Mandel, Georges

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MANDEL, GEORGES (Louis (not Jeroboam as represented by antisemites) Rothchild ; 1885–1944), French statesman, born in Chatou, near Paris. Mandel became a close associate of Georges Clemenceau in 1903, after joining Clemenceau's staff at L'Aurore, a radical daily newspaper which campaigned for the rehabilitation of Alfred *Dreyfus. When Clemenceau became prime minister in 1906, he appointed Mandel head of his office (chef de cabinet), a position Mandel held until 1909, and again from 1917 to 1919 in Clemenceau's war cabinet. At the peak of World War i Mandel was put in charge of the trials dealing with treason and defeatism. In 1920 he was elected a deputy and after 1935 he was appointed minister a number of times. As cabinet minister he urged France's speedy rearmament to meet the threat of German National Socialism and in 1936 he opposed Germany's remilitarization of the Rhineland. As minister of the interior in Paul Reynaud's government (from May 1940 to the fall of France), Mandel ordered the arrest of numerous suspected Nazi sympathizers and also interned Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria. After the retreat of French troops, he opposed Pétain's and *Laval's policy of capitulation and collaboration. Pétain had Mandel arrested in Bordeaux, but upon his release he went to Morocco to organize the renewal of combat. Arrested a second time, Mandel was taken to prison in France and assassinated by the Vichy militia in 1944. Mandel did not participate in Jewish community life.


G. Wormser, Georges Mandel, l'homme politique (1967); P. Coblentz, Georges Mandel (1946); J.M. Sherwood, Georges Mandel and the Third Republic (1971).

[Lucien Lazare]