The Blue Shirts : Adrien Arcand and Fascist Anti-Semitism in Canada
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While Adolf Hitler was seizing power in Germany, Adrien Arcand was laying the foundations in Quebec for his Parti national social chrétien. The Blue Shirts, as its members were called, wore a military uniform and prominently displayed the swastika. Arcand saw Jewish conspiracy wherever he turned and his views resonated with his followers who, like him, sought a scapegoat for all the ills eroding society.




Even after his imprisonment during the Second World War, the fanatical Adrien Arcand continued his correspondence with those on the frontlines of anti-semitism. Until his death in 1967, he pursued his campaign of propaganda against communists and Jews.




Hugues Théorêt describes a dark period in Quebec’s ideological history using an objective approach and careful, rigorous research in this book, which won the 2015 Canada Prize (Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences).

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Date de parution 16 mai 2017
Nombre de lectures 3
EAN13 9780776624693
Langue English
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The University of Ottawa Press gratefully acknowledges the support extended to its publishing list by Canadian Heritage through the Canada Book Fund, by the Canada Council for the Arts, by the Ontario Arts Council, by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences through the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, and by the University of Ottawa.
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the National Translation Program for Book Publishing, an initiative of the Roadmap for Canada s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities , for our translation activities.
Originally published as Les Chemises bleues Les ditions du Septentrion 2012
Copy editing:
Robbie McCaw
Proofreading:
Robert Ferguson and Shyla Fairfax
Typesetting:
discript enr.
Cover design:
discript enr.
Cover image:
Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives / Archives juives canadiennes Alex Dworkin

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Th or t, Hugues, 1969-
[Chemises bleues. English]
The blue shirts: Adrien Arcand and fascist anti-semitism in Canada / Hugues Th or t; translation by Ferdinanda Van Gennip and Howard Scott.
Translation of: Les Chemises bleues : Adrien Arcand, journaliste antis mite canadien-fran ais.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Issued in print and electronic formats.
ISBN 978-0-7766-2467-9 (softcover).
ISBN 978-0-7766-2468-6 (PDF).
ISBN 978-0-7766-2469-3 (EPUB).
ISBN 978-0-7766-2470-9 (Kindle)
1. Arcand, Adrien, 1900-1967. 2. National Unity Party of Canada. 3. Fascism-Qu bec (Province)-History. 4. Fascism-Canada-History. 5. Antisemitism-Qu bec (Province)-History-20th century. 6. Right and left (Political science)-Canada-History-20th century. 7. Politicians-Qu bec (Province)-Biography. I. Gennip, Ferdinanda van, 1948-, translator II. Scott, Howard, 1952-, translator III. Title. IV. Title: Chemises bleues. English.
FC2924.1.A72T4313 2017
971.4 03092
C2017-902393-4


