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Thread: Gen. Philippe Petain execution. Right verdict or unfair crime?

  1. #1
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    Default Gen. Philippe Petain execution. Right verdict or unfair crime?

    What's your opinion?
    Before his return, asked, in France, Petain was an old and respected ambassador of over 80 years. Saluting Francisco Franco before leaving Madrid, the Caudillo told him: "General, don't come back to France. They' ll charge you with hard responsibility of which you're innocent, and your prestige conquered at Verdun will be blurred".
    Petain: "I can offer to France only my old age. I can't refuse my help".
    Petain was asked, and even begged to enter in the goverment as the man of salvage.
    When the people responsible of the political and military French disasters flew away, only the old Marshall offered himself as shield and as the man who on the behalf of the all country had to drink the bitter cup of defeat.
    During the trial at the end of war Petain said "to have defended the country as he had defended in Verdun", and all his action and even mistake has done for this purpose.
    In my opinion, the trial of Petain, furthemore in the ways it was done, with his final execution was more a political murder rather than a true act of justice.
    Probably Petain committed also mistakes and even crimes, but many other people that ruled before him should be judged before him and for even worse charges.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Gen. Philippe Petain execution. Right verdict or unfair crime?

    Quote Originally Posted by DVX View Post
    When the people responsible of the political and military French disasters flew away, only the old Marshall offered himself as shield and as the man who on the behalf of the all country had to drink the bitter cup of defeat.
    During the trial at the end of war Petain said "to have defended the country as he had defended in Verdun", and all his action and even mistake has done for this purpose.
    His "defense" came at a high price for the French people themselves. He was, no doubt, a skilled leader, as he demonstrated at Verdun. That he thought (and maybe indeed he has) he would fend off further harm to France, this is debatable now of course.
    In any way, his more radical underlings committed some serious crimes in the first line against the French population themselves (on occassions also against the military of the Allies), the Milice is said to have been at times worse than the German Gestapo. Furthermore, there was the compulsory work service for the French, who had to work in Germany and the French Jews were also hit very hard.

    The question which arises however is, whether these crimes could have been prevented or, if it would not have been Pétain, would it have simply been someone else?
    I would answer the first part of my question with "no", as I think that those men who later made up the Milice etc. would have still gotten those positions to do so.
    The second part, I wold answer it with "yes", as you can always find someone willing.

    However, Pétain was a famous and important figure and helped that way his "enemies" (hard to find a suitable word to describe the Germans in this situation now), as he would be someone whom the French would follow, as he was not some shady nobody, he was after all Marshall Pétain.




    Quote Originally Posted by DVX View Post
    In my opinion, the trial of Petain, furthemore in the ways it was done, with his final execution was more a political murder rather than a true act of justice.
    Marshal Pétain was not executed, he died of old age. He was however sentence to death, the sentence was not carried out.




    Quote Originally Posted by DVX View Post
    Probably Petain committed also mistakes and even crimes, but many other people that ruled before him should be judged before him and for even worse charges.
    As you said it and I wrote it above, he had his mistakes, his grave mistakes. And these mistakes cost other people a lot. Furthermore, he was putting up a fight against DeGaulle's forces (DeGaulle himself however seems to have had a high opinion of him till the end) practically up to the end of the war. It is no surprise, that he was charged and that he was sentenced.


    Regarding the many other people who ruled before him, I would extent that to some who ruled with him and, on a broader context, worldwide there have been in this period from any really participating nation enough who would have deserved the gallows.

    The two of us do not have to look outside our countries for this I guess (but on the other hand, we do not differ from anyone else in this).
    Last edited by Evillittlekenny; 01-11-2013 at 04:51 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Gen. Philippe Petain execution. Right verdict or unfair crime?

    Quote Originally Posted by Evillittlekenny View Post


    Marshal Pétain was not executed, he died of old age. He was however sentence to death, the sentence was not carried out.

    You're right, but the commutation of the death sentence to life imprisonement for a 90 years old man was an hypocritical mockery by De Gaulle, even if with political reasons behind. What I meant is the question if the sentence to capital execution itself was a crime itself, a political avenge, rather then a verdict of justice.
    They even refused the Petain's request to be buried in the Verdun sacrarium...

    Anyway, your point of view is absolutely respectable.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Gen. Philippe Petain execution. Right verdict or unfair crime?

    As a figurehead of France`s shame, Petain had to pay..
    As a rightist defender of Western European autonomy against Anglo-American & Stalinist hegemony, Petain had to pay..
    As a staunch backer of the losing side, Petain had to pay..
    As a General who sign death warrants for executions of his countrymen,...well you get the picture..
    Last edited by J.A.W.; 03-15-2013 at 11:57 PM.

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