Vichy France

Vichy France

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Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

 and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic
Provisional Government of the French Republic
The Provisional Government of the French Republic was an interim government which governed France from 1944 to 1946, following the fall of Vichy France and prior to the Fourth French Republic....

. It officially called itself the French State (État Français), in contrast with the previous designation, the French Republic.

Marshal
Marshal of France
The Marshal of France is a military distinction in contemporary France, not a military rank. It is granted to generals for exceptional achievements...

 Philippe Pétain
Philippe Pétain
Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain , generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain , was a French general who reached the distinction of Marshal of France, and was later Chief of State of Vichy France , from 1940 to 1944...

 proclaimed the government following the military defeat of France
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

 by Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 during World War II and the vote by the National Assembly
French National Assembly
The French National Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of France under the Fifth Republic. The upper house is the Senate ....

 on 10 July 1940. This vote granted extraordinary powers to Pétain, the last Président du Conseil (Prime Minister) of the Third Republic, who then took the additional title Chef de l'État Français ("Chief of the French State"). Pétain headed the reactionary
Reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

 program of the so-called "Révolution nationale
Révolution nationale
The Révolution nationale was the official ideological name under which the Vichy regime established by Marshal Philippe Pétain in July 1940 presented its program...

", aimed at "regenerating the nation."

The Vichy regime maintained some legal authority in the northern zone of France (the Zone occupée
Zone occupée
The zone occupée was the area of France where German occupying troops were deployed during the Second World War after the signature of the Second Armistice at Compiègne...

), which was occupied by the German Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

. Its laws, however, were only applied where they did not contradict German ones. This meant that the regime was most powerful in the unoccupied southern "free zone
Zone libre
The zone libre was a partition of the French metropolitan territory during the Second World War, established at the Second Armistice at Compiègne on June 22, 1940. It lay to the south of the demarcation line and was administered by the French government of Marshal Philippe Pétain based in Vichy,...

", where its administrative centre of Vichy
Vichy
Vichy is a commune in the department of Allier in Auvergne in central France. It belongs to the historic province of Bourbonnais.It is known as a spa and resort town and was the de facto capital of Vichy France during the World War II Nazi German occupation from 1940 to 1944.The town's inhabitants...

 was located, until November 1942. After the landing of the Allied forces in North Africa
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

 on 8 November 1942, Hitler ordered the occupation of France's free zone
Case Anton
Operation Anton was the codename for the military occupation of Vichy France carried out by Germany and Italy in November 1942.- Background :...

, after which the former free zone was subject to German rule like the northern zone, except for a sliver along the Alps that was under Italian rule until September 1943.

In the aftermath of the 1940 defeat, Pétain collaborated
Collaborationism
Collaborationism is cooperation with enemy forces against one's country. Legally, it may be considered as a form of treason. Collaborationism may be associated with criminal deeds in the service of the occupying power, which may include complicity with the occupying power in murder, persecutions,...

 with the German occupying forces in exchange for an agreement to not divide France between the Axis Powers. Vichy forces refused to surrender or save the fleet at Mers-el-Kebir for the Allies and fought the Allied invasion of French-controlled Syria and Lebanon in June–July 1941
Syria-Lebanon campaign
The Syria–Lebanon campaign, also known as Operation Exporter, was the Allied invasion of Vichy French-controlled Syria and Lebanon, in June–July 1941, during World War II. Time Magazine referred to the fighting as a "mixed show" while it was taking place and the campaign remains little known, even...

, with just above 15% of the resulting prisoners of war electing to join Free French forces
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

 while the others were repatriated to metropolitan France to be demobilized. However, the military ties with Germany weakened over time. The Vichy-mandated scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon
Scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon
The French fleet in Toulon was scuttled on 27 November 1942 on the order of the Admiralty of Vichy France to avoid capture by Nazi German forces during Operation Lila of the Case Anton takeover of Vichy France.- Context :...

 stands in contrast to the Mers-el-Kebir episode of two years earlier, and the Vichy French forces put up limited resistance to the Allied invasion of North Africa
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

, with more commanders and units in Africa joining the Free French forces. The Vichy leaders collaborated as far as ordering the French police and the local milice
Milice
The Milice française , generally called simply Milice, was a paramilitary force created on January 30, 1943 by the Vichy Regime, with German aid, to help fight the French Resistance. The Milice's formal leader was Prime Minister Pierre Laval, though its chief of operations, and actual leader, was...

(militiamen) to go on raids to capture Jews and other minorities considered "undesirables" by Germany as well as political opponents and members of the Resistance
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

, thus helping enforce German policy in occupied zones. Vichy also promulgated its own, German-inspired laws and policies that restricted political freedom and took rights away from foreigners and racial minorities.

The legitimacy of Vichy France and Pétain's leadership was constantly challenged by the exiled General Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

, who claimed to represent the legitimacy and continuity of the French government. Public opinion turned against the Vichy regime and the occupying German forces over time, and resistance to them
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 grew within France. Following the Allies' invasion of France in Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

, de Gaulle proclaimed the Provisional Government of the French Republic
Provisional Government of the French Republic
The Provisional Government of the French Republic was an interim government which governed France from 1944 to 1946, following the fall of Vichy France and prior to the Fourth French Republic....

 (GPRF) in June 1944. After the Liberation of Paris
Liberation of Paris
The Liberation of Paris took place during World War II from 19 August 1944 until the surrender of the occupying German garrison on August 25th. It could be regarded by some as the last battle in the Battle for Normandy, though that really ended with the crushing of the Wehrmacht forces between the...

 in August, the GPRF installed itself in Paris on 31 August. The GPRF was recognized as the legitimate government of France by the Allies on 23 October 1944.

On 20 August 1944, the Vichy officials and chief supporters were moved to Sigmaringen
Schloss Sigmaringen
Sigmaringen Castle was the princely castle and seat of government for the Princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. Situated in the Swabian Alb region of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, this castle dominates the skyline of the town of Sigmaringen...

 in Germany and there established a government in exile
Government in exile
A government in exile is a political group that claims to be a country's legitimate government, but for various reasons is unable to exercise its legal power, and instead resides in a foreign country. Governments in exile usually operate under the assumption that they will one day return to their...

, headed by Fernand de Brinon
Fernand de Brinon
Fernand de Brinon, Marquis de Brinon was a French lawyer and journalist who was one of the architects of French collaboration with the Nazis during World War II...

, until early April 1945. Most of the Vichy regime's leaders were subsequently sentenced by the GPRF and a number of them were executed. Pétain himself was sentenced to death for treason, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

Overview



Vichy France was established after France surrendered to Germany on 22 June 1940 and took its name from the government's administrative centre in Vichy, central France. Paris remained the official capital, to which Pétain always intended to return the government when this became possible.

In 1940, Marshal Pétain was known mainly as a World War I hero, the victor of Verdun
Battle of Verdun
The Battle of Verdun was one of the major battles during the First World War on the Western Front. It was fought between the German and French armies, from 21 February – 18 December 1916, on hilly terrain north of the city of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France...

. As last Prime Minister
Prime Minister of France
The Prime Minister of France in the Fifth Republic is the head of government and of the Council of Ministers of France. The head of state is the President of the French Republic...

 of the Third Republic, Pétain, a reactionary by inclination, blamed the Third Republic's democracy for France's quick defeat. He set up a paternalistic, semi-fascist regime that actively collaborated with Germany, its official neutrality notwithstanding. Vichy even cooperated with the Nazis' racial policies
Racial policy of Nazi Germany
The racial policy of Nazi Germany was a set of policies and laws implemented by Nazi Germany, asserting the superiority of the "Aryan race", and based on a specific racist doctrine which claimed scientific legitimacy...

.


It is a common misconception that the Vichy Regime administered only the unoccupied zone of southern France (named "free zone" (zone libre) by Vichy), while the Germans directly administered the occupied zone. In fact, the civil jurisdiction of the Vichy government extended over the whole of metropolitan France
Metropolitan France
Metropolitan France is the part of France located in Europe. It can also be described as mainland France or as the French mainland and the island of Corsica...

, except for Alsace-Lorraine
Alsace-Lorraine
The Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine was a territory created by the German Empire in 1871 after it annexed most of Alsace and the Moselle region of Lorraine following its victory in the Franco-Prussian War. The Alsatian part lay in the Rhine Valley on the west bank of the Rhine River and east...

, a disputed territory which was placed under German administration (though not formally annexed). French civil servants in Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

, such as Maurice Papon
Maurice Papon
Maurice Papon was a French civil servant, industrial leader and Gaullist politician, who was convicted for crimes against humanity for his participation in the deportation of over 1600 Jews during World War II when he was secretary general for police of the Prefecture of Bordeaux.Papon also...

; or Nantes
Nantes
Nantes is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, from the Atlantic coast. The city is the 6th largest in France, while its metropolitan area ranks 8th with over 800,000 inhabitants....

, were under the authority of French ministers in Vichy. René Bousquet
René Bousquet
René Bousquet was a high-ranking French civil servant, who served as secretary general to the Vichy regime police from May 1942 to 31 December 1943.-Biography:...

, head of French police nominated by Vichy, exercised his power directly in Paris through his second-in-command, Jean Leguay
Jean Leguay
Jean Leguay was a high-ranking French civil servant complicit in the deportation of Jews from France.During the Vichy regime, Leguay was second-in-command to René Bousquet, general secretary of the National police in Paris. After the war he became president of Warner Lambert, Inc...

, who coordinated raids with the Nazis. German laws, however, took precedence over French ones in the occupied territories and the Germans often rode roughshod over the sensibilities of Vichy administrators.

On 11 November 1942, the Germans launched Operation Case Anton
Case Anton
Operation Anton was the codename for the military occupation of Vichy France carried out by Germany and Italy in November 1942.- Background :...

, occupying southern France, following the landing of the Allies in North Africa (Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

). Although Vichy's "Armistice Army" was disbanded, thus diminishing Vichy's independence, the abolition of the line of demarcation in March 1943 made civil administration easier. Vichy continued to exercise jurisdiction over almost all of France until the collapse of the regime following the Allied invasion in June 1944.

Until 23 October 1944, the Vichy Regime was acknowledged as the official government of France by the United States and other countries, including Canada, which were at the same time at war with Germany. The United Kingdom maintained unofficial contacts with Vichy, at least until it became apparent that the Vichy Prime Minister, Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval was a French politician. He was four times President of the council of ministers of the Third Republic, twice consecutively. Following France's Armistice with Germany in 1940, he served twice in the Vichy Regime as head of government, signing orders permitting the deportation of...

, intended full collaboration with the Germans. Even after that it maintained an ambivalent attitude towards the alternative Free French
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

 movement and future government.

The Vichy government's claim that it was the de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

French government was challenged by the Free French Forces of Charles de Gaulle (based first in London and later in Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

) and subsequent French governments. They have continuously held that the Vichy Regime was an illegal government run by traitors
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

. Historians in particular have debated the circumstances of the vote of full powers to Pétain on 10 July 1940. The main arguments advanced against Vichy's right to incarnate the continuity of the French State were based on the pressure exerted by Laval on deputies in Vichy, and on the absence of 27 deputies and senators who had fled on the ship Massilia
The Vichy 80
The Vichy 80 were a group of elected French parliamentarians who, on 10 July 1940, voted against the constitutional change that dissolved the Third Republic and established an authoritarian regime known as Vichy France....

 and could thus not take part in the vote.

Internal strife


Within Vichy France, there was a low-intensity civil war between the French Resistance
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

, drawn mainly, though not exclusively, from the Communist and Republican elements of society against the reactionary
Reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

 elements who desired a fascist or similar regime as in Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

's Spain. This civil war can be seen as the continuation of a division existing within French society since the 1789 French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, illustrated by events such as:
  • The Bourbon Restoration
    Bourbon Restoration
    The Bourbon Restoration is the name given to the period following the successive events of the French Revolution , the end of the First Republic , and then the forcible end of the First French Empire under Napoleon  – when a coalition of European powers restored by arms the monarchy to the...

     and the White Terror
    White Terror
    White Terror is the violence carried out by reactionary groups as part of a counter-revolution. In particular, during the 20th century, in several countries the term White Terror was applied to acts of violence against real or suspected socialists and communists.-Historical origin: the French...

     enforced by the Chambre introuvable
    Chambre introuvable
    La Chambre introuvable was the first Chamber of Deputies elected after the Second Bourbon Restoration in 1815. It was dominated by Ultra-royalists who completely refused to accept the results of the French Revolution...

  • The 1825 vote of the Anti-Sacrilege Act
    Anti-Sacrilege Act
    The Anti-Sacrilege Act was a French law against blasphemy and sacrilege passed in January 1825 under King Charles X. The law was never applied and was later revoked at the beginning of the July monarchy under King Louis-Philippe.-The draft bill:In April 1824, King Louis XVIII's government, headed...

     by the ultra-royalist
    Ultra-royalist
    Ultra-Royalists or simply Ultras were a reactionary faction which sat in the French parliament from 1815 to 1830 under the Bourbon Restoration...

     comte de Villèle
    Jean-Baptiste Guillaume Joseph, comte de Villèle
    Jean-Baptiste Guillaume Joseph Marie Anne Séraphin, comte de Villèle , was a French statesman. Several time Prime minister, he was a leader of the Ultra-royalist faction during the Bourbon Restoration.- Youth :...

  • The 1871 Paris Commune
    Paris Commune
    The Paris Commune was a government that briefly ruled Paris from March 18 to May 28, 1871. It existed before the split between anarchists and Marxists had taken place, and it is hailed by both groups as the first assumption of power by the working class during the Industrial Revolution...

     and the violent repression which followed, including the creation of the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur in expiation of the "Commune's sins"
  • The 16 May 1877 crisis
    16 May 1877 crisis
    The 16 May 1877 crisis was a constitutional crisis in the French Third Republic concerning the distribution of power between the President and the legislature. When the Royalist President Patrice MacMahon dismissed the Opportunist Republican Prime Minister Jules Simon, parliament on 16 May 1877...

  • The Dreyfus Affair
    Dreyfus Affair
    The Dreyfus affair was a political scandal that divided France in the 1890s and the early 1900s. It involved the conviction for treason in November 1894 of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Alsatian Jewish descent...

  • The conflict during the application of the 1905 law on the separation of the Church and the State
  • The 6 February 1934 crisis
    6 February 1934 crisis
    The 6 February 1934 crisis refers to an anti-parliamentarist street demonstration in Paris organized by far-right leagues that culminated in a riot on the Place de la Concorde, near the seat of the French National Assembly...



A part of French society had never accepted the republican regime issuing from the Revolution, and wished to re-establish the Ancien Régime. This was made apparent by the glee of the leader of the monarchist Action Française
Action Française
The Action Française , founded in 1898, is a French Monarchist counter-revolutionary movement and periodical founded by Maurice Pujo and Henri Vaugeois and whose principal ideologist was Charles Maurras...

, Charles Maurras
Charles Maurras
Charles-Marie-Photius Maurras was a French author, poet, and critic. He was a leader and principal thinker of Action Française, a political movement that was monarchist, anti-parliamentarist, and counter-revolutionary. Maurras' ideas greatly influenced National Catholicism and "nationalisme...

, who qualified the suppression of the French Republic as a "divine surprise".

Fall of France and establishment of the Vichy Regime


France declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939 following the German invasion of Poland. After the eight-month Phoney War, the Germans launched their offensive in the west
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

 on 10 May 1940. Within days, it became clear that French forces were overwhelmed and that military collapse was imminent. Government and military leaders, deeply shocked by the debacle, debated how to proceed. Many officials, including Prime Minister Paul Reynaud
Paul Reynaud
Paul Reynaud was a French politician and lawyer prominent in the interwar period, noted for his stances on economic liberalism and militant opposition to Germany. He was the penultimate Prime Minister of the Third Republic and vice-president of the Democratic Republican Alliance center-right...

, wanted to move the government to French territories in North Africa, and continue the war with the French Navy and colonial resources. Others, particularly the Vice-Premier Philippe Pétain and the Commander-in-Chief, General Maxime Weygand
Maxime Weygand
Maxime Weygand was a French military commander in World War I and World War II.Weygand initially fought against the Germans during the invasion of France in 1940, but then surrendered to and collaborated with the Germans as part of the Vichy France regime.-Early years:Weygand was born in Brussels...

, insisted that the responsibility of the government was to remain in France and share the misfortune of its people. The latter view called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

While this debate continued, the government was forced to relocate several times, finally reaching Bordeaux, in order to avoid capture by advancing German forces. Communications were poor and thousands of civilian refugees clogged the roads. In these chaotic conditions, advocates of an armistice gained the upper hand. The Cabinet agreed on a proposal to seek armistice terms from Germany, with the understanding that, should Germany set forth dishonourable or excessively harsh terms, France would retain the option to continue to fight. General Charles Huntziger
Charles Huntziger
Charles Huntziger was a French Army general during World War I and World War II.Born at Lesneven , he graduated from Saint-Cyr in 1900 and joined the colonial infantry. During World War I he served in the Middle Eastern theatre. He was chief of staff of operations of the Allied Expeditionary Force...

, who headed the French armistice delegation, was told to break off negotiations if the Germans demanded the occupation of all metropolitan France, the French fleet or any of the French overseas territories. They did not.

France's armistice with Germany


Prime Minister Paul Reynaud
Paul Reynaud
Paul Reynaud was a French politician and lawyer prominent in the interwar period, noted for his stances on economic liberalism and militant opposition to Germany. He was the penultimate Prime Minister of the Third Republic and vice-president of the Democratic Republican Alliance center-right...

 was in favour of continuing the war, from North Africa if necessary. He was soon, however, outvoted by those who advocated surrender. Facing an untenable situation, Reynaud resigned and, on his recommendation, President Albert Lebrun
Albert Lebrun
Albert François Lebrun was a French politician, President of France from 1932 to 1940. He was the last president of the Third Republic. He was a member of the center-right Democratic Republican Alliance .-Biography:...

 appointed the 84-year-old Pétain to replace him on 16 June. The Armistice with France (Second Compiègne)
Armistice with France (Second Compiègne)
The Second Armistice at Compiègne was signed at 18:50 on 22 June 1940 near Compiègne, in the department of Oise, between Nazi Germany and France...

 agreement was signed on 22 June. A separate agreement was reached with Italy, which had entered the war against France on 10 June, well after the outcome of the battle was beyond doubt, and whose forces had been easily pushed back by the French.

Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 was motivated by a number of reasons to agree to the armistice. He feared that France would continue to fight from North Africa, and he wanted to ensure that the French Navy was taken out of the war. In addition, leaving a French government in place would relieve Germany of the considerable burden of administering French territory. Finally, he hoped to direct his attentions toward Britain, where he anticipated another quick victory.

Conditions of armistice and 10 July 1940 vote of full powers



The armistice divided France into occupied and unoccupied zones: northern and western France including the entire Atlantic coast were occupied by Germany, and the remaining two-fifths of the country were under the control of the French government with the capital at Vichy under Pétain. Ostensibly, the French government administered the entire territory.

Army of the Armistice


The Germans preferred to occupy northern France themselves. For the most part, the 1.6 million French prisoners of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 who were transferred to Germany at the end of 1940 would remain in captivity during the German occupation. In addition, the French had to pay the occupation costs for the 300,000 strong German occupation army. The costs amounted to 20 million Reichmarks per day. The French had to pay at the artificial rate of twenty francs to the Mark. This was 50 times the actual costs of the occupation garrison. The French government also had the responsibility for preventing any French people from going into exile.

In southern France, the French were allowed an army. Article IV of the Armistice allowed for a small French army
Military of France
The French Armed Forces encompass the French Army, the French Navy, the French Air Force and the National Gendarmerie. The President of the Republic heads the armed forces, with the title "chef des armées" . The President is the supreme authority for military matters and is the sole official who...

 to be kept in the unoccupied zone, the Army of the Armistice (Armée de l'Armistice). The article also allowed for the military provision of the French colonial empire
French colonial empire
The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...

 overseas. The function of these forces was to keep internal order and to defend French territories from Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 assault. The French forces were to remain under the overall direction of the German armed forces.

The exact strength of the Vichy French Metropolitan Army was set at 3,768 officers, 15,072 non-commissioned officers, and 75,360 men. All Vichy French forces had to be volunteers. In addition to the army, the size of the Gendarmerie
Gendarmerie
A gendarmerie or gendarmery is a military force charged with police duties among civilian populations. Members of such a force are typically called "gendarmes". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes a gendarme as "a soldier who is employed on police duties" and a "gendarmery, -erie" as...

was fixed at 60,000 men plus an anti-aircraft force of 10,000 men. Despite the influx of trained soldiers from the colonial forces (reduced in size in accordance with the Armistice), there was a shortage of volunteers. As a result, 30,000 men of the "class of 1939" were retained to fill the quota. At the beginning of 1942, these conscripts were released, but there still was an insufficient number of men. This shortage was to remain until the dissolution, despite Vichy appeals to the Germans for a regular form of conscription.

The Vichy French Metropolitan Army was deprived of tanks and other armored vehicles. The army was also desperately short of motorized transport. This was a special problem in the cavalry units which were supposed to be motorized. Surviving recruiting posters for the Army of the Armistice stress the opportunities for athletic activities, including horsemanship. This partially reflects the general emphasis placed by the Vichy regime on rural virtues and outdoor activities, and partially the realities of service in a small and technologically backward military force. Traditional features characteristic of the pre-1940 French Army, such as kepi
Kepi
The kepi is a cap with a flat circular top and a visor or peak . Etymologically, the word is a borrowing of the French képi, itself a respelling of the Alemannic Käppi: a diminutive form of Kappe, meaning "cap"....

s and heavy capotes (buttoned back greatcoats), were replaced by beret
Beret
A beret is a soft, round, flat-crowned hat, designated a "cap", usually of woven, hand-knitted wool, crocheted cotton, or wool felt, or acrylic fiber....

s and simplified uniforms.

The Army of the Armistice was not used against resistance groups active in the south of France, leaving this role to the Vichy Milice
Milice
The Milice française , generally called simply Milice, was a paramilitary force created on January 30, 1943 by the Vichy Regime, with German aid, to help fight the French Resistance. The Milice's formal leader was Prime Minister Pierre Laval, though its chief of operations, and actual leader, was...

(militia). Members of the regular army were therefore able to defect in significant numbers to the Maquis
Maquis (World War II)
The Maquis were the predominantly rural guerrilla bands of the French Resistance. Initially they were composed of men who had escaped into the mountains to avoid conscription into Vichy France's Service du travail obligatoire to provide forced labour for Germany...

, following the German occupation of southern France and the disbandment of the Army of the Armistice in November 1942. By contrast the Milice continued to collaborate and were subject to reprisals after the Liberation.

The Vichy French colonial forces were reduced in accordance with the Armistice. Still, in the Mediterranean area alone, the Vichy French had nearly 150,000 men in arms. There were approximately 55,000 men in the Protectorate of Morocco, approximately 50,000 men in French Algeria
French Algeria
French Algeria lasted from 1830 to 1962, under a variety of governmental systems. From 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was administered as an integral part of France, much like Corsica and Réunion are to this day. The vast arid interior of Algeria, like the rest...

, and almost 40,000 men in the "Army of the Levant
Army of the Levant
The Army of the Levant identifies the armed forces of France and then Vichy France which occupied, and were in part recruited from, a portion of the "Levant" during the interwar period and early World War II.-Origins:...

" (Armée du Levant) in the Mandate of Lebanon and the Mandate of Syria. The colonial forces were allowed some armored vehicles. However, these tended to be "vintage" tanks as old as the World War I-era Renault FT.

German custody


France was also required to turn over to German custody any German citizens within the country whom the Germans demanded. The French thought this to be a "dishonourable" term, since it would require France to hand over persons who had entered France seeking refuge from Germany. Attempts to negotiate the point with Germany were unsuccessful, and the French decided not to press the issue to the point of refusing the Armistice, though they may have hoped to ameliorate the requirement in future negotiations with Germany after the signing.

Vichy government


On 1 July 1940, the Parliament and the government gathered in Vichy, a city in the centre of France, which was used as a provisional capital. Laval and Raphaël Alibert
Raphaël Alibert
Raphaël Alibert was a French politician.-Politics:Raphael Alibert was an ardent Roman Catholic convert and someone with strong royalist ideas. One of the most intense followers of Charles Maurras, Alibert was elected to the Chamber of Deputies for the Action Française party...

 started convincing the representatives of the French people
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

, both Senators and Deputies, to vote full powers
Full Powers
Full Powers is a term in international law and is the authority of a person to sign a treaty or convention on behalf of a sovereign state. Persons other than the head of state, head of government or foreign minister of the state must produce Full Powers in order to sign a treaty binding their...

 to Pétain. They used every means available: promising some ministerial posts, threatening and intimidating others. The charismatic figures who could have opposed Laval, Georges Mandel
Georges Mandel
Georges Mandel was a French politician, journalist, and French Resistance leader.-Biography:Born Louis George Rothschild in Chatou, Yvelines, was the son of a tailor...

, Édouard Daladier
Édouard Daladier
Édouard Daladier was a French Radical politician and the Prime Minister of France at the start of the Second World War.-Career:Daladier was born in Carpentras, Vaucluse. Later, he would become known to many as "the bull of Vaucluse" because of his thick neck and large shoulders and determined...

, etc., were on board the ship Massilia, headed for North Africa. On 10 July 1940 the National Assembly, composed of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, voted by 569 votes to 80 (known as the Vichy 80
The Vichy 80
The Vichy 80 were a group of elected French parliamentarians who, on 10 July 1940, voted against the constitutional change that dissolved the Third Republic and established an authoritarian regime known as Vichy France....

, including 62 Radicals and Socialists), and 30 voluntary abstention
Abstention
Abstention is a term in election procedure for when a participant in a vote either does not go to vote or, in parliamentary procedure, is present during the vote, but does not cast a ballot. Abstention must be contrasted with "blank vote", in which a voter casts a ballot willfully made invalid by...

s, to grant full and extraordinary powers to Marshal Pétain. By the same vote, they also granted him the power to write a new constitution.

The legality of this vote has been contested by the majority of French historians and by all French governments after the war. Three main arguments are put forward:
  • Abrogation of legal procedure
  • The impossibility for parliament to delegate its constitutional powers without controlling its use a posteriori
  • The 1884 constitutional amendment making it impossible to put into question the "republican form" of the regime


Partisans of the Vichy claim, on the contrary, point out that the revision was voted by the two chambers (the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies), in conformity with the law. Deputies and senators who voted to grant full powers to Pétain on this day were condemned on an individual basis after the liberation.

The argument concerning the abrogation of procedure is grounded on the absence and on the non-voluntary abstentions of 176 representatives of the people (the 27 on board the Massilia, and additional 92 deputies and 57 senators some of whom were in Vichy, but not present for the vote). In total, the parliament was composed of 846 members, 544 deputies and 302 senators. One senator and 26 deputies were on the Massilia. One senator did not vote. 8 senators and 12 MPs voluntarily abstained. 57 senators and 92 MPs abstained involuntarily. Thus, out of a total of 544 deputies, only 414 voted; and out of a total of 302 senators, only 235 voted. 357 deputies voted in favor of Pétain, and 57 refused to grant him full powers. 212 senators also voted for Pétain, while 23 voted against. The dubious conditions of this vote thus explain why a majority of French historians refuse to consider Vichy as a complete continuity of the French state, notwithstanding the fact that although Pétain could claim for himself legality (and a dubious legitimacy), de Gaulle, as the Gaullist
Gaullism
Gaullism is a French political ideology based on the thought and action of Resistance leader then president Charles de Gaulle.-Foreign policy:...

 myth would later make clear, incarnated the real legitimacy. The debate is thus not only of legitimacy versus legality (indeed, by this fact alone, Charles de Gaulle's claim to hold legitimacy ignores the interior resistance). But it rather concerns the illegal circumstances of this vote.

The text voted by the Congress stated:
"The National Assembly gives full powers to the government of the Republic, under the authority and the signature of Marshall Pétain, to the effect of promulgating by one or several acts a new constitution of the French state. This constitution must guarantee the rights of labor, of family and of the fatherland. It will be ratified by the nation and applied by the assemblies which it has created.



The Constitutional Acts of 11 and 12 July 1940 granted to Pétain all powers (legislative, judicial, administrative, executive – and diplomatic) and the title of "head of the French state" (chef de l'État français), as well as the right to nominate his successor. On 12 July Pétain designated Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval was a French politician. He was four times President of the council of ministers of the Third Republic, twice consecutively. Following France's Armistice with Germany in 1940, he served twice in the Vichy Regime as head of government, signing orders permitting the deportation of...

 as Vice-President and his designated successor, and appointed Fernand de Brinon
Fernand de Brinon
Fernand de Brinon, Marquis de Brinon was a French lawyer and journalist who was one of the architects of French collaboration with the Nazis during World War II...

 as representative to the German High Command in Paris. Pétain remained the head of the Vichy regime until 20 August 1944. The French national motto, Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
Liberté, égalité, fraternité, French for "Liberty, equality, fraternity ", is the national motto of France, and is a typical example of a tripartite motto. Although it finds its origins in the French Revolution, it was then only one motto among others and was not institutionalized until the Third...

(Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood), was replaced by Travail, Famille, Patrie (Work, Family, Fatherland); it was noted at the time that TFP also stood for the criminal punishment of "travaux forcés à perpetuité" ("forced labor in perpetuity"). Paul Reynaud, who had not officially resigned as Prime Minister, was arrested in September 1940 by the Vichy government and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1941 before the opening of the Riom Trial
Riom Trial
The Riom Trial was an attempt by the Vichy France regime, headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain, to prove that the leaders of the French Third Republic had been responsible for France's defeat by Germany in 1940...

.

Pétain was authoritarian by nature, his status as a hero of the Third Republic notwithstanding. Almost as soon as he was granted full powers, he began blaming the Third Republic's democracy for France's humiliating defeat. Accordingly, his regime soon began taking on authoritarian--and in some respects, unmistakably fascist--characteristics. Democratic liberties and guarantees were immediately suspended. The crime of "felony of opinion" (délit d'opinion, i.e. repeal of freedom of thought
Freedom of thought
Freedom of thought is the freedom of an individual to hold or consider a fact, viewpoint, or thought, independent of others' viewpoints....

 and of expression), etc.) was reestablished, and critics were frequently interned
Internment
Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning as: "The action of 'interning'; confinement within the limits of a country or place." Most modern usage is about individuals, and there is a distinction...

. Elective bodies were replaced by nominated ones. The "municipalities" and the departmental commissions were thus placed under the authority of the administration and of the prefects (nominated by and dependent on the executive power). In January 1941 the National Council (Conseil National), composed of notables from the countryside and the provinces, was instituted under the same conditions.

Both the United States and the Soviet Union recognized the new regime, despite Charles de Gaulle's attempts, in London, to oppose this decision. So too did Canada and Australia. Only the German occupation of all of France in November 1942 ended this diplomatic recognition.

State collaboration with Germany


Historians distinguish between a state collaboration followed by the regime of Vichy, and "collaborationists", which usually refer to the French citizens eager to collaborate with Germany and who pushed towards a radicalization of the regime. "Pétainistes", on the other hand, refers to French people who supported Marshal Pétain, without being too keen on collaboration with Germany (although accepting Pétain's state collaboration). State collaboration was illustrated by the Montoire (Loir-et-Cher
Loir-et-Cher
Loir-et-Cher is a département in north-central France named after the rivers Loir and Cher.-History:Loir-et-Cher is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Orléanais and...

) interview in Hitler's train on 24 October 1940, during which Pétain and Hitler shook hands and agreed on this cooperation between the two states. Organized by Laval, a strong proponent of collaboration, the interview and the handshake were photographed, and Nazi propaganda
Nazi propaganda
Propaganda, the coordinated attempt to influence public opinion through the use of media, was skillfully used by the NSDAP in the years leading up to and during Adolf Hitler's leadership of Germany...

 made strong use of this photo to gain support from the civilian population. On 30 October 1940, Pétain officialized state collaboration, declaring on the radio: "I enter today on the path of collaboration...." On 22 June 1942 Laval declared that he was "hoping for the victory of Germany." The sincere desire to collaborate did not stop the Vichy government from organising the arrest and even sometimes the execution of German spies entering the Vichy zone, as Simon Kitson
Simon Kitson
Simon Kitson is a British historian.Kitson did his undergraduate studies at the University of Ulster and his post-graduate studies at the University of Sussex, under the supervision of Professor Roderick Kedward...

's recent research has demonstrated.

The composition of the Vichy cabinet, and its policies, were mixed. Many Vichy officials such as Pétain, though not all, were reactionaries
Reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

 who considered that France's unfortunate fate was a kind of divine punishment for its republican character and the actions of its left-wing governments of the 1930s, in particular of the Popular Front
Popular Front (France)
The Popular Front was an alliance of left-wing movements, including the French Communist Party , the French Section of the Workers' International and the Radical and Socialist Party, during the interwar period...

 (1936–1938) led by Léon Blum
Léon Blum
André Léon Blum was a French politician, usually identified with the moderate left, and three times the Prime Minister of France.-First political experiences:...

. Charles Maurras
Charles Maurras
Charles-Marie-Photius Maurras was a French author, poet, and critic. He was a leader and principal thinker of Action Française, a political movement that was monarchist, anti-parliamentarist, and counter-revolutionary. Maurras' ideas greatly influenced National Catholicism and "nationalisme...

, a monarchist writer and founder of the Action Française
Action Française
The Action Française , founded in 1898, is a French Monarchist counter-revolutionary movement and periodical founded by Maurice Pujo and Henri Vaugeois and whose principal ideologist was Charles Maurras...

movement, judged that Pétain's accession to power was, in that respect, a "divine surprise"; and many people of the same political persuasion judged that it was preferable to have an authoritarian government similar to that of Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

's Spain, albeit under Germany's yoke, than have a republican government. Others, like Joseph Darnand
Joseph Darnand
Joseph Darnand was a French soldier and later a leader of the Vichy French collaborators with Nazi Germany....

, were strong anti-Semites
Anti-Semitism
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 and overt Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 sympathizers. A number of these joined the Légion des Volontaires Français contre le Bolchévisme (Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

) units fighting on the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

, which later became the SS Charlemagne Division
33rd Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS Charlemagne (1st French)
The 33. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS Charlemagne and Charlemagne Regiment are collective names used for units of French volunteers in the Wehrmacht and later Waffen-SS during World War II...

.
On the other hand, technocrat
Technocracy (bureaucratic)
Technocracy is a form of government where technical experts are in control of decision making in their respective fields. Economists, engineers, scientists, health professionals, and those who have knowledge, expertise or skills would compose the governing body...

s such as Jean Bichelonne
Jean Bichelonne
Jean Bichelonne was a French businessman and member of the Vichy government that existed during World War II following the occupation of France by Nazi Germany....

 or engineers from the Groupe X-Crise
Groupe X-Crise
The Groupe X-Crise was a French technocratic movement created in 1931 as an aftermath of the 1929 Wall Street stock market crash and the Great Depression. Formed by former students of the École Polytechnique , it advocated planisme, or economic planification, as opposed to the then dominant...

used their position to push various state, administrative and economic reforms. These reforms would be one of the strongest elements arguing in favor of the thesis of a continuity of the French administration before and after the war. Many of these civil servants remained in function after the war, or were quickly reestablished in their functions after a short-term moment during which they were set aside, while much of these reforms were retained and reinforced after the war. In the same way as the necessities of war economy
War economy
War economy is the term used to describe the contingencies undertaken by the modern state to mobilise its economy for war production. Philippe Le Billon describes a war economy as a "system of producing, mobilising and allocating resources to sustain the violence".Many states increase the degree of...

 during the first World War I had pushed toward state measures which organized the economy of France
Economy of France
France is the world's fifth largest economy by nominal figures and the ninth largest economy by PPP figures. It is the second largest economy in Europe in nominal figures and third largest economy in Europe in PPP figures...

 against the prevailing classical liberal
Classical liberalism
Classical liberalism is the philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets....

 theories, an organization which was retained after the 1919 Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

, reforms adopted during World War II were kept and extended. Along with the 15 March 1944 Charter of the Conseil National de la Résistance
Conseil National de la Résistance
The Conseil National de la Résistance or the National Council of the Resistance is the body that directed and coordinated the different movements of the French Resistance - the press, trade unions, and members of political parties hostile to the Vichy regime, starting from...

