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Laval, Pierre

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Definition: Laval, Pierre from

The Macquarie Dictionary

1883-1945, French politician; premier of France 1931-32, 1935-36; premier of Vichy France 1942-44; convicted of treason and executed.

Summary Article: Laval, Pierre from The Columbia Encyclopedia
Laval, Pierre (pyĕr läväl´), 1883-1945, French politician. Elected (1914) to the chamber of deputies as a Socialist, he held various cabinet posts and in 1926 became a senator as an Independent, moving away from his leftist affiliations. In 1931-32 and 1935-36 he was premier and foreign minister. With Sir Samuel Hoare (later Viscount Templewood), he proposed (Dec., 1935) a settlement to halt the Italian conquest of Ethiopia; the plan was seen as appeasement of Benito Mussolini, and his government collapsed. After the start of World War II and the fall of France in 1940, Laval reached new prominence. In the Vichy government under Marshal Pétain he became vice premier and foreign minister, but in Dec., 1940, he was dismissed and replaced by Admiral Darlan, apparently on suspicion that he was planning to overthrow Pétain. Entering the Ge...    Continue Reading

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