Vallat, Xavier°

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VALLAT, XAVIER°

VALLAT, XAVIER ° (1891–1972), French antisemitic politician. A member of the Chamber of Deputies from 1919, he changed his political affiliations several times, but always belonged to the extreme right and was an outspoken antisemite. He strove for de-emancipation of the Jews who were to be treated as strangers and in the Chamber (1936–40) "distinguished" himself by his fierce attacks on Leon *Blum. In July 1940 Pétain appointed him secretary general of the veterans' organization. The Nazi occupants suspected him because of his patriotism and dismissed him. However, when Darlan appointed him head of the Commissariat Général aux Questions Juives in March 1941, they did not object. Vallat enlarged the existing anti-Jewish legislation, thereby restricting the Jews' civil rights. He created the framework for the spoliation of Jewish property and founded the *Union Generale des Israelites de France (ugif), a compulsory association over all Jews. He collaborated with the Nazi authorities but tried to safeguard French interests. Finally, in March 1942 the Nazis obtained his dismissal, but his organization served in the framework of the "Final Solution" in France (see *Holocaust, General Survey). Vallat, who afterward continued to serve Pétain in different offices, was condemned to ten years imprisonment in 1947, but released in January 1950.

bibliography:

Z. Szajkowski, Analytical Franco-Jewish Gazetteer 19391945 (1966), index; J. Billig, Le Commissariat Général aux Questions Juives (19411944), 1 (1955), index; Le Procès de Xavier Vallat (1948).

[Yehuda Reshef]