6 February 1934: The Veterans' Riot

Chris Millington

in From Victory to Vichy

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780719085505
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702680 | DOI:
6 February 1934: The Veterans' Riot

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This chapter examines the veterans' involvement of the riot of 6 February 1934. On that night, nationalists and war veterans protested in central Paris against the incumbent left-wing government. Police killed a dozen demonstrators and injured hundreds as they defended the approaches to the French parliament. Historians recognise the riot as a turning point in the interwar years, after which French politics polarised between the growing extreme right-wing 'leagues' and the left-wing Popular Front alliance. studies the UNC's participation in the nationalist riot of 6 February 1934 in Paris. This chapter challenges the claims of historians (such as Serge Berstein) that the UNC's march was neither political nor violent. Some UNC veterans fought with police. They took part in the charges of rioters towards the parliament buildings. Yet if some sections of the UNC's leadership and membership supported the march, others condemned it. Nevertheless, the UNC was prepared to support violence when the situation called for it.

Keywords: France; Veterans; Political violence; 6 February 1934; Fascism; Popular Front; Third Republic

Chapter.  13164 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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