| Georges Albertini |
(teacher, deep state operative)
Albertini in the dock for collaboration in 1944
|Born||13 May 1911|
|Died||30 March 1983 (Age 71)|
|Alma mater||Ecole Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud|
|Member of||Le Cercle, The 61|
French deep state operative. Man-behind-the-scenes for many politicians.
George Albertini was a socialist and pacifist politician before the Second World War, but later became deeply involved in the Vichy collaboration government, for which he was convicted.
After the war, he had a remarkable fast comeback, and became an the man-behind-the-scenes of several politicians, including later President Georges Pompidou. Collaborating with the CIA, he was prominent in the anti-communist offensive, notably with his magazine Est&Ouest (East&West). He attended Le Cercle and was part of The 61, a private international agency created and funded to bypass the official intelligence services.
Born to a railway worker father of Corsican origin and a housekeeper mother, he joined the École Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud, where Georges Pompidou also attended, and became a history and geography teacher and activist for the SFIO in 1932. During the 1930s, he wrote for the magazine Les Nouveaux Cahiers from 1937, where an attempt was made to remedy the crisis by bringing employers and trade unions closer together by increasing the role of the technical elite and by setting up a policy to favor Franco-German economic relations.
Collaboration and trial
Mobilized as a soldier and decorated, this pacifist and anti-communist socialist welcomed the armistice and joins the Franco-German collaboration. After the defeat, he published historical articles in Marcel Déat's paper L'Œuvre and became the founder and departmental leader of the fascist Rassemblement national populaire (RNP) in Aube, while working as a teacher. He is also a member of the management committee of the Centre syndicaliste de propaganda, which emerged from the left-wing trade unionist and collaborationist weekly L'Atelier , and a member of the management committee of this periodical.
At the end of 1941, Deat's second in command, he exercised the function of administrative secretary then general secretary and organizer of the RNP, funded in collaboration with Nazi Germany. He made rounds in the provinces, took part in meetings, gave lectures and soon appeared de facto as the true boss of the party. He salutes the German National Socialists in whom he sees “brothers in socialism” and dreams of building a French “national socialism”. He distinguished himself in particular by his zeal as a recruiting sergeant against the Resistance, by anti-communism and a definite anti-Semitism, as confirmed by the title of one of his editorials in National Populaire in June 1942: “Communism, a Jewish enterprise”. He was, however, a supporter of a "nuanced anti-Semitism", as shown by his polemic with Maurice-Ivan Sicard, of the PPF, in 1942. He was also a recruiter for the Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism (LVF) fighting on the Eastern Front. He also collaborates with the Inter-France press agency.
He was arrested at the liberation. At his trial in December 1944, he declared that he had only followed the path traced by Philippe Pétain and that he had only committed an error of judgment, admittedly "infinitely serious", in believing that the Germany would win the war. He hides his admiration for National Socialism and lies by asserting that he was hostile to a military engagement of France alongside Germany and by assuring that he did not associate with Germans. Although found guilty of fraternization with the enemy, he saves his head, unlike less eminent collaborators such as Paul Chack, because of mitigating circumstances and thanks to defense witnesses and a not very deep investigation and prosecution. He was only sentenced to five years of hard labor by the Seine Court of Justice.
He spent three and a half years in prison of the five years of his sentence. In February 1948, a presidential pardon allows him to get out of prison. He has, according to Patrick Pesnot, benefited from a "fairly incomprehensible leniency", perhaps due to the fact that his 16-month-old son died during his detention following ill-treatment suffered in public assistance and that his wife was tortured during her detention, or more likely because of his influential friends.
Albertini's collaborator, the journalist Morvan Duhamel wrote that:
Georges Albertini was so little anti-Semitic that he worked with many Jews (Hippolyte Worms, Boris Souvarine, Raymond Aron ...) and that he had several in his team at East & West (Alexis Goldenberg…). He was never on the extreme right and remained a socialist for a long time. It was his pre-war friend Vincent Auriol who, elected President of the Republic, freed him from prison in 1948 so that he could resume action alongside the Socialist Party SFIO, in particular so that he helps in the formation of Force Ouvrière unions in different professional branches. Around this time, Albertini also helped Vincent Auriol explain in a pamphlet why he could not pardon the communist Henri Martin, convicted of fraternization with the enemy in Indochina. Albertini was then very close to Guy Mollet and his assistant Pierre Commin. In 1953, he still appeared to be very close to the Scandinavian Social Democrats and he wrote to me. If really Georges Albertini was the ugly one depicted by the Communists and their relatives, could he have become the privileged adviser of important political figures, right and left, and high officials of the Quai d'Orsay, the police, the prefectural administration and several foreign governments?".