(CNR), which gathered all Resistant movements under one unified political body, these reforms were a main instrument in the establishment of post-war dirigisme
Dirigisme
Dirigisme is an economy in which the government exerts strong directive influence. While the term has occasionally been applied to centrally planned economies, where the state effectively controls both production and allocation of resources , it originally had neither of these meanings when...

, a kind of semi-planned economy which made of France the modern social democracy
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

 it is now. Examples of such continuities include the creation of the "French Foundation for the Study of Human Problems" by Alexis Carrel
Alexis Carrel
Alexis Carrel was a French surgeon and biologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1912 for pioneering vascular suturing techniques. He invented the first perfusion pump with Charles A. Lindbergh opening the way to organ transplantation...

, a renowned physician who also supported eugenics
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

. This institution would be renamed after the war National Institute of Demographic Studies
Institut national d'études démographiques
The Institut national d'études démographiques is a French research institute specialized in demography and population studies in general.-A research institute founded in 1945:...

 (INED) and exists to this day. Another example is the creation of the national statistics institute, renamed INSEE
INSEE
INSEE is the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies. It collects and publishes information on the French economy and society, carrying out the periodic national census. Located in Paris, it is the French branch of Eurostat, European Statistical System...

 after the Liberation. The reorganization and unification of the French police by René Bousquet
René Bousquet
René Bousquet was a high-ranking French civil servant, who served as secretary general to the Vichy regime police from May 1942 to 31 December 1943.-Biography:...

, who created the groupes mobiles de réserve (GMR, Reserve Mobile Groups), a police force charged with striking fear amid the civilian population is another example of a policy of reform and restructuring deployed to poor purpose under the Vichy administration. Starting in the autumn of 1943, the GMR were used in lower-intensity (if still vicious) actions against the Resistants
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 in the maquis
Maquis (World War II)
The Maquis were the predominantly rural guerrilla bands of the French Resistance. Initially they were composed of men who had escaped into the mountains to avoid conscription into Vichy France's Service du travail obligatoire to provide forced labour for Germany...

, though the primary forces for major fighting missions were the German military and, secondarily and ahead of the GMR, the Franc-garde branch of the Milice
Milice
The Milice française , generally called simply Milice, was a paramilitary force created on January 30, 1943 by the Vichy Regime, with German aid, to help fight the French Resistance. The Milice's formal leader was Prime Minister Pierre Laval, though its chief of operations, and actual leader, was...

. After the war the GMR would be integrated into the French army and police forces, like other remaining army and police forces (except those that actively fought the Free French Army
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

). As such elements were merged with the Free French Forces
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

, jointly renamed Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité
Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité
The Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité are the riot control forces and general reserve of the French National Police. The CRS were created on 8 December 1944 and the first units were organised by 31 January 1945. The CRS were reorganized in 1948...

(CRS, Republican Security Companies) in 1944, and became part of the largest anti-riot force in France.


Vichy's racial policies and collaboration





As soon as it had been established, Pétain's government took measures against the so-called "undesirables": Jews
History of the Jews in France
The history of the Jews of France dates back over 2,000 years. In the early Middle Ages, France was a center of Jewish learning, but persecution increased as the Middle Ages wore on...

, métèques
Metic
In ancient Greece, the term metic referred to a resident alien, one who did not have citizen rights in his or her Greek city-state of residence....

(immigrants from Mediterranean countries), Freemasons
Freemasonry
Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around six million, including approximately 150,000 under the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodge...

, Communists – this was inspired by Charles Maurras
Charles Maurras
Charles-Marie-Photius Maurras was a French author, poet, and critic. He was a leader and principal thinker of Action Française, a political movement that was monarchist, anti-parliamentarist, and counter-revolutionary. Maurras' ideas greatly influenced National Catholicism and "nationalisme...

' conception of the "Anti-France", or "internal foreigners", which Maurras defined as the "four confederate states of Protestants, Jews, Freemasons and foreigners"—but also Gypsies, homosexuals, and also, any left-wing activist. Vichy imitated the racial policies of the Third Reich and also engaged in natalist
Natalism
Natalism is a belief that promotes human reproduction. The term is taken from the Latin adjective form for "birth", natalis. Natalism promotes child-bearing and glorifies parenthood...

 policies aimed at reviving the "French race", although these policies never went as far as the eugenics program implemented by the Nazi
Nazi eugenics
Nazi eugenics were Nazi Germany's racially-based social policies that placed the improvement of the Aryan race through eugenics at the center of their concerns...

s.

As soon as July 1940, Vichy set up a special Commission charged of reviewing the naturalization
Naturalization
Naturalization is the acquisition of citizenship and nationality by somebody who was not a citizen of that country at the time of birth....

s granted since the 1927 reform of the nationality law
French nationality law
French nationality law is historically based on the principles of jus soli , according to Ernest Renan's definition, in opposition to the German's definition of nationality, Jus sanguinis , formalized by Fichte.The 1993 Méhaignerie Law required children born in France of foreign parents to request...

. Between June 1940 and August 1944, 15,000 persons, mostly Jews, were denaturalized. This bureaucratic decision was instrumental in their subsequent internment.

The internment camps already opened by the Third Republic were immediately put to a new use, before ultimately inserting themselves as necessary transit camps for the implementation of the Holocaust
The Holocaust
The Holocaust , also known as the Shoah , was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews and millions of others during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi...

 and the extermination of all "undesirables", including the Roma people who refer to the extermination of Gypsies as Porrajmos. The October 4th 1940 law authorized internments of foreign Jews on the sole basis of a prefectoral order, and the first raids took place in May 1941. Vichy imposed no restrictions upon black people in the Unoccupied Zone; the regime even had a black cabinet minister, the Martinique lawyer Henry Lemery
Henry Lemery
Henri Lemery was a politician from Martinique who served in the French National Assembly from 1914-1919 and the French Senate from 1920-1941.Lemery also served as Minister of Justice of France from October-November 1934 .-References:**...

.

The Third Republic had opened various concentration camps, first used during World War I to intern enemy alien
Enemy alien
In law, an enemy alien is a citizen of a country which is in a state of conflict with the land in which he or she is located. Usually, but not always, the countries are in a state of declared war.-United Kingdom:...

s. Camp Gurs
Camp Gurs
Camp Gurs was an internment and refugee camp constructed by the French government in 1939. The camp was originally set up in southwestern France after the fall of Catalonia at the end of the Spanish Civil War to control those who fled Spain out of fear of retaliation from Francisco Franco's regime...

, for example, had been set up in the south-western part of France after the fall of Spanish Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, in the first months of 1939, during the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 (1936–1939), to receive the Republican refugees, including Brigadists
International Brigades
The International Brigades were military units made up of volunteers from different countries, who traveled to Spain to defend the Second Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939....

 from all nations, fleeing the Francists. But as soon as Édouard Daladier
Édouard Daladier
Édouard Daladier was a French Radical politician and the Prime Minister of France at the start of the Second World War.-Career:Daladier was born in Carpentras, Vaucluse. Later, he would become known to many as "the bull of Vaucluse" because of his thick neck and large shoulders and determined...

's government (April 1938 – March 1940) took the decision to outlaw the French Communist Party
French Communist Party
The French Communist Party is a political party in France which advocates the principles of communism.Although its electoral support has declined in recent decades, the PCF retains a large membership, behind only that of the Union for a Popular Movement , and considerable influence in French...

 (PCF) following the German-Soviet non-aggression pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

 (aka Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) signed in August 1939, these camps were also used to intern French communists. Drancy internment camp
Drancy internment camp
The Drancy internment camp of Paris, France, was used to hold Jews who were later deported to the extermination camps. 65,000 Jews were deported from Drancy, of whom 63,000 were murdered including 6,000 children...

 was founded in 1939 for this use. It later became the central transit camp through which all deportees passed before heading to the concentration and extermination camps in the Third Reich and in Eastern Europe. Furthermore, when the Phoney War started with France's declaration of war against Germany on 3 September 1939, these camps were used to intern enemy aliens. These included German Jews and anti-fascists, but any German citizen (or Italian, Austrian, Polish, etc.) would also be interned in Camp Gurs and others. Common-law prisoners were also evacuated from the prisons in the north of France, before the advance of the Wehrmacht, and interned in these camps. Camp Gurs then received its first contingent of political prisoner
Political prisoner
According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, a political prisoner is ‘someone who is in prison because they have opposed or criticized the government of their own country’....

s in June 1940, which included left-wing activists (communists, anarchists
Anarchism in France
Thinker Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who grew up during the Restoration was the first self-described anarchist. French anarchists fought in the Spanish Civil War as volunteers in the International Brigades. French anarchism reached its height in the late 19th century...

, trade-unionists, anti-militarists, etc.), pacifists, but also French fascists who supported the victory of Italy
Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946)
The Kingdom of Italy was a state forged in 1861 by the unification of Italy under the influence of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which was its legal predecessor state...

 and Germany. Finally, after Pétain's proclamation of the "French state" and the beginning of the implementation of the "Révolution nationale
Révolution nationale
The Révolution nationale was the official ideological name under which the Vichy regime established by Marshal Philippe Pétain in July 1940 presented its program...

" ("National Revolution"), the French administration opened up many concentration camps, to the point that historian Maurice Rajsfus wrote: "The quick opening of new camps created employment, and the Gendarmerie
Gendarmerie
A gendarmerie or gendarmery is a military force charged with police duties among civilian populations. Members of such a force are typically called "gendarmes". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes a gendarme as "a soldier who is employed on police duties" and a "gendarmery, -erie" as...

 never ceased to hire during this period."

Besides the political prisoners already detained there, Gurs was then used to intern foreign Jews, stateless persons, Gypsies, homosexuals, and prostitutes. Vichy opened its first internment camp in the northern zone on 5 October 1940, in Aincourt
Aincourt
Aincourt is a commune in the Val-d'Oise department in Île-de-France in northern France.-Population:-References:** -External links:* * *...

, in the Seine-et-Oise
Seine-et-Oise
Seine-et-Oise was a département of France encompassing the western, northern, and southern parts of the metropolitan area of Paris. Its préfecture was Versailles and its official number was 78. Seine-et-Oise was abolished in 1968....

 department, which it quickly filled with PCF members. The Royal Saltworks at Arc-et-Senans
Royal Saltworks at Arc-et-Senans
The Saline Royale is a historical building at Arc-et-Senans in the department of Doubs, eastern France. It is next to the Forest of Chaux and about 35 kilometers from Besançon. The architect was Claude-Nicolas Ledoux , a prominent Parisian architect of the time...

, in the Doubs, was used to intern Gypsies. The Camp des Milles
Camp des Milles
The Camp des Milles was a French internment camp, opened in September 1939, in a former tile factory near the village of Les Milles, part of the commune of Aix-en-Provence .-History:...

, near Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence
Aix , or Aix-en-Provence to distinguish it from other cities built over hot springs, is a city-commune in southern France, some north of Marseille. It is in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, in the département of Bouches-du-Rhône, of which it is a subprefecture. The population of Aix is...

, was the largest internment camp in the Southeast of France. 2,500 Jews were deported from there following the August 1942 raids Spaniards were then deported, and 5,000 of them died in Mauthausen concentration camp. In contrast, the French colonial soldiers were interned by the Germans on French territory instead of being deported.

Besides the concentration camps opened by Vichy, the Germans also opened on French territory some Ilag
Ilag
Ilag is an abbreviation of the German word Internierungslager. They were internment camps established by the German Army in World War II to hold Allied civilians, caught in areas that were occupied by the German Army...

s (Internierungslager) to detain enemy aliens, and in Alsace, which had been annexed by the Reich, they opened the camp of Natzweiler, which is the only concentration camp created by Nazis on French territory (annexed by the Third Reich). Natzweiler included a gas chamber
Gas chamber
A gas chamber is an apparatus for killing humans or animals with gas, consisting of a sealed chamber into which a poisonous or asphyxiant gas is introduced. The most commonly used poisonous agent is hydrogen cyanide; carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide have also been used...

 which was used to exterminate at least 86 detainees (mostly Jewish) with the aim obtaining a collection of undamaged skeletons (as this mode of execution did no damage to the skeletons themselves) for the use of Nazi professor August Hirt
August Hirt
August Hirt , an SS-Hauptsturmführer , served as a chairman at the Reich University in Strasbourg during World War II....

.

Furthermore, Vichy enacted a number of racist laws. In August 1940, laws against antisemitism in the media (the Marchandeau Act) were repealed, while the decree
Decree
A decree is a rule of law issued by a head of state , according to certain procedures . It has the force of law...

 n°1775 September 5, 1943, denaturalized a number of French citizens, in particular Jews from Eastern Europe. Foreigners were rounded-up in "Foreign Workers Groups" (groupements de travailleurs étrangers) and, as the colonial troops, were used by the Germans as manpower. The Statute on Jews
Statute on Jews
The Statute on Jews was discriminatory legislation against French Jews passed on October 3, 1940 by the Vichy Regime, grouping them as a lower class and depriving them of citizenship before rounding them up at Drancy internment camp then taking them to be exterminated in concentration camps...

 excluded them from the civil administration.

Vichy also enacted a number of racist laws in its French territories in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia).
"The history of the Holocaust in France's three North African colonies (Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia) is intrinsically tied to France's fate during this period."

With regard to economic contribution to the German economy it is estimated that France provided 42% of the total foreign aid.

Eugenics policies


In 1941 Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine administered by the Nobel Foundation, is awarded once a year for outstanding discoveries in the field of life science and medicine. It is one of five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, in his will...

 winner Alexis Carrel
Alexis Carrel
Alexis Carrel was a French surgeon and biologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1912 for pioneering vascular suturing techniques. He invented the first perfusion pump with Charles A. Lindbergh opening the way to organ transplantation...

, who had been an early proponent of eugenics
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

 and euthanasia
Euthanasia
Euthanasia refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering....

 and was a member of Jacques Doriot
Jacques Doriot
Jacques Doriot was a French politician prior to and during World War II. He began as a Communist but then turned Fascist.-Early life and politics:...

's French Popular Party (PPF), went on to advocate for the creation of the Fondation Française pour l'Étude des Problèmes Humains (French Foundation for the Study of Human Problems), using connections to the Pétain cabinet (specifically, French industrial physicians André Gros and Jacques Ménétrier). Charged with the "study, in all of its aspects, of measures aimed at safeguarding, improving and developing the French population
Demographics of France
This article is about the demographic features of the population of France, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects....

 in all of its activities", the Foundation was created by decree
Decree
A decree is a rule of law issued by a head of state , according to certain procedures . It has the force of law...

 of the collaborationist Vichy regime in 1941, and Carrel appointed as 'regent'. The Foundation also had for some time as general secretary François Perroux
François Perroux
François Perroux was a French economist. He was named Professor at the Collège de France, after having taught at the University of Lyon and the University of Paris...

.

The Foundation was behind the origin of the 16 December 1942 Act inventing the "prenuptial certificate", which had to precede any marriage and was supposed, after a biological examination, to insure the "good health" of the spouses, in particular in regard to sexually transmitted disease
Sexually transmitted disease
Sexually transmitted disease , also known as a sexually transmitted infection or venereal disease , is an illness that has a significant probability of transmission between humans by means of human sexual behavior, including vaginal intercourse, oral sex, and anal sex...

s (STD) and "life hygiene" (sic). Carrel's institute also conceived the "scholar booklet" ("livret scolaire"), which could be used to record students' grades in the French secondary schools
Education in France
The French educational system is highly centralized, organized, and ramified. It is divided into three different stages:* the primary education ;* secondary education ;...

, and thus classify and select them according to scholastic performance. Beside these eugenics activities aimed at classifying the population and "improving" its "health", the Foundation also supported the 11 October 1946 law instituting occupational medicine, enacted by the Provisional Government of the French Republic
Provisional Government of the French Republic
The Provisional Government of the French Republic was an interim government which governed France from 1944 to 1946, following the fall of Vichy France and prior to the Fourth French Republic....

 (GPRF) after the Liberation.

The Foundation also initiated studies on demographics (Robert Gessain, Paul Vincent, Jean Bourgeois), nutrition (Jean Sutter), lodging (Jean Merlet) as well as the first polls (Jean Stoetzel). The foundation, which after the war became the INED demographics
Demographics
Demographics are the most recent statistical characteristics of a population. These types of data are used widely in sociology , public policy, and marketing. Commonly examined demographics include gender, race, age, disabilities, mobility, home ownership, employment status, and even location...

 institute, employed 300 researchers from the summer of 1942 to the end of the autumn of 1944. "The foundation was chartered as a public institution under the joint supervision of the ministries of finance and public health. It was given financial autonomy and a budget of forty million francs, roughly one franc per inhabitant: a true luxury considering the burdens imposed by the German Occupation on the nation's resources. By way of comparison, the whole Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Centre national de la recherche scientifique
The National Center of Scientific Research is the largest governmental research organization in France and the largest fundamental science agency in Europe....

 (CNRS) was given a budget of fifty million francs."

