Saturday, December 03, 2005

Napoleon's genocide 'on a par with Hitler'

I believe there are two very different interpretations of both Napoleon and of the French Revolution that preceded him: One is the traditional French/continental version, in which the French Revolution is seen in a positive light, and Napoleon is viewed as a great, albeit megalomaniac, French leader. The other is the Anglo-American version, in which the French Revolution is viewed as leading directly into chaos and terror, and later to the rise of an authoritarian warmonger: Napoleon. In this interpretation, the French Revolution leads to the Totalitarian and Utopian ideologies of 20th century Europe, and Napoleon is an early version of Lenin or even Hitler. The British propaganda was, however, false on some points: The "diminutive" French general wasn't very short at all. Napoleon was about average height, perhaps slightly above, for men of his time:

Napoleon's genocide 'on a par with Hitler'

A French historian has caused uproar by claiming Napoleon provided the model for Hitler's Final Solution with the slaughter of more than 100,000 Caribbean slaves. In The Crime of Napoleon, Claude Ribbe accuses the emperor of genocide, gassing rebellious blacks more than a century before the Nazis' extermination of the Jews. His accusations refer to the extreme methods used to put down a ferocious uprising in Haiti at the start of the 19th century. Then known as San Domingo, the colony was considered a jewel of the French empire and to save it troops launched a campaign to kill all blacks aged over 12. "In simple terms, Napoleon ordered the killing of as many blacks as possible in Haiti and Guadeloupe to be replaced by new, docile slaves from Africa," Ribbe said yesterday. He said he had found accounts from officers who refused to take part in the massacres, especially the use of sulphur dioxide to kill slaves held in ships' holds. His book is already provoking controversy prior to its publication on Thursday. The newspaper France Soir juxtaposed images of Napoleon and Hitler yesterday before asking: "Did Napoleon invent the Final Solution?"

Napoleon Fans to Re-Enact 1805 Triumph

France's defense minister met with Czech leaders Friday while in the Czech Republic to help commemorate the 200th anniversary of Napoleon's battle of Austerlitz. "We live in the present, but we always return to the roots of our history," French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said after meeting her Czech counterpart, Karel Kuehnl, in Prague. "It is a celebration of the strategy and tactics of the armies that fought there," she said. "It also is a celebration of the wisdom of nations that succeeded in overcoming problems that were dividing them." Later Friday, Alliot-Marie traveled to Austerlitz, the site of the battle in which Napoleon Bonaparte defeated Russian and Austrian armies in 1805. She laid a wreath at the Zuran Hill from which Napoleon directed the battle. "We gathered here to remember the event that was both tragic and fascinating in the history of Europe," Alliot-Marie said. She said that the reconstruction of the battle connected thousands of people who had come from around the world "not to celebrate a war, but to commemorate those who died ... for their countries." Napoleon enthusiasts planned to re-enact the famous battle Saturday at its original site near Slavkov, known in history books by its German name Austerlitz and located near the Moravian capital of Brno, about 150 miles southeast of Prague.

Napoleon was poisoned: toxicological study

Napoleon Bonaparte was murdered by arsenic poisoning and did not die naturally of a stomach cancer, according to a new toxicological study which attempts to end long running historical controversy. "The latest analysis suggests a criminal intent," said Dr Pascal Kintz, a toxicologist who regularly gives expert evidence in court cases, and who conducted a new study on Napoleon's hair. For International Napoleonic Society (INS) spokesman Jean-Claude Damamme the new study by Dr Kintz has produced "the definitive proof of the criminal poisoning of Napoleon". Napoleon died aged 51 in 1821, on the island of St Helena in the south Atlantic, where he had been banished after his military defeat by British and Prussian forces at Waterloo. The toxic form of arsenic, used for centuries as rat poison, was found in Napoleon's hair samples at 37 to 42 times above the normal level in the new study.

Battle of Trafalgar Anniversary Sunk by Political Correctness

Admiral Horatio Nelson may have guided the British naval fleet to a famous victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, but he faces a far tougher foe during celebrations to mark its 200th anniversary -- the massed forces of political correctness. According to a newspaper report on Sunday, organisers of a re-enactment of the sea battle next month have decided to bill it as between a "Red Fleet" and a "Blue Fleet", rather than Britain and its French and Spanish adversaries. This is being done to avoid the embarrassment of assembled French dignitaries at the event feeling humiliated by watching their nation routed again, The Sunday Times said. Official literature for the planned event next month will also be toned down, describing the extravaganza as a re-enactment not of Trafalgar but of "an early 19th century sea battle". Trafalgar, in which the British Royal Navy saw off a combined Franco-Spanish fleet off the southern coast of Spain, marked a crucial defeat for Napoleon's sea power. Nelson himself fell during the battle, mortally wounded by a French sharpshooter.


At December 03, 2005 2:39 PM, Blogger Cosmophant said...

Napolean is of course the great hero of Dominique de Villepin.

TNR: "it is important to understand that for de Villepin, Napoleon is nothing less than a hero of almost Christ-like dimensions."

