Bad Faith tells the story of one of history's most despicable villains and conmen - Louis Darquier 'de Pellepoix', Nazi collaborator and 'Commissioner for Jewish Affairs', who managed the Vichy
government's dirty work, 'controlling' its Jewish population.
Born into an established, politically moderate family, Louis Darquier ('de Pellepoix' was a later affectation) proceeded from modest beginnings to dissemble his way to power, continually reinventing himself in conformity with an obsession with racial purity and the latent anti-Semitism of the French Catholic Church. As Commissioner for Jewish Affairs he was responsible, with other men of Vichy, for the despatch of Jews to the death camps and for the confiscation of their property. Thousands of children went alone to the gas chambers. After the Second World War he decamped to Spain, never to be brought to justice.
Early on in his career he married the alcoholic Myrtle Jones from Tasmania, equally practised in the arts of fantasy and deception, and together they had a child, Anne Darquier, whom they promptly abandoned to grow up in England under a mantle of silence. Her tragic story is woven through the narrative.
In Carmen Callil's masterful, harrowing and sometimes darkly comic account, Darquier's ascent to power during the years leading up to the Second World War mirrors the rise of French anti-Semitism. Epic, elegiac, the product of extraordinary research, this is a study in powerlessness, hatred and the role of remembrance.