Alexis Carrel had previously published in 1935 the best-selling book titled L'Homme, cet inconnu ("Man, This Unknown"). Since the early 1930s, Alexis Carrel advocated the use of gas chambers
Gas Chambers
Gas Chambers is a fast, hollow and shallow point break type of wave. Being that it is a high performance wave it is well suited for the average to pro level surfer. Gas Chambers is located on the North Shore of Oahu about a 1/4 of a mile north of Ehukai Beach Park and 1/2 a mile west of Sunset...

 to rid humanity of its "inferior stock", endorsing the scientific racism
Scientific racism
Scientific racism is the use of scientific techniques and hypotheses to sanction the belief in racial superiority or racism.This is not the same as using scientific findings and the scientific method to investigate differences among the humans and argue that there are races...

 discourse. One of the founder of these pseudoscientifical
Pseudoscience
Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but which does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status...

 theories had been Arthur de Gobineau
Arthur de Gobineau
Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau was a French aristocrat, novelist and man of letters who became famous for developing the theory of the Aryan master race in his book An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races...

 in his 1853–1855 essay titled An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races
An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races
Essai sur l'inégalité des races humaines by Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau was intended as a work of philosophical enquiry into decline and degeneration...

. In the 1936 preface to the German edition of his book, Alexis Carrel had added a praise to the eugenics policies of the Third Reich, writing that:

(t)he German government has taken energetic measures against the propagation of the defective, the mentally diseased, and the criminal. The ideal solution would be the suppression of each of these individuals as soon as he has proven himself to be dangerous.


Carrel also wrote in his book that:
(t)he conditioning of petty criminals with the whip, or some more scientific procedure, followed by a short stay in hospital, would probably suffice to insure order. Those who have murdered, robbed while armed with automatic pistol or machine gun, kidnapped children, despoiled the poor of their savings, misled the public in important matters, should be humanely and economically disposed of in small euthanasic institutions supplied with proper gasses. A similar treatment could be advantageously applied to the insane, guilty of criminal acts.


Alexis Carrel had also taken an active part to a symposium in Pontigny organized by Jean Coutrot, the "Entretiens de Pontigny". Scholars such as Lucien Bonnafé, Patrick Tort and Max Lafont have accused Carrel of responsibility for the execution of thousands of mentally ill or impaired patients under Vichy.

Statute on Jews


A Nazi ordinance
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 dated 21 September 1940, forced Jews of the "occupied zone" to declare themselves as such in police office or sub-prefectures (sous-préfectures). Under the responsibility of André Tulard
André Tulard
André Tulard was a French civil administrator and police inspector. He is known for having created the "Tulard files," which censused Jewish people during Vichy...

, head of the Service on Foreign Persons and Jewish Questions at the Prefecture of Police
Prefecture of Police
The Prefecture of Police , headed by the Prefect of Police , is an agency of the Government of France which provides the police force for the city of Paris and the surrounding three suburban départements of Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne...

 of Paris, a filing system
Filing system
Filing system may refer to:*Filing cabinet, a piece of office furniture*File system, a method of storing and organizing computer files and their data...

 registering Jewish people was created. Tulard had previously created such a filing system under the Third Republic, registering members of the Communist Party
French Communist Party
The French Communist Party is a political party in France which advocates the principles of communism.Although its electoral support has declined in recent decades, the PCF retains a large membership, behind only that of the Union for a Popular Movement , and considerable influence in French...

 (PCF). In the sole department of the Seine, encompassing Paris and its immediate suburbs, nearly 150,000 persons, unaware of the upcoming danger and assisted by the French police, presented themselves to the police offices, in accordance with the military order. The registered information was then centralized by the French police, who constructed, under the direction of inspector Tulard, a central filing system. According to the Dannecker report
Theodor Dannecker
Theodor Dannecker was an SS Hauptsturmführer and one of Adolf Eichmann's associates....

, "this filing system is subdivided into files alphabetically classed, Jewish with French nationality and foreign Jewish having files of different colours, and the files were also classed, according to profession, nationality and street" (of residency). These files were then handed over to Theodor Dannecker
Theodor Dannecker
Theodor Dannecker was an SS Hauptsturmführer and one of Adolf Eichmann's associates....

, head of the Gestapo in France and under the orders of Adolf Eichmann
Adolf Eichmann
Adolf Otto Eichmann was a German Nazi and SS-Obersturmbannführer and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust...

, head of the RSHA
RSHA
The RSHA, or Reichssicherheitshauptamt was an organization subordinate to Heinrich Himmler in his dual capacities as Chef der Deutschen Polizei and Reichsführer-SS...

 IV-D. They were then used by the Gestapo on various raids, among them the August 1941 raid in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, during which 3,200 foreign Jews and 1,000 French Jews were interned in various camps, including Drancy
Drancy internment camp
The Drancy internment camp of Paris, France, was used to hold Jews who were later deported to the extermination camps. 65,000 Jews were deported from Drancy, of whom 63,000 were murdered including 6,000 children...

. Furthermore, the French police noted on this occasion, on each identity document
Identity document
An identity document is any document which may be used to verify aspects of a person's personal identity. If issued in the form of a small, mostly standard-sized card, it is usually called an identity card...

s of the Jewish people, their registration as Jews. As Italian political philosopher Giorgio Agamben
Giorgio Agamben
Giorgio Agamben is an Italian political philosopher best known for his work investigating the concepts of the state of exception and homo sacer....

 has pointed out, this racial profiling
Racial profiling
Racial profiling refers to the use of an individual’s race or ethnicity by law enforcement personnel as a key factor in deciding whether to engage in enforcement...

 was an important step in the organization of the police raids against the French Jewish community.

On 3 October 1940, the Vichy government voluntarily promulgated the first Statute on Jews
Statute on Jews
The Statute on Jews was discriminatory legislation against French Jews passed on October 3, 1940 by the Vichy Regime, grouping them as a lower class and depriving them of citizenship before rounding them up at Drancy internment camp then taking them to be exterminated in concentration camps...

, which created a special, underclass
Underclass
The term underclass refers to a segment of the population that occupies the lowest possible position in a class hierarchy, below the core body of the working class. The general idea that a class system includes a population under the working class has a long tradition in the social sciences...

 of French Jewish citizens, and enforced, for the first time ever in France, racial segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

. The October 1940 Statute also excluded Jews from the administration, the armed forces, entertainment, arts, media, and certain professional roles (teachers, lawyers, doctors of medicine, etc.). A Commissariat-General for Jewish Affairs (CGQJ, Commissariat Général aux Questions Juives), was created on 29 March 1941. It was first directed by Xavier Vallat
Xavier Vallat
Xavier Vallat , French politician, was Commissioner-General for Jewish Questions in the wartime Vichy collaborationist government, and was sentenced after World War II to ten years in prison for his part in the persecution of French Jews.- Until World War II :Vallat was born in the department of...

, until May 1942, and then by Darquier de Pellepoix until February 1944. Mirroring the Reich Association of Jews, the Union Générale des Israélites de France was founded.

In the German occupied northern zone, yellow badge
Yellow badge
The yellow badge , also referred to as a Jewish badge, was a cloth patch that Jews were ordered to sew on their outer garments in order to mark them as Jews in public. It is intended to be a badge of shame associated with antisemitism...

s, a reminiscence of old Christian and Muslim Anti-Semitism (Middle Ages) were required to be worn by Jews. Police inspector André Tulard participated in the logistics
Logistics
Logistics is the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of destination in order to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. Logistics involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging, and...

 concerning the attribution of these badges.

The police also oversaw the confiscation of telephones and radios from Jewish homes and enforced a curfew
Curfew
A curfew is an order specifying a time after which certain regulations apply. Examples:# An order by a government for certain persons to return home daily before a certain time...

 on Jews starting from February 1942. It attentively monitored the Jews who did not respect the prohibition, according to which they were not supposed to appear in public places and had to travel in the last car of the Parisian metro.

Along with many French police officers, André Tulard was present on the day of the inauguration of Drancy internment camp
Drancy internment camp
The Drancy internment camp of Paris, France, was used to hold Jews who were later deported to the extermination camps. 65,000 Jews were deported from Drancy, of whom 63,000 were murdered including 6,000 children...

 in 1941, which was used largely by French police as the central transit camp for detainees captured in France. All Jews and others "undesirables" passed through Drancy before heading to Auschwitz and other camps
Nazi concentration camps
Nazi Germany maintained concentration camps throughout the territories it controlled. The first Nazi concentration camps set up in Germany were greatly expanded after the Reichstag fire of 1933, and were intended to hold political prisoners and opponents of the regime...

.

July 1942 Vel' d'Hiv Roundup


In July 1942 the French police organized the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup (Rafle du Vel' d'Hiv) under orders by René Bousquet and his second in Paris, Jean Leguay
Jean Leguay
Jean Leguay was a high-ranking French civil servant complicit in the deportation of Jews from France.During the Vichy regime, Leguay was second-in-command to René Bousquet, general secretary of the National police in Paris. After the war he became president of Warner Lambert, Inc...

 with cooperation from authorities of the SNCF
SNCF
The SNCF , is France's national state-owned railway company. SNCF operates the country's national rail services, including the TGV, France's high-speed rail network...

, the state railway company. The police arrested 13,152 Jews, including 4,051 children—which the Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

had not asked for—and 5,082 women on 16 and 17 July, and imprisoned them in the Winter Velodrome in unhygienic conditions. They were led to Drancy internment camp
Drancy internment camp
The Drancy internment camp of Paris, France, was used to hold Jews who were later deported to the extermination camps. 65,000 Jews were deported from Drancy, of whom 63,000 were murdered including 6,000 children...

 (run by Nazi Alois Brunner
Alois Brunner
Alois Brunner is an Austrian Nazi war criminal. Brunner was Adolf Eichmann's assistant, and Eichmann referred to Brunner as his "best man." As commander of the Drancy internment camp outside Paris from June 1943 to August 1944, Brunner is held responsible for sending some 140,000 European Jews to...

, who is still wanted for crimes against humanity, and French constabulary police), then crammed into box car transports and shipped by rail to Auschwitz. Most of the victims died enroute due to lack of food or water. The remaining survivors were sent to the gas chambers. This action alone represented more than a quarter of the 42,000 French Jews sent to concentration camps in 1942, of which only 811 would return after the end of the war. Although the Nazi VT (Verfügungstruppe) had initially directed the action, French police authorities vigorously participated. On 16 July 1995, president Jacques Chirac officially apologized for the participation of French police forces in the July 1942 raid. "There was no effective police resistance until the end of Spring of 1944", wrote historians Jean-Luc Einaudi and Maurice Rajsfus

August 1942 and January 1943 raids


The French police, headed by Bousquet, arrested 7,000 Jews in the southern zone in August 1942. 2,500 of them transited through the Camp des Milles
Camp des Milles
The Camp des Milles was a French internment camp, opened in September 1939, in a former tile factory near the village of Les Milles, part of the commune of Aix-en-Provence .-History:...

 near Aix-en-Provence before joining Drancy. Then, on 22, 23 and 24 January 1943, assisted by Bousquet's police force, the Germans organized a raid in Marseilles. During the Battle of Marseilles, the French police checked the identity document
Identity document
An identity document is any document which may be used to verify aspects of a person's personal identity. If issued in the form of a small, mostly standard-sized card, it is usually called an identity card...

s of 40,000 people, and the operation succeeded in sending 2,000 Marseillese people in the death trains, leading to the extermination camps. The operation also encompassed the expulsion of an entire neighborhood (30,000 persons) in the Old Port before its destruction. For this occasion, SS-Gruppenführer Karl Oberg, in charge of the German Police in France, made the trip from Paris, and transmitted to Bousquet orders directly received from Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was Reichsführer of the SS, a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo...

. It is another notable case of the French police's willful collaboration with the Nazis.

French collaborationnists and collaborators


Stanley Hoffmann
Stanley Hoffmann
Stanley Hoffmann is the Paul and Catherine Buttenweiser University Professor at Harvard University.-Biography:A French citizen since 1947, Hoffmann spent his childhood between Paris and Nice before studying at the Institut d'études politiques...

 in 1974, and after him, other historians such as Robert Paxton
Robert Paxton
Robert O. Paxton is an American political scientist and historian specializing in Vichy France, fascism and Europe during the World War II era...

 and Jean-Pierre Azéma
Jean-Pierre Azéma
-Early life:Azéma is the son of the Réunionese poet Jean-Henri Azéma. Jean-Henri was a collaborator with the black-shirted Milice during the occupation of France, and lived in exile in South America after the war.-Career:...

 have used the term collaborationnistes to refer to fascists and Nazi sympathizers who, for ideological reasons, wished a reinforced collaboration with Hitler's Germany. Examples of these are Parti Populaire Français
Parti Populaire Français
The Parti Populaire Français was a fascist political party led by Jacques Doriot before and during World War II...

 (PPF) leader Jacques Doriot
Jacques Doriot
Jacques Doriot was a French politician prior to and during World War II. He began as a Communist but then turned Fascist.-Early life and politics:...

, writer Robert Brasillach
Robert Brasillach
Robert Brasillach was a French author and journalist. Brasillach is best known as the editor of Je suis partout, a nationalist newspaper which came to advocate various fascist movements and supported Jacques Doriot...

 or Marcel Déat
Marcel Déat
Marcel Déat was a French Socialist until 1933, when he initiated a spin-off from the French Section of the Workers' International along with other right-wing 'Neosocialists'. He then founded the collaborationist National Popular Rally during the Vichy regime...

. A principal motivation and ideological foundation among collaborationnistes was anticommunism and the desire to see the defeat of the Bolsheviks.

A number of the French advocated fascist philosophies even before the occupation. Organizations such as La Cagoule
La Cagoule
La Cagoule , officially called Comité secret d'action révolutionnaire , was a violent French fascist-leaning and anti-communist group, active in the 1930s, and designed to attempt the overthrow of the French Third Republic...

, had contributed to the destabilization of the Third Republic, particularly when the left-wing Popular Front
Popular Front (France)
The Popular Front was an alliance of left-wing movements, including the French Communist Party , the French Section of the Workers' International and the Radical and Socialist Party, during the interwar period...

 was in power. A prime example is the founder of L'Oréal
L'Oréal
The L'Oréal Group is the world's largest cosmetics and beauty company. With its registered office in Paris and head office in the Paris suburb of Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France, it has developed activities in the field of cosmetics...

 cosmetics, Eugène Schueller
Eugène Schueller
Eugène Schueller was the founder of L'Oréal, the world's leading company in cosmetics and beauty.- Career with L'Oréal :...

, and his associate Jacques Corrèze
Jacques Corrèze
Jacques Corrèze , a French businessman and politician, was the former chief executive officer of the United States operation of L'Oréal , the world's leading company in cosmetics and beauty products...

.

Collaborationists may have influenced the Vichy government's policies, but ultra-collaborationists never comprised the majority of the government before 1944.

In order to enforce the régime's will, some paramilitary organizations with a fascist leaning were created. A notable example was the "Légion Française des Combattants" (LFC) (French Legion of Fighters), including at first only former combatants, but quickly adding "Amis de la Légion" and cadets of the Légion, who had never seen battle, but who supported Pétain's régime. The name was then quickly changed to "Légion Française des Combattants et des volontaires de la Révolution Nationale" (French Legion of Fighters and Volunteers of the National Revolution). Joseph Darnand
Joseph Darnand
Joseph Darnand was a French soldier and later a leader of the Vichy French collaborators with Nazi Germany....

 created a "Service d'Ordre Légionnaire
Service d'ordre légionnaire
The Service d'ordre légionnaire was a collaborationist militia created by Joseph Darnand, a far right veteran from the First World War...

" (SOL), which consisted mostly of French supporters of the Nazis, of which Pétain fully approved.

Relationships with the Allied powers



  • The United States granted Vichy full diplomatic recognition
    Diplomatic recognition
    Diplomatic recognition in international law is a unilateral political act with domestic and international legal consequences, whereby a state acknowledges an act or status of another state or government in control of a state...

    , sending Admiral William D. Leahy
    William D. Leahy
    Fleet Admiral William Daniel Leahy was an American naval officer, building his reputation through administration and staff work. As Chief of Naval Operations he was the senior officer in Navy, overseeing the preparations for war. After retiring from the Navy he was appointed by his close friend...

     to France as American ambassador. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

     and Secretary of State Cordell Hull
    Cordell Hull
    Cordell Hull was an American politician from the U.S. state of Tennessee. He is best known as the longest-serving Secretary of State, holding the position for 11 years in the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during much of World War II...

     hoped to use American influence to encourage those elements in the Vichy government opposed to military collaboration with Germany. The Americans also hoped to encourage Vichy to resist German war demands, such as for air bases in French-mandated Syria or to move war supplies through French territories in North Africa. The essential American position was that France should take no action not explicitly required by the armistice terms that could adversely affect Allied efforts in the war.

  • The USSR maintained full diplomatic relations with the Vichy Regime until 30 June 1941. These were broken after Vichy supported Operation Barbarossa
    Operation Barbarossa
    Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

    .

  • Due to British requests and the sensitivities of its French Canadian population, Canada maintained full diplomatic relations with the Vichy Regime until the beginning of November 1942 and the Case Anton
    Case Anton
    Operation Anton was the codename for the military occupation of Vichy France carried out by Germany and Italy in November 1942.- Background :...

    .

  • Australia maintained full diplomatic relations with the Vichy Regime until the end of the war, and also entered into full diplomatic relations with the Free French.

  • The United Kingdom, shortly after the Armistice
    Armistice
    An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

     (22 June 1940), attacked a large French naval contingent in Mers-el-Kebir
    Destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir
    The Attack on Mers-el-Kébir, part of Operation Catapult and also known as the Battle of Mers-el-Kébir, was a naval engagement fought at Mers-el-Kébir on the coast of what was then French Algeria on 3 July 1940...

