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PICARD, EDMOND°

PICARD, EDMOND ° (1836–1924), Belgian lawyer and antisemite. Picard became an active advocate of socialism, then of antisemitic racialism, and attempted to forge an alliance between the two ideologies. He fought for the socialist cause between 1866 and 1907, when he left the Socialist Party, although he continued to call himself a socialist. In 1888 Picard visited Morocco on a diplomatic mission and from then on turned his talents as a writer to outright racialist propaganda. Observing Arabs and Jews there, he concluded that Semites and Aryans were irreconcilable races. In the following years he wrote La Bible et le Coran (1888), Synthèse de l'antisémitisme (1892), which was reprinted during the German occupation of Belgium in World War ii, and L'Aryano-Sémitisme (1899), a collection of 19 articles previously published in the socialist daily Le Peuple under the bizarre title L'Antisémitisme scientifique et humanitaire. Picard abhorred any intermingling of races and urged Aryans to protect themselves from the "Semitic invasion." He presented Jesus as an Aryan and the Jews as Asians. Seeing no contradiction between antisemitism and socialism, he believed that brotherhood of the oppressed did not necessarily imply equality between all races. He was influenced by *Proudhon's anti-Jewish ouvriérisme and by *Gobineau, as well as by his Catholic education which provided a receptive ground for animosity toward the Jews. He succeeded in infecting the minds of leading socialists like Hennebicq (1871–1940) and Destrée (1863–1936); but thanks to the efforts of E. Vandervelde, L. De Brouckère, and C. Huysmans, the Socialist movement in Belgium officially proscribed antisemitism. Yet the Socialist Party newspaper, Le Peuple, never refused to print Picard's articles.

bibliography:

R.F. Byrnes, Anti-semitism in Modern France, 1 (1950), index; Silberner, in: hj, 14 (1952), 106–18.

Picard, Edmond°

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