René Fonjallaz was from a well-known family of Swiss wine growers from the Lavaux region in the canton of Vaud on the shores of Lake Leman (Genève). His father Arthur Fonjallaz was the founder of the Swiss Fascist Movement, and René was also very active in the movement. Fonjallaz worked as a journalist and wrote a number of books, some under the pen name M.-F. Ené. In addition to his participation in the 1928 Winter Olympics, Fonjallaz was a member of the Swiss crew that won the silver medal in the four-man bob at the 1931 World Championships, although his team had an accident during a test run, which left him unconscious for several minutes.
During World War II, Fonjallaz was a member of the French Fascist party Parti Populaire Français (PPF) and worked in France supporting the Vichy regime of Marshal Pétain. Back in Switzerland in 1947, he was accused of collaboration with the Germans and sentenced to three years in prison. In 1950, he sold his house in St. Moritz, which his father had won in a lottery at the local museum, emigrated to the island of Ibiza in General Franco’s Spain, and opened a restaurant.