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

By John F. Sweets

Post-World conflict II scholarship and flicks just like the Sorrow and the Pity have often changed the previous Gaullist proposal of common resistance, and cultivated the impact that the French may possibly were a "nation of collaborators," embracing the dream of a brand new authoritarian order in France as embodied via 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. chocolates has produced an insightful reappraisal of French existence through the struggle at Clermont-Ferrand, the biggest city close to the occupational capital of Vichy, and the very environment of The Sorrow and the Pity. Having completely tested city files, documents, and manuscripts, the writer reconstructs occupational trade, schooling, media, and attitudes, conserving that, opposite to well known opinion, nearly all of French have been faraway from collaborationist. offerings in Vichy France info the results 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 lifestyles was once like within the zone for the German, the Jew, the Communist, and the fascist, in addition to the French lots, this provocative publication opens a remarkably transparent window onto an period of heritage usually fraught with false impression and suspicion.

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94 Moreover , th e com missioner emphasize d tha t oppositio n t o the relev e was by no mean s con fined to workers , observing : "Le t m e underlin e onc e mor e th e ful l con cordance o f view s of management and worker s with regar d t o th e releve . " 95 Michelin' s directors wer e singled out a s particularly activ e in cooperatin g wit h workers to sabotag e th e releve. 96 After th e liberatio n a man wh o ha d bee n amon g thos e responsibl e fo r supervising the STO in the region claime d that a Free French radi o broad cast from London , congratulatin g the young men of the Auvergne for thei r low rate of compliance with the labor draft , ha d create d problems fo r loca l officials wit h the occupatio n authorities.

Uncertai n employment ; shortage s o f food , clothing , an d most consume r goods ; restricte d mobility ; unwelcom e regulation s an d controls fro m bot h Germa n occupatio n authoritie s and thei r ow n govern ment; an d othe r problem s contribute d t o th e disconten t o f mos t Frenc h citizens. Although it was probably too much to expec t that the French (or anyone els e fo r tha t matter ) woul d hav e accepte d thes e condition s wit h War, Occupation, and Society 29 good humor , th e materia l discomfor t of th e occupatio n era , possibl y eve n the dislocatio n cause d b y th e STO , migh t hav e been endure d stoicall y a s the unfortunat e bu t unavoidabl e consequenc e o f th e disastrou s military defeat o f 1940 .

70 Wha t was to b e don e abou t it ? From time to time the Vichy regime attempted to crack down on the blac k market, an d i n a give n month , th e numbe r o f arrests , fines , an d intern ments fo r black-marketeerin g migh t b e impressive. 71 I n Januar y 194 3 police at Clermont-Ferran d rushe d t o th e municipa l theate r t o war n Jea n Maupoint, a popular entertainer , tha t h e absolutel y coul d no t sin g verse s with reference s t o th e blac k market . Maupoin t ha d improvise d a son g entitled, "Ol d Memories : Lette r fro m a Clermontois in 195 3 to on e o f his Parisian friend s wh o long ag o (1943 ) wa s a refuge e i n th e Auvergne, " which included thi s refrain : In that sad time long ago We bought on e evening A beautiful ha m 3000 francs on the Black Market .

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