99% chance its a forgery.

There were only 2 makers for this order: Augis in Lyon, and Arthus-Bertrand in Paris, none of this makers have ever produced a numbered badge.

What is really rare in fact is the attributing document that authorizes the right of wear of this order.

Cheers

Bill

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That's an interesting comment, Bill. Can you enlarge upon your sources? I have seen a couple of numbered badges but most were unnumbered. Prices have gone up recently, as with all French medals and decorations, so it would not be surprising to find that someone was faking the Francisque. That said, though, it would not be an easy thing to fake, for a number of reasons. There have been copies made but the quality is low, like that of the fake LVF crosses etcetera. They have even faked Bacqueville Kriegsmarine badges. I remember looking at a couple of examples of the Francisque by Augis here in Paris some time ago. They were identical and original but one had a several-digit number stamped into it. Perhaps this was done at some point to 'enhance' the badge, much as one sometimes sees genuine Third Reich badges ruined by someone who applied fake makers' marks to make the badge more interesting, or so they believed at the time.

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This matter has come up periodically.

I bought the Francisque in my collection in the late 1960's from Maison Platt, in Paris, at the time Mr. Kampmani senior was still active. It is an unmarked Augis badge with the pin.

This ancient firm had, at the time, a well deserved reputation. Material they sold was never questioned. But that is all I can contribute.

Numbered pieces may have existed, I have never seen one or heard about one, which of course is no proof.

This for what it is worth.

Veteran

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Sorry for this late response I was busy with some other topics.

Like all French decorations (Legion of Honor, Military Medal, Colonial Medal, and so on...) there is a registration number for every recipient of an order or medal, but this number is not intented to be struck on the award.

I must confess I have hastly written that a Francisque Gallique order numbered would be a fake, this is not true, it would only have been privately (and I insist on the term privately) numbered by the recipient. I have seen a 3rd Republic Legion of Honor knight's cross numbered, not only is this completely inofficial but I am not even sure if the number struck on this LOH would have matched the registration number of the recipient (unfortunatelly there was no diploma with it).

It had never been the intention of the French government to have the Francique Gallique numbered (the Journal Officiel of the 16 october 1941 and 26 may 1941 does not mention that the badges are numbered) otherwise the only 2 makers (Arthus-Bertrand in Paris and Augis in Lyon) of this order would have left a blank space to engrave the number.

I believe the confusion regarding so called "numbered Francisque" comes from the fact that this emblem as been widely used by numerous movements and organisations of the "Vichy Government". The use of the symbol of the francisque to be reproduced on badges, vases, plates, posters, wallet, and all kind of other objects was supposed to be submitted to an agreement committee. This committee would reject or allow the use of the francisque design, hence the O.A. (Objet Authorise) followed by a number you can find on some badges and objects. This has nothing to do with a registration number, it is in fact close to the German Ges. Gesch.

I have seen hundreds of the Francique Gallique from both makers, none where numbered. A few years ago an important lot of badges of this order came onto the market. These badges had been seized by the Police at the Liberation and had remained stocked for 50 years. None were numbered.

But as I said, one could always decide to have his badge numbered, but this is a private initiative !

There is no real fake of the Francique Gallique, because this order is not that difficult to find and the market for this order is small. There is a copy made JMF Collection and sold as such.

I will post some Photos in a near future.

Best regards

Bill

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

Thanks Veteran.

I said I would post a few exemples of badges using the image of the francisque with a number on the back. Here is a 1st exemple.

As I said before this number is just an authorisation number (O.A. = Objet Authorise followed by a number) that authorises the manufacturer to reproduce the symbol of the francisque and in no case an awarding number !

Cheers

Bill

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