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France honours Jean Jaurès

President Hollande lays wreath at scene of Socialist political giant’s assassination 100 years ago today

PRESIDENT François Hollande this morning honoured French political giant Jean Jaurès, who was assassinated 100 years ago at a Parisian cafe on the eve of the First World War.

Mr Hollande laid a wreath at the Crescent Cafe, on rue Montmartre, where the legendary Socialist politician and advocate of peace was shot dead by fanatical young French nationalist Raoul Villain at about 9.40pm on this day in 1914.

The German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel attended today’s brief ceremony, one of a number of events across France to commemorate the politician who worked tirelessly to stop Europe descending into war.

Jaurès was 54 when he died. Ten years later, his remains were interred in the Pantheon.

Today, he is regarded as one of France’s greatest politicians, while his death is said to have ended hopes that the First World War could have been avoided. Events have been planned across the country to honour him.

In the town of his birth, Carmaux, in the Tarn, a ceremony will be held at 6pm in the main square which is named after him.

President Hollande was jeered on a visit to Carmaux earlier this year.

August’s edition of The Connexion, which is on sale now, includes an interview with the great-grandson of one of Jean Jaurès’ close friends, Robert Smillie. He believes that, had Jaurès lived, he could have stopped the First World War.

Photo: Nadar (1904) Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

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