François Mitterrand

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
François Mitterrand, 1994
Mitterrand's signature
François Mitterrand, 1983

François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand [ fʀɑ̃ˈswa mitɛˈʀɑ̃ ] (born October 26, 1916 in Jarnac , Charente , † January 8, 1996 in Paris ) was a French politician of the Socialist Party (PS) and from mid-1981 to mid-1995 French President .


Youth and World War II

François Mitterrand was born in Jarnac near Cognac . He grew up as the fifth of seven children of a railway engineer and later vinegar manufacturer in the southwestern French province. In Angoulême he attended the convent school " Collège Saint-Paul ", which he graduated in 1934 with the Baccalauréat . He then studied at the Sorbonne in Paris until 1939. He completed his studies with a license in literary studies, a Diplôme d'études supérieures in public law and a diploma from the École libre des sciences politiques (Sciences Po) . During this time, the young Mitterrand was prone to nationalist and right-wing extremist views. The Israeli historian Michael Bar-Zohar claimed in 1996, Mitterrand was before the Second World War, a member of the right-wing underground organization Cagoule been.

After completing his studies, he enlisted in 1937 for military service with the infantry of the colonial troops of France. There he met his old friend Georges Dayan; the two became best friends. In September Mitterrand began his service with the 23e regiment d'infanterie coloniale .

On September 1, 1939, the Second World War began with the German invasion of Poland ; on September 3, France declared war on Germany . Shortly after being admitted to the bar, Mitterrand was drafted into service on the Maginot Line near Montmédy . His rank was sergent chief .

During the Battle of France on June 14, 1940, Mitterrand was wounded in the chest by a shrapnel in a low-level aircraft attack near Verdun and was taken prisoner on June 18 . He was interned in main camp IX A (today Trutzhain ) and in main camp IX C in Rudolstadt - Schaala . There he was used as a slave laborer in road construction and agriculture. On December 16, 1941, he managed to escape in the third attempt.

When he returned to France, he worked for the Vichy regime in May 1942 in the administration of prisoners of war and received the Order of Francisque from Marshal Pétain on August 16, 1943 . At the same time he kept Charles de Gaulle in London up to date via secret channels of the Resistance . Together with General Henri Giraud, who also escaped from German captivity, and other former French prisoners of war, he formed a resistance network called the RNPG . In November 1943, the Gestapo raided Vichy in search of “ François Morland ”, Mitterrand's code name (derived from the Paris Métro station Sully - Morland ) in the Resistance. Mitterrand then fled to London. He joined de Gaulle's government in exile . He belonged to the provisional government of de Gaulle formed from 1944 as a member of the cabinet for the affairs of prisoners of war.

Towards the end of the Second World War, Mitterrand was captured by German soldiers at the front near the village of Reichenbach am Heuberg ( Tuttlingen district , Baden-Württemberg). He was brought to the Reichenbach local group leader and then transported to Spaichingen on the Heubergbahn ; later he was freed by French troops.

post war period

François Mitterrand in 1965

From 1946 to 1958, François Mitterrand was a member of the French National Assembly . During this time he was a member of the bourgeois-moderate Union démocratique et socialiste de la Résistance (UDSR). In May 1948 he took part in the Congress in The Hague with Winston Churchill , Harold Macmillan , Paul-Henri Spaak , Albert Coppé , Altiero Spinelli and Konrad Adenauer , which was of fundamental importance for European unification. Between 1947 and 1957 he held various ministerial posts. During the Fourth Republic , Mitterrand belonged to eleven different governments as state secretaries or ministers. In 1952, 1953 and 1956–1957 he was Minister of State , 1954–1955 Minister of the Interior - as such responsible for the introduction of the “ French doctrine ” in Algeria, which included summary shootings and torture, among other things - and Minister of Justice from 1956–1957 . From 1953 until its dissolution in 1964 Mitterrand was party leader of the UDSR.

In the French state crisis (1958) he opposed Charles de Gaulle, although he approved of his Algerian policy. After the establishment of the Fifth Republic , the UDSR lost its most important politicians (with the exception of Mitterrand himself) and the party largely disappeared into insignificance. In 1959 an attack was apparently carried out on Mitterrand on the avenue de l'Observatoire in Paris , which he was able to escape by jumping behind a hedge. This attack attracted a lot of media attention, but accusations quickly emerged that Mitterrand had orchestrated the attack himself. This led to permanent damage to the image of Mitterrand. From 1959 to 1962 he was a senator for the constituency of Nièvre and from 1962 he was again a member of the French National Assembly. A visit to China in 1961, during the great leap forward , contributed to the recognition of the People's Republic of China by France in 1964, which came well before that of the Federal Republic.