    , killing 1,297 French military personnel. Vichy severed diplomatic relations. Britain feared that the French naval fleet could wind up in German hands and be used against its own naval forces, which were so vital to maintaining worldwide shipping and communications. Under the armistice, France had been allowed to retain the French Navy
    French Navy
    The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

    , the Marine Nationale, under strict conditions. Vichy pledged that the fleet would never fall into the hands of Germany, but refused to send the fleet beyond Germany's reach by sending it to Britain or to far away territories of the French empire such as the West Indies. This did not satisfy Winston Churchill, who ordered French ships in British ports to be seized by the Royal Navy. The French squadron at Alexandria
    Alexandria
    Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

    , under Admiral René-Emile Godfroy
    René-Emile Godfroy
    René-Emile Godfroy was a French admiral.Godfroy was born at Paris. In June 1940, he commanded French naval forces at Alexandria, where he negotiated, with British Admiral Andrew Cunningham, the peaceful internment of his ships.The French squadron consisted of the battleship Lorraine, 4 cruisers, 3...

    , was effectively interned until 1943 after an agreement was reached with Admiral Andrew Browne Cunningham, commander of the Mediterranean Fleet.


The US position towards Vichy France and De Gaulle was especially hesitant and inconsistent. President Roosevelt disliked Charles de Gaulle, whom he regarded as an "apprentice dictator." Robert Murphy
Robert Daniel Murphy
Robert Daniel Murphy was an American diplomat.Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Murphy had begun his diplomatic career in 1917 as a member of the American Legation in Bern, Switzerland. Among the several posts he held were Vice-Consul in Zurich and Munich, American Consul in Paris from 1930 to 1936,...

, Roosevelt's representative in North Africa, started preparing the landing in North Africa from December 1940 (i.e. a year before the US entered the war). The US first tried to support General Maxime Weygand
Maxime Weygand
Maxime Weygand was a French military commander in World War I and World War II.Weygand initially fought against the Germans during the invasion of France in 1940, but then surrendered to and collaborated with the Germans as part of the Vichy France regime.-Early years:Weygand was born in Brussels...

, general delegate of Vichy for Africa until December 1941. This first choice having failed, they turned to Henri Giraud
Henri Giraud
Henri Honoré Giraud was a French general who fought in World War I and World War II. Captured in both wars, he escaped each time....

 shortly before the landing in North Africa on 8 November 1942. Finally, after François Darlan
François Darlan
Jean Louis Xavier François Darlan was a French naval officer. His great-grandfather was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar...

's turn towards the Free Forces - Darlan had been president of Council of Vichy from February 1941 to April 1942 - they played him against de Gaulle. US General Mark W. Clark of the combined Allied command made Admiral Darlan sign on 22 November 1942 a treaty putting "North Africa at the disposition of the Americans" and making France "a vassal country." Washington then imagined, between 1941 and 1942, a protectorate status for France, which would be submitted after the Liberation to an Allied Military Government of Occupied Territories (AMGOT) like Germany. After the assassination of Darlan on 24 December 1942, Washington turned again towards Henri Giraud, to whom had rallied Maurice Couve de Murville
Maurice Couve de Murville
Maurice Couve de Murville was a French diplomat and politician who was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1958 to 1968 and Prime Minister from 1968 to 1969 under the presidency of General de Gaulle....

, who had financial responsibilities in Vichy, and Lemaigre-Dubreuil, a former member of La Cagoule
La Cagoule
La Cagoule , officially called Comité secret d'action révolutionnaire , was a violent French fascist-leaning and anti-communist group, active in the 1930s, and designed to attempt the overthrow of the French Third Republic...

and entrepreneur, as well as Alfred Pose, general director of the Banque nationale pour le commerce et l'industrie (National Bank for Trade and Industry).

Creation of Free French Forces


To counter the Vichy regime, General Charles de Gaulle created the Free French Forces
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

 (FFL) after his Appeal of 18 June 1940 radio speech. Initially, Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 was ambivalent about de Gaulle and he dropped ties with Vichy only when it became clear they would not fight. Even so, the Free France headquarters in London was riven with internal divisions and jealousies.

The additional participation of Free French forces in the Syrian operation was controversial within Allied circles. It raised the prospect of Frenchmen shooting at Frenchmen, raising fears of a civil war. Additionally, it was believed that the Free French were widely reviled within Vichy military circles, and that Vichy forces in Syria were less likely to resist the British if they were not accompanied by elements of the Free French. Nevertheless, de Gaulle convinced Churchill to allow his forces to participate, although de Gaulle was forced to agree to a joint British and Free French proclamation promising that Syria and Lebanon would become fully independent at the end of the war.

However, there were still French naval ships under Vichy French control. A large squadron was in port at Mers El Kébir harbour near Oran
Oran
Oran is a major city on the northwestern Mediterranean coast of Algeria, and the second largest city of the country.It is the capital of the Oran Province . The city has a population of 759,645 , while the metropolitan area has a population of approximately 1,500,000, making it the second largest...

. Vice Admiral Somerville, with Force H
Force H
Force H was a British naval formation during the Second World War. It was formed in 1940 to replace French naval power in the western Mediterranean that had been removed by the French armistice with Nazi Germany....

 under his command, was instructed to deal with the situation in July 1940. Various terms were offered to the French squadron, but all were rejected. Consequently, Force H opened fire on the French ships
Destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir
The Attack on Mers-el-Kébir, part of Operation Catapult and also known as the Battle of Mers-el-Kébir, was a naval engagement fought at Mers-el-Kébir on the coast of what was then French Algeria on 3 July 1940...

. Nearly 1,000 French sailors died when the blew up in the attack. Less than two weeks after the armistice, Britain had fired upon forces of its former ally. The result was shock and resentment towards the UK within the French Navy, and to a lesser extent in the general French public.

French colonies and Vichy


While the colonies in French Equatorial Africa
French Equatorial Africa
French Equatorial Africa or the AEF was the federation of French colonial possessions in Middle Africa, extending northwards from the Congo River to the Sahara Desert.-History:...

, namely Chad
Chad
Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

, French Congo
French Congo
The French Congo was a French colony which at one time comprised the present-day area of the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and the Central African Republic...

, and eventually Gabon
Gabon
Gabon , officially the Gabonese Republic is a state in west central Africa sharing borders with Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, and with the Republic of the Congo curving around the east and south. The Gulf of Guinea, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean is to the west...

 went over to the Free French almost immediately, others remained loyal to Vichy France. In time, the majority of the colonies tended to switch to the Allied side peacefully in response to persuasion and to changing events. This did not, however, happen overnight: Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe is an archipelago located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and a population of 400,000. It is the first overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. As with the other overseas departments, Guadeloupe...

 and Martinique
Martinique
Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of . Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados...

 in the West Indies, as well as French Guiana
French Guiana
French Guiana is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department located on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. It has borders with two nations, Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west...

 on the northern coast of South America, did not join the Free French until 1943. Meanwhile, France's Arab colonies (Syria, Algeria
French Algeria
French Algeria lasted from 1830 to 1962, under a variety of governmental systems. From 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was administered as an integral part of France, much like Corsica and Réunion are to this day. The vast arid interior of Algeria, like the rest...

, Tunisia, and Morocco) generally remained under Vichy control until captured by Allied forces. This was chiefly because their proximity to Europe made them easier to maintain without Allied interference; this same proximity also gave them strategic importance for the European theater of the war. Conversely, more remote French possessions sided with the Free French Forces
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

 early, whether upon Free French action such as in Saint Pierre and Miquelon (despite U.S. wishes to the contrary) or spontaneously such as in French Polynesia
French Polynesia
French Polynesia is an overseas country of the French Republic . It is made up of several groups of Polynesian islands, the most famous island being Tahiti in the Society Islands group, which is also the most populous island and the seat of the capital of the territory...

.

Conflicts with Britain in Mers-el-Kebir, Dakar, Gibraltar, Syria, and Madagascar




Relations between the United Kingdom and the Vichy government were difficult. The Vichy government broke off diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom on 5 July 1940, after the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 sank the French ships in port at Mers-el-Kebir
Destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir
The Attack on Mers-el-Kébir, part of Operation Catapult and also known as the Battle of Mers-el-Kébir, was a naval engagement fought at Mers-el-Kébir on the coast of what was then French Algeria on 3 July 1940...

, Algeria. The destruction of the fleet followed a standoff during which the British insisted that the French either scuttle their vessels, sail to a neutral port or join them in the war against Germany. These options were refused and the fleet was destroyed. This move by Britain hardened relations between the two former allies and caused more of the French population to side with Vichy against the British-supported Free French.

On 23 September 1940, the British launched the Battle of Dakar
Battle of Dakar
The Battle of Dakar, also known as Operation Menace, was an unsuccessful attempt in September 1940 by the Allies to capture the strategic port of Dakar in French West Africa , which was under Vichy French control, and to install the Free French under General Charles de Gaulle there.-Background:At...

, also known as Operation Menace. The Battle of Dakar was part of the West Africa Campaign
West Africa Campaign (World War II)
The name West African campaign refers to two battles during World War II: the Battle of Dakar and the Battle of Gabon, both of which took place in late 1940...

. Operation Menace was a plan to capture the strategic port of Dakar
Dakar
Dakar is the capital city and largest city of Senegal. It is located on the Cap-Vert Peninsula on the Atlantic coast and is the westernmost city on the African mainland...

 in French West Africa
French West Africa
French West Africa was a federation of eight French colonial territories in Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan , French Guinea , Côte d'Ivoire , Upper Volta , Dahomey and Niger...

. The port was under the control of the Vichy French. The plan called for installing Free French forces under General Charles de Gaulle in Dakar. By 25 September, the battle was over, the plan was unsuccessful, and Dakar remained under Vichy French control.

Overall, the Battle of Dakar did not go well for the Allies. The Vichy French did not back down. HMS Resolution was so heavily damaged that it had to be towed to Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

. Worse, during most of this conflict, bombers of the Vichy French Air Force
Vichy French Air Force
The Vichy French Air Force was the aerial branch of the armed forces of Vichy France - the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers following the defeat of France by Germany in 1940....

 (Armée de l'Air de Vichy) based in North Africa bombed the British base at Gibraltar
Military history of Gibraltar during World War II
The military history of Gibraltar during World War II exemplifies Gibraltar's position as a British fortress since the early 18th century and as a vital factor in British military strategy, both as a foothold on the continent of Europe, and as a bastion of British sea power...

. The bombing started on the 24 September in response to the first engagement in Dakar on 23 September. The bombing ended on 25 September. This was after the facilities at Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 suffered heavy damage.

In June 1941 the next flashpoint between Britain and Vichy France came when a revolt in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 was put down by British forces. German Air Force (Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

) and Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica
Regia Aeronautica
The Italian Royal Air Force was the name of the air force of the Kingdom of Italy. It was established as a service independent of the Royal Italian Army from 1923 until 1946...

) aircraft, staging through the French possession of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, intervened in the fighting in small numbers. That highlighted Syria as a threat to British interests in the Middle East. Consequently, on 8 June, British and Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 forces invaded Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

. This was known as the Syria-Lebanon Campaign
Syria-Lebanon campaign
The Syria–Lebanon campaign, also known as Operation Exporter, was the Allied invasion of Vichy French-controlled Syria and Lebanon, in June–July 1941, during World War II. Time Magazine referred to the fighting as a "mixed show" while it was taking place and the campaign remains little known, even...

 or Operation Exporter. The Syrian capital, Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, was captured on 17 June and the five-week campaign ended with the fall of Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 and the Convention of Acre (Armistice of Saint Jean d'Acre
Armistice of Saint Jean d'Acre
The Armistice of Saint Jean d'Acre concluded the Syria-Lebanon Campaign of World War II. It was an armistice signed between Allied forces in the Middle East under the command of British General Henry Maitland Wilson, and Vichy France forces in Syria and Lebanon, under the command of General Henri...

) on 14 July 1941.

From 5 May to 6 November 1942, another major operation by British and Commonwealth forces against Vichy French territory, took place in Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

. This operation was known as the Battle of Madagascar
Battle of Madagascar
The Battle of Madagascar was the Allied campaign to capture Vichy-French-controlled Madagascar during World War II. It began on 5 May 1942. Fighting did not cease until 6 November.-Geo-political:...

, or Operation Ironclad. The British feared that Japanese forces might use Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

 as a base and thus cripple British trade and communications in the Indian Ocean. As a result, Madagascar was invaded by British and Commonwealth forces. The landing at Diégo-Suarez
Antsiranana
Antsiranana , named Diego-Suarez prior to 1975, is a city at the northern tip of Madagascar.Antsiranana is the capital of Diana Region.-Transports:...

 was relatively quick, though it took the British forces six more months to control the whole of the large (587,041 km2), (226,658 mi2 ) island.

Indochina


In June 1940 the Fall of France obviously made the French hold on Indochina tenuous. The isolated colonial administration was cut off from outside help and outside supplies. After negotiations with Japan the French allowed the Japanese to set up military bases in Indochina.

This seemingly subservient behavior convinced the regime of Major-General Plaek Pibulsonggram
Plaek Pibulsonggram
Field Marshal Plaek Pibunsongkhram , often known as Phibun Songkhram or simply Phibun in English, was Prime Minister and virtual military dictator of Thailand from 1938 to 1944 and 1948 to 1957.- Early years :...

, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, that Vichy France would not seriously resist a confrontation with Thailand. In October 1940, the military forces of Thailand attacked across the border with Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

 and launched the French-Thai War
French-Thai War
The Franco-Thai War was fought between Thailand and Vichy France over certain areas of French Indochina that had once belonged to Thailand....

. Though the French won an important naval victory
Battle of Koh Chang
The Battle of Koh Chang took place on 17 January 1941 during the French-Thai War and resulted in a decisive victory by the French over the Royal Thai Navy. During the battle, a flotilla of French warships attacked a smaller force of Thai vessels, including a coastal battleship.In the end, Thailand...

 over the Thais, the Japanese forced the French to accept their mediation of a peace treaty that returned parts of Cambodia and Laos that had been taken from Thailand around the turn of the century to Thai control. This territorial loss was a major blow to French pride, especially since the ruins of Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu,...

, of which the French were especially proud, were located in the region of Cambodia returned to Thailand.

The French were left in place to administer the colony until 9 March 1945, when the Japanese staged a coup d'état in French Indochina
Second French Indochina Campaign
The Second French Indochina Campaign, also known as the Japanese coup of March 1945, was a Japanese military operation in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, then a French colony and known as French Indochina, during the final months of the Second World War. Vietnam was not a real colony at this time. The...

 and took control of Indochina establishing their own colony, Empire of Vietnam
Empire of Vietnam
The Empire of Vietnam was a short-lived puppet state of Imperial Japan governing the whole of Vietnam between March 11 and August 23, 1945.-History:...

, as a double puppet state
Puppet state
A puppet state is a nominal sovereign of a state who is de facto controlled by a foreign power. The term refers to a government controlled by the government of another country like a puppeteer controls the strings of a marionette...

.

French Somaliland


During the Italian invasion and occupation of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

 in the mid-1930s and during the early stages of World War II, constant border skirmishes occurred between the forces in French Somaliland
French Somaliland
French Somaliland was a French colony in the Horn of Africa. Established after the French signed various treaties between 1883 and 1887 with the then ruling Somali Sultans, the colony lasted from 1896 until 1946, when it became an overseas territory of France....

 and the forces in Italian East Africa
Italian East Africa
Italian East Africa was an Italian colonial administrative subdivision established in 1936, resulting from the merger of the Ethiopian Empire with the old colonies of Italian Somaliland and Italian Eritrea. In August 1940, British Somaliland was conquered and annexed to Italian East Africa...

. After the fall of France in 1940, French Somaliland declared loyalty to Vichy France. The colony remained loyal to Vichy France during the East African Campaign
East African Campaign (World War II)
The East African Campaign was a series of battles fought in East Africa during World War II by the British Empire, the British Commonwealth of Nations and several allies against the forces of Italy from June 1940 to November 1941....

 but stayed out of that conflict. This lasted until December 1942. By that time, the Italians had been defeated and the French colony was isolated by a British blockade. Free French and Allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 forces recaptured the colony's capital of Djibouti
Djibouti
Djibouti , officially the Republic of Djibouti , is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east...

 at the end of 1942. A local battalion from Djibouti participated in the liberation of France in 1944.

French North Africa


The Allied invasion of French North Africa, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, Algeria, and Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

, started on 8 November 1942, with landings in Morocco and Algeria. The invasion, known as Operation Torch, was launched because the Soviet Union had pressed the United States and Britain to start operations in Europe, and open a second front
Front (military)
A military front or battlefront is a contested armed frontier between opposing forces. This can be a local or tactical front, or it can range to a theater...

 to reduce the pressure of German forces on the Russian troops
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

. While the American commanders favored landing in occupied Europe as soon as possible (Operation Sledgehammer
Operation Sledgehammer
Operation Sledgehammer was a World War II Allied plan for a cross-Channel invasion of Europe, as the first step in helping to reduce pressure on the Soviet Red Army by establishing a Second Front...

), the British commanders believed that such a move would end in disaster. An attack on French North Africa was proposed instead. This would clear the Axis Powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 from North Africa, improve naval control of the Mediterranean, and prepare an invasion of Southern Europe in 1943. American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt suspected the operation in North Africa would rule out an invasion of Europe in 1943 but agreed to support British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

By the time the Tunisia Campaign
Tunisia Campaign
The Tunisia Campaign was a series of battles that took place in Tunisia during the North African Campaign of the Second World War, between Axis and Allied forces. The Allies consisted of British Imperial Forces, including Polish and Greek contingents, with American and French corps...

 was fought, the French forces in North Africa had gone over to the Allied side, joining the Free French Forces
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

.

Oceania


The French possessions in Oceania joined the Free French side in 1940, or in one case in 1942. They then served as bases for the Allied effort in the Pacific and contributed troops to the Free French Forces
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

.

