Michel Kerautret: Un crime d’État sous l’Empire. L’affaire Palm (A Crime of State during the Empire: The Palm affair)

Un crime d’État sous l’Empire – L’affaire Palm, Michel Kerautret © Vendémiaire, 2016

On the morning of 26 August 1806, Johann Philipp Palm, a bookseller at Nuremberg, was shot by French soldiers in the Prussian town of Braunau. He was forty years old. He was accused of having favored the publication of a libel hostile to the occupying troops, a real call to civil resistance against the invader; and, most probably also the author. The execution decision, taken by Napoleon himself, nourished an anti-French feeling of extreme virulence that became exacerbated throughout the nineteenth century. And led to a German nationalism of which Europe would undergo the terrible shockwaves. So, was the Palm affair, more than a crime of state, a political mistake with incalculable consequences?

Paris: Editions of the Fondation Napoléon – Vendémiaire Éditions, coll. 19th century library, February 2016

Michel Kerautret‘s main area of study has been 18th-century Prussia and international relations in the Napoleonic era. He has published notably Les Grands Traités du Consulat et de l’Empire (The Great Treaties of the Consulate and the Empire, 2004), Histoire de la Prusse (History of Prussia, 2005), and co-edited three of the volumes de la Correspondance générale de Napoléon Bonaparte (2008, 2009 et 2011).