In 1964 he became president of the Conseil général des Départements Nièvre. He took on a leading role at the Convention des Institutions Républicaines ( CIR ). With the publication of the book Le Coup d'État permanent (Eng. The permanent coup d'état ) in May 1964 he achieved his breakthrough as the most important left challenger of de Gaulle, whom he called a "new dictator" in the referendum on the introduction of the Fifth Republic in 1958 would have. Although he belonged to only a small left group, he cut in the presidential election on December 5, 1965 of all candidates of the left with 31.72% of the vote and thus before Jean Lecanuet with 15.6% in the first ballot and was then supported by the entire left camp ( SFIO , PCF , PR , PSU ). In the necessary runoff election he was defeated on December 19, 1965 against Charles de Gaulle with 44.8% of the vote.

From 1965 to 1968 Mitterrand was chairman of the Fédération de la Gauche Démocrate et Socialiste (FGDS), an alliance of liberals and social democrats. In the election for the National Assembly in March 1967, the left unexpectedly achieved its best result in a long time. Although that was Communist Party . (PCF) with 22.5% of the votes still left the strongest faction, but the government camp had only a majority of one seat, the May 68 the French Left met completely unprepared: The strikes were not the Unions led and the demonstrations, their goals and slogans were not dominated by the parties of the left. The traditional fragmentation of the French left, especially its parts outside the Communist Party into political clubs and various parties, as well as their poor organizational strength made themselves particularly detrimental here. De Gaulle ended the strikes, dissolved the National Assembly (→ new elections on June 23 and 30, 1968), resigned on April 28, 1969 and called new elections, which the French right-wing won in June 1969 with its biggest victory since 1919.

At that time Mitterrand maintained close contacts with the Grand Orient of France in Freemasonry . From 1971 Mitterrand was first secretary (= chairman) of the newly constituted Parti socialiste , which in 1972 formed the union Union de la Gauche together with the communists . Mitterrand was defeated in the presidential election of 1974 to the bourgeois candidate Giscard d'Estaing with 49.19% of the vote; the latter held the office for the following electoral term of seven years until 1981.

On May 10, 1981 , he was finally able to prevail and became fourth President of the Fifth French Republic . At the same time he was the first socialist head of state in the Fifth Republic. The election created unease and anxiety among conservatives. This was expressed, among other things, in the spread of polemical propaganda that if Mitterrand won the election, Paris would become a new gulag with Soviet tanks on the Champs-Élysées .

Presidency (first term)

Commemorative plaque in front of the Douaumont ossuary in memory of the meeting between François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl in 1984

During his first term in office, Mitterrand appointed Pierre Mauroy as prime minister, who despite an absolute majority of the socialists formed a coalition with the communists ( Mauroy cabinet ). In terms of economic policy, the government concentrated on stimulating consumption by setting minimum wages , raising pensions and family allowances. Mitterrand had key industries and banks nationalized and the permissible working hours reduced. In terms of domestic policy, Mitterrand pushed through reforms that the left had called for during its opposition in the 1970s: They concerned the decentralization of the administration, the restriction of the powers of the prefects, the introduction of regional councils , the abolition of the death penalty (1981) , and the liberalization of abortion , the abolition of certain security laws and reform of the media. Despite recognizing the peculiarities of the “Corsican people”, Mitterrand emphasized the indivisible belonging to Corsica to France. Mitterrand pushed the TGV and Minitel projects , both funded by its predecessor, forward. The Paris – Lyon TGV express train route , the first of its kind in France, was inaugurated in September 1981.

At the beginning of his presidency Mitterrand sought a closer rapprochement with Italy in foreign policy (possibly under the impression of his distant relationship with Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt , who had maintained close contact with Giscard d'Estaing) ( Giovanni Spadolini was Prime Minister from June 1981 to November 1982 ). Mitterrand was committed to maintaining the nuclear force and the introduction of the neutron bomb as well as to arms control negotiations on mutual disarmament of the medium-range missiles of the military blocs. This put a strain on the coalition with the PCF, because the latter refused to include French nuclear weapons in the Geneva disarmament negotiations .

Mitterrand condemned the imposition of martial law in Poland in December 1981. His meetings with the Moroccan King Hassan II , with Muammar al-Gaddafi and with Hafiz al-Assad remained controversial. In 1982, at Mitterrand's suggestion, France took part in a multinational force made up of Americans, Italians and French to resolve the Lebanon conflict (civil war 1975–1990); this ended with suicide attacks on the American and French contingents and the withdrawal of the troops. Between 1982 and 1986 Mitterrand established an anti-terrorist cell domestically , which was only under his command (not the command and leadership structure of the Ministry of the Interior or the Ministry of Defense). She was not part of the legally competent national police or the gendarmerie (which were then enemies).

