(1856-1951), French marshal and statesman. In W.O.I he gained great renown as a defender of Verdun, where the Germans were defeated. When W.O.II erupted, he was an envoy to Spain. Prime Minister Reynaud, when the French defeat seemed inevitable, called him back to France and appointed him deputy prime minister on 18 May 1940. When Reynaud resigned a month later, Petain became prime minister and in this position the armistice with Germany concluded. The French Government settled in Vichy, where on 10 July the National Assembly appointed Petain 'Chef d'Etat', head of state with almost dictatorial power of attorney. Petain was a man of 'law and order', he detested the French decadence. An ardent anti-Semite, he regarded the Jews as the culprits of France's defeat. The anti-Jewish measures taken by the Petain government in the unoccupied part of France were initially sharper than in the occupied territory. In 1942, he was re-appointed prime minister by the Germans. With that, Petain disappeared into the background. When Vichy France was occupied by the Germans in November 1942, Petain's role was completely played out, even though he remained head of state in his name. In the summer of 1944 he was transferred by the Germans to Sigmaringen Castle in Germany. After the war he voluntarily returned to France, where he was sentenced to death for collaboration. De Gaulle changed this sentence to life imprisonment, after which Petain was transferred to the island of Yeu, where he died in captivity.