C2017-902394-2
University of Ottawa Press, 2017
Printed in Canada
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction
CHAPTER I
Le Goglu Builds its Nest
Arcand s Parents
Studies
The Journalist
Leisure Pursuits
CHAPTER II
Le Goglu Takes Flight
Quebec in 1929
Le Miroir
Le Goglu
L Ordre Patriotique des Goglus
The David Bill on Jewish Schools
Jewish Immigration to Quebec
The Achat chez nous Campaign
Arcand and R. B. Bennett s Conservatives
Dr. Lalanne
The Bercovitch Bill on Hate Propaganda
CHAPTER III
The Blue Shirts
Le Patriote
The National Social Christian Party
Le Fasciste canadien
The Choquette Affair
Arcand Advocates for Canadian Unity
Arcand Supports Maurice Duplessis
Arcand Outside Quebec
Watchful Eye of the RCMP
Incidents of Violent Anti-Semitism in Canada
Fascist Little Italy
A Split in the PNSC
Anticosti Island Controversy
CHAPTER IV
The Key to the Mystery
The Influence of douard Drumont
Protocols of the Elders of Zion
The Protocols in Quebec
The Key to the Mystery
CHAPTER V
The Canadian Union of Fascists
The National Unity Party of Canada
Arcand Abandons the Swastika
Arcand Preaches Canadian Corporatism
The Party s Principles
Le Combat national
Against War
Canadian Fascists Under Scrutiny by the Authorities
Power Hungry
The Opposition Goes on the Offensive
CHAPTER VI
Arrests and Internments
Canada Goes to War Against Germany
Raid at Arcand s Party Headquarters
Arrests
Arcand s Internment
Life Behind Barbed Wire
Efforts to Obtain Arcand s Release
Mr. Montreal
CHAPTER VII
Liberation
Arcand s Political Failures
CHAPTER VIII
The Cold War Years
Anti-Communism in Quebec
Le Goglu Picks Up its Refrain
La R publique Universelle
Social reconstruction is inevitable
L Unit nationale Reborn
Is the unrest troubling our world today intentional?
CHAPTER IX
Post-War Anti-Semitic Correspondence
CHAPTER X
Arcand s Legacy
Serviam and the Fleur-de-Lys
bas la haine!
Arcand Denies the Holocaust
Arcand and the State of Israel
Arcand and the Second Vatican Council
La R volte du Mat rialisme
Ottawa Examines Hate Propaganda
Ernst Z ndel
Tributes to Arcand
Death of Arcand
Arcand s Heirs
Arcand Before the Judgment of History
From Communism to Internationalism
Serviam Reborn
Conclusion
The Historiographical Debates
Bibliography
Index
Acknowledgements
T his book has been published with the help of a grant from the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, through the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, using funds provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
I would like to personally thank historian Pierre Anctil, who penned the preface to this book; my friends Gilles Toupin and Michel B dard, for their precious counsel; and my spouse, Emmanuelle Dubois, who encouraged me throughout this project, long and perilous though it was. And, finally, I wish to emphasize the invaluable collaboration of Janice Rosen and H l ne Vall e, of the Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives / Archives juives canadiennes Alex Dworkin, as well as the archivists of Library and Archives Canada and the Biblioth que et Archives nationales du Qu bec.
Preface
T oday, with the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to see that francophone academics were slow to take an interest in the Jewish presence in Quebec. There are several factors to explain this reticence, so firmly entrenched that even the great societal reorientations of the Quiet Revolution during the 1960s failed to dislodge it. For much of the twentieth century, Jews were perceived in French Canada as foreigners, their longstanding historical roots in Canada and Quebec overlooked. Jews were also seen as directly obstructing the economic ambitions of francophones-be it small merchants or those in the consumer-products industry-particularly on the island of Montreal. The Achat chez nous (Buy from our own) campaign conducted during the interwar period attests to this. Above all, certain Roman Catholic Church teachings, although dismissed and rejected outright after the 1960s, had clearly imprinted on many francophone minds the notion that the Jews could never be assimilated, were not to be trusted, and, in Quebec, were turning their backs on the French language; furthermore, in the eyes of the Church, they were guilty of deicide and perfidy. Later, they simply became people not to associate with, people whose political aspirations challenged those of the majority of francophones. In short, a lingering unfavourable bias and generally negative attitude, even recently, prompted Quebec intellectuals to avoid the subject and steer well clear of the shore of Montreal Judaism. To write in French on this theme in the early 1980s was still a perilous undertaking, especially if it dealt with intercommunity relations, and more so if it touched on Yiddish literature, Jewish cultural history, or political Zionism.
This bias has changed since the turn of the twenty-first century, when it became more apparent to researchers that the Jewish presence in Quebec raised some fundamental historical issues with respect to cultural diversity, the multiplicity of religions, and pluralism. In certain sectors of Montreal society, Jews had played an outstanding role in such critical areas as the labour-union movement, the rise of progressive ideas, and cultural creativity, to the point where they had paved the way for the emergence of modernity and stood for progressive forms of change. Since that time, new movements of Judaism have also appeared in the province, largely with immigration, movements such as Hasidism that advocate more traditional social behaviour, which are constantly being challenged in Montreal neighbourhoods like Outremont, Mile End, and Snowdon. Without a doubt, the influence of the Jewish population in Montreal far exceeded what could be measured by the number of their members or the political space they occupied.
This recognition lifted doubt around the topic and contributed to opening a theme on which very little scholarly work had been done. Within a very short time, studies and translations appeared that would never have seen the light of day as recently as twenty-five years ago. Yet the issue of the blatant, even mainstream anti-Semitism of the 1930s remained neglected, particularly as it pertained to nascent Quebec nationalism. Certainly, progress was made in the way francophones understood contemporary Judaism, but what about the Judeophobic discourse that had been common currency during the interwar period? Recalling this anti-Semitism was chilling and, for a long time, constituted a powerful disincentive to undertaking any study of the Jewish minority in Quebec-as I myself can testify from personal experience early in my career. At the Institut qu b cois de recherche sur la culture, to which I was recruited in 1980 to study the increasing cultural and linguistic diversity in French-language schools after Bill 101, which officially made French the working language of the province, Montreal s Jewish history caused a gnashing of teeth and a fear that the subject would surely bring disgrace upon Quebec nationalism. In such a context, any effort to advance true understanding of the historical relationship between Jews and francophones in the province was unthinkable.
The climate grew even more oppressive when, in the early 1990s, Esther Delisle published her doctoral thesis and subsequent book on Lionel Groulx and the newspaper Le Devoir , and launched into a stinging denunciation in the media of the anti-Semitism of the leading historical figures of Quebec nationalism. After a long silence, the subject was abruptly in the public arena, yes, with the goal of harming the sovereigntist movement just as it was gaining momentum as a political strategy of nationalism. In circumstances like these, the detachment needed for a serious and thoughtful analysis of the issue did not stand a chance, losing out to the strident approach of emotionalism in search of media hype. Following a long silence, a constant stream of superficial attitudes and opinions on anti-Semitism was unleashed. These were often ill-informed and presented in defence of ideologically based positions. There was no shortage of commentators saying Quebec nationalism had earlier made a pact with the devil, while others claimed precisely the opposite, much of the time with no supporting evidence or based on willy-nilly historical documentation. The topic of relations between French Canadians and Jews, which had earlier been the cause of such deep anxiety among academics, was now a free-for-all, with no holds barred.
Yet, in this media storm, one of the central figures in Quebec s historical anti-Semitism, one of its main proponents, was not mentioned; even Delisle s work on the 1930s was silent on the figure of Adrien Arcand. It is true that the man arouses extreme revulsion with his heinous rhetoric and outrageous positions regarding Jews. Arcand was adamantly opposed to the very presence of Jews in Quebec, stopping at nothing to demonstrate what he claimed was their harmful influence on society. Today, we find his pathological personality and this base side of his nature revolting. To study him is to read a litany of slanderous utterings and offensive language, and to be subjected to his constant companions of hyperbole, falsehood, and psychological manipulation. A flamboyant figure before the Second World War, and re-appearing after 1945 in the context of new anti-Semitic campaigns, staged against the backdrop of the Cold War, Arcand bewilders with his repetition ad nauseam of the same racist commentary and the same condemnations; his undying hatred of the Jews went with him to the grave; he had never shown the slightest regret or doubt about his prejudice. Until quite recently, the question that lingered was how could such a despicable individual be approached from a scientific perspective, and further, how could his worse-than-questionable contribution to the Quebec political landscape be interpreted? A militant anti-communist, a practising Catholic, a Canadian nationalist, and even a supporter of the monarchy of Canada, Arcand seemed politically unclassifiable, and he cast an ominous shadow over a Quebec society that was opening to international immigration and interculturalism.
This is the task that Hugues Th or t set for himself more than ten years ago. The following work is the culmination of systematic research that is well informed and segues into major social issues existing elsewhere on the planet. Indeed, it would not do to simply describe Arcand and his mad ideas, his obsessions, and his neurotic tendencies, nor to go back over his biography, following the trajectory of his life; rather, it was important to see Arcand in the context of a worldwide anti-Semitic movement, a network of contacts and ideas of the extreme right, a vision of the world that had influential followers in Great Britain, France, Germany, and the United States. Above all, it was important for people to understand that the man had experienced the Hitler phenomenon as just one episode among others in his quest for a world free of Jews, communists, and enemies of the Catholic Church generally. No sooner had the war ended, and the unspeakable sufferings borne by the Jews in the Nazi Holocaust been revealed, than Arcand resumed his anti-Semitic campaign, with undiminished energy. He would pursue it relentlessly for another twenty years, until his death. Not only does Th or t possess extensive knowledge of anti-Semitic movements around the world during and after the Second World War, he has also succeeded in approaching his subject in a measured and detached manner, as is entirely appropriate for a difficult historical-research project that has demanded diplomacy, patience, and a long-term commitment. What has emerged is a patiently crafted portrait in which a man and his era are woven together, with Arcand s ideas and his influence clearly delineated.
The greatest challenge was to situate Arcand within a social movement in an era of particularly strong ideological virulence, an era when a global conflict on a scale not seen before had plunged the planet into a state of turmoil. Who were Arcand s supporters? Who embraced his positions? And, especially, who backed him behind the scenes for their own short-term gain, undeterred by the man s unsavoury character and the sickening odour of his anti-Semitism? Clearly, Arcand did not act alone and had benefitted at various times from involvement by members of the Catholic clergy, the federal Conservative Party, and followers of Quebec Premier Maurice Duplessis. Th or t s findings show that Quebec was not immune to the great waves of totalitarian ideology sweeping through certain parts of Europe for much of the twentieth century, on the left as well as on the right. At the same time, the book seems to confirm something we already knew with regard to Soviet Communism, which is that the people of Quebec kept their distance from political movements involving radicalism or violence and were suspicious of openly racist, anti-Semitic, or exclusionist ideologies. This biographical study of Arcand also indicates that francophone historians now recognize the importance of exploring the painful aspects of political discourse in Quebec in the twentieth century if they are to put those aspects into context and better understand them.
This work is important because it enables entry into deeper dialogue with the Jewish community of Quebec-the primary victim of these blatant attacks on fundamental rights-and clarifies the less extreme positions taken by Lionel Groulx, Le Devoir , and L Action nationale during the same period. Confronting these historical realities is already a first step toward breaking down the indifference with which most of our contemporaries view a not-so-distant past. In a way, it proposes a definitive answer to issues that for several decades have remained unresolved. Should we conclude that the devil-dragon has been slain and his henchmen have been silenced forever? Hugues Th or t s research serves to shed light on the present as well. Nearly fifty years after the death of Arcand, views that threaten minorities and contravene the great principles of democracy have not disappeared. The fact remains that if we allow such views to flourish, even on inhospitable soil, we do so at our peril.
P IERRE A NCTIL
Department of History
University of Ottawa
You can always be sure that, in time, you will run into a Frenchman, often intelligent besides, who tells you that Jews really do exaggerate. As for the millions of Jews who were tortured and burned, no, the speaker does not approve of these methods, far from it. It s just that he thinks Jews exaggerate and that it s not right, the way they support one another, even if this solidarity was taught to them by the concentration camp.
A LBERT C AMUS ( La Contagion 1947)
Introduction
F ifty years after his death in 1967, Adrien Arcand appears to be alive and well-his writings, rather, which have never been more accessible, thanks to the Internet.
How is this phenomenon to be explained? For some years now, we have been witnessing a global resurgence of the far right. In the United States, fundamentalist, nativist, and anti-Semitic movements are on the rise. This was evident in the reaction to Barack Obama s election as president, and to his social measures, which challenged a deeply rooted ultraconservative tradition, especially in the southern states. In 2009, the founding of the Tea Party protest movement, which came as the debate on US healthcare reform intensified, drew attention to the growing number of right-wing protest movements in the United States. And what are we to think of David Duke, former state congressman for Louisiana and former leader of the Ku Klux Klan; the Australian, Frederik Toeben, who was detained in Germany for inciting racial hatred; Georges Thiel, convicted in France for Holocaust-denial offences, and his colleague Robert Faurisson, who in 2007 joined an anti-Semitic group in Tehran to take part in a Holocaust conference organized by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad s Iranian government, widely considered to be the largest assemblage of historical negationists ever organized?
In 2010, the extreme right made disturbing breakthroughs in Europe. In Italy, the Northern League s victory in the regional elections raised the spectre of Mussolini. In France, Jean-Marie Le Pen s National Front, believed to be dead after the 2007 presidential election, bounced back past the 10 percent mark in the recent regional elections. On January 15, 2011, Le Pen passed the torch to his daughter, Marine. Marine Le Pen had won the party s leadership election, beating rival Bruno Gollnisch at the National Front s fourteenth congress, held in Tours. Between 23,000 and 24,000 party members, according to the party, were called upon to cast a ballot. It was the first time the party leader was chosen democratically, since re-election had thus far been by acclamation. With her seemingly calmer tone, Marine Le Pen inspired fears outside the party that France could see a resurgence of the extreme right. Her views come across as more level-headed and less inflammatory than her father s (indeed, as this book goes to press, she is a leading candidate in the 2017 presidential election). She does not make references to the Holocaust or the crematoriums. She has disassociated herself from anti-Semites, even though the National Front counted many among its membership. Under her watch, the National Front went with the flavour of the day: it became an anti-Muslim party. But this reorientation did not mean anti-Semitism in France had suddenly disappeared. Quite the contrary.
Almost a century after the death of douard Drumont (1844-1917), he, like Arcand, continues to cast a pall. On April 20, 2005, the Amis d douard Drumont re-established their association to preserve the memory of the anti-Semitic French writer and journalist and to encourage the publication of his works. The association had originally been founded in 1963 under the leadership of Maurice Bard che in collaboration with other writers, including Henry Coston, Xavier Vallat, and Jacques Ploncard d Assac. This organization was committed to publishing Drumont s writings as well as various publications defending anti-Semitic theories, including the Protocols of the Elders of Zion . Every year they awarded a prize to the author of the best publication on Drumont and his work. In the 1990s, the association suspended its activities as most of its members were then deceased. The association was revived in 2005, with the same objectives, their headquarters located at the Licorne bleue bookstore in Paris. The executive of the Amis d douard Drumont consisted of Yves Bruno (president), Olivier Mathieu (secretary), and Thierry Dreschmann (treasurer). In 2006, the association had reacted strongly to the removal of the epitaph to the immortal author of La France juive from the inscription on Drumont s tombstone in the cemetery of P re-Lachaise. In 2010, the association found itself at the centre of a controversy surrounding the douard-Drumont literary award. Its recipient, Fr d ric Vitoux, a member of the Acad mie fran aise, turned down the prize two weeks after graciously accepting it.
In the Netherlands, the Party for Freedom made conspicuous inroads in the national and European Union elections of 2009. In Hungary, following a campaign built on anti-Semitism, stigmatization of the Roma people, and opposition to the EU, the Jobbik Party won forty-seven seats in the legislature in 2010. In Austria, the far right has climbed the polls in every national election since 2008; in the 2010 presidential elections, the candidate for the Freedom Party, Barbara Rosenkranz, successor to FP leader Jorg Haider, who died in 2008, obtained 15.6 percent of the vote. In Germany, the shame and guilt occasioned by the Second World War no longer seems to have a hold on younger generations. Increasingly, young Germans are attracted to extreme right-wing movements, which expand via the Internet. In 2009, nearly 1,800 sites presenting extreme-right content were identified in a report prepared by a German youth-protection organization tasked with monitoring media risks for youth.
In the Middle East and Asia, Hitler has become a symbol for radical Islamists. 1 For example, in Pakistan it is not unusual to see cars with bumper stickers that read, I like Nazi or I like Hitler. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was no stranger to this infatuation with the German F hrer. Bhutto frequently used extracts from Hitler s speeches in his own. In Turkey, Mein Kampf saw record sales, with 100,000 copies of Hitler s manifesto being sold in just two months in 2005. Even in India, home of Mahatma Gandhi, an increasing number of young people can be seen sporting the Nazi-style swastika instead of the traditional Hindu swastika. Such attraction to Hitler is more focused on the present than the past. Historian Ilhas Niaz, a professor at Quaid-i-azam University in Islamabad, explains this phenomenon as a search for a charismatic leader in Middle Eastern countries. With the never-ending conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and the Arab world s resentment toward Israel, Hitler has become a symbol in anti-Semitic, geopolitical hostilities, he believes.
On the other hand, we have been witnessing a reversal of roles for some years now in Europe and in the Middle East: Muslims have become the new scapegoats for far-right extremists, found even in Israel. A growing number of fundamentalist movements are targeting Muslims. In January 2012, New York police reported a case where Molotov cocktails were used in an attack against a mosque and two residences. The police considered these attacks to be motivated by Islamophobia, xenophobia, and hatred. A report on incidences of mosques being attacked in the Netherlands, broadcast on Dutch radio on December 31, 2011, cited 117 attacks between 2005 and 2010. In January 2011, vandals painted racist graffiti on the walls of a West Jerusalem mosque that was no longer in use. The messages suggested right-wing Jewish extremist groups as the perpetrators. According to a survey commissioned by the French newspaper Le Monde in December of 2010, 42 percent of the French population and 40 percent of Germans consider the presence of a Muslim community to be a threat to the identity of their countries, while 68 percent of the former and 75 percent of the latter believe that Muslims are not very well integrated into society. 2 Of course, Quebec and Canada as a whole are not immune to these expressions of extremism, which have occurred, moreover, in every era of our history.
In Canada, there are far-right groups, like the Heritage Front and the Aryan Nations, but the number of their members is negligible. It is on the Internet that expressions of anti-Semitism are the most prevalent, in particular on the US-based Stormfront Internet portal, which features white-nationalist and neo-Nazi discussion. Discussion topics among members of this site range from white supremacy to views condemning homosexuality, and feature hate speech, racism, and anti-Semitism. The portal s self-described mission is to promote white pride. Stormfront users describe themselves as national socialists, patriots, traditionalists, members of the far right, true conservatives, or true Americans. Since it began in 1995, it has attracted over 83,000 members and more than a million visitors. Its creator, Don Black, a former Klansman, recruits new members via the Internet. The site uses as its symbol a Celtic cross surrounded by the inscription White Pride World Wide , and it contains several references to Arcand and his writings. This is also true of the site for the Association des anciens amateurs de r cits de guerre et d holocauste, or l AAARGH (Association of Former Fans of War and Holocaust Stories). This group, which created a francophone historical-negationism Internet site in 1996, hosts texts and works with anti-Semitic and denialism content. Most of Arcand s writings are listed on the site. Even with these hateful ideas circulating on the Internet, the opinions of the far right do not seem to have a hold in Quebec or Canada. In Quebec, the Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences showed clearly that while there were pockets of resistance to immigration, especially to religious accommodation, in all regions of the province, such attitudes were not typical. Overall, Quebec and the rest of Canada constitute models of tolerance toward migrants who arrivein the country, with their language, their cultural practices, and their religion, in search of a better life.
In Quebec, one would need to go back to the 1930s to encounter widespread resistant attitudes to immigration: During the interwar period, anti-Semitism was a part of daily life in Quebec, as everywhere in Canada, the United States, and Europe. It seems at first glance that following the Second World War, the phenomenon became disreputable and marginalized. Canadian universities abandoned such policies of exclusion. 3 Businesses no longer limited access or participation by members of the Jewish community. With the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II), in the early 1960s, the Catholic Church stopped feeding this xenophobic sentiment which defied any rational thought. Generally speaking, Quebec became, for its Jewish citizens, a welcoming and egalitarian society, within which every person could find fulfillment. Is this to say that expressions of anti-Semitism have vanished? Certainly not. Anti-Semitism continues to be voiced. Hatred toward Jews is still expressed in both the spoken and written word, not only in Montreal but in Winnipeg, Toronto, and other cities in Canada where there is a concentration of members of the Jewish community-and where there is not, too, as is so often the case with prejudice. Often these are random incidents, but violent acts are still perpetrated against individuals, synagogues, and other institutions. In 2009, B nai Brith Canada s Human Rights League recorded 1,264 anti-Semitic incidents nationwide, representing an 11.4 percent increase over the previous year and nearly five times as many as in 1999. Of this number, 373 occurred in Quebec and 672 in Ontario. Like in 2008, there were fifty incidents targeting synagogues in 2009. They took place across the country, in Montreal, Sainte-Agathe, Toronto, Barrie, Oshawa, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, among others. Of the 1,264 cases noted, 209 (16 percent of the total for the year) happened in the month of January alone, coinciding with hostilities between Palestinians and the Israeli army in the Gaza war. In 2009, a group of Canadian members of Parliament, with representation from each of the four federal parties at the time in Ottawa, judged the problem sufficiently worrying to convene the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism (CPCCA). Between November 2009 and January 2010, it held ten hearings, listened to witnesses, and received dozens of reports on the issue. 4
But what is meant by an anti-Semitic incident ? B nai Brith lists three types: harassment, vandalism, and violence. Examples of harassment include public calls for genocide, targeting of Jewish classmates at schools, denial of service to Jewish customers in shops and businesses. In 2009, the organization identified 884 such cases. Vandalism essentially involves the desecration of Jewish cemeteries or the defacement of synagogues. The report listed 348 cases of vandalism in 2009. And there were thirty-two cases of such physical violence reported in Canada that same year.
These statistics provide an overview of anti-Semitism in Canada in 2010, but they do not explain the origins of the phenomenon. In order to study anti-Semitism in Quebec and thoroughly understand the issue, it would appear necessary-in fact, essential-to trace the life of its principal proponent within the context of the history of Quebec and Canada. But as a prerequisite to recounting the life of Arcand, anti-Semitism needs to be defined. Of the many possible definitions, French Tunisian writer Albert Memmi s seems appropriate: he defines anti-Semitism as a racism directed against Jews, and he gives this form of racism a religious dimension by adding that relations between Jews and their accusers (Christians and Muslims) resemble relations between enemy brothers more than between perfect strangers. 5 French philosopher and political scientist Pierre-Andr Taguieff uses the neologism judeophobia rather than anti-Semitism. He holds that the latter term emphasizes the distinction between the Semitic and the Aryan or Indo-European races, thereby distorting the deep significance of the expressions of anti-Jewish hatred evident in the world today. 6 Whether we call it anti-Semitism or judeophobia, this manifestation of hatred against Jews has been persistent throughout history, dating back to antiquity. As for the original term, Antisemitismus , it was introduced in Germany by the socialist journalist Wilhelm Marr (1819-1904) in 1879 to designate the non-confessional rejection of Jews and Judaism. 7 France experienced a resurgence of anti-Semitism following the campaigns led by Drumont, starting in 1886, reaching its peak with the Dreyfus affair. 8 But it was in Germany that anti-Semitism notoriously manifested itself, between 1933 and 1945, under the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler. As Pierre Anctil and Gary Caldwell have shown, Quebec did not escape the anti-Semitic upsurge of the 1930s:

Influenced by the conservatism of the Catholic Church, 1920s and 1930s Quebec maintained an anti-Semitic tone right into the [Premier] Duplessis era. It could be detected in official and semi-official statements, in the various daily newspapers and in the social movements. Nationalist movements like the Bloc populaire [canadien] were tainted with anti-Semitism in deed and in spirit. Just prior to the Second World War and after, Adrien Arcand and his little pro-Nazi clique mounted a campaign of protest against the Jews. 9
The phenomenon of anti-Semitism can be observed on at least three levels, identified by Anctil and Caldwell in the following way. The first or top level is violent anti-Semitism . This can range from an attack against individual Jews or their property to organized murder. The authors refer to the second level as civic anti-Semitism . It applies to situations where Jews are deprived of the civic rights that other citizens enjoy. Finally, the third level, social anti-Semitism , seeks to deprive Jews of any social relations with non-Jews. 10 All three forms of anti-Semitism-violent, civic, and social-have indeed appeared in Quebec, but rarely have there been acts of physical violence.
A distinction should also be made between active and ideological anti-Semitism. In this regard, anti-Semitism in Quebec has been more ideological. The expression of anti-Semitism relied essentially on newspapers such as L Action catholique and Le Devoir , 11 both being papers to which Arcand contributed. Were the opinions expressed in these papers representative of the French Canadian social consciousness? Pierre Anctil, who has studied the views expressed in Le Devoir under its founder, Henri Bourassa, and under editors Omer H roux, Georges Pelletier, and Andr Laurendeau, concluded that Jews had nothing to fear from the large-circulation newspapers like La Presse and other liberal papers published in Montreal, even during the darkest hour of anti-Semitic hysteria. 12 Nevertheless, historians do acknowledge the existence of an anti-Semitic ideology and propaganda during the three-quarters of a century from 1870 to the end of the Second World War. As we shall see in the following chapters, this anti-Semitic wave would crest in the writings of Arcand, published over a period of almost forty years, from 1929 to 1967.
The anti-Semitic writings of Arcand lay for a long time gathering dust on archive shelves, hidden from view. It was not until recently that historians decided to dust off the dark work of this French Canadian, known as the most virulent anti-Semitic propagandist Canada had ever seen. 13 How are we to explain this long silence regarding Arcand? Was he too disgusting for historians? Were his party and his writings too insignificant for historiography? Or were Canadians and Quebecers too ashamed of this painful episode to dare look at the subject? From 1929 through to the end of his life in 1967, Arcand held to a hate-filled attitude toward Jews, communists, Freemasons, and governments, in Ottawa as well as in Quebec. A journalist, writer, and orator feared by many, Arcand had his disciples and his detractors. The Communist MP Fred Rose, journalist Jean-Charles Harvey, and publisher and future senator Jacques H bert were certainly his greatest detractors. The German Canadian neo-Nazi Ernst Z ndel, released in 2010 after serving a five-year prison sentence in Germany for inciting hatred and denial of the Holocaust, has been among his greatest admirers. During such a trial in Toronto in 1985, Z ndel acknowledged that Arcand had greatly inspired him by allowing him access to his vast library. In his autobiography, Z ndel paid tribute to Arcand, presenting him as his mentor. 14
In a 2010 biography of Arcand, published in English in 2011 as The Canadian F hrer: The Life of Adrien Arcand , journalist and historian Jean-Fran ois Nadeau exploits the connection between Arcand and Hitler to the full. Reading it, you would swear Arcand received his orders directly from Berlin! Yet, there is no archival document available that would prove Arcand had any direct links with the German F hrer. Nadeau dubs him the Canadian F hrer, but a reading of the extant sources quickly shows that Arcand had faced and dismissed this nickname out of hand. His detractors (led by the writer Jacques H bert) used it with irony and scorn. It is true that the leader of the blueshirts-as his followers, known for their blue paramilitary uniforms, were called-took Hitler as his model as of 1933. He adopted the Nazi swastika as the symbol for his party, the National Social Christian Party (Parti national social chr tien), which he founded in the winter of 1934, and for his newspaper, Le Fasciste canadien , which he launched in 1935. But his infatuation with Nazi Germany would be of short duration. Indeed, when Pope Pius XI condemned Nazism, in 1937, Arcand immediately abandoned the swastika symbol and the fascist identification. Until the end of his life, Arcand distanced himself from Hitler, without, however, condemning his anti-Semitism. Ardent and militant in his Catholicism, his anti-communism, and his antis mitisme de plume , 15 Arcand would come across, rather, as the defender of Canadian corporatism.
To properly understand Arcand, it is important not to analyze his thought and writing through a Hitlerian prism. Arcand was above all an anti-Semite blinded by religious conviction. This was far from true for Hitler, who was anti-Catholic and whose religious beliefs were amorphous at best, if not cynically professed. Arcand believed in conspiracy theories and suffered from paranoid delusions. He imagined that the Jews had not only killed Christ but were plotting to destroy Christianity and dominate the world through revolution, war, finance (banking and gold), propaganda (film, theatre, radio, and television), Freemasonry, and, especially, communism. Arcand didn t need Hitler to feed his anti-Semitic imagination. Half a century before the Nazi party came to power in Germany, Drumont had developed his theories on the Jewish conspiracy in France in his essay La France juive (1886) and in his daily La Libre Parole , founded in 1892 in the wake of the Dreyfus affair. Arcand took his inspiration from Drumont s anti-Semitic theories. Like Arcand, Drumont held the unshakeable belief that it was the Jews who were responsible for every scandal, plot, and crisis that had plagued the West since the French Revolution. The two men used their writings to nourish the myth of the Jew-spy, the Jew-traitor, and the Jew-conspirator, a myth that has been perpetuated throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries-and to this day in some quarters. In their twisted minds, certain news-making incidents (theft, fire, kidnapping, etc.), could inevitably be traced to a plotting, persecuting Jew. France for the French, proclaimed Drumont. Canada for Canadians, cried Arcand. Although they lived in different eras, the two journalists and writers drew inspiration from the same anti-Semitic and anti-Masonic sources. This was true also of Auguste Barruel, for whom 1789 and the onset of the French Revolution represented the culmination of the conspiracy of nefarious secret societies (including Freemasons), and of Roger Gougenot des Mousseaux, whose essay Le Juif, le juda sme et la juda sation des peuples chr tiens was published in 1869.
Like Drumont, Arcand was not one to let facts stop him. He accused the Jews of inciting the Russian Revolution of 1917 and of using communism as a weapon against Christianity. At the same time, he was convinced that the Jews-the Rothschild family heading the list-controlled the banks and the price of gold. He had the highest regard for the English monarchy, but simultaneously argued in favour of Canada s independence from the British Empire. In 1938-1939, he voiced strong opposition to Canada s participation in the Second World War. But once Canada did enter the war, in September of 1939, he volunteered to form a regiment made up of members of his party.
Why, then, would we need another biography of Arcand? Shouldn t we let him rest in peace in the cemetery at Lanoraie, in central Quebec? There is an entire side of Arcand s life and writing that has yet to be analyzed, namely the anti-Semitic character of his work. As noted, anti-Semitism is an ageless social phenomenon. The sentiment, fed by a kind of xenophobia, persecution mania, and belief in the existence of conspiracies and invisible forces, is ever present. The debates triggered by issues like the integration of immigrants, the right to wear the niqab in public institutions, and the right to religious accommodation are not unique in our time. In Montreal, for example, the issue of Jewish schools was at the heart of many debates in the early 1930s. It served as a catalyst for Arcand s first anti-Semitic campaign, which gained him thousands of followers, recruited from every social class: the unemployed, workers, merchants, nuns and priests, and members of the liberal professions.
Although certain similarities can be found, we cannot compare our current economic context to that of 1930. The latter was a murky chapter marked at once by the economic crisis of 1929, the ideological ferment created by the Russian Revolution and the rise of fascism in Europe. And there was a whole segment of the Canadian population that placed most of the blame for the misfortunes besetting society, and the West in general, on the Jews. In Quebec, these expressions of anti-Semitism took on a particular dimension, owing to several factors: Catholicism as the dominant influence on society, the socio-economic profile of French Canadians, and the sizeable Jewish immigrant population that had come to Montreal in the early decades of the twentieth century. If violent acts prompted by this anti-Semitic movement were a rare occurrence in Quebec, it was partially thanks to the influence of the Catholic Church. While the Church s attitude was tainted to some degree by anti-Jewish rhetoric during the pre-Vatican II era, it always condemned resorting to violence. This antis mitisme de plume , it could be said, was translated over the course of the 1930s into hateful propaganda directed against Jews. The key figures in French Canadian nationalism between 1930 and 1940, such as Groulx, Laurendeau, and Pelletier, all of the newspaper Le Devoir , would sporadically feed this anti-Jewish sentiment without, however, making it an integral part of their doctrine. On the other hand, that sentiment was a fundamental tenet for Arcand, leader of the Ordre patriotique des Goglus from 1929 to 1933, of the National Social Christian Party from 1934 to 1938, and of the National Unity Party of Canada from 1938 to 1967. In publications he disseminated between 1929 and 1939 ( Le Goglu, Le Miroir, Le Chameau, Le Patriote, Le Fasciste canadien , and Le Combat national ), Arcand drew on the main work of twentieth-century anti-Semitic literature, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion , for his vilification of the Jewish people. Although he made a lot of noise, Arcand did not attract the great crowds he boasted of. According to the RCMP and the Canadian Jewish Congress, both of which infiltrated Arcand s movement, the National Unity Party of Canada had by the end of the 1930s attracted no more than 6,000 members across Canada, of which 5,000 were in Quebec. 16 Furthermore, even this figure seems inflated. Attendance at meetings of Arcand s party rarely exceeded 300 or 400 people. Arcand and his printer-publisher Joseph M nard always had difficulty financing the printing of their newspapers. We will likely never know the exact number of supporters Arcand s party had, since the RCMP destroyed the membership lists in 1940.
Arrested in 1940 and imprisoned for the duration of the Second World War, he regained his freedom in 1945 and was able to resume his campaign of hateful propaganda against the Jews with the full knowledge of the Canadian authorities. Settled in his home in Lanoraie, Arcand pulled out his old typewriter and began pounding its keys with renewed vigour. He denied that the massive extermination of Jews in death camps in Europe had taken place. He accused the Jews of having provoked a holocaust of the Palestinians when the State of Israel was created in 1948. Arcand protested vehemently when Vatican II declared that the Jewish people should in no way be held responsible for Christ s death. Succumbing to cancer, Arcand died in 1967. His name sank into oblivion and for decades remained forgotten. Historic duty calls us to awaken these memories, painful certainly, but so revealing for a majority of our contemporaries who did not live through the rise of fascism between the two wars and who still believe, wrongly, that Quebec and the whole of Canada remained unaffected by these ideologies which indelibly imprinted the twentieth century. Perhaps this book will help to lift the veil from a dark chapter in our history and prompt us to reflect on the possible consequences arising from the dissemination of hateful literature like that penned by Arcand, circulating freely on the Internet today.
Notes
* Unless otherwise noted, all translations into English of newspaper excerpts etc. are by Van Gennip and Scott.
1. On this topic, see the excellent report published in Maclean s magazine, April 26, 2010.
2. Islam et int gration: le constat d chec franco-allemand, Le Monde , January 24, 2011.
3. During the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, McGill University accepted Jews according to a quota system, while the Universit de Montr al law faculty accepted Jews based on merit.
4 In April 2010, a book was published by Michael Keefer, a professor at the University of Guelph, entitled Anti-Semitism, Real and Imagined: Responses to the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism , which questioned the objectivity of the coalition, as led by MPs Jason Kenney and Irwin Cotler, and their use of the concept of the new anti-Semitism to justify the stigmatization, or even the criminalization, of criticizing Israel.
5. Albert Memmi, Le racisme: description, d finitions, traitement , 82-83.
6. In Pr cheurs de haine : Travers e de la jud ophobie plan taire , published by Mille et une nuits in Paris in 2004, Taguieff explains the distinction (25-26). His proposal to abandon the term anti-Semitism is a response to the notion that Arabs cannot be anti-Semitic because they too are Semites.
7. Wilhelm Marr authored an anti-Jewish pamphlet, published in Berne in 1879, as De Sieg des Judenthums ber das Germanenthum. Vom nicht confessionellen Standpunkt aus betrachtet (The victory of Judaism over Germanism considered from a non-confessional point of view), which had considerable success (twelve editions in its first year of publication). A few years later, the author founded the League of Anti-Semites. See L on Poliakov, Histoire de l antis mitisme: 1945-1993, 28-30.
8. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Dreyfus affair roused public opinion in France regarding the alleged guilt of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who was a Jewish French military officer wrongly convicted and imprisoned for treason. The many legal proceedings, which in the end proved Dreyfus innocent, fuelled the anti-Semitic campaign of journalist douard Drumont, who wrote for the daily Libre Parole . This event, which lasted more than ten years, from September 1894 to July 1906, revealed the intensity of French anti-Semitism at the dawn of the twentieth century.
9. Pierre Anctil and Gary Caldwell, Juifs et r alit s juives au Qu bec , 73.
10. Ibid., 295.
11. These extracts were compiled during the 1970s by David Rome of the Canadian Jewish Congress (now the Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives / Archives juives canadiennes Alex Dworkin); see Rome, Clouds in the Thirties .
12. Pierre Anctil, Le Devoir, les Juifs et l immigration , 102.
13. For an enlightening article on the role of religion in Arcand s thought, see historian Pierre Tr panier s La religion dans la pens e d Adrien Arcand. For more on Arcand s life and times, see Jean C t s short biography, Adrien Arcand, une grande figure de notre temps (Montr al: ditions Pan-Am, 1994); English Canadian historian Martin Robin s Shades of Right ; Jean-Fran ois Nadeau s biography, The Canadian F hrer: The life of Adrien Arcand ; and two more recent works, both master s theses: St phane Morisset, Adrien Arcand: sa vision, son mod le et la perception inspir e par son programme, and Hugues Th or t, La campagne antis mite d Adrien Arcand: 1945-1967.
14. This passage is excerpted from a memo sent by B. G. Kayfetz to Rabbi Jordan Pearlson in connection with Z ndel s autobiography, which Kayfetz received for study purposes in 1982.
15. The expression antis mite de plume was used in the book by Pierre-Andr Taguieff (ed.) entitled L antis mitisme de plume, 1940-1944: tudes et documents (Berg international publishers, 1999). This work offers an analysis of anti-Semitic propaganda under the Vichy regime in France between 1940 and 1944. The expression could easily be applied to Arcand and his writings.
16. The source of this estimate is John Manley, who wrote the introduction to the book by Gregory S. Kealey and Reg Whitaker on the RCMP security service; See Kealey and Whitaker, RCMP Security Bulletins, 234.
Chapter I
Le Goglu Builds its Nest
A rcand entered the world with the twentieth century, a century that unquestionably saw its fair share of crises and upheavals. Arcand s life is intimately connected to the extraordinary events that marked that century s first fifty years, notably, Canada s second industrial revolution, the First World War, the Russian Revolution, the Great Depression, the rise of Europe s fascism, and the Second World War.
Born on October 3, 1899, on Laurier Avenue in the parish of Immacul e-Conception in Montreal, Arcand was the fourth in a family of twelve children. His father, Narcisse Arcand, originally from Saint-Joseph-de-Deschambault, in the county of Portneuf, was a carpenter. His mother, Marie-Anne Mathieu, originally from Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, was a school principal, an organist, and a chapel mistress. When Arcand was born, Quebec was preparing to enter a new century. The new railroad and the hydro power of the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries attracted investors, who opened plants in Montreal, Quebec City, Trois-Rivi res, and Sherbrooke, as well as in smaller cities and towns like Hull, Valleyfield, Joliette, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and Saint-Hyacinthe. It was the era of textiles and pulp and paper. These industries attracted labour forces to those regions, but at the same time caused a rural exodus and brought about urbanization. Difficult working conditions soon prompted workers to organize themselves into unions. Thus began the string of labour disputes that would mark the first half of the twentieth century in Quebec.
In the Old World, France was being shaken by a different kind of turmoil: an unprecedented wave of anti-Semitism had been triggered by douard Drumont, who held Jews responsible for every scandal and crisis besetting France at the end of the nineteenth century. His book, La France juive , which he self-published in 1886, had devastating effects in France. 1 Sixty thousand copies were sold in one year; 201 editions were eventually printed. In April 1892, Drumont launched La Libre Parole . 2 The daily attacked French Jews, especially those who held important positions in the National Assembly and in the courts, police, banks, and the army. It was Drumont s unwarranted and crude accusations that triggered the scandal surrounding the Dreyfus affair. He used the trial of the French officer Alfred Dreyfus-accused of delivering military secrets to the Germans-as a pretext to denounce the presence of Jews in the French army. France was split over the Dreyfus affair. Those supporting Dreyfus s innocence included Republicans, Freemasons, anti-clerics, Jews, and anti-militarists. On the other side were the conservatives, monarchists, anti-Semites, military, Catholics, and Catholic clergy. In La Libre Parole , Drumont invited his anti-Semitic readers to take to the barricades. In several cities, synagogues were vandalized and stores owned by Jews had their windows smashed. The Dreyfus affair reverberated as far as Quebec, where newspapers subject to Catholic oversight at times supported the cause of the antidreyfusards. La Patrie was a case in point. When mile Zola published his famous letter condemning the antidreyfusards on January 17, 1898, the paper discredited him, saying, Few people take these kinds of accusations seriously, the kind that Zola is making.
At the end of a legal saga lasting twelve years, on July 12, 1906, the Court of Appeal rendered its decision pronouncing Captain Dreyfus innocent, exonerating him and overturning his 1894 conviction. Certainly, justice was dispensed. But the damage was done. Less than forty years later, L on Daudet, Charles Maurras, Henry Coston, Louis-Ferdinand C line, Georges Bernanos, and others would raise Drumont s spectre and his writings would once again fuel hatred of the Jews in France. Was Arcand influenced by Drumont? Most definitely. Arcand quotes him several times in his newspapers and repeats the same themes found in Drumont s work fifty years earlier. Like Drumont, Arcand saw Jewish conspiracies everywhere. The two men were convinced that Jews controlled the banks and the politicians. Drumont held the unshakeable belief that Jews were responsible for starting the French Revolution in 1789, just as Arcand was convinced that they had engineered the Russian Revolution of 1917. We will return to this in another chapter.
While France was dealing with an explosion of anti-Semitism, Great Britain was preoccupied with defending its empire on all continents. In October of 1899, the month Arcand was born, the British army launched an attack on the Boers in South Africa. Canadian volunteers offered to go and fight in support of the British Crown. Canada was divided over the role the country should play in this conflict. English Canadians pressured Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier to come to the aid of England, while French Canadians wanted the country to remain neutral in this war, which they believed was not theirs. By rejecting British imperialism, Henri Bourassa embodied the distrustful attitude of French Canada toward Great Britain. The Canadian government decided to compromise. It allocated $3 million to support the war effort, and 8,300 Canadians went as volunteers.
This was also the era of imperial conferences, prompting Canada to separate itself from its status as a British colony and increasingly assert its sovereignty. But the ties binding the mother country to the colony were still strong. When in 1909 England called a conference on the defence of the empire, Canada put forward the idea of creating a Canadian navy. In 1910, Wilfrid Laurier s government presented the Naval Service Bill in the House of Commons, where it received approval; immediately, Canada purchased two ships from England. The bill caused a general outcry throughout the country, especially in Quebec, where Henri Bourassa denounced it as a war measure which, in his view, sought only to satisfy the authorities in London. The naval bill and the problems experienced by francophones outside Quebec paved the way for the first French Canadian nationalist movements, led by Bourassa, Armand Lavergne, Jules Fournier, and Olivar Asselin. Arcand found considerable inspiration in these defenders of the French fact in Canada. This emergent nationalism increased during the First World War.
Arcand was fourteen when, on June 28, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian prince, Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated in Sarajevo by a nationalist Serb. Believing that the Serbian government was involved in the plot, Austria-Hungary, supported by Germany, gave Serbia an ultimatum. When Serbia did not yield to the demands of Austria-Hungary, the latter declared war on Serbia and a domino effect ensued. Russia, as Serbia s protector, entered the war against Austria-Hungary. Germany, in turn, declared war on Russia, on August 1, 1914, and on France two days later. Great Britain followed, a day behind France. Canada had no choice but to follow the mother country. All these factors then converged and led to the outbreak of the First World War.
At the start of the conflict, Canada had a regular army of only 3,110 men. This meant a massive campaign for voluntary mobilization had to be launched. It wasn t enough. In 1917, 13,400 Canadians died in combat. The country had only 5,500 recruits to pursue the hostilities overseas. Prime Minister Robert Borden planned to impose conscription. Immediately, the country divided between francophone and anglophone opinion. Quebec was fiercely opposed to obligatory enrolment, while English Canada supported it overwhelmingly. Despite the rifts it caused, the Canadian government adopted a bill forcing all bachelors or childless widowers aged twenty to thirty-five to don the uniform. In April 1917, 424,000 men, out of a population of eight million Canadians, were enlisted. Of this number, only 4.5 percent were French Canadian. This rejection of the overseas war was tragically expressed during anti-conscription demonstrations that turned into riots in Quebec on March 31,1918. Rioters shot at soldiers. The army then opened fire on the civilians. Four protestors were killed and several were wounded. In all, fifty-eight protestors were arrested. On April 2, 1918, the front-page headline of La Presse read FIVE CIVILIANS KILLED BY SOLDIERS IN QUEBEC. This national crisis would create a deep divide between the two founding peoples of Canada.
At the end of the war, in November 1918, the Canadian economy began to slow down. The drop in demand for goods and services brought about plant closings and increased unemployment. This period coincided with the expansion of communism in many parts of the world. The victory of the Bolshevik Party in Russia in October 1917 propelled Lenin into the political foreground. Energized by Marxist idealism, he drew sympathy from themany Russians seeking change. Marxist-Leninist ideas were gaining favour among the masses as well as the intellectuals, both in Russia and across Europe. In French Canada, communism was slow to take hold. The Catholic Church, which had always exercised a strong ascendancy over the French Canadian people, was fiercely opposed to communism. Despite this ecclesiastical opposition, the precarious economy and difficult working conditions provided fertile ground for the development of the communist movement.
Those were the circumstances that precipitated the formation of the Communist Party of Canada in 1921. In a search to extend its influence to Canada s worker movement, it changed its name and became the Workers Party of Canada. In 1923 it went back to its original name. In 1925, the left became divided and the moderate wing founded the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) political party in 1932. During the 1930s, the Canadian Communist Party achieved a breakthrough in Canada s francophone community. Activists worked within several different groups to rally new members, seeking out mainly the unemployed, but also workers who were militant within their unions, as unions were experiencing rapid growth during the 1920s. For example, 1921 saw the founding of the Catholic Workers Confederation of Canada (Conf d ration des travailleurs catholiques du Canada; CTCC), with 26,000 members. Young Arcand witnessed the birth of this worker movement through the eyes of his father, who, as a carpenter, was very involved in the union scene at the start of the twentieth century.
Arcand s Parents
Born on April 24, 1871, Narcisse Arcand Jr. was the eighth child of Narcisse Arcand Sr., a farmer, and M lanie Belisle. The Arcand family was well established in the community of Deschambault. Their roots dated back to the seventeenth century, when their ancestor Simon Arcand, originally from Bordeaux, France, had settled in Sainte-Anne-de-la-P rade before coming to cultivate land in Deschambault. (It is interesting to note that Adrien Arcand s uncle Georges is the grandfather of the well-known contemporary Arcand brothers: Denys, a film producer; Bernard, an anthropologist; and Gabriel, an actor. They claim nothing in common with their anti-Semitic distant relative.)
Narcisse Arcand Jr. settled in Montreal around 1895, taking on carpentry work. On October 6, 1896, he married Marie-Anne Mathieu. The couple would have twelve children. Narcisse helped found the Workers Party in Montreal in 1899, and the following year he became a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. With roots in the United States, this association was one of the largest workers unions in Canada at the beginning of the twentieth century. Narcisse belonged to Local 134, the section for Montreal s French-speaking carpenters and joiners. He was soon to take on an important role within the United Brotherhood. By early 1902 he had risen to the position of the union s provincial organizer. He helped set up numerous locals of carpenters and joiners, in particular, Local 1554 in Thetford Mines in 1907 and Local 1108 in Saint-Hyacinthe in 1915. In 1910, he was sent as a delegate to the United Brotherhood convention in the United States. Narcisse was not afraid of a challenge. In 1912, he even proposed that the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners, a British rival union, should be expelled from the United Brotherhood and from the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada (TLC). He was also a member of TLC s executive committee for the province of Quebec in 1913, 1914, and 1918, becoming its president in 1917.
Narcisse also took part in the debate that surrounded the Jewish-schools question in the early twentieth century: he represented the Workers Party before the royal commission created in 1909 to study the situation of the Catholic schools in Montreal. He argued in favour of amalgamating all the Catholic school boards of the Island of Montreal with the Montreal Catholic School Commission toward ensuring standardized school administration and curriculum. Is it a coincidence that his son would join the crusade against the so-called David bill concerning Jewish schools twenty years later, in 1929? Might his father have influenced his stance in this regard? It is probably safe to assume so.
Narcisse Arcand s organizational talents also took him into politics. He was campaign manager for Alphonse Verville, the workers candidate in the riding of Hochelaga in the 1904 provincial election. Verville was defeated in that election but won a seat in the House of Commons in 1906 in Maisonneuve. Narcisse ran as the Workers Party candidate in the provincial riding of Montr al-Dorion in the general elections of 1912. He came in third, garnering 921 votes, behind Conservative Georges-Ald ric Pariseault, who had 1,082 votes, and Liberal Georges Mayrand, with 1,620 votes. According to Bernard Dansereau, he was involved in every political battle going at the start of the twentieth century. 3 In 1917, Narcisse helped set up the Quebec provincial section of the Canadian Labour Party. In the provincial election of 1923, he ran for election once more, this time in the riding of Montr al-Mercier. He came in third again, behind Liberal Louis-Georges Lapointe (2,570 votes) and Conservative Adolphe L Archev que, who was elected with 4,807 votes. Narcisse had polled just 925 votes. All things considered, Narcisse Arcand had more success in labour unions. Looking back, he left his mark as president of his union s provincial council from 1921 to 1927, and, in 1925, as secretary of the Montreal district council. He died on February 14, 1927, aged fifty-five.
It is quite paradoxical that Narcisse Arcand Jr. should be one of the pioneers of the Quebec workers movement while his son developed into a fanatical anti-communist who would, in the 1930s, become the principal spokesperson for fascism in Canada. Did Adrien Arcand choose that stance as a reaction against his father? Not likely. He admired his father a great deal. In his own words, I owe to my energetic and very courageous father a love of work which is my most precious inheritance and a certain boastfulness for which I am praised by some and rebuked by others. 4
Adrien s mother, Marie-Anne Mathieu, had a less prominent role in his life. She was a school principal, organist, and chapel mistress. Did he inherit his faith in God from his mother? It would seem so. About his mother, he had these kind words to say: I owe to my extremely intelligent and deeply Christian mother principles I consider excellent and a penchant for writing what I think. 5
Arcand was indeed a strong believer. Actually, he was a passionate defender of the Roman Catholic Church, believing it to be threatened by what he called Judeo-communism. In his writings, he never criticized the clergy. On the contrary, he defended them with a crusader s zeal. Not surprisingly, several of his contemporaries dubbed him soldier of Christ.
Studies
Arcand was a talented student. His elementary-school studies were done at Saint-Stanislas school in Montreal, and his secondary school studies at the Coll ge Saint-Jean. He entered the Coll ge de Montr al in 1916. While studying there with the Sulpicians, Arcand read the great classical writers and received a Catholic education. He had a strong religious faith but did not wish to take vows and enter the priesthood, preferring to follow the career path of a layperson. He graduated in 1919 and went on to study philosophy at the Coll ge Sainte-Marie. At the same time, he took courses in chemistry at McGill University in the hope of eventually becoming a chemical engineer. But he came down with a serious case of the Spanish flu. The first waves of this flu, which was wrongly believed to have originated in Spain, spread through China in the spring of 1918. The pandemic spread at a dizzying speed. The killer claimed 100 million lives, and Canada was not spared. In total, 50,000 Canadians died of it, including 14,000 in Quebec and 3,500 in Montreal. Arcand was one of the lucky ones. After nine months confined to his bed, he miraculously survived the illness. Once recovered, he abandoned his plans for further study and devoted himself to journalism. Young Arcand had had plenty of time to read while bedridden, and it impelled him to turn his attention to writing.
Although it was not long before he began penning poisonous words, Arcand was a very gifted writer. He had received a good education and shown himself to be a brilliant student. His teachers had quickly identified his lively intelligence. It may not have been put to the best use, but that could be said of a good many of the thinkers of this murky period which spawned two destructive ideologies-fascism and communism.