François Mitterrand (front) with Ronald Reagan, 1984
In 1987, François Mitterrand received the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl
François Mitterrand received the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the SED and Chairman of the Council of State of the GDR, Erich Honecker, at the Elysée Palace, who was on a state visit in Paris (Jan. 8, 1988)

When Mitterrand took the presidency, France was in an economic crisis with rising unemployment and relatively high inflation. The reasons for this included the high oil prices from the late 1970s and the high exchange rate of the US dollar . The fact that the economic situation continued to deteriorate is partly attributed to the economic policy of Mitterrand's government under Mauroy . Under the pressure of the poor economic and labor market data, the coalition with the PCF broke up in July 1984, for which the communists primarily blamed Mitterrand. Mitterrand's second prime minister, Laurent Fabius , then pursued a different economic policy and implemented an austerity program . From the mid-1980s, France's economic situation improved.

Mitterrand also discovered the importance of European politics and found in Chancellor Helmut Kohl a German head of government, with whom he promoted the expansion of the European Community into the European Union . Mitterrand also advocated the Palestinians' right of self-determination in terms of foreign policy , but demanded that the PLO recognize Israel's right to exist within secure boundaries. In the controversy between the French research team led by Luc Montagnier and the American team led by Robert Gallo over the discovery of the immunodeficiency HIV , which is responsible for AIDS , Mitterrand and his American counterpart Ronald Reagan had to mediate. The performance of both teams was recognized as groundbreaking. France, meanwhile, experienced massive amounts of patients being infected by blood products contaminated with HIV .

When Reagan's government in Nicaragua openly supported the Contras and mined the Pacific port of Corinto in 1984 (see Contra War ), Mitterrand offered the Sandinista the purchase of French Mirage fighter jets. He refused to allow France to participate in the SDI program because he feared a “unilateral technology transfer”. Instead, he launched the European EUREKA program . In 1985 the French secret service DGSE sank the Greenpeace ship 'Rainbow Warrior' . This bomb attack was financed with money that was only available to the French President. Journalist Fernando Pereira drowned in the attack . Two perpetrators were later convicted of arson and manslaughter in New Zealand . This crime weighed heavily on diplomatic relations with New Zealand . Although his party lost the parliamentary elections in 1986 , Mitterrand did not resign, contrary to popular expectation, but appointed Jacques Chirac as prime minister of the first cohabitation . For the second term of office, Mitterrand announced a continuation of the “policy of equalization” and thus not to enforce nationalization , privatization or deregulation .

Poster in the European election campaign with the photo of the "Verdun handshake"

On September 22, 1984, Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl met in Verdun , where one of the most important and bloodiest battles of the First World War had raged from February to December 1916. “During the memorial ceremony in front of the Douaumont ossuary , where the remains of 130,000 unknown war dead are stored, the two statesmen suddenly held hands. For minutes they remained in this position in silence ”. It was Mitterrand who first offered Kohl his arm - a gesture that Kohl returned with relief and gratefulness.

The photo went down in the collective memory of France and Germany ; The political symbolism of the “Verdun handshake” has been compared to Willy Brandt's kneeling in Warsaw .

Presidency (second term)

On May 8, 1988 Mitterrand won the runoff election against Chirac with 54% of the vote and was thus re-elected as President. After initial hesitation, he agreed to German reunification in 1990. Although Mitterrand advocated a withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait to the end, he also ordered the deployment of French troops to Saudi Arabia and their participation in Operation Desert Storm . In the years that followed, the French Air Force , along with the American and British, took part in reconnaissance flights over Iraq to monitor the no-fly zones and compliance with the ceasefire conditions, until repeated American bombings made the preparations for the Third Gulf War evident.

In the beginning war in Bosnia-Herzegovina , especially during the siege of Sarajevo , Mitterrand personally tried to negotiate between the three ethnic groups involved in Sarajevo. When these failed repeatedly, the hostilities continued and numerous civilian buildings were also shot at in Sarajevo, Mitterrand agreed to the stationing of artillery units of the French Foreign Legion on Mount Igman , which as part of the Rapid Task Force consisting of British, French and Dutch armed forces were temporarily the only one Access road to besieged Sarajevo were stationed.

As President Mitterrand left numerous architectural traces in Paris , the so-called Grands Travaux or Grands Projets , such as the modern high-rise Grande Arche in the Paris district of La Défense , the glass pyramid in the inner courtyard of the Louvre , the Opéra Bastille on the Place de la Bastille , the new one National Library Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Institute of the Arab World Institut du monde arabe .

