Yann Fouéré – father of the “Europe of a hundred flags – dies at 101

tn-Fouere1The alternative to the modern tyranny of liberal multiculturalism does not have to be a reactionary, Colonel Blimp imperialism – still less does it have to be the crude slogans of the EDL.

Perhaps more than any other European of the late 20th century, the great Breton nationalist Yann Fouéré – who died on 21st October aged 101 – showed us how our continent could be reinvented.  In 1968 (while many members of Europe’s supposed intellectual elite were happily waving Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book or advancing the cultural subversion of the “Frankfurt School”) Yann Fouéré published his manifesto for a “Europe of a hundred flags”, L’Europe aux Cents Drapeaux, which appeared in English twelve years later under the title Towards a Federal Europe: Nations or States?

As we contemplate the crisis of the ‘eurozone’ in recent weeks, we should turn to this book to rekindle our true and various European spirits:

“Europe must not be sterilized into a purely materialistic society where production figures would be the only yardstick of progress.  Behind the cold exterior of figures and the world of economists, there are human beings and citizens, with the natural communities to which they belong.  There is the infinite cultural wealth of Europe which springs from her diversity.”

Fouéré reminded us that nationalist politics should be about identity, and that this identity did not necessarily correspond neatly with the political-geographical division of Europe into nation-states.  Our cultural, national identity as Englishmen is distinct from our status as citizens of the United Kingdom.

All the more so for Flemings inside modern Belgium, Basques and Catalans inside modern Spain, and Bretons inside modern France – including of course Yann Fouéré himself, and he paid a heavy price for his commitment to the 20th century Breton revival.

The dictates of the French state built on the 1789 Revolution sought to crush Brittany’s independence, but after 1940 the government of the World War I military hero Marshal Pétain allowed rights for Bretons, including the teaching of their language and history.  The young Yann Fouéré found that as a civil servant in the 1930s his academic brilliance could not prevent his career being sidelined due to his support for the Breton cause, but after 1940 the prospects seemed brighter both for him and for his nation.

21st century Breton nationalists at the grave of Abbé Perrot, murdered by Communists in 1943

21st century Breton nationalists at the grave of Abbé Perrot, murdered by Communists in 1943

However in December 1943 the respected Breton priest Abbé Perrot was assassinated by Communist ‘Resistance’ terrorists.  This pushed Breton patriots into an even more bitter conflict with the ‘Resistance’, and led to many Bretons including Fouéré later being fixed with the dreaded label of ‘collaborator’.

Those fixed with such labels could not expect a normal process of justice.  Postwar France even had its own “State Security Court”, where suspects could be detained indefinitely without trial – today’s equivalent being the Canadian “security certificates” that enforced Ernst Zündel’s incarceration and deportation, or the volksverhetzung law in modern Germany that jails lawyers for defending their clients.

Thus in 1945 Yann Fouéré had to leave Brittany, first for Wales and then for Ireland, escaping a sentence of hard labour for life.  In his Irish exile he certainly did labour though, ceaseless labour for the cause of a new Europe, combined with building up a very substantial shellfish business on the west coast of Ireland.

In 1955 with the postwar witch-hunt atmosphere somewhat abated, Fouéré returned to France and was acquitted on all charges, but at the age of 65 in 1975 he was thrown into a French jail again and detained for five months without trial, this time accused of militant opposition to the French state’s plans for nuclear power stations in Brittany.  All charges were dropped in 1977, but yet again the French government sentenced him (in his absence) to eight years imprisonment in 1979 as a member of the Breton Liberation Front, which the prosecution described as “coupling Nazis and Red Brigades”.

Anyone who could even be accused of such an unlikely feat must have been a remarkable man! And Yann Fouéré certainly was.  I first encountered his work via Michael Walker’s magazine Scorpion and allied conferences during the 1980s, but he carried on writing, speaking and campaigning long after that.  Having been a founder member of the Celtic League since 1961, in 1999 he formed the Party for the Organisation of Free Brittany.  By then he was free again to travel to France, because President Mitterrand had declared a general amnesty for Breton political “criminals”.

fouere2During the summer of this year – at the age of 101 – Yann Fouéré launched his autobiography La Maison in Connemara at events in Galway and Aberystwyth.

He died a few weeks after this Aberystwyth event – but the real death is of the old Europe: the EU superstate and the hegemony of the banksters.  Yann Fouéré’s work lives on in the hearts and minds of true Europeans.

A lifelong Roman Catholic, Yann Fouéré’s funeral was on 25th October in the basilica of Notre Dame de Bon Secours, Guingamp, Brittany.  There will be a Memorial Service at Claddaghduff Parish Church, Co Galway, at 12 noon on 27th November.

Further details of Yann Fouéré’s life and work can be found at http://www.fondationyannfouere.org/english/


Yann Fouéré's concept of the "Europe of a Hundred Flags" influenced cultural-political groups such as Iona, who produced this publication in the mid-1980s

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