Arcand in the 1930s. (Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives / Archives juives canadiennes Alex Dworkin)
Tall and slim, with a receding hairline, a piercing look, a Roman nose, and a thin moustache, Arcand projected the image of a dictator. He bore a physical resemblance to the English fascist Oswald Mosley, whom he admired greatly. Founded in 1932, Mosley s British Union of Fascists provided a model for Arcand: Mosley had his blackshirts and Arcand his blueshirts. Mosley liked to organize rallies with his personal bodyguard, who always marched, while Arcand could rely on Major Scott, his faithful ally, to train his troops. Moreover, Arcand maintained close ties with the English fascists, as we shall see in a later chapter.
In the realm of ideas, Arcand was inspired principally by Drumont. In all his newspapers, Arcand recommended reading books by the French polemicist, known as the pope of anti-Semitism. 6 In Le Fasciste canadien , a newspaper published by Arcand from 1935 to 1938, both La France juive (Drumont s book published in 1886) and La Libre Parole (the paper Drumont founded in 1892) received lavish praise. Arcand described them as extremely captivating. He told his readers that they could, moreover, expect to find in those pages a real treat and lofty inspiration for contemporary anti-Jews. Like Drumont, Arcand began his career in journalism. It was while working as a copywriter that he honed his style and learned to express what he was thinking. His talent for persuasive argument would soon find its way onto the pages of the major Quebec dailies of the time.
The Journalist
By 1920, Arcand, at just twenty years of age, had already found employment as a journalist with the daily La Patrie . Founded in Montreal in February 1879 by writer Honor Beaugrand (1849-1906), La Patrie defended the provincial Liberal Party s stance against that of the Conservative Party. In 1896, it was taken over by politician and journalist Joseph-Isra l Tarte. In 1926, the Tarte family turned the paper over to David Ovide L Esp rance, an organizer for the Conservative Party in Quebec. The transfer had serious consequences since it meant the paper was changing its political orientation. La Patrie had been home to several distinguished journalists, including Tarte (1848-1907), Omer H roux (1876-1963), Dostaler O Leary (1908-1965), writer Yves Th riault (1915-1983), and, later, Yves Michaud (b. 1930). The newspaper, which had started with a circulation of 5,000, reached a peak of 30,000 in 1930. By 1957, however, La Patrie would be reduced to a weekly, publishing only a Sunday edition. It would fold in 1978.
Arcand earned little at La Patrie and had difficulty making ends meet. At the end of a year, he left there to try his luck at the Montreal Star . Fluently bilingual, he had no trouble writing in English. At the Star , he enjoyed much better working conditions, although journalists generally were not very well paid at the time. From 1915, the Star dominated the Montreal market for English-language dailies. Its owner, Hugh Graham (aka Lord Atholstan) was an influential man who had managed over the years to eliminate several English-language competitors and thus ensure domination of that market.
After just a few months with the Star , Arcand sought a change of scenery yet again. He obtained a position with the daily La Presse . He worked there for ten years as a legal reporter and literary critic. His editor-in-chief was H.-Z. Oswald Mayrand. The paper had been founded on October 20, 1884, by William-Edmond Blumhart, and was taken over in 1904 by Treffl Berthiaume. Berthiaume left the paper but returned to become its sole proprietor in 1913. When he died in January of 1915, his three sons took over. The eldest, Arthur, was president and handled the finances and administration, while Eug ne became editor and douard plant manager. Pamphile Du Tremblay, son-in-law of Treffl Berthiaume, became president in 1932.
At La Presse , Arcand was assigned mainly to covering cultural events. He attended theatrical and musical performances. He relished the assignment and had no qualms about expressing his opinions. His critiques were often scathing, but at times he launched into lyrical praise. For Tchaikovsky s opera Eugene Onegin (based on the novel by Alexander Pushkin), performed on November 19, 1922, by a Russian troupe at the Th tre Saint-Denis in Montreal, he had only the highest praise, which he expressed in his review the following day. In addition to performance, Arcand was concerned early on with the absence of a sufficiently grand performance space in Montreal. On November 4 of that year, Arcand wrote an article arguing for the construction of a new cultural centre.