When the collaborator Paul Touvier was tracked down and brought to justice, the French media gave the impression that Mitterrand had been in contact with Touvier for years and possibly prevented his discovery from a mutual bond from the Vichy days . It is documented that he had a friendly relationship with the former police chief of Vichy René Bousquet (1909–1993). When Bousquet was indicted in 1991, Mitterrand broke off the relationship because he feared for his reputation. On June 8, 1993, Bousquet was shot dead by a man who was described as insane.

When it became public in 1992 that Mitterrand had had a wreath laid on the tomb of Marshal Philippe Pétain , the French war hero of Verdun and a symbol of the Vichy regime , on the anniversary of the armistice since 1987 , his role during the Vichy regime was questioned again. The marshal had been honored in this or a similar way by all his predecessors as president, but public opinion about the time of the collaboration had changed significantly in the meantime. After violent protests, including of the Jewish community of France, Mitterrand refrained from further honors. Only after the end of his term of office was France's complicity in the extermination of the Jews admitted by the government.

The journalist Jean Montaldo published a book in 1994 under the title Mitterrand and the 40 robbers , in which he accuses Mitterrand of surrounding himself with questionable friends like Bernard Tapie and of tolerating the corruption of socialist party friends around him. It is well known that party financing in France appeared dodgy for a long time, insofar as all parties tried to have their political influence on construction and armaments projects or projects rewarded in the form of party donations. In his book, Montaldo mainly relies on alleged information from François de Grossouvre (* 1918, one of Mitterrand's closest confidants for over 35 years), who was found dead on April 7, 1994 in the Élysée Palace with a bullet in his head. Pierre-Yves Guézou (* 1943), the person responsible for wiretapping from 1983 to 1986 in the Élysée Palace, was found hanged in his apartment on December 12, 1994; Pierre Bérégovoy (1992-1993 Prime Minister and from 1993 Defense Minister) died on May 1, 1993 in Nevers . His bodyguard testified that Bérégovoy had stolen his service weapon and probably killed himself with it.

Mitterrand and the reunification

In the summer of 1989, when the peaceful revolution in the GDR was emerging, Mitterrand expressed in several interviews the conviction that reunification was “a legitimate desire” of the Germans. After the Wall fell on November 9, 1989, Mitterrand did not campaign for the unification of Germany. His British counterpart Margaret Thatcher was a staunch opponent of German reunification. It was then criticized that he was braking Kohl's unification policy. During a visit to East Berlin in December 1989, Mitterrand told Gregor Gysi , according to a discussion document, that he feared that a powerful reunified Germany, as it was under Nazi rule, could again make demands for territorial expansion in the east and thus become a threat to Europe.

Months after his death, his book Über Deutschland was published . In it he describes himself as the person who in 1989/90 reacted more sensitively than the other heads of state to German sensitivities. He was always a friend of Prussia and the Prussian culture of tolerance and transparency of the state. He had messed with cabbage; it was about the condition of the agreement to recognize the eastern borders of Germany . His insistence on the question of borders was crucial for the Soviet Union to give in. By taking the same position as, above all, Gorbachev and the Polish government, he had made a decisive contribution to moving the negotiations forward and to softening the strong internal German opposition to the recognition of the borders.

Since July 1989 he has repeatedly emphasized that German reunification is an internal German matter that should take place peacefully and democratically and that should respect the existing borders within the European Union. However, in confidential government talks with Germany, he pointed out that the economic and monetary union to be deepened with the introduction of a common European currency was an important aspect of France's position. When France held the EU presidency in the first half of the year, Mitterrand had a particular influence on reunification. On April 25, 1990, Kohl announced during the final press conference of the Franco-German summit that European and German unity would be realized together, hand in hand; Mitterrand replied: “I am ready.” With the phrase “hand in hand”, Kohl alluded to a famous photo showing Mitterrand and Kohl hand in hand in Verdun in honor of those who fell in the wars between Germany and France.

When the diplomatic archives of 1989 were opened 20 years later, they revealed that Mitterrand's attitude towards Germany, despite all the expressions of friendship, was still shaped by the French primal fear of the former hereditary enemy . For example, he had said the following to the Polish General Jaruzelski : “Even if Germany is more friendly today than Hitler, we want to prevent this reunification by all means. [...] We have to act brutally. The Germans don't want any of that. ”The latter referred to the Oder-Neisse line . "Only gave the British and Russians green light, Mitterrand added reluctantly." Mitterrand had carbon to the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher even in the vicinity of Adolf Hitler moved, claiming that Germany had "never his true limits" found. The "sudden mental shock" of a possible reunification made the Germans back to the old, "bad" Germans.