New Hebrides


In the New Hebrides
New Hebrides
New Hebrides was the colonial name for an island group in the South Pacific that now forms the nation of Vanuatu. The New Hebrides were colonized by both the British and French in the 18th century shortly after Captain James Cook visited the islands...

 (now Vanuatu
Vanuatu
Vanuatu , officially the Republic of Vanuatu , is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some east of northern Australia, northeast of New Caledonia, west of Fiji, and southeast of the Solomon Islands, near New Guinea.Vanuatu was...

), then a French-British condominium
Condominium (international law)
In international law, a condominium is a political territory in or over which two or more sovereign powers formally agree to share equally dominium and exercise their rights jointly, without dividing it up into 'national' zones.Although a condominium has always been...

, Resident Commissioner Henri Sautot quickly led the French community to join the Free French side. The outcome was decided in a public meeting on 20 July 1940 and conveyed to De Gaulle on 22 July 1940.

French Polynesia


Following the Appeal of 18 June, debate arose among the population of French Polynesia
French Polynesia
French Polynesia is an overseas country of the French Republic . It is made up of several groups of Polynesian islands, the most famous island being Tahiti in the Society Islands group, which is also the most populous island and the seat of the capital of the territory...

. A referendum was organized on 2 September 1940 in Tahiti
Tahiti
Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of French Polynesia. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous...

 and Moorea
Moorea
Moʻorea is a high island in French Polynesia, part of the Society Islands, 17 km northwest of Tahiti. Its position is . Moʻorea means "yellow lizard" in Tahitian...

, with outlying islands reporting agreement in following days. The vote was massively (5564 vs. 18) in favor of joining the Free French
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

 side. Following the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

, American forces identified French Polynesia as an ideal refuelling point between Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and undersea seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles from the island of Hawaii in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll...

 and Australia and, with de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

's agreement, organized "Operation Bobcat" sending nine ships with 5,000 GIs who built a naval refuelling base and airstrip and set up coastal defense guns on Bora Bora
Bora Bora
The commune of Bora-Bora is made up of the island of Bora Bora proper with its surrounding islets emerging from the coral reef, 29.3 km² in total, and of the atoll of Tupai , located north of Bora Bora...

. This first experience was valuable in later Seabee
Seabee
Seabees are members of the United States Navy construction battalions. The word Seabee is a proper noun that comes from the initials of Construction Battalion, of the United States Navy...

 efforts in the Pacific, and the Bora Bora base supplied the Allied ships and planes that fought the Battle of the Coral Sea
Battle of the Coral Sea
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States and Australia. The battle was the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged...

. Troops from French Polynesia and New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, east of Australia and about from Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of...

 formed a Bataillon du Pacifique in 1940; became part of the 1st Free French Division
1st Free French Division
The 1st Free French Division was one of the principal units of the Free French Forces during World War II, and the first Free French unit of divisional size.-World War II:...

 in 1942, distinguishing themselves during the Battle of Bir Hakeim
Battle of Bir Hakeim
Bir Hakeim is a remote oasis in the Libyan desert, and the former site of a Turkish fort. During the Battle of Gazala, the 1st Free French Division of General Marie Pierre Kœnig defended the site from 26 May-11 June 1942 against attacking German and Italian forces directed by Lieutenant-General ...

 and subsequently combining with another unit to form the Bataillon d'infanterie de marine et du Pacifique; fought in the Italian Campaign
Italian Campaign (World War II)
The Italian Campaign of World War II was the name of Allied operations in and around Italy, from 1943 to the end of the war in Europe. Joint Allied Forces Headquarters AFHQ was operationally responsible for all Allied land forces in the Mediterranean theatre, and it planned and commanded the...

, distinguishing itself at the Garigliano during the Battle of Monte Cassino
Battle of Monte Cassino
The Battle of Monte Cassino was a costly series of four battles during World War II, fought by the Allies against Germans and Italians with the intention of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome.In the beginning of 1944, the western half of the Winter Line was being anchored by Germans...

 and on to Tuscany
Gothic Line
The Gothic Line formed Field Marshal Albert Kesselring's last major line of defence in the final stages of World War II along the summits of the Apennines during the fighting retreat of German forces in Italy against the Allied Armies in Italy commanded by General Sir Harold Alexander.Adolf Hitler...

; and participated in the Provence landings and onwards to the liberation of France.

Wallis and Futuna


In Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna, officially the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands , is a Polynesian French island territory in the South Pacific between Tuvalu to the northwest, Rotuma of Fiji to the west, the main part of Fiji to the southwest, Tonga to the southeast,...

, the local administrator and bishop sided with Vichy, but faced opposition from some of the population and clergy; their attempts at naming a local king in 1941 (to buffer the territory from their opponents) backfired as the newly elected king refused to declare allegiance to Pétain. The situation stagnated for a long while, due to the great remoteness of the islands and the fact that no overseas ship visited the islands for 17 months after January 1941. An aviso
Aviso
An aviso , a kind of dispatch boat or advice boat, survives particularly in the French navy, they are considered equivalent to the modern sloop....

 sent from Nouméa
Nouméa
Nouméa is the capital city of the French territory of New Caledonia. It is situated on a peninsula in the south of New Caledonia's main island, Grande Terre, and is home to the majority of the island's European, Polynesian , Indonesian, and Vietnamese populations, as well as many Melanesians,...

 took over Wallis on behalf of the Free French on 27 May 1942, and Futuna on 29 May 1942. This allowed American forces to build an airbase and seaplane base on Wallis (Navy 207) that served the Allied Pacific operations.

New Caledonia


In New Caledonia
New Caledonia
New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, east of Australia and about from Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of...

, Henri Sautot again led prompt allegiance to the Free French side, effective 19 September 1940. Due to its location on the edge of the Coral Sea and on the flank of Australia, New Caledonia became strategically critical in the effort to combat the Japanese advance in the Pacific in 1941–1942 and to protect the sea lanes between North America and Australia. Nouméa
Nouméa
Nouméa is the capital city of the French territory of New Caledonia. It is situated on a peninsula in the south of New Caledonia's main island, Grande Terre, and is home to the majority of the island's European, Polynesian , Indonesian, and Vietnamese populations, as well as many Melanesians,...

 served as a headquarters of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 and Army in the South Pacific, and as a repair base for Allied vessels. New Caledonia contributed personnel both to the Bataillon du Pacifique and to the Free French Naval Forces
Free French Naval Forces
Les Forces Navales Françaises Libres were the naval arm of the Free French Forces during the Second World War. They were commanded by Admiral Emile Muselier.- History :...

 that saw action in the Pacific and Indian Ocean.

German invasion, November 1942 and decline of the Vichy regime



Hitler ordered Case Anton
Case Anton
Operation Anton was the codename for the military occupation of Vichy France carried out by Germany and Italy in November 1942.- Background :...

, to occupy Corsica and then the rest of unoccupied southern zone, in immediate reaction to the landing of the Allies in North Africa (Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

) on 8 November 1942. Following the conclusion of the operation on 12 November, Vichy's remaining military forces were disbanded. Vichy continued to exercise its remaining jurisdiction over almost all of metropolitan France, with the residual power
Power (sociology)
Power is a measurement of an entity's ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other entities. The term authority is often used for power perceived as legitimate by the social structure. Power can be seen as evil or unjust, but the exercise of power is accepted as endemic to...

 devolved into the hands of Laval, until the gradual collapse of the regime following the Allied invasion in June 1944. On 7 September 1944, following the Allied invasion of France, the remainders of the Vichy government cabinet fled to Germany and established a puppet government
Puppet state
A puppet state is a nominal sovereign of a state who is de facto controlled by a foreign power. The term refers to a government controlled by the government of another country like a puppeteer controls the strings of a marionette...

 in exile at Sigmaringen
Sigmaringen
Sigmaringen is a town in southern Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Situated on the upper Danube, it is the capital of the Sigmaringen district....

. That rump government finally fell when the city was taken by the Allied French army in April 1945.

Part of the residual legitimacy of the Vichy regime resulted from the continued ambivalence of U.S. and British leaders. President Roosevelt continued to cultivate Vichy, and promoted General Henri Giraud
Henri Giraud
Henri Honoré Giraud was a French general who fought in World War I and World War II. Captured in both wars, he escaped each time....

 as a preferable alternative to de Gaulle, despite the poor performance of Vichy forces in North Africa—Admiral François Darlan
François Darlan
Jean Louis Xavier François Darlan was a French naval officer. His great-grandfather was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar...

 had landed in Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

 the day before Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

. Algiers was headquarters of the Vichy French XIXth Army Corps, which controlled Vichy military units in North Africa. Darlan was neutralized within 15 hours by a 400-strong French resistance force. Roosevelt and Churchill accepted Darlan, rather than de Gaulle, as the French leader in North Africa. De Gaulle had not even been informed of the landing in North Africa. The United States also resented the Free French taking control of St Pierre and Miquelon on 24 December 1941, because, Secretary of State Hull
Cordell Hull
Cordell Hull was an American politician from the U.S. state of Tennessee. He is best known as the longest-serving Secretary of State, holding the position for 11 years in the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during much of World War II...

 believed, it interfered with a U.S.-Vichy agreement to maintain the status quo with respect to French territorial possessions in the western hemisphere.

Following the invasion of France via Normandy and Provence (Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord
Operation Overlord was the code name for the Battle of Normandy, the operation that launched the invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II by Allied forces. The operation commenced on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings...

 and Operation Dragoon
Operation Dragoon
Operation Dragoon was the Allied invasion of southern France on August 15, 1944, during World War II. The invasion was initiated via a parachute drop by the 1st Airborne Task Force, followed by an amphibious assault by elements of the U.S. Seventh Army, followed a day later by a force made up...

) and the departure of the Vichy leaders, the U.S., Britain and the Soviet Union finally recognized the Provisional Government of the French Republic
Provisional Government of the French Republic
The Provisional Government of the French Republic was an interim government which governed France from 1944 to 1946, following the fall of Vichy France and prior to the Fourth French Republic....

 (GPRF), headed by de Gaulle, as the legitimate government of France on 23 October 1944. Before that, the first return of democracy to mainland France since 1940 had occurred with the declaration of the Free Republic of Vercors
Maquis du Vercors
-In fiction:The maquis du Vercors is depicted and veterans act in Pierre Schoendoerffer's Above the Clouds 2002 feature film, and in the third season of the British TV programme Wish Me Luck, which first aired in 1990.-See also:...

 on 3 July 1944, at the behest of the Free French government—but that act of resistance
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 was quashed by an overwhelming German attack by the end of July.

North Africa


In North Africa, after the 8 November 1942 putsch by the French resistance, most Vichy figures were arrested (including General Alphonse Juin
Alphonse Juin
- Early years :Juin was born at Bône in French Algeria, and enlisted in the French Army, graduating from the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr in 1912.- Career :...

, chief commander in North Africa, and Admiral Darlan). However, Darlan was released and U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 finally accepted his self-nomination as high commissioner of North Africa and French West Africa
French West Africa
French West Africa was a federation of eight French colonial territories in Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan , French Guinea , Côte d'Ivoire , Upper Volta , Dahomey and Niger...

 (Afrique occidentale française, AOF), a move that enraged de Gaulle, who refused to recognize Darlan's status. After Darlan signed an armistice with the Allies and took power in North Africa, Germany violated the 1940 armistice and invaded Vichy France on 10 November 1942 (operation code-named Case Anton
Case Anton
Operation Anton was the codename for the military occupation of Vichy France carried out by Germany and Italy in November 1942.- Background :...

), triggering the scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon
Scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon
The French fleet in Toulon was scuttled on 27 November 1942 on the order of the Admiralty of Vichy France to avoid capture by Nazi German forces during Operation Lila of the Case Anton takeover of Vichy France.- Context :...

.

Giraud arrived in Algiers on 10 November, and agreed to subordinate himself to Darlan
François Darlan
Jean Louis Xavier François Darlan was a French naval officer. His great-grandfather was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar...

 as the French African army commander. Even though he was now in the Allied camp, Darlan maintained the repressive Vichy system in North Africa, including concentration camp
Concentration camps in France
There were internment camps and concentration camps in France before, during and after World War II. Beside the camps created during World War I to intern German, Austrian and Ottoman civilian prisoners, the Third Republic opened various internment camps for the Spanish refugees fleeing the...

s in southern Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

 and racist laws. Detainees were also forced to work on the Transsaharien railroad. Jewish goods were "aryanized" (i.e., stolen), and a special Jewish Affair service was created, directed by Pierre Gazagne. Numerous Jewish children were prohibited from going to school, something which not even Vichy had implemented in metropolitan France. The admiral was killed on 24 December 1942, in Algiers by the young monarchist Bonnier de La Chapelle. Although de la Chapelle had been a member of the resistance group led by Henri d'Astier de La Vigerie
Henri d'Astier de la Vigerie
Henri d'Astier de La Vigerie was a French soldier, Résistance member, and conservative politician.-Life:Henri d'Astier was born in Villedieu-sur-Indre, a small village in the Indre département of central France...

, it is believed he was acting as an individual.

After Admiral Darlan's assassination, Giraud became his de facto successor in French Africa with Allied support. This occurred through a series of consultations between Giraud and de Gaulle. The latter wanted to pursue a political position in France and agreed to have Giraud as commander in chief, as the more qualified military person of the two. It is questionable that he ordered that many French resistance leaders who had helped Eisenhower's troops be arrested, without any protest by Roosevelt's representative, Robert Murphy
Robert Daniel Murphy
Robert Daniel Murphy was an American diplomat.Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Murphy had begun his diplomatic career in 1917 as a member of the American Legation in Bern, Switzerland. Among the several posts he held were Vice-Consul in Zurich and Munich, American Consul in Paris from 1930 to 1936,...

. Later, the Americans sent Jean Monnet
Jean Monnet
Jean Omer Marie Gabriel Monnet was a French political economist and diplomat. He is regarded by many as a chief architect of European Unity and is regarded as one of its founding fathers...

 to counsel Giraud and to press him into repeal the Vichy laws. After difficult negotiations, Giraud agreed to suppress the racist laws, and to liberate Vichy prisoners of the South Algerian concentration camps. The Cremieux decree, which granted French citizenship to Jews in Algeria and which had been repealed by Vichy, was immediately restored by General de Gaulle.

Giraud took part in the Casablanca conference
Casablanca Conference (1943)
The Casablanca Conference was held at the Anfa Hotel in Casablanca, Morocco, then a French protectorate, from January 14 to 24, 1943, to plan the European strategy of the Allies during World War II. Present were Franklin D...

, with Roosevelt, Churchill and de Gaulle, in January 1943. The Allies discussed their general strategy for the war, and recognized joint leadership of North Africa by Giraud and de Gaulle. Henri Giraud and Charles de Gaulle then became co-presidents of the Comité français de la Libération Nationale
French Committee of National Liberation
The French Committee of National Liberation was a body formed by the French leaders Gens. Henri Giraud and Charles de Gaulle to provide united leadership, organize and coordinate the campaign to liberate France from Nazi Germany during World War II. The committee was formed on June 3, 1943 and...

, which unified the Free French Forces
Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were French partisans in World War II who decided to continue fighting against the forces of the Axis powers after the surrender of France and subsequent German occupation and, in the case of Vichy France, collaboration with the Germans.-Definition:In many sources, Free...

 and territories controlled by them and had been founded at the end of 1943. Democratic rule was restored in French Algeria
French rule in Algeria
French Algeria lasted from 1830 to 1962, under a variety of governmental systems. From 1848 until independence, the whole Mediterranean region of Algeria was administered as an integral part of France, much like Corsica and Réunion are to this day. The vast arid interior of Algeria, like the rest...

, and the Communists and Jews liberated from the concentration camps.

At the end of April 1945 Pierre Gazagne, secretary of the general government headed by Yves Chataigneau, took advantage of his absence to exile anti-imperialist leader Messali Hadj
Messali Hadj
Ahmed Ben Messali Hadj was an Algerian nationalist politician dedicated to the independence of his homeland from France...

 and arrest the leaders of his party, the Algerian People's Party
Algerian People's Party
The Algerian People's Party , was a successor organization of the North African Star , led by veteran Algerian nationalist Messali Hadj. It was formed on March 11, 1937...

 (PPA). On the day of the Liberation of France, the GPRF would harshly repress a rebellion in Algeria during the Sétif massacre
Setif massacre
The Sétif massacre refers to widespread disturbances and killings in and around the Algerian market town of Sétif located to the west of Constantine in 1945. Shooting by the French authorities against local demonstrators occurred on 8 May 1945. Then, riots in the town itself were followed by...

 of 8 May 1945, which has been qualified by some historians as the "real beginning of the Algerian War".

Independence of the SOL


In 1943 the Service d'ordre légionnaire
Service d'ordre légionnaire
The Service d'ordre légionnaire was a collaborationist militia created by Joseph Darnand, a far right veteran from the First World War...

(SOL) collaborationist militia, headed by Joseph Darnand
Joseph Darnand
Joseph Darnand was a French soldier and later a leader of the Vichy French collaborators with Nazi Germany....

, became independent and was transformed into the "Milice française" (French Militia). Officially directed by Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval was a French politician. He was four times President of the council of ministers of the Third Republic, twice consecutively. Following France's Armistice with Germany in 1940, he served twice in the Vichy Regime as head of government, signing orders permitting the deportation of...

 himself, the SOL was led by Darnand, who held an SS rank and pledged an oath of loyalty to Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

. Under Darnand and his sub-commanders, such as Paul Touvier
Paul Touvier
Paul Touvier was a French Nazi collaborator. In 1994, he was the first Frenchman convicted of crimes against humanity for his actions in Vichy France.- Early life :...

 and Jacques de Bernonville
Jacques de Bernonville
Jacques Charles Noel Duge de Bernonville was a French collaborationist and senior police officer in the Vichy regime in France infamously known as the man who hunted down resistance fighters during World War II....

