Louis Barthou


Louis Barthou

Infobox Prime Minister
name=Louis Barthou


order=78th Prime Minister of France
term_start =22 March 1913
term_end =9 December 1913
predecessor =Aristide Briand
successor =Gaston Doumergue
birth_date =25 August 1862
death_date =death date and age|1934|10|9|1862|8|25
party=None

Jean Louis Barthou (25 August 1862 – 9 October 1934) was a French politician of the Third Republic.

Career

He was born in Oloron-Sainte-Marie, Basses-Pyrénées, and served as Deputy from that constituency. He was an authority on trade union history and law. Barthou was Prime Minister in 1913, and held ministerial office 13 other times.

Barthou served as Foreign Minister in 1934. He was the primary figure behind the Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance of 1935, though it was signed by his successor, Pierre Laval.

Death

As Foreign Minister, Barthou met King Alexander I of Yugoslavia during his visit to Marseille in October 1934. On 9 October, Alexander was shot and killed by Vlado Chernozemski, who was also shot and killed on the spot by the police escort. Barthou was also wounded, and bled to death from a severed humeral artery (he was not treated until it was too late). The assassination ended the career of Préfet Jouhannaud of Marseille.

It was assumed that Chernozemski hit both victims. But in 1974, forensic examination found that the bullet that struck Barthou was not a 7.65 mm caliber bullet and could not have been fired from Chernozemski's gun. It was an 8 mm bullet, the same caliber used by the Marseille police, and must have been fired at Chernozemski by one of the escort.

In 1957, the East German newspaper "Neues Deutschland" ("New Germany") published supposed correspondence between Hermann Goering and Hans Speidel. In 1934, Speidel was an assistant to the German military attaché in Paris; in 1957 he was high-ranking NATO commander. According to the supposed correspondence, the death of Barthou was intentional, and the assassination was planned and prepared by Germans with Hitler's personal approval. The story was repeated in a book and in the film "Unternehmen Teutonenschwert" ("Operation Teutonic Sword"). This claim has been disputed as propaganda.

Barthou's Ministry, 22 March - 9 December 1913

* Louis Barthou - President of the Council and Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts
* Stéphen Pichon - Minister of Foreign Affairs
* Eugène Étienne - Minister of War
* Louis Lucien Klotz - Minister of the Interior
* Charles Dumont - Minister of Finance
* Henry Chéron - Minister of Labour and Social Security Provisions
* Antony Ratier - Minister of Justice
* Pierre Baudin - Minister of Marine
* Étienne Clémentel - Minister of Agriculture
* Jean Morel - Minister of Colonies
* Joseph Thierry - Minister of Public Works
* Alfred Massé - Minister of Commerce, Industry, Posts, and Telegraphs

References

* Young, Robert "Power and Pleasure : Louis Barthou and the Third French Republic", Montreal : McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1991, ISBN 0773508635

External links

* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7747 Louis Barthou's Gravesite]
* [http://www.watsoninstitute.org/pub_detail.cfm?id=132 "The King is Dead, Long Live the Balkans!" Watching the Marseilles Murders of 1934" The Watson Institute]


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