Laval file photo [815]

Pierre Laval

Given NamePierre
Born28 Jun 1883
Died15 Oct 1945


ww2dbasePierre Laval was born in Châteldon in the Puy-de-Dôme département of the Auvergne region of France. He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1903, major of Aubervilliers in 1924, and Senator in 1927. He served three terms as Prime Minister of France in the 1930s. His career of the 1930s was marked by his appeasement policy toward Italian aggression, which ultimately led to his resignation on 22 Jan 1936 after the Hoare-Laval Pact scandal. When France became occupied by German forces, he supported the collaborationist Philippe Pétain and was named Vice Premier on 12 Jul 1940 then Prime Minister on 18 April 1942 (with additional roles as Information Minister, Interior Minister, and Foreign Minister). As the second-in-command of the Vichy government, he was friendly toward Berlin and cooperated with German demands in terms of policy, including anti-Semitic policies and the export of forced French labor to German munitions factories. When the Allied forces invaded France, the Vichy government fled to Germany, where it fell apart as the Allied forces continued to advance. In May 1945 Laval fled to Spain, but was deported to Austria where he was turned in to the French. He was found guilty of treason against France and was sentenced to death by firing squad. He attempted a suicide at Fresnes prison the day of his execution, but failed as his cyanide capsule had lost its potency. His sentence was carried out with him still sick and vomiting from the cyanide.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jun 2006

Pierre Laval Interactive Map


Pierre Laval and Aold Hitler at Berghof, Berchtesgaden, Germany, 29 Apr 1943

Pierre Laval Timeline

28 Jun 1883 Pierre Laval was born.
27 Jan 1931 Pierre Laval became the 101st Prime Minister of France.
20 Feb 1932 Pierre Laval stepped down as the Prime Minister of France.
7 Jun 1935 Pierre Laval became the 112th Prime Minister of France.
24 Jan 1936 Pierre Laval stepped down as the Prime Minister of France.
11 Jul 1940 Pierre Laval became the 120th Prime Minister of France with the title of the Vice President of the Council.
28 Oct 1940 Pierre Laval became the Foreign Minister of Vichy France.
13 Dec 1940 Pierre Laval was dismissed as the Vice President of the Council, which in effect was the Prime Minister of France. He was placed under arrest shortly after.
15 Dec 1940 Pierre Laval was freed from imprisonment.
8 Feb 1941 Philippe PĂ©tain offered Pierre Laval a cabinet seat in the Vichy government, but the offer was declined.
25 May 1941 Pierre Laval criticized the Vichy French government during an interview with American journalist Ralph Heinzen in Paris, France.
25 Aug 1941 Pierre Laval was shot four times by student Paul Collete as he saw off French volunteers going off to fight with the Germans in Russia. Laval survived the assassination attempt, but was seriously wounded particularly by a bullet that penetrated his body about an inch from his heart.
26 Aug 1941 Paul Collete was arrested after shooting and wounding Pierre Laval; Laval would recommend giving Collete a light sentence, citing that the young man was likely only a pawn used by more senior plotters behind the scenes.
30 Sep 1941 Pierre Laval was discharged from the hospital after recovering from the wounds sustained during the unsuccessful assassination attempt against him on 25 Aug 1941.
26 Mar 1942 French politician Pierre Laval warned Chief of State Philippe PĂ©tain that it was important to cooperate with the Germans to avoid Berlin from appointing a Nazi Party Gauleiter for Vichy France.
14 Apr 1942 Pierre Laval was named Chief of Government with special powers in Vichy France.
18 Apr 1942 Pierre Laval became the 123rd Prime Minister of France.
18 Nov 1942 Marshal Philippe PĂ©tain signed a constitutional document permitting Prime Minister Pierre Laval to make laws and issue decrees on his own signature only.
29 Apr 1943 Adolf Hitler met with French Prime Minister Pierre Laval and Italian Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Giuseppe Bastianini at Berghof
20 Aug 1944 Pierre Laval stepped down as the Prime Minister of France.
31 Jul 1945 Pierre Laval surrendered in Austria.
15 Oct 1945 Pierre Laval was executed for treason.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
3 Jun 2014 08:44:35 AM

No mention of French pow swap for French workers sent to germany

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Search WW2DB
More on Pierre Laval
Event(s) Participated:
» Hoare-Laval Pact

Related Books:
» Americans in Paris

Pierre Laval Photo Gallery
Pierre Laval and Aold Hitler at Berghof, Berchtesgaden, Germany, 29 Apr 1943

Famous WW2 Quote
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!