The Salengro affair (France 5)

The Salengro affair (France 5)

The Salengro case, a historical TV movie broadcast tonight on France 5, it is first and foremost the story of a human tragedy. Roger Salengro was a French politician, Minister of the Interior of the first Popular Front government, whose suicide, following a slanderous press campaign, illustrates the violence of the political climate in the years preceding the Second World War. global.

Born in Dunkirk, Roger Salengro, who militates in the French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO), became city councilor of Lille in 1919, then mayor of the city in 1925. He was elected socialist deputy of the North in 1928. The 6 June 1936, he was called to the Ministry of the Interior by Léon Blum during the formation of the Popular Front government. In a delicate context marked by the wave of strikes which has been spreading since May, he succeeds in encouraging dialogue while enforcing order, and participates in the meetings leading to the signing of the Matignon agreements.

As attacks multiply against Leon Blum, he himself is targeted by various far-right newspapers, including Gringoire and Action Française, which spread the rumor that he deserted during World War I, so that he was at the front. Although a jury of veterans established that he had been taken prisoner while attempting, with the agreement of the command, to search for the body of one of his comrades beyond the German lines and not to desert, although he was acquitted by the court martial before which he was subsequently brought, and despite the vote in the Chamber of Deputies of a motion reversing the charges against him, he committed suicide on November 17, 1936. A few months later, the Salengro affair inspired a modification of the press law, increasing the penalties for defamation.

The Salengro affair, historical telefilm by Yves Boisset, with Jean-Pierre Donadieu. Monday August 30 at 8:35 pm on France 5.

For further

- The Salengro Affair by Blanckaert Christian. Michalon, 2009.