Download Choices in Vichy France: The French Under Nazi Occupation by John F. Sweets PDF

By John F. Sweets

Post-World conflict II scholarship and movies just like the Sorrow and the Pity have usually changed the outdated Gaullist suggestion of frequent resistance, and cultivated the effect that the French might were a "nation of collaborators," embracing the dream of a brand new authoritarian order in France as embodied by means of the puppet Vichy regime of Marshall Petain, and hindering the community of the French Underground.
From facts amassed in France, Germany, and England, John F. candies has produced an insightful reappraisal of French lifestyles through the conflict at Clermont-Ferrand, the biggest city close to the occupational capital of Vichy, and the very surroundings of The Sorrow and the Pity. Having completely tested city data, files, and manuscripts, the writer reconstructs occupational trade, schooling, media, and attitudes, keeping that, opposite to well known opinion, nearly all of French have been faraway from collaborationist. offerings in Vichy France info the consequences upon society of struggle, oppression, internment, rationing, aryanization, and propaganda, portray a portrait of the wartime French that lies someplace among the extremes of outright resistance and enthusiastic collaborationism. With illustrative examples of what daily existence used to be like within the area for the German, the Jew, the Communist, and the fascist, in addition to the French plenty, this provocative publication opens a remarkably transparent window onto an period of heritage frequently fraught with false impression and suspicion.

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I t wa s no acciden t that the names of the two most prominent founders of the Frenc h Socialis t Party, Jule s Guesd e an d Jea n Jaures , alon g wit h tha t o f Emil e Combes , one o f th e mos t importan t anticlerica l figure s i n moder n Frenc h history , were th e one s chose n b y th e prefec t fo r eliminatio n fro m th e street s o f Clermont-Ferrand. Th e ne w regim e sough t t o restor e Catholicis m t o a prominent rol e in the public an d private life o f French citizen s and hoped , with a melang e o f planning , corporatism , an d paternalism , t o seduc e th e working clas s awa y fro m it s traditiona l attachmen t t o pacifism , interna tionalism, an d socialism .

Most of these letters concerned matters o f foo d suppl y o r th e blac k market , an d thei r author s ofte n sug gested that the persons in question were communists or Jews. In later stages of th e occupation th e German police offered 500 0 francs fo r the denuncia tion o f force d labo r draf t deserter s o r person s involve d in th e resistance . The Frenc h polic e di d no t encourag e anonymou s denunciations , i n par t because th e majorit y o f suc h tips , upo n investigation , wer e reveale d t o have originate d i n personal jealousie s o r commercia l rivalrie s an d seldo m led th e polic e t o th e discover y o f seriou s crimina l behavior .

56 If th e Clermontoi s complaine d mos t ofte n abou t foo d shortage s an d th e poor qualit y of th e foo d they di d receive—b y Februar y 194 3 th e "coffee " they wer e drinkin g was onl y 1 0 percen t coffee 57—shortages o f othe r con sumer item s wer e equall y severe , i f les s critica l fro m a healt h standpoint . Particularly durin g the harvestin g season, but throughou t th e yea r as well, local authoritie s registere d complaint s abou t restriction s o n wine , an d tobacco shortage s infuriate d smokers .

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