Les promesses de la Bretagne : Mordrel, Delaporte, Lainé, Fouéré : génération de l'apocalypse et mystique nationale (1901-1948)

Sébastien Carney 1
1 CRBC Brest - Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique
UBO - Université de Brest, IBSHS - Institut Brestois des Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société, CRBC - Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique
Abstract : In the aftermath of the First World War, a generation of young men sworn to combat - yet restricted from the eschatological mission destined to them - resolve to find meaning in their lives by fully devoting themselves to fight for Brittany. Somewhat haunted by the wasteful experience of war, they consider Brittany itself as having failed. In their opinion, this defeat justifies their fight : the Breton nationalism of the inter-war period is a continued war, and can be traced through the biographies of four young men.In their struggle, Mordrel, Delaporte, Lainé and Fouéré seek for allies from supposed similar backgrounds, looking first to Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. Nevertheless, this kind of pan-Celticism fails, so the Breton nationalists direct their energies towards Flanders, Corsica and Alsace - as well as Germany, a defeated country which clandestinely challenges European nationalities, in order to dispute the various 1919 Treaties.As a result of these foreign exchanges, the young Bretons invest themselves into various schools of thought which spread across Europe in the late 1920s and the early 1930s. Thus the creation of a Breton Literature believed to be innovative can indeed be considered as a local variation of German conservative revolutionary thinking. The Breton Autonomist Party is federalist and pro-Europe, such as other 'realist' groups which are forming in Paris. The directors of the Breton National party experiment in « spiritualism » and « personalism » as theorised by Parisian and European « relèves » (relief teams), and some of these directors are also inspired to adhere to Nordism by intellectuals inclose contact with the SS.With all this in mind, it appears that the activities carried out in the name of the « Breton struggle » during the inter-war period are in no way unique to Brittany. Rather, they are the local expression of movements of European thinking, as well as the projection of anxiety and personal issues of some considerably charismatic leaders. This results in an increase in the publication of reviews and actions - both complementary and opposing to the cause - as well big differences in the quality of interpersonal relationships, in particular about issues as crucial to Brittany as religion.In 1939, collusion with the German Conservative Revolution, various ideological experiments, personal decisions, and other diverse factors conduce the nationalist Breton leaders to engage in an alliance with the occupier. This alliance offers them signifìcantly fewer benefits than were hoped for, yet at the same time many Breton militants do not question their involvement and pledges made with the Germans, to varying degrees.If we only remember a few dramatic and sensational episodes of the Breton movement during the Second World War, it must be noted that these episodes are largely the execution of theories circulating long before, all over Europe, and adapted to the Breton cause by a small number of atypical people.
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Sébastien Carney. Les promesses de la Bretagne : Mordrel, Delaporte, Lainé, Fouéré : génération de l'apocalypse et mystique nationale (1901-1948). Histoire. Université de Bretagne occidentale - Brest, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014BRES0019⟩. ⟨tel-02378127⟩

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