Édition de la correspondance entre Marc Boegner et Valdo Durrleman (La Cause), septembre 1940-juillet 1943

This correspondence relates to the Protestant radio programs broadcast by La Cause from October 1940 to July 1943 on French national radio, under the supervision of Maréchal Pétain’s Vichy-based government. The letters were exchanged between pastor Marc Boegner, president of the Fédération Protestante de France, and the young pastor Valdo Durrleman, who at the time was General Secretary of La Cause in Montpellier and in charge of its radio broadcasts. The background is a pre-war dispute between La Cause and the Fédération Protestante de France over responsibility for the weekly Protestant radio broadcasts. La Cause had created these broadcasts in 1928 and coordinated them from that date until this responsibility was transferred to the Fédération Protestante de France in 1937, with La Cause only retaining a single broadcast per month. The correspondence published here reveals that there was disagreement on the type of broadcasts aired by La Cause. According to Boegner, these were not religious broadcasts, and he on several occasions reminded his La Cause counterpart of the obligation to abide by a liturgical framework. The correspondence also highlights the omnipresence of the governmental departments of the Vichy regime, and shows Boegner attempting to moderate their response, while seeing to it that their orders were properly transmitted, even agreeing to exercise prior censorship on the content of the broadcasts on the behalf of the Vichy regime. In spite of his efforts, Boegner was unable to avert the broadcasting ban imposed on Valdo Durrleman after reading, in a December 1942 broadcast, a text from Isaiah, which the director of national broadcasting understood as an allusion to the contemporary situation facing the Jews.