Sir Christopher Mallaby , who was British Ambassador to Bonn in 1989 , confirmed this fact and at the same time the fact that Mitterrand was politically considerably more clever than Thatcher in the same issue of the magazine: "Yes, Mitterrand's role is very interesting [...], said privately he is much more extreme than Mrs. Thatcher. But outwardly he was neutral. But if you read the minutes […] you will get another impression: Mitterrand said these things to Thatcher in the hope that she would repeat publicly what he himself did not want to say openly. "

Mitterrand's handwritten notes on the press conference that took place after the special meeting of the European Council on November 18, 1989 in the Élysée Palace show his assessments of European actors and German reunification. Mitterrand wrote among other things: "The German question is a European question".

Private life

Their son Pascal (* / † 1945), who died as an infant, emerged from the marriage with his wife Danielle Gouze , their other children are Jean-Christophe (* 1946) and Gilbert (* 1949).

Mitterrand's country estate in Latche ( Département Landes ) in Gascony in southwestern France was legendary . He bought it in 1965, spent many summers there and made political friends there. Here, after the fall of the Berlin Wall , Chancellor Helmut Kohl tried to get Mitterrand's approval for the German reunification process .

Mazarine Pingeot-Mitterrand 2006

Very close by, in Hossegor , in 1961 he met Anne Pingeot (* 1943), who would later become an art historian . Mitterrand was 46 years old at the time and Pingeot 18. From 1962 she was Mitterrand's unofficial partner, she remained hidden from the public until 1994. They had a daughter together, Mazarine Pingeot (* 1974). During Mitterrand's tenure, his new family lived unofficially at 11 Quai Branly, a government building about 1½ kilometers from the Élysée Palace , which in the past had housed close associates of the presidents.

Traditionally, he spent Christmas with his partner and daughter in Upper Egypt, and the New Year celebrations in Latche.

In October 2016, with great sympathy from the French public, the more than 1200 letters that Mitterrand and Anne Pingeot had written during the 33 years of their relationship were published in book form. The correspondence showed that the two had an intense love affair until Mitterrand's death.

Retirement and death

Mitterrand did not run for the presidential election in April / May 1995 after two terms in office . Lionel Jospin ran for the PS . Jospin lost in the runoff election with 47.36% to 52.64% against Jacques Chirac , who thus became president.

Mitterrand died in January 1996 of prostate cancer , which had been diagnosed before he took office in 1981 and which he kept secret from the public for years with false medical documents. In 1974, after the sudden death of Georges Pompidou, the regulation was introduced that regular bulletins on the state of health of the President were published. Mitterrand's doctors had predicted a maximum of three more years of life for him in 1981.

A requiem was given on January 11, 1996 by Cardinal Lustiger in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de Paris . Among the numerous mourners from all over the world were 61 heads of state and other top politicians, including Boris Jelzin , Al Gore , John Major , Prince Charles , Helmut Kohl , Jacques Chirac , Shimon Peres , Vaclav Havel , Rainier III , Fidel Castro and Yasser Arafat .

Mitterrand's grave is in the Jarnac cemetery .

Reception after death

In May 2011, many French people in France commemorated Mitterrand's election victory 30 years earlier with 150 events and an open-air concert on the Place de la Bastille in Paris . It is "ubiquitous in France these days: in special programs and books, on newspaper titles, stamps and T-shirts".

Mitterrand was ironically referred to as "Sphinx" or even "Dieu" ("God") because of his style of government . It was recognized that he decentralized the country, nationalized some of the key industries and banks, abolished the death penalty , allowed free radio and introduced a minimum wage and family allowances (Caisse d'allocations familiales) . He enforced the latter, although France was stuck in a difficult economic situation with high unemployment and inflation in the 1980s .

In addition, he managed to unite the left (who were by no means fully behind him at first): “Today it is above all this achievement that numerous French socialists emphasize, indeed conjure up. In a kind of 'Mitterrandmania', mixed with nostalgia, the PS is hoping for a similar dynamic to the presidential elections in the coming year [2012] and is betting on taking power again after 14 years of opposition. [...] In order to legitimize themselves, declared and potential candidates outbid each other almost in claiming Mitterrand's political legacy. [...] Ségolène Royal is most clearly betting on the Mitterrand card. "

In 2007, the conservative newspaper Le Figaro criticized the “Mitterrand mania” and wrote: “At a time when Reagan, Thatcher and Kohl were making their countries fit for the future, France continued an unbelievable series of gross economic mistakes for which the bill still has to be paid today. Retire at 60? Twenty years later, the Ministry of Finance estimates that this measure cost France 200 billion euros. Mass recruitment in the public sector? Another 100 billion euros. […] 35-hour week? [...] 100 billion euros. Future generations will not look back at Mitterrand with grateful eyes. ”These social policy measures in particular are causing conflict: representatives of the left regard them as great achievements of the French welfare state, while the conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy has canceled many of these achievements since the beginning of his term in office together, they harmed economic development and put a strain on the budget.

