Jean Louis Barthou


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(b. 25 Aug. 1862, d. 9 Oct. 1934).

Prime Minister of France 1913 An adept moderate right‐wing member of the Chamber of Deputies since 1889, he held a large number of ministerial appointments before and after World War I. Hostile to Germany and suspicious of Briand's policies, he had the opportunity to realize some of his demands for a tougher stance towards Germany as president of the Reparations Committee 1922–6. As a result of this vigilant stance, he led French hostility towards the aggressive Nazi regime in Germany in 1933 and 1934. He prepared an anti‐Fascist alliance with the Soviet Union, which was concluded by Laval in 1935 after Barthou's death. Barthou was assassinated during a state visit of the Yugoslav king, Alexander I. This deprived France of its last major politician ready to stand up to Hitler and eased the way for politicians like Blum to follow British policies of appeasement toward Germany.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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