Dominique de Villepin, author of Les Cents-Jours ou l'esprit de sacrifice (The Hundred Days, or the Spirit of Sacrifice), a recent postmodernist history that laments the dream that was lost at Waterloo ("a defeat which gleams with the aura of victory")

It's no surprise that the hagiographer Villepin and his "handful of dreamers" in contemporary Paris would ignore the endemic terror inherent in Napoleon's methods, offer cant to hide amorality, and instead focus on raw power. Villepin's France is a sort of hollow Directorate come alive, talking of the need for U.N. approval, all the while it intervenes unilaterally in the Ivory Coast; protesting the horrors of Middle East war while it sells weapons to Saddam Hussein;...

What would Dominique de Villepin make of the following scenario? The most powerful country in the world, and the self-proclaimed standard-bearer of the West, makes an unprovoked, overwhelming attack on a large Muslim state and occupies it. The leader of the attack claims to be acting preventively, and therefore, ultimately, in self-defense. He also claims to be bringing Western values, and a new era, to the Middle East. But his path is not entirely smooth: in world opinion he is pilloried for atrocities against innocent Muslims.

What would de Villepin make of this? Well, it depends on which country we are talking about. The description may fit the America of George W. Bush, but it certainly fits the France of Napoleon Bonaparte, who invaded and occupied Egypt in the year 1798 (partly as a preventive move against the British Empire). And it is important to understand that for de Villepin, Napoleon is nothing less than a hero of almost Christ-like dimensions.

At December 04, 2005 2:23 PM, Blogger thewayoftheworl said...

Napoleon was a hero, he ended serfdom in germany, and belgium and italy and sdpain, he ended torture, he freed the Jewish ghettoes of germany, he ended the holy roman empire, he liberated poland for a few yearsm, and lithuania, he liberated egypt from the mamuluks, he opposed the fascist british and prussian and vatican regimes, a british regime that was killing a million aboriginees, athat had evicted the whole population of st pierre and miquelobn, in 1793m, off the candian esturay, that had killed 80,000 irishmen, in the 1790s, revolt, that had killed 10 million bengalis in 1770, that had killed 100,000 americans in their atempt to win independamce, that kiled 5million slaves slave trader wars in the 18th century, (such as the facft for every slave taken to trhe americas it is said one person died, in affrica of slaver wars) that was to see a million died in famine in ireland in 1845, napoleon was fighting the french king, who saw a million die of famine in france in 1714, and in 1745 and 1770, that saw a million die in teh seven years war caused by france, he was fighting the dutch who killed 30,000 chinese on a pogrom in indonesia in 1740, he was fighting a italia group of kingdoms,. that still executed, and killed people, that saw a million die of famine in 1770, and a million died in famine in spain in 1770, and a million in the austria hungarian empire in 1770, he opuisted this feudalism, you talk abou slavery, but what about what the british king did , it was far worse, or the french king who ignored these massive famines, and spent his time being cuddled by huis servants, well done napoleon for ousting the mamulukls, a group of europeans, who op-p-ressed the egyptians ruling like the nazis wanted themselves to rule thje ussr, as a master race, seeing th epopulatiobn fall endlessly, "the population of egypt before napoleon was a third of what it was under roome, after napoleon, by a century it was more than that, what about the killing of 250000 cathars by the king of france, by the catholic chucrh or trhe killing of 50million americans by the catholic church abnd spain after columbus, or the million killed by the slavers of america, who were haters of thomas paine, after 1780, who carried on slavery and the massacre of the native americans, what about the fact that teh french revolution stopped the fisrt holocaust og the gypsies, the french king pklanned to deport all France's gypsies to a carribean colony, evetry single colony in teh carrivean upto 1800, sawe ther population die out withi8ng years, such as teh dafrien scheme, or the black slaves who died at huge rates, we must remember, teh french revolution abolished slaery in haiti, and guadelioupe, britain tried keeping it in martiniqueand tried imposeing it in on hait8, and other french colonies, indeed nelson loved slavery, it was obnly briti9sh revolutiionaries, in 1808, that helped wilberforce end the slave tradem, (wilberforce opposed the british and prussian incasion of france of 1791, and 1803) napoleon wanted peace with britain and britain wanted war, and wanted slavery in haiti, it was only the jacobins ending of slavery that ended slavery in teh carribean, as it made haiti able to be taken over by it'[s ow npeople so the main slave market was ended, also the king of gritain opposed teh ending of slavery, so well done teh revolution, which in 1848, ended slavery in tehcolonies, whi ch had been kept alive in french colonies by the british such as in martinique, well done napoleon you are a hjero, and the british royalistzs have the crimes of many millions dead

At December 04, 2005 2:34 PM, Blogger thewayoftheworl said...

the crimes of monarchy are evil, think fotr instance of the royal rule in libya, which betweebn 1905 and 1940, killed 750,000 of it's on average a million people, the largest percent genocide in history of teh 20th century, shame ion king of italy, and your pal the fascits dictator, it is a fact that monarchy and far right dictatorship (i.e ronald reagan") are the most evil forms of regime ever ever

At December 05, 2005 9:05 PM, Blogger Franze said...

Napoleon made a genocide in many countries, in Spain only, killed 1 millon people.
I am agree with that historian Napoleon was XIX Hitler.

At December 09, 2005 5:00 AM, Blogger loafer said...

The communist dictatorships of 20th century killed far more people than any monarchs or "right wingers" ever did, there's no doubt about that.

Napoleon was a fairly implacable enemy of Britain, unlike Hitler he actually made a serious attempt to conquer it. In fact he precipitately raised a victory column to commemorate his successful conquest of England!


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