In 2005 - 20 years after the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior - then intelligence chief Pierre Lacoste told the AFP news agency that Mitterrand had been privy to the plan.

In the award-winning film Last Days in the Elysée ( César 2006 ) by director Robert Guédiguian , Michel Bouquet embodies the terminally ill Mitterrand in his last days in office.

The French singer Renaud Séchan wrote a touching song with Baltique about Mitterrand's funeral mass in Jarnac. Baltique, Mitterrand's dog, mourns his master, whose funeral mass he is not allowed to attend.

The political scientist Olivier Duhamel characterized Mitterrand as a “passionate power politician” who was “always a political opportunist and a political artist at the same time”. Mitterrand had "led French socialism out of the permanent opposition, where under Jean Jaurès and Léon Blum it persisted in the purity of the ethics of conviction instead of proving itself in the ethics of responsibility ."

Other offices

As French President, François Mitterrand was ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra .


Works by François Mitterrand

  • 1939 Pluie amie
  • 1940 Premier Accord
  • 1945 Les Prisonniers de guerre devant la politique , Éditions du Rond-Point
  • 1953 Aux frontières de l'Union française. Indochine-Tunisie , Editions Julliard
  • 1957 Présence française et abandon , Éditions Plon
  • 1961 La Chine au défi , Éditions Julliard
  • 1964 Le Coup d'État permanent, Les débats de notre temps , Éditions Plon
  • 1969 Ma part de vérité (livre d'entretiens avec Alain Duhamel), Éditions Fayard
  • 1971 Un socialisme du possible , éd. you Seuil
  • 1971 La Convention des institutions républicaines: François Mitterrand et le socialisme , Paris, Presses universitaires de France, 1971, 92- [1] p. (textes recueillis par Danièle Loschark)
  • 1973 La Rose au poing , Éditions Groupe Flammarion
  • 1974 L'Homme, les Idées, le Program , Éditions Groupe Flammarion
  • 1975 La Paille et le Grain , Éditions Groupe Flammarion, German under the title Chaff and Wheat. From the French by Ewald Schepper, tuduv, Munich 1977, ISBN 3-88073-032-6
  • 1977 Politique I , Éditions Fayard
  • 1978 L'Abeille et l'Architecte , Éditions Groupe Flammarion
  • 1980 Ici et maintenant (livre d'entretiens avec Guy Claisse), Éditions Fayard. The title of the German translation is Der Sieg der Rose , Econ-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1981, ISBN 3-430-16759-0
  • 1981 Politique II , Editions Fayard
  • 1983 La Paille et le grain Librairie Générale Française - Livre de Poche. ISBN 978-2-253-03217-5 (personal chronicle from 1971 to summer 1974). 1992: La Paille et le grain: Chronique , Éditions Groupe Flammarion, ISBN 978-2-08-060778-2
  • 1986 Réflexions sur la politique extérieure de la France . Introduction à vingt-cinq discours (1981–1985), Éditions Fayard, ISBN 978-2-905541-10-9
  • 1995 Mémoire à deux voix (with Elie Wiesel ), Éditions Odile Jacob. ISBN 2-7381-0283-2
  • 1996 De l'Allemagne, de la France , Editions Odile Jacob
  • 1996 Mémoires interrompus (autobiographical conversations with Georges-Marc Benamou). Éditions Odile Jacob, appeared shortly after his death
  • 1997 Un livre consacré à Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte ( Napoléon III ) a été en preparation chez Gallimard , cf. "Faut-il réhabiliter Napoléon III?", Dossier de la revue L'Histoire , no. 211 June 1997
  • 1998 Les Forces de l'esprit , messages pour demain, Éditions Fayard. ISBN 978-2-213-60070-3
  • 2006 Le Bureau de poste de la rue Dupin et autres entretiens , with Marguerite Duras , Éditions Gallimard


