Jacques Bainville

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You will understand and know the German Republic better when it elects Hindenburg president.

Jacques Pierre Bainville (9 February 1879 in Vincennes, Val-de-Marne – 9 February 1936 in Paris) was a French historian and journalist. A geopolitical theorist, pre-occupied by Franco-German relations, he was a leading figure in the monarchist Action Française. His writings displayed his hatred of disorder, of romanticism, liberalism, democracy, internationalism, the French Revolution, and especially, his hatred of Germany.

Quotes[edit]

  • Nothing is more false than the axiom that governments are belligerent and peoples are pacific.
    • Action Française (3 July 1913), quoted in William R. Keylor, Jacques Bainville and the Renaissance of Royalist History in Twentieth-Century France (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979), p. 65.
  • You will understand and know the German Republic better when it elects Hindenburg president.
    • Remark (25 November 1918), quoted in William R. Keylor, Jacques Bainville and the Renaissance of Royalist History in Twentieth-Century France (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979), p. 133.
  • Having erased Sedan, we now must erase Waterloo. France cannot be a great continental power unless she is a Rheinish power...French political wisdom has never consisted in immoderate acquisitions. In the days of France's European hegemony, she always preferred influence and infiltration to indigestion.
    • Action Française (1 December 1918), quoted in William R. Keylor, Jacques Bainville and the Renaissance of Royalist History in Twentieth-Century France (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979), p. 129.
  • If Germany were to become Bolshevik we would be absolutely delighted. We wish it with all our heart. France has never been secure except when anarchy ruled in Germany...From a Bolshevished Germany, we would no longer have to fear what we underwent in 1870 and 1914.
    • Action Française (1–11 December 1918), quoted in William R. Keylor, Jacques Bainville and the Renaissance of Royalist History in Twentieth-Century France (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979), p. 131.
  • Our vision of European affairs has been warped by our obsession with Bolshevism. Under the cover of this grande peur, Germany has reorganized herself. She has used the specter of Bolshevism to divert attention from her own affairs while at the same time ridding herself of this poison.
    • Action Française (31 January 1919), quoted in William R. Keylor, Jacques Bainville and the Renaissance of Royalist History in Twentieth-Century France (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979), p. 132.
  • May 7, 1919 has not erased the date of January 18, 1871.
    • 'German Unity Consecrated at Versailles', Action Française (9 May 1919), quoted in William R. Keylor, Jacques Bainville and the Renaissance of Royalist History in Twentieth-Century France (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979), pp. 137-138.
  • The Rhineland liberated from Prussia or eternal war. The choice is ours.
    • Action Française (4 September 1919), quoted in William R. Keylor, Jacques Bainville and the Renaissance of Royalist History in Twentieth-Century France (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979), p. 129.

Quotes about Bainville[edit]

  • Unique in its crystalline irrefutability, Bainville's luminous column guides me unerringly across the desert of foreign policy.
    • Marcel Proust (1920), quoted in William R. Keylor, Jacques Bainville and the Renaissance of Royalist History in Twentieth-Century France (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979), p. 126.
  • Bainville predicted everything that has been happening, I wanted to believe that he was having a nightmare, that he was wrong...But here we are.
    • Robert Kemp writing in September 1939 upon the outbreak of the Second World War, quoted in William R. Keylor, Jacques Bainville and the Renaissance of Royalist History in Twentieth-Century France (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979), p. 272.
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