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France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944 by Julian Jackson

By Julian Jackson

This is often the 1st accomplished learn of the German career of France among 1940 and 1944. the writer examines the character and quantity of collaboration and resistance, varied reports of profession, the persecution of the Jews, highbrow and cultural lifestyles lower than career, and the purge trials that undefined. He concludes by means of tracing the legacy and reminiscence of the career considering 1945. Taking in usual peoples' reviews, this quantity uncovers the conflicting stories of profession which make sure that even this day France keeps to discuss the legacy of the Vichy years.

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4 The third quotation comes from the journal of the Catholic philosopher Emmanuel Mounier who was, when he penned these words in October 1940, a qualified supporter of the Vichy regime. 6 The final quotation comes from a study published in 1942 by the Resistance movement OCM: The Jewish minority, concentrated in some big centres and represented in political, intellectual, and financial milieux is active and very much in evidence … Antisemitism … remains universal even in liberal countries. 7 A pro-Pétainist resister; a pro-British and anti-German Pétainist; a pro-Jewish Pétainist; two anti-Semitic resisters: these are not the categories we might expect.

The first concentrated primarily on the nature of the regime; the second on public opinion and the reactions of different social groups; the third on the interactions between regime and society. The first phase was inaugurated by the publication in 1972 of Robert Paxton’s Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, 1940–1944 (translated into French a year later). 38 But his second book caused outrage in some quarters in France, not least at the presumption of a 41-year-old American lecturing the French about their past.

In 1940, after a battle lasting only six weeks, France suffered a catastrophic military defeat. An armistice was signed with Germany, and half of France, including Paris, was occupied by German troops. In the other half, a supposedly independent French government, headed by Marshal Pétain, installed itself in the spa town of Vichy. The Vichy government liquidated France’s democratic institutions, persecuted Freemasons, Jews, and Communists, and embarked on a policy of collaboration with Germany.

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