, the Milice was responsible for helping the German forces and police in the repression of the French Resistance
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 and Maquis
Maquis (World War II)
The Maquis were the predominantly rural guerrilla bands of the French Resistance. Initially they were composed of men who had escaped into the mountains to avoid conscription into Vichy France's Service du travail obligatoire to provide forced labour for Germany...

.
In addition, the Milice
Milice
The Milice française , generally called simply Milice, was a paramilitary force created on January 30, 1943 by the Vichy Regime, with German aid, to help fight the French Resistance. The Milice's formal leader was Prime Minister Pierre Laval, though its chief of operations, and actual leader, was...

participated with area Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

head Klaus Barbie
Klaus Barbie
Nikolaus 'Klaus' Barbie was an SS-Hauptsturmführer , Gestapo member and war criminal. He was known as the Butcher of Lyon.- Early life :...

 in seizing members of the resistance and minorities including Jews for shipment to detention centres, such as the Drancy deportation camp, en route to Auschwitz
Auschwitz concentration camp
Concentration camp Auschwitz was a network of Nazi concentration and extermination camps built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II...

, and other German concentration camps, including Dachau and Buchenwald.

Jewish death toll


There were, in 1940, approximately 350,000 Jews in metropolitan France
Metropolitan France
Metropolitan France is the part of France located in Europe. It can also be described as mainland France or as the French mainland and the island of Corsica...

, less than half of them with French citizenship (and the others foreigners, mostly exiles from Germany during the 1930s). About 200,000 of them, and the large majority of foreign Jews, lived in Paris and its outskirts. Among the 150,000 French Jews, about 30,000, generally native from Central Europe, had been naturalized
Naturalization
Naturalization is the acquisition of citizenship and nationality by somebody who was not a citizen of that country at the time of birth....

 French during the 1930s. Of the total, approximatively 25,000 French Jews and 50,000 foreign Jews were deported. According to historian Robert Paxton
Robert Paxton
Robert O. Paxton is an American political scientist and historian specializing in Vichy France, fascism and Europe during the World War II era...

, 76,000 Jews were deported and died in concentration and extermination camps. Including the Jews who died in concentration camps in France
Concentration camps in France
There were internment camps and concentration camps in France before, during and after World War II. Beside the camps created during World War I to intern German, Austrian and Ottoman civilian prisoners, the Third Republic opened various internment camps for the Spanish refugees fleeing the...

, this would have made for a total figure of 90,000 Jewish deaths (a quarter of the total Jewish population before the war, by his estimate). Paxton's numbers imply that 14,000 Jews died in French concentration camps. However, the systematic census of Jewish deportees from France (citizens or not) drawn under Serge Klarsfeld concluded that 3,000 had died in French concentration camps and 1,000 more had been shot. Of the approximately 76,000 deported, 2,566 survived. The total thus reported is slightly below 77,500 dead (somewhat less than a quarter of the Jewish population in France in 1940).

Proportionally, either number makes for a lower death toll than in some other countries (in the Netherlands, 75% of the Jewish population was murdered). This fact has been used as arguments by supporters of Vichy. However, according to Paxton, the figure would have been greatly lower if the "French state" had not willfully collaborated with Germany, which lacked staff for police activities. During the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup of July 1942, Laval ordered the deportation of the children, against explicit German orders. Paxton pointed out that if the total number of victims had not been higher, it was due to the shortage in wagons, the resistance of the civilian population and deportation in other countries (notably in Italy).

Sigmaringen government



Following the Liberation of Paris
Liberation of Paris
The Liberation of Paris took place during World War II from 19 August 1944 until the surrender of the occupying German garrison on August 25th. It could be regarded by some as the last battle in the Battle for Normandy, though that really ended with the crushing of the Wehrmacht forces between the...

 on 25 August 1944, Pétain and his ministers were taken to Germany by the German forces. There, Fernand de Brinon
Fernand de Brinon
Fernand de Brinon, Marquis de Brinon was a French lawyer and journalist who was one of the architects of French collaboration with the Nazis during World War II...

 established a government in exile
Government in exile
A government in exile is a political group that claims to be a country's legitimate government, but for various reasons is unable to exercise its legal power, and instead resides in a foreign country. Governments in exile usually operate under the assumption that they will one day return to their...

 at Sigmaringen
Sigmaringen
Sigmaringen is a town in southern Germany, in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Situated on the upper Danube, it is the capital of the Sigmaringen district....

—in which Pétain refused to participate—until 22 April 1945. The government was situated in Sigmaringen Castle, and its official title was the French Delegation or the French Government Commission for the Protection of National Interests . Sigmaringen had its own radio (Radio-patrie, Içi la France), press (La France, Le Petit Parisien
Le Petit Parisien
Le Petit Parisien was a prominent French newspaper during the French Third Republic. It was published between 1876 and 1944, and its circulation was over 2 million after the First World War.-Publishing:...

) and hosted the embassies of the Axis powers, Germany, Italy and Japan. The population of the Vichy French enclave was about 6,000 citizens including known collaborationist journalists, writers (Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Louis-Ferdinand Céline was the pen name of French writer and physician Louis-Ferdinand Destouches . Céline was chosen after his grandmother's first name. He is considered one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, developing a new style of writing that modernized both French and...

, Lucien Rebatet
Lucien Rebatet
Lucien Rebatet was a French author, journalist and intellectual, an exponent of fascism and virulent antisemite.-Early life:...

), actors (Le Vigan) and their families plus 500 soldiers, 700 French SS, POWs and French civilian forced labourers
Service du travail obligatoire
The Service du travail obligatoire was the forced enlistment and deportation of hundreds of thousands of French workers to Nazi Germany in order to work as forced labour for the German war effort during World War II....

. On 8 January 1945, Jacques Doriot set up the "Committee of French liberation" at Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Neustadt an der Weinstraße is a town located in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. With 53,892 inhabitants as of 2002, it is the largest town called Neustadt.-Etymology:...

, shortly before being killed in an Allied air attack.

Actions of the French provisional government


The Free French, fearing that the Allies could decide to put France under the rule of AMGOT, strove to establish quickly the Provisional Government of the French Republic
Provisional Government of the French Republic
The Provisional Government of the French Republic was an interim government which governed France from 1944 to 1946, following the fall of Vichy France and prior to the Fourth French Republic....

. The first action of that government was to re-establish republican legality throughout metropolitan France.

The provisional government considered that the Vichy government had been unconstitutional and thus that all its actions had been illegal. All statutes, laws, regulations and decisions by the Vichy government were thus made null and devoid of effects. However, since mass cancellation of all decisions taken by Vichy, including many that could have been taken as well by Republican governments, was impractical, it was decided that cancellation was to be expressly acknowledged by the government. A number of laws and acts were however explicitly repealed, including all constitutional acts, all laws discriminating against Jews, all acts against "secret societies" (e.g. Freemasons), and all acts creating special tribunals.

Collaborationist paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 and political organizations, such as the Milice
Milice
The Milice française , generally called simply Milice, was a paramilitary force created on January 30, 1943 by the Vichy Regime, with German aid, to help fight the French Resistance. The Milice's formal leader was Prime Minister Pierre Laval, though its chief of operations, and actual leader, was...

 and the Service d'ordre légionnaire
Service d'ordre légionnaire
The Service d'ordre légionnaire was a collaborationist militia created by Joseph Darnand, a far right veteran from the First World War...

, were also disbanded.

The provisional government also took steps to replace local governments, including governments that had been suppressed by the Vichy regime, through new elections or by extending the terms of those who had been elected no later than 1939.

The Purges


After the liberation, France was swept for a short period with a wave of executions of Collaborationists. Collaborationists were brought to the Vélodrome d'hiver
Vélodrome d'hiver
The Vélodrome d'Hiver , colloquially Vel' d'Hiv, was an indoor bicycle racing cycle track and stadium on rue Nélaton, not far from the Eiffel Tower in Paris. As well as track cycling, it was used for ice hockey, wrestling, boxing, roller-skating, circuses, spectaculars, and demonstrations...

, Fresnes prison or the Drancy internment camp
Drancy internment camp
The Drancy internment camp of Paris, France, was used to hold Jews who were later deported to the extermination camps. 65,000 Jews were deported from Drancy, of whom 63,000 were murdered including 6,000 children...

. Women who were suspected of having romantic liaisons with Germans, or more often of being prostitutes who had entertained German customers, were publicly humiliated by having their heads shaved. Those who had engaged in the black market were also stigmatized as "war profiteers" (profiteurs de guerre), and popularly called "BOF" (Beurre Oeuf Fromage, or Butter Eggs Cheese, because of the products sold at outrageous prices during the Occupation). However, the Provisional Government of the French Republic
Provisional Government of the French Republic
The Provisional Government of the French Republic was an interim government which governed France from 1944 to 1946, following the fall of Vichy France and prior to the Fourth French Republic....

 (GPRF, 1944–46) quickly reestablished order, and brought Collaborationists before the courts. Many convicted Collaborationists were then amnestied
Amnesty
Amnesty is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to the positions of innocent people, without changing the laws defining the offense. It includes more than pardon, in as much as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the...

 under the Fourth Republic
French Fourth Republic
The French Fourth Republic was the republican government of France between 1946 and 1958, governed by the fourth republican constitution. It was in many ways a revival of the Third Republic, which was in place before World War II, and suffered many of the same problems...

 (1946–54).

Four different periods are distinguished by historians:
  • the first phase of popular convictions (épuration sauvage – wild purge): executions without judgments and shaving of women's heads. Estimations by police prefects made in 1948 and 1952 counted as many as 6,000 executions before the Liberation, and 4,000 afterward.
  • the second phase (épuration légale
    Épuration légale
    The Épuration légale was the wave of official trials that followed the Liberation of France and the fall of the Vichy Regime...

    or legal purge), which began with Charles de Gaulle's 26 and 27 June 1944 purge ordonnances (de Gaulle's first ordonnance instituting purge Commissions was enacted on 18 August 1943) : judgments of Collaborationists by the Commissions d'épuration, who condemned approximately 120,000 persons (e.g. Charles Maurras
    Charles Maurras
    Charles-Marie-Photius Maurras was a French author, poet, and critic. He was a leader and principal thinker of Action Française, a political movement that was monarchist, anti-parliamentarist, and counter-revolutionary. Maurras' ideas greatly influenced National Catholicism and "nationalisme...

    , leader of the royalist Action Française
    Action Française
    The Action Française , founded in 1898, is a French Monarchist counter-revolutionary movement and periodical founded by Maurice Pujo and Henri Vaugeois and whose principal ideologist was Charles Maurras...

    , was thus condemned to a life sentence on 25 January 1945), including 1,500 death sentences (Joseph Darnand
    Joseph Darnand
    Joseph Darnand was a French soldier and later a leader of the Vichy French collaborators with Nazi Germany....

    , head of the Milice
    Milice
    The Milice française , generally called simply Milice, was a paramilitary force created on January 30, 1943 by the Vichy Regime, with German aid, to help fight the French Resistance. The Milice's formal leader was Prime Minister Pierre Laval, though its chief of operations, and actual leader, was...

    , and Pierre Laval
    Pierre Laval
    Pierre Laval was a French politician. He was four times President of the council of ministers of the Third Republic, twice consecutively. Following France's Armistice with Germany in 1940, he served twice in the Vichy Regime as head of government, signing orders permitting the deportation of...

    , head of the French state, were executed after trial on 4 October 1945, Robert Brasillach
    Robert Brasillach
    Robert Brasillach was a French author and journalist. Brasillach is best known as the editor of Je suis partout, a nationalist newspaper which came to advocate various fascist movements and supported Jacques Doriot...

    , executed on 6 February 1945, etc.)—many of those who survived this phase were later amnestied
    Amnesty
    Amnesty is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to the positions of innocent people, without changing the laws defining the offense. It includes more than pardon, in as much as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the...

    .
  • the third phase, more lenient towards Collaborationists (the trial of Philippe Pétain or of writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline
    Louis-Ferdinand Céline
    Louis-Ferdinand Céline was the pen name of French writer and physician Louis-Ferdinand Destouches . Céline was chosen after his grandmother's first name. He is considered one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, developing a new style of writing that modernized both French and...

    ).
  • finally came the period for amnesty and graces
    Grâces
    Grâces is a commune in the Côtes-d'Armor department in Bretagne in northwestern France.-Population:Inhabitants of Grâces are called gracieux.-External links:*...

     (e.g. Jean-Pierre Esteva, Xavier Vallat
    Xavier Vallat
    Xavier Vallat , French politician, was Commissioner-General for Jewish Questions in the wartime Vichy collaborationist government, and was sentenced after World War II to ten years in prison for his part in the persecution of French Jews.- Until World War II :Vallat was born in the department of...

    , creator of the General Commission for Jewish Affairs, René Bousquet, head of French police, etc.)


Other historians have distinguished the purges against intellectuals (Brasillach, Céline, etc.), industrialists, fighters (LVF, etc.) and civil servants (Papon, etc.).

Philippe Pétain was charged with treason in July 1945. He was convicted and sentenced to death by firing squad, but Charles de Gaulle commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. In the police, some collaborators soon resumed official responsibilities. This continuity of the administration was pointed out, in particular concerning the events of the Paris massacre of 1961
Paris massacre of 1961
The Paris massacre of 1961 was a massacre in Paris on 17 October 1961, during the Algerian War . Under orders from the head of the Parisian police, Maurice Papon, the French police attacked a demonstration of some 30,000 pro-FLN Algerians...

, executed under the orders of head of the Parisian police Maurice Papon
Maurice Papon
Maurice Papon was a French civil servant, industrial leader and Gaullist politician, who was convicted for crimes against humanity for his participation in the deportation of over 1600 Jews during World War II when he was secretary general for police of the Prefecture of Bordeaux.Papon also...

 when Charles de Gaulle was head of state. Papon was tried and convicted for crimes against humanity in 1998.

The French members of the Waffen-SS Charlemagne Division who survived the war were regarded as traitors. Some of the more prominent officers were executed, while the rank-and-file were given prison terms; some of them were given the option of doing time in Indochina (1946–54) with the Foreign Legion instead of prison.

Among artists, singer Tino Rossi
Tino Rossi
Tino Rossi was a singer and film actor.Born Constantino Rossi in Ajaccio, Corsica, France, he became a tenor of French cabaret and one of the great romantic idols of his time. Gifted with an operatic voice, a "Latin Lover" persona made him a movie star as well...

 was detained in Fresnes prison
Fresnes Prison
Fresnes Prison is the second largest prison in France, located in the town of Fresnes, Val-de-Marne South of Paris...

, where, according to Combat
Combat (newspaper)
Combat was a French newspaper created during the Second World War. Originally a clandestine newspaper of the Resistance, it was headed by Albert Ollivier, Jean Bloch-Michel, Georges Altschuler and, most of all, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, André Malraux, Emmanuel Mounier, and then Raymond Aron...

newspaper, prison guards asked him for autographs. Pierre Benoit
Pierre Benoit
Pierre Benoit may refer to:*Pierre Benoit , novelist and member of the Académie française*Pierre Basile Benoit , former member of the Canadian House of Commons...

 and Arletty
Arletty
Arletty was a French actress, singer, and fashion model.-Life and career:Arletty was born Léonie Marie Julie Bathiat in Courbevoie , to a working-class family. Her early career was dominated by the music hall, and she later appeared in plays and cabaret. Arletty was a stage performer for ten years...

 were also detained.

Executions without trials and other forms of "popular justice" were harshly criticized immediately after the war, with circles close to Pétainists advancing the figures of 100,000, and denouncing the "Red Terror
Red Terror
The Red Terror in Soviet Russia was the campaign of mass arrests and executions conducted by the Bolshevik government. In Soviet historiography, the Red Terror is described as having been officially announced on September 2, 1918 by Yakov Sverdlov and ended about October 1918...

", "anarchy
Anarchy
Anarchy , has more than one colloquial definition. In the United States, the term "anarchy" typically is meant to refer to a society which lacks publicly recognized government or violently enforced political authority...

", or "blind vengeance". The writer and Jewish internee Robert Aron
Robert Aron
Robert Aron was a French writer who authored a number of works on politics and history.-Early life:...

 estimated the popular executions to a number of 40,000 in 1960. This surprised de Gaulle, who estimated the number to be around 10,000, which is also the figure accepted today by mainstream historians. Approximately 9,000 of these 10,000 refer to summary executions in the whole of the country, which occurred during battle.

Some imply that France did too little to deal with collaborators at this stage, by selectively pointing out that in absolute value (numbers), there were fewer legal executions in France than in its smaller neighbor Belgium, and fewer internments than in Norway or the Netherlands. However, the situation in Belgium was not comparable as it mixed collaboration with elements of a war of secession: The 1940 invasion prompted the Flemish population to generally side with the Germans in the hope of gaining national recognition, and relative to national population a much higher proportion of Belgians than French thus ended up collaborating with the Nazis or volunteering to fight alongside them; the Walloon population in turn led massive anti-Flemish retribution after the war, some of which, such as the execution of Irma Swertvaeger Laplasse, remained controversial.

The proportion of collaborators was also higher in Norway, and collaboration occurred on a larger scale in the Netherlands (as in Flanders) based partly on linguistic and cultural commonality with Germany. The internments in Norway and Netherlands, meanwhile, were highly temporary and were rather indiscriminate; there was a brief internment peak in these countries as internment was used partly for the purpose of separating Collaborationists from non-Collaborationists. Norway ended up executing only 37 Collaborationists.

1980s trials


Some accused war criminals were judged, some for a second time, from the 1980s onwards: Paul Touvier
Paul Touvier
Paul Touvier was a French Nazi collaborator. In 1994, he was the first Frenchman convicted of crimes against humanity for his actions in Vichy France.- Early life :...

, Klaus Barbie
Klaus Barbie
Nikolaus 'Klaus' Barbie was an SS-Hauptsturmführer , Gestapo member and war criminal. He was known as the Butcher of Lyon.- Early life :...

