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Type: Journal article
Title: A king is killed in Marseille: France and Yugoslavia in 1934
Author: Drapac, V.
Citation: French History and Civilization: papers from the George Rude Seminar, 2005; 1:226-235
Publisher: George Rude Society
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 1832-9683
Statement of
Vesna Drapac
Abstract: French responses to the 1934 assassination in Marseille of King Alexander of Yugoslavia by Croatian and Macedonian émigrés provide the focus of this paper. French enthusiasm for the Yugoslav successor state, strong in the immediate post-war years, eventually subsided, markedly so following the assassination in the Belgrade parliament, in 1928, of leaders and representatives of the most popular Croatian party (the Croat Peasant Party) and the establishment of a repressive dictatorship in 1929. However, on the death of Alexander on French soil, republican France came out in support of the royal dictatorship of the Serbian “hero-king.” French reactions to the King’s death drew on iconic images of the Great War and Serbia’s role in it: companions in arms, the French and Yugoslavs were tied by an “indestructible” bond of friendship and a “boundless trust.” This paper invites speculation on the political consequences of the ways in which the Great War was remembered in the two countries.
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