  • 1972 Front des progressistes et crise de la démocratie , par Léo Collard , Éditions Francité
  • 1975 Les Fiancés de Pénélope. Conversation with Denis Bourgeois , by Mikis Theodorakis , Editions Grasset
  • 1976 Liberté, libertés. Réflexions du Comité pour une charte des libertés , sous la direction de Robert Badinter , Editions Gallimard
  • 1977 Histoire du Socialisme en France , drawn by Paul Gillon , Éditions Service de l'Homme, foreword by Pierre Mauroy . ISBN 978-2-902648-02-3
  • 1989 Philippe Noiret , by Dominique Maillet, Editions Henri Veyrie
  • 1994 Henri Guillemin le passionné , by Maurice Maringue, Éditions de l'Armançon
  • 1995 La Mort intime , by Marie de Hennezel , Editions Robert Laffont


  • March 31, 1974 François Mitterrand parle de François Mauriac –- Une legende une vie , Mitterrand speaks with François Mauriac, duration 89 seconds, Vidéo Art et Culture Littérature - Archives vidéos Art et Culture Littérature
  • 2000, documentary by Patrick Rotman : François Mitterrand ou le roman du pouvoir.


  • Serge Berstein, Pierre Milza and Jean-Louis Bianco: Les Années Mitterrand, les années du changement , Paris, Éditions Perrin, 2001.
  • Hélène Myard-Delacroix: Unbroken Continuity: François Mitterrand and the German Chancellors Helmut Schmidt and Helmut Kohl, 1981–1984 . Quarterly Issues for Contemporary History , Volume 44, 1999, Issue 4, October, pp. 539–558 ( PDF ).
  • Pierre Favier and Michel Martin-Roland: La Décennie Mitterrand , Éditions du Seuil, Paris, 1995–1999
  • Franz-Olivier Giesbert: François Mitterrand: une vie , Éditions du Seuil, Paris 1996, ISBN 2-02-029760-4 .
  • Ulrich Lappenküper : Mitterrand and Germany. The riddled Sphinx . Oldenbourg-Verlag, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-486-70511-9 .
  • Ali Magoudi: Rendez-vous: La psychanalyse de François Mitterrand. ISBN 2-35004-038-0 .
  • Michel Martin-Roland (Ed.): Il faut laisser le temps au temps: les mots de François Mitterrand , Éditions Hors Collection, Paris 1995, ISBN 2-258-04029-9 .
  • François Mitterrand and Georges-Marc Benamou: Mémoires interrompus . Jacob, Paris 1996, ISBN 2-7381-0402-9 .
  • Jean Montaldo: Mitterrand and the 40 robbers . Bettendorf, Essen 1994, ISBN 3-88498-082-3 .
  • Brigitte Sauzay , Rudolf von Thadden (ed.): Mitterrand and the Germans . Genshagener Talks, Wallstein, Göttingen 1998
  • Tilo Schabert : How world history is made. France and German unity . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-608-94257-2 ; Mitterrand et la réunification allemande. Une histoire secrète. 1981-1995 . Editions Grasset, Paris 2005.
  • Ernst Seidl : La Grande Arche de La Défense in Paris : Form - Power - Sense. Kovac, Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3-86064-702-4 .
  • Hubert Védrine : Les Mondes de François Mitterrand. A l'Élysée, 1981-1995 . Éditions Fayard, Paris 1996, ISBN 2-213-59621-2 .


  • Homage to François Mitterrand . TV documentary by Jean-Michel Meurice and Fabrizio Calvi (arte, 2001)
  • François Mitterrand. A lasting after-reputation. 88-minute television documentary by William Karel (Arte, France 2015)