The first condition of musical success is the performance venue. Where will we house our Soci t Nationale d Op rette, for example? And we keep talking and dreaming of an opera company and a big orchestra. It is impossible to imagine how many of the failures our artists have experienced were due to poor acoustics. This city has spent millions to ensure adequate and well-equipped movie theatres. Could we not have one tenth that amount for the performing arts? A concert hall is such a basic and essential requirement that we fail to understand why so much time has been allowed to pass without one being constructed.
Leisure Pursuits
Although journalism kept him quite busy, Arcand was involved in many other activities. In 1923, he helped found the society of French Canadian authors. In 1924, he joined the Canadian military as part of the Ch teauguay Regiment, like his brother, Louis-Georges, who held the rank of major. Arcand rose to the rank of lieutenant. He was actively involved with his regiment and designed its coat of arms, although it was said that he did not like the uniforms as such. But it didn t stop him from wearing the tunic of his regiment with pride. His regiment owed its name to Lieutenant-Colonel Charles-Michel d Irumberry de Salaberry who, on October 26, 1813, had fended off an American invasion at Allan s Corner near Ormstown in the southwestern part of Mont r gie on the banks of the Ch teauguay River. Salaberry, who led the Voltigeurs canadiens (infantry), became, in a sense, the first war hero of the French Canadian people. In 1901, the regiment would change its name to the 64th Fusiliers Regiment, or Voltigeurs de Ch teauguay, and the following year, on March 1, 1902, become the Ch teauguay Regiment. Its motto was Always ready. The regiment comprised six companies of sixty men. Their training activities took place at the Beauharnois base. During the First World War, the Ch teauguay Regiment had supplied six officers and sixty soldiers to the 22nd Regiment. With the military reform of 1954, the Ch teauguay Regiment became affiliated with the Royal 22nd Regiment and was renamed the Ch teauguay Regiment (4th Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment). Its headquarters were transferred to Montreal on Saint-Joseph Street. In April of 1956, it would be renamed the 4th Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment (Ch teauguay).
On April 14, 1925, in Sacr -Coeur-de-J sus Church in Montreal, twenty-six-year-old Arcand married Yvonne Gigu re, who turned twenty-one that day. She was born in Quebec City on April 14, 1904, to Arthur Gigu re and Blanche Breton. Yvonne shared her husband s fascist and anti-Semitic views. She too would wear the blue shirt of the party uniform. She too proudly sported the swastika. A devoted wife, she was there by his side at all the major fascist gatherings in Montreal and elsewhere. She bore him three sons, Yves-Adrien, who would become a chiropractor; Pierre, who would go into sales; and Jean-Louis, who, in September of 1966, died of cancer at the age of thirty-seven.
In 1927, Arcand became a life member of France s astronomical society. He was also interested in art, especially painting, for which he had a special gift. In fact, it was to this leisure pursuit that he would devote himself immediately following the Second World War.
In 1929, Arcand sought to establish a journalists union at La Presse . His attempt soon set him at loggerheads with the paper s publisher. Du Tremblay could barely tolerate the union activities of his legal and cultural affairs reporter. Arcand seemed to want to follow in the footsteps of his father, the great union leader. But Du Tremblay fired Arcand that same year. Joseph Bourdon, who also worked at La Presse , recounted the event while expressing immense gratitude toward Arcand:

Herv Gagn and Adrien Arcand want to organize a union of journalists at La Presse and have been fired, because they refuse to sign a document saying they are not part of the union. But Adrien Arcand and Herv Gagn say to their brothers, Sign it, the paper, and don t quit You can t afford to quit your jobs. 7
Arcand and his colleague Gagn couldn t afford it either, but chose to make the sacrifice for the cause. Their sacrifice was not in vain because six years later, in 1935, the Syndicat de l industrie du journal (newspaper industry union) was founded as an affiliate of the F d ration catholique des m tiers de l imprimerie du Canada (FCMIC), which had been created in 1925 by the CTCC. In 1936, the Action catholique journalists in Quebec City would also establish an affiliate with the FCMIC, and, on April 10, 1944, journalists with La Presse, le Petit Journal , and Photo-Journal , soon to be joined by La Patrie , established the Syndicat des journalistes de Montr al (SJM) as a section of the Syndicat de l industrie du journal. During the early years of its activities, the SJM was an entity without legal status. In 1946, it nevertheless organized the first conference of Quebec journalists and, on February 21, 1948, it achieved autonomy, remaining affiliated, however, with several organizations, including the CTCC, which in 1960 became the Confederation of National Trade Unions. 8
Arcand s efforts to start a union for journalists in Montreal had drawn the wrath of his employer. His courage had cost him dearly. In 1929, Arcand found himself unemployed and with a young family to support. He would never forgive the director of La Presse for the way he had thrown him out. Humiliated, Arcand would never be the same again. Having now joined the ranks of the unemployed, whose numbers in Montreal were growing by the minute with the economic crisis, Arcand developed a deep resentment toward the established order. It was the start of his drift toward fascism and anti-Semitism, which would last more than forty years.
Notes
1. A bestseller, the book would do great damage in France. It would set back the cause of French Jews by a hundred years. This book would question the principles of the French Revolution of 1789, which had made the emancipation of French Jews possible. The writings of Drumont, who died in 1917, would inspire a new wave of French anti-Semites, many of whom would collaborate with Marshal Philippe P tain and Nazi Germany.
2. By the end of its first year of publication, in December of 1892, La Libre Parole s circulation exceeded 260,000. This is considerable for a daily of that period given that Le Figaro , a well-known right-wing conservative daily, had a circulation of 105,000 in July of 1880.
3. Bernard Dansereau, ARCAND, NARCISSE, in Dictionary of Canadian Biography , vol. 15, University of Toronto/Universit Laval, 2003-, accessed January 15, 2016, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/arcand_narcisse_15E.html .
4. Biographies canadiennes-fran aises 9 i me ann e (Montreal, 1930), 340.
5. Biographies canadiennes-fran aises.
6. An opinion held by, among others, his biographer, Gr goire Kauffman, who wrote a comprehensive work on Drumont in 2008.
7. Joseph Bourdon, Montr al-Matin, son histoire, ses histoires (Montreal: Editions La Presse, 1978).
8. Fonds d archives du Syndicat des journalistes de Montr al. UQAM, Service des archives et de gestion des documents.
Chapter II
Le Goglu Takes Flight
I n October 1929, as stock markets in New York, Toronto, Montreal, and around the world collapsed, a series of events were triggered that would plunge Canada and much of the world into an unprecedented decade of crisis. Despite a solid economy, Quebec was unable to withstand the effects of the stock-market crash. Between 1929 and 1930, the number of unemployed workers nearly doubled, and the province concluded agreements with the Canadian government to come to their assistance (prior to a national unemployment insurance program). Despite these steps, the unemployment rate climbed steadily, reaching 26.4 percent in 1932, the highest in Quebec history.
This difficult economic context was accompanied by a climate of political agitation arising from the European struggle between Marxist and Socialist parties. These parties had formed in opposition to the industrial bourgeoisie. In Italy, Benito Mussolini had imposed fascism. He curried favour with the populace by funding massive public-works projects and signing agreements with the Vatican. In Germany, the 1929 stock-market crash served only to aggravate the country s profound socio-economic problems. The country had been humiliated and squeezed dry by the Treaty of Versailles, of 1919. The treaty demanded that Germany compensate the Allied countries for the damages incurred by the First World War. This humiliation in defeat, coupled with the economic crisis, provided the impetus for the National Socialist German Workers Party, the Nazis, to join the industrialists of the right in their fight against communism, touted as the solution to capitalism s apparent failure.
Quebec in 1929
In 1929, the stars were aligned for Arcand s anti-Semitic campaign to be born in Quebec. In March of that year, Athanase David, member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Terrebonne and provincial secretary of Quebec (1919-1936) for Louis-Alexandre Taschereau s Liberal government, submitted a bill to the Quebec legislature. Bill 208 proposed that Jews be granted separate schools in Montreal. The Catholic clergy were up in arms against the proposal, and Arcand set off on a crusade against the Jewish community, a community that played an important part in Montreal life during the interwar period. By 1931, their number exceeded 60,000, the majority of them living in Montreal. Most Montreal Jews were either workers or merchants, or in one of the liberal professions. This put them in direct competition with French Canadians, who mainly worked these same sectors. And with the outbreak of the economic crisis of 1929, that rivalry grew. The effects generated by the crisis undermined the existing socio-economic structure of Quebec society. In Montreal especially, a good number of French Canadians and Jews managed to survive thanks to the retail business, which at the time was the exclusive domain of the French Canadians. This was the context in French Canada that spawned the Achat chez nous (Buy from our own) campaign to boycott Jewish merchants. Arcand led the campaign through his newspapers, which he began publishing in 1929. He and his patriotic association, Les Goglus, adopted a virulent tone toward Jews. Dozens of articles by Arcand appeared in one of his papers, Le Goglu , which claimed to serve as the defender of French Canadian merchants. As these elements came together, they set the stage for Arcand to launch his fascist, anti-Semitic movement.
Governance in Canada and Quebec in 1929 continued in the tradition inspired by the British parliamentary system. Given this, communism met with little success in Quebec, which was furthermore dominated by the influence of the Catholic clergy, who showed little sympathy for the revolutionary ideas of Marxism and communism. Canada may not have offered the ideal conditions for a totalitarian or fascist party to come to power, but its political leaders could not prevent groups with Nazi allegiance from forming coast to coast. In Quebec, inspired by the ultraconservative wing of the Catholic Church, Arcand took advantage of the context of the economic crisis of the early 1930s to initiate open warfare against Taschereau s Liberal government and the Jewish community.
Le Miroir
When he lost his job as a journalist at La Presse in 1929, Arcand found himself, like several thousand other workers in Quebec, on the long list of casualties of the crisis. It led him in April of that year to found the newspaper Le Miroir with his friend, Joseph M nard, a printer who lived on Saint-Charles Street in Longueuil. The first edition appeared on April 28, 1929. Le Miroir was published as a Sunday paper, selling for five cents a copy. Arcand ran the newspaper office with contributors Joseph Desroches, Jean Saillon, and Lucien Duchaine, with Jean Barrette as sports editor. Le Miroir wanted to portray itself as a popular paper dealing with a variety of subjects: news, sports, politics, movies, fashion, and so forth. In the August 7, 1932, edition, for example, the headlines announced that the Montreal Canadiens had lost 10-4 in a professional hockey game, that a young man had escaped a fire, and that Jews are crooks.
The paper set up its offices at 987 Saint-Laurent Blvd., in the middle of Montreal. Later, in 1931, it moved to the nearby 1124 Marie-Anne St. East. Arcand could count on the tireless support of M nard, his printer, without whom he could doubtless never have launched the paper. M nard had made his career in printing, having taken up the trade practised by his father, Adjutor M nard. On his death bed, Adjutor bequeathed his printing business to his son Joseph on condition that he guarantee employment to his two brothers, Leo and Ludovic, and pay them an annual income of $2,000 each. Joseph agreed to the conditions, and thus the printing shop became a well-known family business in Montreal.
But Joseph M nard had some very firm opinions about Jews. Like Arcand, he was a virulent anti-Semite. And he made no secret of it. M nard published handbooks of a religious and anti-Semitic nature. In March 1937 he wrote a document of over seventy pages, entitled Enseignement religieux et r veil conomique (Religious teaching and economic awakening), in which he discussed the religious question in Germany and related it to the problem of religious teaching in Quebec. He dwelt heavily on the dangers of the Jewish presence within Christian society. The appendix to it was authored by Georges Pelletier, editor of Le Devoir from 1932 to 1947. In 1947, M nard produced another publication, this time a pamphlet entitled Le clerg et les Juifs , in which he argued the case for combatting the Jewish peril. In short, M nard perceived himself as defender of Catholicism in a fight against the Jews.


Starting in 1932, the weekly Le Miroir advocated a virulent anti-Semitism. The paper drew on the old myths accusing Jews of evil intent.
Le Miroir defined itself as a militant weekly dedicated to realizing the French Canadian ideal. To this effect, Le Miroir defended a nationalist ideal epitomized by the motto Canada for Canadians. Soon, the paper began denouncing foreign investment, which, according to the authors, was threatening the Canadian economy, specifically the agriculture sector. Le Miroir believed agriculture is the most secure, stable and appreciable form of wealth a nation can have. 1 The paper condemned excessive industrialization. Arcand oversaw the editorial content of Le Miroir -in his view, industrialization had torn from the land a great many people who would otherwise never have deserted it; it had destroyed the small-scale local industry that used to be present everywhere, had given people a taste for luxury and the soft life, had channeled into the bottomless pit of rash speculation the capital that could have continued feeding farmers, and had ceded to the heads of industry a large part of the land earmarked for colonization; it had left settlers at the mercy of industrialists and provoked surplus production, ruining both investors and the excessively developed industry itself. Le Miroir pointed to the effects of the economic crisis to criticize both industry and the governments of the day. Inspired by the teachings and guidance of the Church, Le Miroir directed all its grumbling and discontent against the Jewish people, holding them responsible for all the afflictions suffered by the French Canadian people during the interwar period, as we shall see further in this chapter.
Le Goglu
In August of 1929, Arcand and M nard founded a second newspaper and baptized it Le Goglu . From the outset, it took on the mission of criticizing the Liberal government of Taschereau, which it associated with the Reds of Moscow. The name Goglu (French for bobolink ) was chosen for symbolic reasons: The bobolink is a charming bird with pleasant feathers, who [ sic ] is particularly fond of the province of Quebec [ ]. It is our most courageous little hunter of vermin, a tireless worker, like the bee. 2
The first edition of Le Goglu was published on August 8, 1929. The price was five cents. Arcand boasted that all 85,000 copies of the first instalment sold. But we might doubt this assertion in view of Arcand s penchant for exaggerating the scale of his movement. Knowing that the much more popular La Presse had a weekday circulation of over 138,000 in 1929, 3 there is reason to seriously doubt Arcand s claims. It is almost impossible to estimate how many copies of Le Goglu were sold at the time, since the catalogues that list such information, such as Canadian Advertising , the Canadian Almanac and McKim s Directory of Canadian Publications , give no statistics for Arcand s newspapers.
Arcand signed all his articles with the pseudonym mile Goglu. Actually, the entire editorial staff used the same pseudonym: not just writers, editors, and reporters, but also the elevator boy, photographer, circulation manager, distributor, and custodian. Only the cartoonist was designated by a different name, Loulou Goglu. Articles consisted of political denunciations and ludicrous fabrications on xenophobic themes. In fact, the tone Arcand used in Le Goglu was extremely satirical. The paper s motto was Let us laugh heartily, we shall die well fed. Arcand wanted to use humour to get his messages across more insidiously. In his first editorial, on August 8, mile Goglu defined the role of his new paper this way: It will be the only one of its kind in this province, especially since the Reds of Quebec, like the Reds of Moscow, have monopolized and muzzled the local French press.
The newspaper left no one indifferent. One reader wrote, You are nothing but a joker! Arcand took the trouble to reply, saying, To the eminent, wealthy, influential but highly unpopular politician who wrote me saying, You are nothing but a joker, I reply, Indeed, I am a joker, and you are the butt of my jokes. mile Goglu did not hesitate a moment to include this passage in his editorial in the August 22, 1929, edition. Compliments also came flooding in to the press. A reader wrote, If anyone tries to interfere with Le Goglu , they ll have me to deal with. It s the paper the people needed. 4
Le Goglu went ferociously after the Taschereau government, and especially after MLA L onide Perron, a lawyer who had been appointed minister of agriculture in 1929. Numerous issues of Le Goglu showed caricatures of the minister holding a bag of cement, symbolizing his urban roots. On October 18, 1929, the paper s front page showed a caricature of the minister in the company of a farmer tilling his field. In the accompanying dialogue, Mr. Perron tells the farmer, You don t have the knack, Baptiste. Let me show you how to farm. Look at the beautiful big carrot I produced with my methods. The Quebec farmer replies, That s no carrot, Sir; it s a turnip. You might be a good lawyer, but you re no great shakes at farmin . Between you n me, you d do a lot better to git back to Montreal and carry on with your pleadin . On January 21, 1930, Minister Perron sent a formal notice to Le Goglu demanding that it retract an article published the previous week. Nothing doing. Le Goglu continued its relentless hounding of the minister of agriculture. Perron then took the extreme measure of instituting proceedings against the newspaper for libel and defamation, in the amount of $999. Le Goglu also attacked Charles Lanct t, who was assistant to Quebec s attorney general. In January of 1930, the paper published a series of unflattering articles on Premier Taschereau s right-hand man. But Arcand, alias mile Goglu, was hardly intimidated by lawsuits. On the contrary, the newspaper took delight in them. On January 31, 1931, Le Goglu s headline read, LA CLIQUE EN PANIQUE . Big shot Perron and Charles Lanct t finally admit the power of the beautiful Canadian bird, the article went on to say. Lanct t reacted by, in turn, instituting libel proceedings against Le Goglu , also claiming $999 in damages and interest. But that did not stop the paper s attacks on the deputy attorney general.


No holds barred in Le Goglu as it discredited the governments of the day, especially the Liberals, who were lumped together with Moscow s Reds.
Arcand had found his style. He had become enemy number one of the Taschereau Liberals. Not only did the paper attack politicians. It also targeted certain cultural communities in Montreal. With dark humour, Arcand conveyed his xenophobic message. In the October 31, 1929, edition, a highly racist article appeared, entitled At the risk of getting stabbed. 5 It told an unlikely story, according to which the eponymous author was invited to a wedding celebration that turned sour.

Just getting to this hole meant risking I might be stabbed in the back. The place was a hangout for Romanian Gypsies, Bohemians, Magyars and Tartars. They were all wearing daggers with long blades, earrings of solid copper and long dresses with six skirts one on top of the other in hues of fire, blood, olive, gourds and chilies.
In an editorial in the same paper on the same date, he accused the newspapers of not wanting to report captain J. Gauvin s revelations of the scandals in the Montreal police establishment. Arcand accused La Presse , his former employer, of cozying up to the Taschereau Liberals and being too accommodating toward Jews:

And our major newspapers thought they were being independent when they hushed up the affair that may have implicated a lot of their friends. It s like when La Presse tries to tell us it s Catholic just because it publishes photos of bishops or priests between two Jewish advertisements, side by side with Hollywood divorce stories, cabaret dancers and reports of hangings.


Le Goglu attacked not only Jews. It took aim at all ethnic groups.
In the November 29, 1929, edition, Arcand challenged the people to bring down their political leaders: It s time people cleaned house, cleared the air, freed themselves and sanitized the political atmosphere. 6
L Ordre Patriotique des Goglus
Proud of the success his newspapers were enjoying, Arcand founded a group in November 1929 that was meant to contribute to increasing his readership. L Ordre patriotique des Goglus was born. mile Goglu addressed his readers with this invitation in the edition of November 29, 1929:

There will be the Ordre patriotique des Goglus and it will be [ ] the most powerful creator of opinions. All Goglus in the province will be eager to join in order to accelerate the beautiful public rehabilitation and economic recovery work of their race begun by their newspaper. Goglus of my race and my language, Goglus of my time and my country, let us close ranks.
mile Goglu lists the eligibility criteria for becoming a member of the Ordre patriotique des Goglus. All Goglus eighteen years of age or older could belong and would benefit from the strong protection of the Ordre, the atmosphere of camaraderie and numerous other benefits that would become clear after initiation as a member. The Ordre will have its sections and subsections, its officers and group leaders, its sports activities as well as social and political ones, its insignia and decorations. It will have a strong influence on the recovery of the race.
But not everyone could become a member of this association. Arcand stipulated that the Ordre patriotique des Goglus would only admit true Goglus, sincere patriots, filled with zeal and conviction, who will work toward the goal of decontamination, of conserving our Latin character, our customs and traditions, of protecting our rights and privileges. You will see that your Ordre is not a bunch of wimps, drunks or bandits but a worthy and respectable association of honest, healthy people, above corruption, people who like to laugh, have a good time and gogluser . 7
On December 20, 1929, Le Goglu published the eight-point mission of the Ordre patriotique des Goglus: to encourage and develop friendship, unity, and protection among its members; to encourage among French Canadians, the guardians of the French language, a greater sense of patriotism; to study and explain clearly all municipal, provincial, and federal issues; to defend and assist by all means possible the true friends of the people; to unmask and expel parasites and exploiters by any legal means; to ensure rights, customs, and traditions are respected; to make public servants more accountable and more patriotic; and to help people to form a truly Canadian mentality.
The Ordre was based on a complex hierarchy that reflected Arcand s obsession with military organization and Fascist Italy. Its supreme council was made up of fifteen representatives of different zones, and these were subdivided into counties and parishes in the form of phalanxes and cohorts according to street or concession. Arcand s admiration for Mussolini permitted a close relationship with Montreal s Italian community, which numbered about 22,000 in 1935. Benito Mussolini s charisma and closeness with the papacy furthermore earned him high marks among many French Canadians. It was in 1929 that Pope Pius XI signed the Lateran Accords with the Fascist government of Italy. Through these accords the Holy See ceded to Italy all papal lands except Vatican City in exchange for four billion Italian lire, paid by the Italian state.
Arcand may have been inspired by Mussolini and the Italian Fascists, but his Ordre patriotique des Goglus in no way resembled a political party. The Ordre had no solid foundations and did not present even one federal, provincial, or municipal candidate at election time. Nevertheless, his popularity with people affected by the crisis did make the political authorities uncomfortable. The movement attracted young reactionaries who were looking for someone to blame for the hardships people faced. Numerous xenophobes, Canadian nationalists, anti-communists, and admirers of Mussolini could be found joining the ranks of the Ordre.
The Goglus condemned the Taschereau government s policies not only through articles in Le Goglu , but also through organized meetings attended by hundreds who came to hear their leader, Arcand. In 1930, Le Goglu adopted an anti-Semitic tone in the debate surrounding the bill on Jewish schools in Quebec.
The David Bill on Jewish Schools
On March 22, 1929, Athanase David introduced Bill 208 in the Legislative Assembly of Quebec. 8 It was a bill concerning the education of children in Montreal and its surrounding area who were neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant. The bill, which sought to create a Jewish school board uniting all the private Jewish schools in existence at the time, broke with a long tradition in Quebec that gave such education rights exclusively to Catholics and Protestants. The following extract is from a speech by David given in the assembly to justify the bill:

I believe that Catholics and Protestants alike in this province have a duty to fulfill in this regard toward newcomers. Protestants should not be the only ones to make sacrifices and pay to ensure that the education received by foreigners in Quebec is a Canadian education. I dream of the day when, if a child is born in Canada, whether his parents come from Scotland or Palestine, their civil status in the registry office is recorded as Canadian without qualification. 9
It did not take long for this measure to incite a lively protest in Montreal. The protest movement received special impetus from the archbishop of Montreal. In March of 1930, the archbishop, Georges Gauthier, gave a speech at the Oratoire Saint-Joseph in Montreal to publicly condemn the decision on the part of the Quebec government to grant the Jewish people a separate school board: I have always practised the utmost restraint regarding involvement in political matters. But there is a question the public must ask itself at this time since it touches directly on interests we have a right and a duty to be concerned about. I wish to speak about the Jewish schools. 10 Archbishop Gauthier then read a letter he had sent to Premier Taschereau a few days earlier, on March 15. In addition to voicing his protest, the bishop warned the premier against the dangers that such a measure might represent:

I cannot conceal from you, moreover, that such an intervention is fraught with risks. It generates apprehensions that will be difficult to calm. Is it really impossible to be fair to the minorities without offering them the extreme concessions indicated in the bill? You are claiming to solve a problem but you will be creating one that is far more worrying. 11
Gauthier invited the premier to be more concerned about the fate of the province s Catholic majority:

Do you not think, Mr. Premier, that after handling all the sensibilities of the Protestants so tactfully and surrounding the Jews with absolutely unwarranted sympathy, it would be good to take into account the Catholic majority of this province, and not take so lightly the first step toward disrupting an educational system that is for us our safeguard and our security? 12
Archbishop Gauthier s missive had a ripple effect. On March 21, 1930, Taschereau met with Gauthier to dissipate the fears that had arisen in the highest echelons of the Quebec clergy. Despite the arguments of the clergy, the premier refused to give in.
Apart from the religious aspect (public education was still under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church and the Protestant authorities at that time), the bill had major financial implications. It proposed an increase in the education tax to fund the education of non-Catholics and non-Protestants attending Catholic or Protestant schools. The revenues from the tax levied would be divided as follows: for every $1 that went to Catholic and Protestant school boards, $0.20 would go toward the education of children who were neither Catholic nor Protestant. The amount involved was about $300,000 a year, an enormous amount at that time. The measure was meant to support mainly Jews but also 1,000 other Christians, such as Greek Catholics, who attended schools under the Protestant board.
It was at this point that journalist Arcand, who was known for his acerbic wit and diatribes, was apparently approached by the ecclesiastical authorities in Montreal to lead a campaign against the bill. At least that is what is alleged by historian Robert Rumilly in his work on the history of Montreal, in which he relates how Gauthier recruited Arcand to contest the proposal. According to Rumilly, it was this invitation that started Arcand on his path toward anti-Semitism: [Archbishop Gauthier] engaged a young journalist, Adrien Arcand, a contributor to the small newspapers of Joseph M nard, to fight against the bill - which is what got Adrien Arcand into anti-Semitism. 13 Was Arcand the instrument of the archbishop of Montreal in his fight against the Taschereau government? Was the leader of the Goglus in fact paid by the archbishop to fight this bill? There is no evidence to prove it. The available archives are silent on this question. The correspondence of Gauthier is still not publicly accessible. It remains therefore to be proven. One thing is certain: Gauthier did not forgive the Liberal ministers for preparing the first draft of the bill on Jewish schools without consulting the Conseil d instruction publique, a board that included Church representatives. The ministers, for their part, reproached the archbishop for delivering his protest in public. 14


In 1930, the weekly Le Goglu , published by Arcand and Joseph M nard, made Jews their target during the Montreal Jewish-schools debate.
According to Rumilly, the legislation concerning Jewish schools served literally as a springboard for the anti-Semitic campaign of Arcand s weeklies. 15 Rumilly s observations echo those of Isra l Medresh, a member of Montreal s Jewish community and a journalist with Keneder Adler during the interwar period, who attributed the success of Arcand s newspapers at the start of the 1930s to the controversy sparked by the David bill: Opposition to Taschereau around this schools question was very strong in certain French-Canadian circles. It was owing to this issue that Arcand s little paper became better known and would attract many readers. 16
By March of 1930, Arcand and M nard were publishing three papers: Le Goglu, Le Miroir , and Le Chameau . That month, Arcand used them to publish a series of articles decrying the David bill. He called the bill an affront to the French Canadian people. On March 28, 1930, mile Goglu penned an editorial in which he expressed his outrage at the manner in which Premier Taschereau was handling the Jewish-schools question:

The nephew of the late Cardinal is establishing for Jewish schools their own official school commission. He has made a great issue of it, a national issue. He is raising the Jews to the same level as the Christian majority and giving them an educational status that grants them powers greater than ours. In doing so, he is acknowledging the Jewish element-Jews-as making up part of the official population, as a distinct nation, as important as the French or English nationalities of this province. 17
In the same text, mile Goglu invokes the Canadian Confederation as a reminder that Canada has only two founding peoples (the English and the French), and that Jews are not entitled to that status:

All the laws of this country, since the Confederation pact, officially recognize only two defined entities: the French and the English. We have here the English-speaking Canadian and the French-speaking Canadian. The Jewish element must fall under either the one label or the other. The Jew does not have separate rights.
Arcand went even further, making the Jewish-schools question a constitutional issue: Mr. Taschereau uses as an excuse the number of Jewish children, forgetting that the problem is not one of numbers but one of pure law and constitutional principle. 18 In other words, Arcand rejected granting Jews a distinct status. In his view, Jewish children cannot and must not be anything other than English-language Canadians or French-language Canadians.
On April 4, 1930, Bill 208 was approved by the lieutenant governor of the province. Arcand lashed out in Le Goglu . In the April 11, 1930, edition, he railed against the Jewish schools and the Taschereau government in a bitter attack: What makes the betrayal more disgusting is that the Taschereau-David clique not only abolished the double tax that Jews should pay, but has designed the Act in such a way that if Jews do not pay a sufficient share, their schools will be funded from the monies paid by Catholics and Protestants.
The front page of Le Goglu that day carried a repulsive caricature of the MLA for Montreal-Saint-Louis, Peter Bercovitch, accompanied by a text denouncing the new legislation on the schools question. Arcand wrote that two Jewish MLAs, Bercovitch and Cohen, obtained single-handedly and in no time at all what our forefathers obtained through centuries of struggle. The headline read, Quebec handed over to the Jews. Le Goglu described the new act as the greatest betrayal in our history and added,

The people may by now have learned with some surprise how in less than forty-eight hours, the most important and most terrible bill in our history was pushed through by the fifty-two lackeys in the Legislative Assembly and all the crooks, losers, idiots, scum and derelicts on the Legislative Council.
The Jewish-schools affair sealed the turbulent relationship between Arcand and the mayor of Montreal, Camillien Houde. During the municipal elections for the City of Montreal in 1930, Arcand had openly taken a position in support of Houde, who was seeking re-election as mayor, and who was also a Conservative MLA and leader of the official opposition. Arcand had increased the number of anti-Semitic articles and cartoons favouring Houde. On April 7, 1930, Houde was re-elected as mayor by a landslide, the Liberals taking a serious blow. Taschereau s administration linked Houde s victory to the Jewish-schools affair and the anti-Semitic campaign of Arcand s newspapers. For his part, David held Archbishop Gauthier partially responsible for what he called a flare-up of anti-Semitism. 19 Houde sensed trouble ahead. He had aspirations to become the next premier of Quebec and knew full well that if he wanted to win the next provincial election his Conservative Party would need the support of the Jewish community of Montreal, which represented a sizeable minority at the time. On the day after his win as mayor of Montreal, he forwarded a letter to the large-circulation dailies saying he was dissociating himself from Arcand s anti-Semitic newspapers. In the April 25, 1930, edition of Le Goglu , Arcand responded to this move by the leader of the provincial opposition, saying, Although Camillien Houde categorically disapproves of our campaign, we firmly believe that the Jewish schools issue has nothing whatsoever to do with anti-Semitism. It is, rather, a national and constitutional issue involving a violation of the Confederation pact.
Despite the strife between Houde and Arcand, the newspapers run by Arcand and M nard played an important role in the 1931 provincial election campaign. Houde s Conservatives and Taschereau s Liberals went to war, especially over the Jewish-schools question. Jewish MLAs Bercovitch and Cohen accused Houde of being the greatest enemy of the Jewish race. Arcand s papers Le Goglu and Le Miroir got involved by attacking Taschereau and his Liberals, associating them with the Reds of Moscow. On August 24, 1931, the Liberals took seventy-nine seats, the Conservatives just eleven.
The anti-Semitic, anti-communist, and anti-Liberal Party tone of the Goglus was disturbing. On August 16, 1931-that is, a few days prior to the provincial election-M nard s print works, where Le Miroir and Le Goglu were printed was vandalized and burnt. Before setting the fire, the perpetrators damaged the presses. Four linotype machines were smashed. The vandals spread cans of ink between the rollers of the presses. According to La Presse , the damage totalled nearly $17,000. Arcand claimed it was sabotage. The publisher of Le Goglu told La Presse , The fire was deliberately set. Sabotage is an act desired by people seeking revenge [ ]. We recently received public threats. An influential figure commented in the newspapers, I ll spend however much money it takes, but I ll get them, Arcand and M nard. 20
The investigation revealed that three fires had been set inside the workshop. Three cans of gasoline were found at the scene of the crime. However, there was insufficient proof to identify the culprits. Yet it certainly looked as though someone had wanted to get even. Arcand s followers, for their part, did not hesitate to single out Houde s gang. The August 23, 1931, edition of Le Miroir openly accused the houdistes , carrying the following headline: Houdism and its bandits. Accompanied by a photo of the trashed and burned press, the article levelled accusations against the houdistes . The houdiste bandits came and cruelly destroyed our workshops and set them on fire. In any case, the fire did not diminish the zeal of Arcand and M nard. Like a phoenix, Le Miroir and Le Goglu rose again from the ashes.
After his party s defeat in the 1931 general election, in which he failed to win his riding, Houde resigned as leader of Quebec s Conservative Party on September 19, 1932, devoting himself again to municipal politics. He was mayor of Montreal from 1928 to 1932, and ran for the position again in the 1934 election. Arcand supported one of Houde s opponents, Salluste Lavery, who had defended Arcand in several lawsuits for libel and defamation. Arcand campaigned against Houde, but the attacks directed against Mr. Montreal missed their mark completely. Houde was re-elected to Montreal City Hall with a strong majority, garnering 90,568 votes against 36,909 for his closest adversary, Anatole Plante, with Lavery trailing third, with 12,967 votes.
Faced with so much opposition over the David bill, the Taschereau government rescinded it in April 1931 and drafted new legislation, which created the Montreal Jewish School Board. Bercovitch, promoter of the David bill in the legislature, was satisfied all the same. 21
Jewish Immigration to Quebec
Besides the Jewish-schools issue, what other factors contributed to anti-Jewish sentiment being so widespread in 1930s Quebec? To answer this question, one must first return to the context of early-twentieth-century Quebec and observe how the rapid growth of the Jewish population in Montreal led to xenophobic reactions among members of the host community. There would surely never have been an anti-Semitic campaign in Quebec in the 1930s if a strong Jewish community had not existed there at the time. At the start of the twentieth century, Montreal received a large contingent of Ashkenazi Jews immigrating mainly from central and eastern Europe (Germany, Poland, Austria, Hungary, and Russia). In 1891, there were 2,703 Jews in the province of Quebec. By 1931, Quebec s Jewish population had reached 60,087, with 96.5 percent living in Montreal. 22
Research carried out by Pierre Anctil, Gary Caldwell, Alexandra Szacka, and others into the Jews of Quebec has helped shatter the myth that Jewish immigrants to Quebec were rich bankers and industrialists who had come from Europe to exploit French Canadian workers. Szacka writes, Hardly represented in the worlds of finance and monopolistic wealth, the great majority of Jews were, in the twenties and thirties, part of the Quebec proletariat. 23 In 1931, 44 percent of Montreal s Jewish population worked in a commercial business and Jews represented 18.43 percent of all people hired to work in the clothing industry. 24 Just under 25 percent of Jews worked in retail business. 25 In the retail sector in general, just over half (55.8 percent) of Jews were owners or managers. 26 In the clothing industry, only 9.8 percent of Jews were owners or managers and over 90 percent were simply workers. 27 Furthermore, Jews accounted for only .94 percent of all managers of Canadian companies, while they made up 1.5 percent of the population. The most educated Jews geared themselves toward the liberal professions. In 1931, there were 97 doctors, 73 lawyers, and 47 dentists of Jewish origin in Montreal. 28
During the 1930s, Jews occupied jobs similar to those held by French Canadians. To a certain extent, Jews were in competition with an urban working class and an up-and-coming French Canadian bourgeoisie. In ready-to-wear garment manufacturing in Montreal, for example, Jewish workers vied with unskilled French Canadian workers who came from rural areas. 29 As Caldwell points out, Neither the Jews nor the French-Canadians had the network or the means that would have allowed them an in to the monopolies of business or industry. They had therefore to fight each other over what was left of the market. 30
This economic competition between Jews and French Canadians, in addition to the dogmatic influence of the Catholic Church that presented a pejorative image of the Jews, fuelled a feeling of animosity between the two communities. At the start of the 1930s, the economic crisis and the Jewish-schools question served as catalysts for a campaign of economic boycott directed against Jewish merchants: Achat chez nous .
The Achat chez nous Campaign
Orchestrated by the nationalist elite with the support of the Catholic clergy, the Achat chez nous campaign aimed above all to favour French Canadian merchants but it descended into anti-Semitism. While L Action fran aise , Lionel Groulx, the Ordre de Jacques-Cartier, and the Jeune-Canada (Young Canada) movement came to the defence of French Canadian merchants and openly supported Achat chez nous , it was Arcand and his Ordre patriotique des Goglus who led this campaign as against the Jews. Arcand wrote dozens of articles in his newspaper, Le Goglu , which, as of 1929, had been touting itself as the defender of French Canadian merchants. In the October 25, 1929, edition, the paper issued an appeal to save the retail grocery business:

