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: France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944
: Julian Jackson
: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199254575
: 2003
: 688
:
: epub, pdf (conv)
: 10.17 MB

This is the first comprehensive study of the German occupation of France between 1940 and 1944. The author examines the nature and extent of collaboration and resistance, different experiences of Occupation, the persecution of the Jews, intellectual and cultural life under Occupation, and the purge trials that followed. He concludes by tracing the legacy and memory of the Occupation since 1945. Taking in ordinary peoples' experiences, this volume uncovers the conflicting memories of occupation which ensure that even today France continues to debate the legacy of the Vichy years.

In France, the period between 1940 and 1944 is known as the Dark Years. The prosecutor at the post-war trial of Marshal Petain, Andre Mornet, entitled his memoirs Four Years to Erase from our History. There was a lot to erase. 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 Petain, installed itself in the spa town of Vichy. The Vichy government liquidated Frances democratic institutions, persecuted Freemasons, Jews, and Communists, and embarked on a policy of collaboration with Germany. Eventually 650,000 civilian French workers were compulsorily drafted to work in German factories; 75,000 Jews from France perished in Auschwitz; 30,000 French civilians were shot as hostages or members of the Resistance; another 60,000 were deported to German concentration camps.

France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944









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