Political Catholicism (after 1910)
|Ceased publication||June 1924|
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La Libre Parole or La Libre Parole illustrée (French; Free Speech) was a French antisemitic political newspaper founded in 1892 by journalist and polemicist Édouard Drumont.
See also: Édouard Drumont
Claiming to adhere to theses close to socialism, La Libre Parole is known for its denunciation of various scandals, including the Panama scandal, which owes its name to the publication of a file about it in Drumont's newspaper.
At the time of the Dreyfus affair, La Libre Parole enjoyed considerable success, becoming the principal organ for Parisian antisemitism. In the aftermath of major Hubert-Joseph Henry's suicide it sponsored a public subscription in favour of the widow in which the donors could express a wish. (A short sample: 0.5 francs "by a cook who would like to put the Jews in her ovens"; 5 francs "by a vicar who ardently wish to exterminate all Jews and Freemasons"; 1 franc "by a little vicar of Poitou who would be happy to sing with joy a Requiem for the last Jew left".) Drumont and his collaborators claimed a link between Jews and capitalism, which shaped the anti-capitalist views of La Libre Parole.
Drumont left the management of the newspaper in 1898 when he made his entry in politics (elected as deputy of Algiers until 1902). Around 1908, wishing to sell La Libre Parole to Léon Daudet, Drumont tried to merge the newspaper with L'Action française, but the project failed.
Beginning in 1910, the newspaper was published by ultraconservative Catholics and never regained the level of success it had enjoyed with the belligerent style of Drumont. Gaston Méry was one of its editors in chief. In January 1919, he published a statement by the Marquis de l'Estourbeillon in favour of the teaching of Breton in school.
Anti-Semitism in France declined during the 1920s, in part because the fact that so many Jews died fighting for France during World War I made it more difficult to accuse them of not being patriotic. La Libre Parole, which had once sold 300,000 copies per issue, closed in 1924.
The legacy of Drumont's daily newspaper was claimed by several ephemeral publications that reused the title La Libre Parole for nationalist and xenophobic organizations:
Main article: Henry Coston