Goglus, Gogluses, having already ruined other Canadian industries and businesses, the foreigners have managed to ruin yet another one: the grocery business. Our English compatriots had left us control over grocery wholesale and retail in Montreal. They never touched this area, which they saw as belonging to us [ ]. Let us react, Goglus. Let s be Canadian. Let s get our greengrocers back on their feet. They ll be a dying breed soon if we don t come to their aid! 31


This was the type of anti-Semitic propaganda circulating in the 1930s during the Achat chez nous movement. (Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives / Archives juives canadiennes Alex Dworkin)
On October 31, 1929, the paper picked up the subject again, this time blaming foreign-owned grocery chains:

Goglus, Gogluses, did you ever imagine that the [big] grocery chains warring with the French-Canadian corner-store grocer would spell the end of home delivery, that form of public service that has always been so convenient and so useful? [ ] Will you not help to keep the grocery business for us, for the French Canadian? Encourage your corner-store grocer and you will see that in the long run, you will benefit. 32
On May 22, 1932, the newspaper Le Miroir published a letter inviting women to stop buying food from Jewish merchants. The July 24, 1932, edition of the five-cent Sunday paper carried the headline, Not a penny to those parasites. It accused Jewish merchants of having stolen the businesses of the French Canadians:

In our province, in less than thirty years, the Jew has been able, through his cheating and not by his skill, to take over our businesses and our industries. He has been able to drive our people out in their own areas. He has introduced cheating into our economic traditions, favouring it over thought, quality, moderation, paying customs and excise duties, etc. 33
Le Goglu did not give up its crusade, continuing its invective against Jewish merchants as much as ever. In the December 30, 1932, edition, for example, Arcand called the Jews robbers. He stated that in Montreal it was not the English but rather the Jews who had invaded what was French Canadian territory:

The share the English left us we have not been able to hang on to. We have allowed the Jew to penetrate East Montreal, to steal our businesses, our grocery stores and our butcher shops, our clothing stores and our furniture stores, our haberdasheries and hatters. It is not the English who invaded l Est , but the Jew and we let him do it.
In Montreal, it was Arcand s wife, Yvonne, who managed the campaigns to boycott Jewish merchants. On February 10, 1938, she told a Toronto Daily Star reporter her strategy to scare away the clientele. It s very simple! You get the attention of the customers and tell them what Jews are doing in Canada and they leave the premises. This call to boycott Jewish merchants extended beyond Montreal. In Quebec City, a campaign was launched against Maurice Pollack, owner of the largest department store in the provincial capital. The same happened in Ottawa, in Ontario, where Jean Tissot ran a campaign to boycott the Jewish merchants in the Outaouais region of western Quebec and across the Ottawa River in Ontario. Originally from Belgium, the Ottawa policeman dedicated his spare time to disseminating fascist and anti-Semitic booklets. Tissot soon became a party leader for the Ottawa-Hull area, regularly contributing articles to Arcand s papers and organizing boycotts against Jewish merchants in the nation s capital. Tissot s activities alarmed Ottawa police sufficiently for them to take action, and on March 20, 1935, Tissot was relieved of his duties by his boss, mile Joliat. 34 But the ex-police officer pursued his defamatory activities all the same. In particular, he attacked a wealthy Jewish merchant, A. J. Freiman, owner of the largest department store in Ottawa. It so happened that Freiman was also the president of the Zionist Council of Canada. Tissot called him a thief and likened him to a vulture preying on everyone. The Ottawa newspapers were all over this affair, condemning Tissot s remarks. In 1935, in an effort to put an end to Tissot s rants, Freiman took the extreme measure of suing him for libel. Tissot was accused of having, on May 13, 1935, forwarded to Messrs. William McCullogh Graham and Herbert-Grenville Munro the English translation of a text published in the weekly Le Patriote, accompanied by a hideous cartoon representing Freiman, in order to harm his reputation. In his testimony, Munro maintained that Tissot had asked him for financial assistance to help a Catholic merchants association. The dailies Le Droit , the Ottawa Citizen , and the Ottawa Journal were only too glad to have this story to cover. The press in the Outaouais region, too, was more critical of Arcand s propaganda than the Montreal press, with the exception of the Montreal Gazette , which condemned Arcand s newspapers and also covered the Tissot affair. The Ottawa Citizen and the Ottawa Journal never hesitated to criticize Arcand and his movement, which they said had no place in Canada, especially at a time when the country was having difficulty finding a way out of the Great Depression. 35
On October 9, 1935, Tissot was found guilty of criminal libel. Granted, he had taken on a bigwig. Not only was Frieman a wealthy businessman, he was the close friend of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. He lived just a few minutes from the prime minister s house in Chelsea (Kingsmere), Quebec. 36 A campaign to support Tissot was organized by his son, Edgard Tissot, to bring the case before a court of appeal. But this was in vain. Tissot ran as an Anti-Communist Party candidate in the 1935 federal election in the riding of Ottawa-East but was defeated. Tissot also received support from the members of the Ordre de Jacques-Cartier d Ottawa, who organized a fundraising campaign for him in September of 1936. A letter from the order to its members appealed to the generosity of the Ottawa lodge, the XC Dollard. It said that one of its members had composed an ode to Dollard and given the order 1,500 copies, to be sold at twenty-five cents a copy, with proceeds to go to Tissot:

The spirit of solidarity that is at the heart of our association should, it would seem to us, dictate at this time a gesture of generosity toward this man, defeated in battle, honourably, we might add, since in everything, only the interest of our people guided him in his energetic and persevering work to re-establish the economic vitality of our people in Ottawa. 37
The phrase to re-establish the economic vitality of our people was no doubt a reference to the Achat chez nous movement directed against Jewish merchants. Just how involved was the Ordre de Jacques-Cartier in Arcand s fascist party? It would be difficult, even dangerous, to hazard an opinion on this point. The order and Arcand s fascists certainly had some commonalities. They were both Catholic and detested the Freemasons, who were seen at the time as a Communist redoubt. Does this make the members of the order fascists? Not necessarily. But the Tissot affair demonstrates that several supporters of Arcand s party were part of La Patente, as the order was familiarly known. 38 The Achat chez nous campaign hurt Jewish merchants in Ottawa, but particularly so in Montreal and Quebec City. In 1933, on Boxing Day, S. W. Jacobs, member of Parliament (MP) for the federal riding of Cartier, in Montreal, who was also the president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, wrote a letter to a friend in Baltimore and spoke of this campaign conducted against Jews in Quebec: [I]n the period covering my whole life, I have never seen anything so virulent as the campaign which is being propagated against the Jews in the Province of Quebec. 39
Arcand used Achat chez nous to get on another of his hobby horses: workers working on Sunday, the Christian Sabbath. He supported the position of the Sunday League, which opposed a privilege granted to Jews allowing their employees to work on Sunday. On April 11, 1930, Le Goglu published a xenophobic article entitled Panechoppeur ou guenillou (Breadcrumb chopper or ragman) in which he invited Jews to go into business and work on Sunday-meant ironically of course-now that they had the blessing of the Taschereau government:

Why not take advantage of the stupidity of the Canayens [French Canadians], their laxness, their laisser-faire attitude, their sense of nationhood numbed by La Presse , to make a fortune in just five years and have a fine manufacturing plant where, flouting our laws and our customs, you will force the Canayens to work on Sunday?
Arcand goes on in this diatribe to suggest that Jews use a French Canadian trademark, the better to fool their Canayen customers:

Take care, however, to give it a French name since that will go over best. Be sure to hide your Jewish origins and the Canayen will dumbly give you his money, thus weakening his race and strengthening yours which must dominate Montreal. In order to have beautiful names, loot the history of the Canayens , even the calendar of Catholic saints. Take names like Maison Montcalm, Maison Isidore, Syndicat Catholique Saint-Henri, etc.
Arcand pushed his cynicism to excess, inviting Jewish merchants to invest in the banks and go into politics:

Later on, after just fifteen years of work, you are a big clubman, a powerful banker, a financier, a big manufacturer. You will do politics in high places and, as long as you help finance the Liberal party, you will be influential enough to get the laws passed that you want and, in no time at all, make Canada the Promised Land of the Jews.
Arcand s activities were not limited to doing battle with the Jewish merchants and the Taschereau Liberals. Starting in 1930, he got involved in politics. A fierce opponent of the Liberals, Arcand lent his poison pen to the Conservative cause in both Quebec and, federally, in Canada.
Arcand and R. B. Bennett s Conservatives
In the spring of 1930, Arcand and M nard were penniless. They needed to find money to continue printing their fascist newspapers. The opportunity presented itself with the federal general election held in the spring of 1930. Mackenzie King s Liberals had been in power in Ottawa for eight years. The federal Conservatives, led by Richard B. Bennett, were determined to walk off with a maximum number of seats in Quebec in order win nationally. The Conservatives had the wind in their sails. They campaigned on a promise to end the unemployment that was plaguing the country. The economic crisis was causing great devastation and the Liberals came under heavy fire for their failure to alleviate the poverty of Canadians. A clumsy remark made by Mackenzie King in the House of Commons, in which he claimed he would not spend five cents on a provincial government run by a party other than the Liberals, cost him dearly. Bennett milked this faux pas for all it was worth throughout the entire electoral campaign. The strategy paid off. A Conservative victory was all but guaranteed.
R. B. Bennett did not need to worry about finding the necessary funds to cover the costs of this campaign. He was a rich bachelor. Most of his fortune had been prudently invested in blue-chip securities such as bank shares and insurance and railway company stocks. 40 He owned shares in Canada Cement and in Alberta Pacific Grain Elevators. Furthermore, the New Brunswick native had inherited a wealthy matchstick company, E. B. Eddy, in Hull, Quebec, thanks to his friendship with the daughter of the rich Hull industrialist. Drawing on his fortune, Bennett was able to add $600,000 to the Conservative electoral coffers. The theme of the campaign was the economy. He proposed solutions to the unemployment problems ravaging the country. The campaign was going smoothly. But there was a fly in the ointment. The Blues were not very popular in Quebec. They had to find a way to convince the Quebec electorate that it made sense to vote for them. Bennett asked his Quebec campaign manager, Senator Joseph-Hormisdas Rainville (1875-1942), to come up with a strategic plan that would rally Quebecers against the Liberals. Now, Arcand s movement had supporters within the Quebec Conservative federal caucus. These included Rainville and the MP for Compton, Samuel Gobeil (1875-1961). Later, in 1932, Gobeil would give a speech in the House of Commons denouncing the Universit de Montr al, which admitted Jews without restriction. Arcand published this speech in the form of a brochure, La Griffe rouge sur l Universit de Montr al ( The red claw on the University of Montreal), with the cover page carrying the swastika.

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