The Collaborator

by Alice Kaplan

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Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 330

The Collaborator by Alice Kaplan traces the life of Robert Brasillach, the French journalist, author, and film critic who was executed by the Liberation Government of France for having collaborated with the Nazis during their occupation of France.

Some of the names that appear in this work of non-fiction include the following:

Jacques Isorni

Jacques Isorni was a French lawyer who defended not just Robert Brasillach but also Marshal Petain, who as the Chief of Vichy France collaborated with Nazi Germany. Jacques Isorni's papers related to Brasillach's trial are kept at the Palais de Justice in Paris, France.

Marcel Reboul

Marcel Reboul was the prosecutor who succeeded in presenting a strong case against Brasillach and used the jury's aversion for homosexuals against the accused. Reboul and his family lived in a rented house, and their landlord was Isorni.

Francois Mauriac

Francois Mauriac was a French novelist and dramatist who was consistently taunted and belittled by Brasillach, apparently for being a mediocre writer and for sympathizing with the Left Wing. Yet Mauriac was one of the leading names that campaigned for clemency for Brasillach after the latter was sentenced to death.

Karl Heinz Bremer

Karl Heinz Bremer was the associate director of the German Institute in Paris. He was also the chief censor of the German Embassy in France. He struck a friendship with Brasillach, who was impressed by Bremer's love for French culture. In 1942, Bremer died fighting on the Eastern Front.

Lucien Rebatet

Lucien Rebatet was a young author aligned with the Action Francaise movement. He held strongly antisemitic views. In 1940, after France fell to the invading Nazis, Rebatet served as a radio reporter. By 1942, Rebatet was the most noted political satirist in France.

Benito Mussolini

The fall of Mussolini's fascist government in 1943 had a major impact on Brasillach's views for the future. The tide had turned, and an Allied win was now looking highly possible. Vichy collaborators like Brasillach were worried about their own safety once the war ended.

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