Marshal Pétain, "Dissolution of the West" and the Nazi New Order in the Eyes of the Catholic Camp in the Period before the Attack of the Axis Powers on Yugoslavia

  • Bojan Godeša Inštitut za novejšo zgodovino
Keywords: Nazi New Order, Catholic camp, liberal democracy, authoritarian regimes, Vichy, collaboration


The Vichy French State, led by Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain, in many aspects represented a model which was not only good to know but also to imitate and follow as exemplary. Pétain was presented as a shining example of how the conservative Catholic circles could, by adapting themselves, find their place in the emerging New Order and simultaneously avoid the war in so far as they were loyal and honest enough in their cooperation with the Nazi Germany, as Pétain supposedly promised in his famous Montoire Statement. All of the indicated Pétain's "virtues" actually reflected the wishes of SLS in the period when the destiny of Yugoslavia was being decided on. In the international political field those wishes involved loyal cooperation with the Axis Powers and joining the Tripartite Pact, while in the internal political field they comprised of adjusting to the Nazi New Order by establishing a conservative authoritarian regime on the corporatist basis which would preserve the influence of the Church and the Catholic religion even in the new circumstances.