Gustave Hervé (1871–1944) at the Extremes of the French Third Republic
Chapter 30 Hervé’s Interwar Reactions to Fascism and Nazism
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The sincerity of Hervé’s internationalism is difficult to question because his hopes for a Franco-German rapprochement arose almost immediately after the war. Yet throughout the 1920’s Hervé became increasingly suspicious of Germany, at times regressing to his former almost instinctive anti-Germanism. In fact, Hervé’s hopes for a reconciliation with Germany after 1928 were undoubtedly based on a pragmatic assessment of France’s inability to enforce the clauses of the Treaty of Versailles. Almost immediately during the interwar era, the Polish Corridor, the Anschluss, the Saar, and the occupied areas of the Rhine were described as “trouble spots” that had to be settled as soon as possible. Hervé feared that the Treaty of Versailles could create another European war just as the Treaty of Frankfurt had done in 1870. In the course of the 1920’s, he sometimes favored the evacuation of the Rhineland, the restitution of the Saar to Germany, the re-establishment of harmonious commercial relations between France and Germany, the restoration of German colonies which had been placed under French mandates, the acceptance of the Anschluss of Germany and Austria by the Allies, as well as the return of Danzig and Prussian Pomerania with the consent of Poland in order to give Germany contiguous territory up to the Russian border.1 Of course, there was an anti-Bolshevik component in Hervé’s hopes for reconciliation with Germany. Hervé’s reactions to specific international events were subject to his usual spontaneous, emotional, ← 827 | 828 → and idealistic tendencies, yet he...