HomeArts & EntertainmentBooksFrench author said Hitler’s big mistake was failing to ‘wipe out England’

French author said Hitler’s big mistake was failing to ‘wipe out England’

A newly published transcript has revealed that the French literary giant Louis-Ferdinand Céline once expressed regret that Adolf Hitler had not wiped out the English.

The Journey to the End of the Night author is considered by many to be the most influential French author of the last century.

Céline, who died in 1961 aged 67, remains a controversial figure in history, however, due to his antisemitic views and advocation for a military alliance with Nazi Germany.

The French newspaper Le Figaro this week obtained and published a full transcript of the Paris Match’s 1960 interview with the author.

According to The Times, Céline said in the interview that Hitler’s great mistake was failing to “wipe out England” during World War II.

“Hitler lacked Napoleon’s genius. He was an empirical [man], Hitler. He messed up the day when he did not hit England straight away,” he said.

“He was a show-off. He looked good. He was a star but didn’t have any military genius at all,” he added.

These sentiments against the English were not included in the Match’s published piece, in which the author was described as “funny, bitter, nice deep down”.

After Allied forces landed in Normandy in 1944, Céline fled to Germany and then Denmark where he lived in exile.

Six years later, the author was convicted of collaboration by a French court but was then pardoned by a military tribunal based on his status as a disabled war veteran.

Of Céline, Maurice Nadeau once wrote: “What Joyce did for the English language… what the surrealists attempted to do for the French language, Céline achieved effortlessly and on a vast scale.”

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