Jacques Brel's song commemorates, in this WW1 Centenary Year, a forgotten hero of the war, Jean Jaures, the French Socialist leader. He advocated a policy of "peace through arbitration" as hostilities fermented. The Socialist Party under Jaurés grew rapidly at the beginning of the century but split over the correct response to German militarism. Jaurés advocated a policy of international arbitration whereas others supported the Triple Entente. During the war fever that swept through Europe during the summer of 1914, Jaurés continued to argue for peaceful negotiations between the European governments. He emphasised that miners, agricultural workers and manual labourers on both sides had more in common than the forces dividing them. On 31st July, 1914, Jean Jaurés was assassinated by a young French nationalist who wanted war with Germany :
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