Dominique Venner

The existential horror that drives someone to suicide is incommensurable. I had never heard of Dominique Venner, but he appears to have been a brother in arms. I base this solely on the choice use of adjectives in various media stories on his suicide. From the Independent:

A far-right French historian shot himself in the head beside the altar of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris today apparently in protest against the legalisation of gay marriage in France.

Dominique Venner, 78, a former member of the nationalist terrorist movement, OAS, placed a pistol in his mouth and shot himself dead in front of scores of tourists inside the most visited building in France.

Mr Venner, a presenter on a Catholic-traditionalust radio station and controversial historian and essayist,  posted an essay on his website earlier in the day calling for “new, spectacular and symbolic actions to shake us out of our sleep, to jolt anaesthetised minds and to reawaken memory of our origins”.

His long essay was a tirade against gay marriage but also a warning that the “population of France and Europe” was going to be “replaced” and brought under “Islamist control” and “sharia law”.

Mr Venner placed a sealed letter on the altar of the cathedral before shooting himself. His choice of the altar — associated  with religious marriage ceremonies — appeared to be a symbolic gesture of protest against the law permitting civil gay marriages in France which took effect last weekend…

Legislation permitting same-sex couples to marry in French town halls was approved by the parliament last month and signed into law by President François Hollande last weekend after approval by France’s constitutional watchdog.

The “marriage for all” law has provoked a powerful movement of middle class, conservative, religious and right-wing protest in the last four months. Another large demonstration is planned in Paris on Sunday.

The leaders of the protest movement, including most but not all leading centre-right politicians, have pilloried the law as politically-motivated attack on  family and religious values and the imposition of a “new civilisation”.

Mr Venner, a prolific author of books and tracts on extreme nationalist themes, has been one of many vociferous critics of the law. Some of his work as a historian has been well-received, incuding a 1981 book on the Red Army which won a prize from the Académie Française. Much of his work has been steeped in the racist ideology of the far-right, apologising for the pro-Hitler regime in Vichy in the Second World war and warning of conspiracies to destroy European civilisation and to swamp the white race.

From CNN:

In a post published Tuesday, he wrote, “The essence of a man is in his existence and not in another world. It’s here and now that you have to play out your destiny until the last second. And this last second has as much importance as the rest of the life.”

In the blog, Venner voiced his support for those expected to take part in a massive demonstration in Paris May 26 against same-sex marriage. But he said their fight should not be limited to that issue, and they must also denounce what he predicted would be the replacement of the French and European population with Muslims.

“There certainly have to be new actions, spectacular and symbolic, to shake up the sleepiness, to shake the numbed consciences and wake up the memory of our origins,” the blog said. “We’re entering into a time when words must be authenticated by actions.”

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