Strongly influenced by Mosley and Beamish’s activities in England (Mosley founded the British Union of Fascists while Beamish served as the vice president of the Imperial Fascist League), Arcand spewed out hatred for decades to eager audiences. Now a first biography has appeared by historian and journalist Jean-François Nadeau, “Adrien Arcand, Canadian Führer” (Lux Éditeur).
The author of a 2009 study about the ultra-nationalist French historian Robert Rumilly, Nadeau has chosen yet another subject illustrating the extent to which brutal prejudice can inspire political allegiance.
Arcand learned xenophobia from his father, a Quebec labor activist who led campaigns against the tiny population of immigrant Chinese workers. Launching his own newspaper, Le Goglu (The Bobolink), in 1930, the younger Arcand alleged that Montreal’s most dangerous criminals were Jewish, while in 1932 he urged imprisoning Canadian Jews in ghettos, following Europe’s precedent.