In order to organize the new CGT Force Ouvrière, Albertini surrounded himself with former collaborators of the RNP.
Anticommunism, and the post-war period
The network of friendships and interests forged before, during and after the war by Georges Albertini enabled him not only to survive, but to exert his influence for a long time. He joined the Banque Worms as an "advisor" to the general management. At the same time, he set up a “political documentation” company focused on the fight against communism. He gathered around him journalists like Claude Harmel but also (and above all) Boris Souvarine, who became one of the most active contributors to his newsletter. The center's activity quickly diversified, in particular with the publication of the Est-Ouest magazine. It expands to South America (creation in 1961 of the magazine Este y Oeste), to Italy (with Documenti sul comunismo) and several African countries.
Georges Albertini converted to anti-communist propaganda during the Cold War and became an influential adviser to all successive governments. In his crusade against communism, he was served by the mixture of fear and blindness that reigned during the Cold War: fear of the Soviet threat on the one hand, blindness of those who refused to see the errors of the Stalinist system, of the other. With the financial support from the Metallurgical Industries Group, then from the American CIA, and thanks to the receptivity he found with his anti-communist thoughts, he managed to weave his web. Among his many contacts, there are Jean Baylot, founder of the masonic French National Grand Lodge, or the resistance fighter Henri Frenay. He acts as an expert with the French General Intelligence (RG) in the field of the anti-communist struggle. He harbored a visceral aversion to Prime Minister Pierre Mendès France, who was nevertheless was anything but a pro-Communist.
His propaganda methods, his technique of documentation, his propensity to unmask the underside of things or to denounce the enemy within (for example Le Monde presented in the 1950s as an agent of the Kremlin) suited the climate of the time. He also became a highly listened to adviser to Georges Pompidou, then De Gaulle's Prime Minister, and, when Pompidou was elected President in 1969, Albertini still retained great influence over his two advisers Marie-France Garaud and Pierre Juillet. He also works with them when they are in the entourage of Jacques Chirac whom he meets and advises personally. He was also regularly received by François Mitterrand, whom he supported financially.
The relationship with Italy
Albertini considered Italy as his second base of work. During his frequent stays there, he had repeated meetings with high-ranking members of the fascist MSI such as Giorgio Almirante and Filippo Anfuso. He also met with supporters of the Christian Democracy, the PLI and the PSDI. His contact person in Italy was Federico Umberto D'Amato. Among his relations the generals of the Carabinieri Giovanni De Lorenzo, Giovanni Allavena and Egisto Viggiani, as well as the police chief Angelo Vicari, stood out. In 1967 he promoted the creation of the monthly Documenti sul comunismo directed by Emilio Cavaterra (1925-2014), the Italian version of Est&Ouest, which ceased to be published in 1975.
Event Participated in
|Le Cercle/1980 (Washington)||5 December 1980||7 December 1980||US|
- L’Œuvre, 28 novembre 1940 archived
- L'Atelier, 17 mai 1941 archived
- L’Œuvre, 13 avril 1942 archived
- L'Atelier, 1er avril 1944 archived, L’Œuvre, 21 mars 1944 (photograph) archived, Ibid., 18 mars 1944 (photograph) archived
- L’Humanité, 21 décembre 1944 archived, Ibid., 22 décembre 1944 archived, L'Aurore, 21 décembre 1944 archived, Ibid., 22 décembre 1944 archived, Paris-presse, L’Intransigeant, 21 décembre 1944 archived
- Claude Jacquemart,Le mystérieux Georges Albertini archived, Valeurs actuelles, 20 septembre 2012
- Philippe Bourdrel, L'Epuration sauvage, Perrin, 1991
- Claude Jacquemart,Le mystérieux Georges Albertini archived, Valeurs actuelles, 20 septembre 2012
- Beau, Nicolas., Dans l'oeil des RG, Paris, Robert Laffont, 245 p. (ISBN 978-2-221-22081-8 et 2-221-22081-1, OCLC 1125270238, lire en ligne archived)
- “Georges Albertini, portrait d'un homme dans le siècle du communisme” archived
- Patrick Pesnot, Rendez-vous avec X on France Inter, 9 mars 2013
- Georges Albertini, socialiste, collaborateur, gaulliste, Éd. Perrin 2013, page 30