Web links

Commons : François Mitterrand  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. see "Archives des Sciences politiques, François Mitterrand aux côtés de son camarade de promotion Jean Kreitmann, en 1937".
  2. Michael Bar-Zohar, Bitter Scent: The Case of L'Oréal, Nazis, and the Arab Boycott. Dutton Books, London 1996, p. 264 ff.
  3. ^ Jean Lacouture: Mitterrand, une histoire de Français . Éditions du Seuil, “Points”, pp. 46–48.
  4. Ulrike Hospes: Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl and French President Francois Mitterrand shake hands in Verdun.
  5. How François Mitterand once tried to escape from Ziegenhain
  6. Aurélie Lebelle: François Mitterrand à la découverte de la "patience" chinoise. Report on Franco-Chinese relations. In: September 12, 2007.
  7. see also English Wikipedia
  8. Jacques Mitterrand: La politique des francs-maçons . Editions Roblot, Paris, 1973, pp. 21-29.
  9. a b c d Sylvie Stephan: Socialists in the shadow of Mitterrand. In: RP Online . May 11, 2011.
  10. History of the Minitel .
  11. Klaus Wiegrefe : What Brandt thought about Mitterrand - and preferred to keep quiet ( February 9, 2013)
  12. Der Spiegel 37/1984: Dear people
  13. Completely sick . In: Der Spiegel . No. 29 , 1988, pp. 126-127 ( Online - July 18, 1988 ).
  14. Jeffrey Sachs and Charles Wyplosz: The Economic Consequences of President Mitterrand. In: Economic Policy. Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 261-322 (1986).
  15. a b Catherine Field: 'Third team' in Rainbow Warrior plot. In: The New Zealand Herald . June 30, 2005.
  16. Christoph Gunkel: Kohl and Mitterrand in Verdun: History to touch. In: Spiegel Online . September 22, 2009.
  17. Ulrich Wickert: Kohl and Mitterrand in Verdun: Why did they shake hands? In: FAZ.NET . September 25, 2009, ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed January 15, 2018]).
  18. In: Rheinische Post. May 28, 2011, p. A6.
  19. Ulrich Wickert , then ARD correspondent in France, wrote the same thing in 2009 in an article for the FAZ: ( Why did they shake hands? September 25, 2009)
  20. Ulrich Wickert: Kohl and Mitterrand in Verdun: Why did they shake hands? In: FAZ.NET . September 25, 2009, ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed January 15, 2018]).
  21. Benjamin Korn : Death of a Murderer. About René Bousquet, Vichy police chief and confidante of Mitterrand. P. 43. In: Lettre International . Issue 89, Berlin 2010, pp. 40–43.
  22. ^ Henry Rousso: Le syndrome de Vichy. Paris 1987, p. 366.
  23. Armin Mitter and Klaus Wiegrefe : Brothers in the Spirit . In: Der Spiegel . No. 18 , 2010, p. 38 ( Online - May 3, 2010 ).
  24. Mitterrand: About Germany. 1996.
  25. Mitterrand asked for euros in return for the unit. In: Spiegel Online . September 25, 2010, accessed July 10, 2011.
  26. Interview with film director Patrick Barbéris. ( Memento from December 9, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) In: Arte Info . May 4, 2011, accessed December 7, 2014.
  27. The digitized photo at from September 1984 ( Memento from December 24, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  28. The real Mitterrand . In: Focus . November 9, 2009, p. 11.
  29. a b Imke Henkel: "Secretly very helpful". One insider recalls: what Kohl, Thatcher and Mitterrand really did for the unity. Interview with the then British ambassador in Bonn. In: Focus. November 9, 2009.
  31. ^ Tilo Schabert : How world history is made , Stuttgart 2002, p. 414.
  32. latches, la bergerie landaise de François Mitterrand
  33. Judith Perrignon: Mazarine: une Mitterrand, de l'ombre à la lumière à petits pas La fille de l'ancien président vivait, ainsi que sa mère, dans la discretion. François Mitterrand n'a pas voulu qu'elles restent anonymes , Liberation , January 12, 1996
  34. Jürg Altwegg: France indulges in Mitterand's letters to his beloved. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, October 8, 2016, accessed on October 16, 2016 .
  35. ^ Ernst Weisenfeld : History of France since 1945. From de Gaulle to the present. 3rd, completely revised and updated edition, Beck, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-406-42007-9 , here p. 338.
  36. Christopher Burns: Mitterrand Funeral in the Heart of Paris and in Deep Rural France. Retrieved August 8, 2019 .
  37. Against Mitterrand mania
  38. Renaud Séchan, Alain Lanty: Baltique (chanson), Boucan d'enfer (album) . 2002.
  39. “He was always going up” Der Spiegel , October 17, 1994, accessed on February 23, 2021
  41. Le onorificenze della Repubblica Italiana. Retrieved August 23, 2019 .
  42. Suomen Valkoisen Ruusun ritarikunnan suurristin ketjuineen ulkomaalaiset saajat. Retrieved August 23, 2019 .
  43. a b ENTIDADES ESTRANGEIRAS AGRACIADAS COM ORDENS PORTUGUESAS - Página Oficial the Order of Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved August 23, 2019 .
  44. Archived copy ( Memento from June 30, 2017 in the Internet Archive )
  45. FG Forrest, as, 2015: List of Honored. Accessed August 23, 2019 .
  46. Vidéo Ina - François Mitterrand parle de François Mauriac, vidéo Art et Culture Littérature - Archives vidéos Art et Culture Littérature: .
predecessor government office successor
Léon Martinaud-Déplat Minister of the Interior of France
June 19, 1954 to February 23, 1955
Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury
Robert Schuman Minister of Justice of France
February 1, 1956 to June 13, 1957
Edouard Corniglion-Molinier