, Maurice Papon
Maurice Papon
Maurice Papon was a French civil servant, industrial leader and Gaullist politician, who was convicted for crimes against humanity for his participation in the deportation of over 1600 Jews during World War II when he was secretary general for police of the Prefecture of Bordeaux.Papon also...

, René Bousquet, head of French police during the war, and his deputy Jean Leguay
Jean Leguay
Jean Leguay was a high-ranking French civil servant complicit in the deportation of Jews from France.During the Vichy regime, Leguay was second-in-command to René Bousquet, general secretary of the National police in Paris. After the war he became president of Warner Lambert, Inc...

 (the last two were both convicted for their responsibilities in the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup of July 1942). Among others, Nazi hunter
Nazi hunter
A Nazi-hunter is a private individual who tracks down and gathers information on alleged former Nazis, SS members and Nazi collaborators involved in the Holocaust, typically for use at trial on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity...

s Serge and Beate Klarsfeld
Serge and Beate Klarsfeld
Serge and Beate Klarsfeld are activists known for engaging in Holocaust documentation and anti-Nazi activism...

 spent part of their post-war effort trying to bring them before the courts. A fair number of collaborationists then joined the OAS terrorist movement during the Algerian War (1954–62). Jacques de Bernonville
Jacques de Bernonville
Jacques Charles Noel Duge de Bernonville was a French collaborationist and senior police officer in the Vichy regime in France infamously known as the man who hunted down resistance fighters during World War II....

 escaped to Quebec, then Brazil. Jacques Ploncard d'Assac became counsellor to the dictator António de Oliveira Salazar
António de Oliveira Salazar
António de Oliveira Salazar, GColIH, GCTE, GCSE served as the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968. He also served as acting President of the Republic briefly in 1951. He founded and led the Estado Novo , the authoritarian, right-wing government that presided over and controlled Portugal...

 in Portugal.

In 1993 former Vichy official René Bousquet was assassinated while he awaited prosecution in Paris following a 1991 inculpation for crimes against humanity; he had been prosecuted but partially acquitted and immediately amnestied in 1949. In 1994 former Vichy official Paul Touvier
Paul Touvier
Paul Touvier was a French Nazi collaborator. In 1994, he was the first Frenchman convicted of crimes against humanity for his actions in Vichy France.- Early life :...

 (1915–1996) was convicted of crimes against humanity. Maurice Papon
Maurice Papon
Maurice Papon was a French civil servant, industrial leader and Gaullist politician, who was convicted for crimes against humanity for his participation in the deportation of over 1600 Jews during World War II when he was secretary general for police of the Prefecture of Bordeaux.Papon also...

 was likewise convicted in 1998, released three years later due to ill health, and died in 2007.

Historiographical debates and responsibility of France: the "Vichy Syndrome"


Up to Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

's presidency, the official point of view of the French government was that the Vichy regime was an illegal government distinct from the French Republic, established by traitors under foreign influence. Indeed, Vichy France eschewed the formal name of France ("French Republic") and styled itself the "French State", replacing the Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
Liberté, égalité, fraternité, French for "Liberty, equality, fraternity ", is the national motto of France, and is a typical example of a tripartite motto. Although it finds its origins in the French Revolution, it was then only one motto among others and was not institutionalized until the Third...

Republican motto, inherited from the 1789 French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, with the reactionary
Reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

 Travail, Famille, Patrie
Travail, famille, patrie
Travail, famille, patrie was the motto of the French State during World War II. It replaced the republican motto, Liberté, égalité, fraternité of the Third French Republic.-Institution:...

motto.

While the criminal behavior of Vichy France is acknowledged, this point of view denies any responsibility of the state of France, alleging that acts committed between 1940 and 1944 were unconstitutional acts devoid of legitimacy. The main proponent of this view was Charles de Gaulle himself, who insisted, as did other historians afterwards, on the unclear conditions of the June 1940 vote granting full powers to Pétain, which was refused by the minority of Vichy 80. In particular, coercive measures used by Pierre Laval have been denounced by those historians who hold that the vote did not, therefore, have Constitutional legality (See subsection: Conditions of armistice and 10 July 1940 vote of full powers).

Nevertheless, on 16 July 1995, president Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

, in a speech, recognized the responsibility of the French State for seconding the "criminal folly of the occupying country", in particular the help of the French police, headed by René Bousquet, which assisted the Nazis in the enactment of the so-called "Final Solution". The July 1942 Vel' d'Hiv Roundup is a tragic example of how the French police did the Nazi work, going even further than what military orders demanded (by sending children to Drancy internment camp, last stop before the extermination camps).

As historian Henry Rousso has put it in The Vichy Syndrome (1987), Vichy and the state collaboration of France remains a "past that doesn't pass." Historiographical debates are still, today, passionate, opposing conflictual views on the nature and legitimacy of Vichy's collaborationism with Germany in the implementation of the Holocaust. Three main periods have been distinguished in the historiography of Vichy: first the Gaullist period, which aimed at national reconciliation and unity under the figure of Charles de Gaulle, who conceived himself above political parties and divisions; then the 1960s, with Marcel Ophüls
Marcel Ophuls
Marcel Ophüls is a documentary film maker and former actor.He was born in Frankfurt, Germany, the son of the director Max Ophüls...

's film The Sorrow and the Pity
The Sorrow and the Pity
The Sorrow and the Pity is a two-part 1969 documentary film by Marcel Ophüls about the French Resistance and collaboration between the Vichy government and Nazi Germany during World War II. The film uses interviews with a German officer, collaborators, and resistance fighters from...

(1971); finally the 1990s, with the trial of Maurice Papon
Maurice Papon
Maurice Papon was a French civil servant, industrial leader and Gaullist politician, who was convicted for crimes against humanity for his participation in the deportation of over 1600 Jews during World War II when he was secretary general for police of the Prefecture of Bordeaux.Papon also...

, civil servant in Bordeaux in charge of the "Jewish Questions" during the war, who was convicted after a very long trial (1981–1998) for crimes against humanity. The trial of Papon did not only concern an individual itinerary, but the French administration's collective responsibility in the deportation of the Jews. Furthermore, his career after the war, which led him to be successively prefect of the Paris police during the Algerian War (1954–1962) and then treasurer of the Gaullist UDR
UDR
UDR may refer to:*Ulster Defence Regiment*União Democrática Ruralista , a Brazilian right-wing association of farmers*Union des Démocrates pour la République, French political party*Union for Democracy and the Republic , Chadian political party...

 party from 1968 to 1971, and finally Budget Minister under president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d'Estaing is a French centre-right politician who was President of the French Republic from 1974 until 1981...

 and prime minister Raymond Barre
Raymond Barre
Raymond Octave Joseph Barre was a French centre-right politician and economist. He was a Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs under three Presidents and later served as Prime Minister under Valéry Giscard d'Estaing from 1976 until 1981...

 from 1978 to 1981, was symptomatic of the quick rehabilitation of former Collaborationists after the war. Critics contend that this itinerary, shared by others (although few had such public roles), demonstrates France's collective amnesia, while others point out that the perception of the war and of the state collaboration has evolved during these years. Papon's career was considered more scandalous as he had been responsible, during his function as prefect of police of Paris, for the 1961 Paris massacre of Algerians during the war, and was forced to resign from this position after the "disappearance", in Paris in 1965, of the Moroccan anti-colonialist leader Mehdi Ben Barka
Mehdi Ben Barka
Mehdi Ben Barka was a Moroccan politician, head of the left-wing National Union of Popular Forces and secretary of the Tricontinental Conference...

.

While it is certain that the Vichy government and a large number of its high administration collaborated in the implementation of the Holocaust, the exact level of such cooperation is still debated. Compared with the Jewish communities established in other countries invaded by Germany, French Jews suffered proportionately lighter losses (see Jewish death toll section above); although, starting in 1942, repression and deportations struck French Jews as well as foreign Jews. Former Vichy officials later claimed that they did as much as they could to minimize the impact of the Nazi policies, although mainstream French historians contend that the Vichy regime went beyond the Nazi expectations.

The regional newspaper Nice Matin revealed on 28 February 2007, that in more than 1,000 condominium
Condominium
A condominium, or condo, is the form of housing tenure and other real property where a specified part of a piece of real estate is individually owned while use of and access to common facilities in the piece such as hallways, heating system, elevators, exterior areas is executed under legal rights...

 properties on the Côte d'Azur, rules dating to Vichy were still "in force", or at least existed on paper. One of these rules, for example, stated that:
The contractors shall make the following statements: they are of French nationality, are not Jewish, nor married to Jewish in the sense of the laws and ordinances in force [under Vichy, NDLR]

The president of the CRIF
Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France
Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France is an umbrella organization of French Jewish organizations. CRIF opposes anti-Semitism and policies that they perceive to be anti-Semitic....

-Côte d'Azur, a Jewish association group, issued a strong condemnation labeling it "the utmost horror" when one of the inhabitants of such a condominium qualified this as an "anachronism" with "no consequences." Jewish inhabitants were able and willing to live in the buildings, and to explain this the Nice Matin reporter surmised that some tenants may have not read the condominium contracts in detail, while others deemed the rules obsolete. A reason for the latter is that any racially discriminatory condominium or other local rule that may have existed "on paper", Vichy-era or otherwise, was invalidated by the constitutions of the French Fourth Republic
French Fourth Republic
The French Fourth Republic was the republican government of France between 1946 and 1958, governed by the fourth republican constitution. It was in many ways a revival of the Third Republic, which was in place before World War II, and suffered many of the same problems...

 (1946) and French Fifth Republic
French Fifth Republic
The Fifth Republic is the fifth and current republican constitution of France, introduced on 4 October 1958. The Fifth Republic emerged from the collapse of the French Fourth Republic, replacing the prior parliamentary government with a semi-presidential system...

 (1958) and was inapplicable under French antidiscrimination law. Thus, even if the tenants or coowners had signed or otherwise agreed to these rules after 1946, any such agreement would be null and void (caduque) under French law, as were the rules. Rewriting or eliminating the obsolete rules would have had to be done at the occupants' expense, including notary fees of 900 to 7000 EUR per building.

"Sword and shield" argument


Today, the few Vichy supporters continue to maintain the official argument advanced by Pétain and Laval: the state collaboration was supposed to protect the French civilian population from the hardships of the Occupation. After the war, former Collaborationists and "pétainistes" (supporters of Pétain) claimed that while Charles de Gaulle had represented the "sword" of France, Pétain had been the "shield" which protected France.

"French Jews vs. foreign Jews": myth or reality?


Although this claim is rejected by the rest of the French population and by the state itself, another myth remains more widespread than this one. This other myth refers to the alleged "protection" by Vichy of French Jews by "accepting" to collaborate in the deportation—and, ultimately, in the extermination—of foreign Jews.

However, this argument has been rejected by several historians who are specialists of the subject, among them US historian Robert Paxton
Robert Paxton
Robert O. Paxton is an American political scientist and historian specializing in Vichy France, fascism and Europe during the World War II era...

, who is widely recognized and whose foreign origin permits a more distant and objective judgment on the matter, and historian of the French police Maurice Rajsfus. Both were called on as experts during the Papon trial in the 1990s.

Robert Paxton thus declared, before the court, on 31 October 1997, that "Vichy took initiatives... The armistice let it a breathing space." Henceforth, on its own Vichy decided, on the domestic plan, to implement the "National Revolution" ("Révolution nationale"). After having designated the alleged responsibles of the defeat ("democracy, parliamentarism, cosmopolitanism, left-wing, foreigners, Jews...") Vichy put in place, as soon as 3 October 1940, the first "Statute on Jews." From then on, Jewish people were considered "second-zone citizens ".

On the international plan, France "believed the war to be finished". Thus, as soon as July 1940, Vichy eagerly negotiated with the German authorities in an attempt to gain a place for France in the Third Reich's "New Order". But "Hitler never forgot the 1918 defeat. He always said no." Vichy's ambition was doomed from the start.

"Antisemitism was a constant theme", recalled Robert Paxton. It even opposed itself, at first, to German plans. "At this period, the Nazis had not yet decided to exterminate the Jews, but to expel them. Their idea was not to make of France an antisemitic country. To the contrary, they wanted to send there the Jews that they expelled" from the Reich.

The historical turn took place in 1941–1942, with the pending German defeat on the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

. The war then became "total", and in August 1941, Hitler decided on the "global extermination of all European Jews." This new policy was officially formulated during the January 1942 Wannsee Conference
Wannsee Conference
The Wannsee Conference was a meeting of senior officials of the Nazi German regime, held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on 20 January 1942. The purpose of the conference was to inform administrative leaders of Departments responsible for various policies relating to Jews, that Reinhard Heydrich...

, and implemented in all European occupied countries as soon as spring 1942. France, which praised itself for having remained an independent state (as opposed to other occupied countries) "decided to cooperate. This is the second Vichy." The first train of deportees left Drancy on 27 March 1942, for Poland—the first in a long series.

"The Nazis needed the French administration... They always complained about the lack of staff." recalled Paxton, something which Maurice Rajsfus has also underlined. Although the American historian recognized during the trial that the "civil behavior of certain individuals" had permitted many Jews to escape deportation, he stated that:
The French state, itself, has participated to the policy of extermination of the Jews... How can one pretend the reverse when such technical and administrative means have been put to this aim?


Evoking the French police's registering of the Jews, as well as Laval's decision, taken in August 1942 in all independence, to deport children along with their parents, Paxton added:

Contrary to preconceived ideas, Vichy did not sacrifice foreign Jews in the hope of protecting French Jews. At the summit of the hierarchy, it knew, from the start, that the departure of these last ones was unavoidable.


Despite Paxton's assertion about Vichy knowledge "from the start", deportations from France did not start until summer 1942, several months after mass deportation from other countries started. Part of the population housed at the Dachau concentration camp, which had been opened since 1933, was Jewish, and major death camps in Poland and Germany were opened in 1941 and early 1942.

Paxton then evoked the case of Italy, where deportation of Jewish people had only started after the German occupation—Italy surrendered to the Allies in mid-1943 but was then invaded by Germany and fighting there continued through 1944. In particular, in Nice, "Italians had protected the Jews. And the French authorities complained about it to the Germans." In this instance, deportations from Italy started immediately upon its invasion by Germany. In fact, the rise of Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

 and Italian fascism
Italian Fascism
Italian Fascism also known as Fascism with a capital "F" refers to the original fascist ideology in Italy. This ideology is associated with the National Fascist Party which under Benito Mussolini ruled the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 until 1943, the Republican Fascist Party which ruled the Italian...

 had drastically curtailed Jewish immigration during the inter-war period, and Italy had passed drastic anti-Semitic laws in 1938 that stripped Jews of their citizenship. Ultimately, a similar proportion of Jews from Italy as from France were deported.

More recent work by the historian Susan Zuccotti finds that the Vichy government facilitated the deportation of foreign Jews rather than French ones, all else equal, until at least 1943:

Vichy officials [had] hoped to deport foreign Jews throughout France in order to ease pressure on native Jews. Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval was a French politician. He was four times President of the council of ministers of the Third Republic, twice consecutively. Following France's Armistice with Germany in 1940, he served twice in the Vichy Regime as head of government, signing orders permitting the deportation of...

 himself expressed the official Vichy position... In the early months of 1943, the terror [Adam] Munz and [Alfred] Feldman described in German-occupied France still was experienced by foreign Jews like themselves. It is difficult to know exactly how many French Jews were arrested, usually for specific or alleged offenses, but on 21 January 1943, Helmut Knochen
Helmut Knochen
Helmut Knochen was the senior commander of the Sicherheitspolizei and Sicherheitsdienst in Paris during the Nazi occupation of France during the World War II.- Early life :...

 informed Eichmann in Berlin that there were 2,159 French citizens among the 3,811 prisoners at Drancy. Many had been at Drancy for several months. They had not been deported because, until January 1943, there had usually been enough foreigners and their children to fill the forty-three trains that had carried about 41,591 people to the east... By January 1943, however, foreign Jews were increasingly aware of the danger and difficult to find. Nazi pressure for the arrest of French Jews and the deportation of those already at Drancy increased accordingly. Thus, when Knochen reported that there were 2,159 French citizens among the 3,811 prisoners at Drancy on 21 January 1943, he also asked Eichmann for permission to deport them. There had been no convoy from Drancy in December and January, and [SS Lieutenant Heinz] Röthke was pressuring Knochen to resume them. Röthke also wanted to empty Drancy in order to refill it. Despite Vichy officials' past disapproval and Eichmann's own prior discouragement of such a step, permission for the deportation of the French Jews at Drancy, except for those in mixed marriages, was granted from Berlin on 25 January.


Whatever the Vichy government's intent initially or subsequently, the numerical outcome was that less than 15% of French Jews, vs. nearly twice that proportion of non-citizen Jews residing in France, died. More Jews lived in France at the end of the Vichy regime than had approximately ten years earlier.

Notable figures in the Vichy regime


  • Philippe Pétain
    Philippe Pétain
    Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain , generally known as Philippe Pétain or Marshal Pétain , was a French general who reached the distinction of Marshal of France, and was later Chief of State of Vichy France , from 1940 to 1944...

    , head of the "French state" (Vichy)
  • Pierre Laval
    Pierre Laval
    Pierre Laval was a French politician. He was four times President of the council of ministers of the Third Republic, twice consecutively. Following France's Armistice with Germany in 1940, he served twice in the Vichy Regime as head of government, signing orders permitting the deportation of...

    , prime minister of the "French state" (1940, 1942–1944)
  • Pierre-Étienne Flandin, prime minister of the "French state" (1940–1941)
  • François Darlan
    François Darlan
    Jean Louis Xavier François Darlan was a French naval officer. His great-grandfather was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar...

    , prime minister of the "French state" (1941–1942)
  • Pierre Pucheu
    Pierre Pucheu
    Pierre Firmin Pucheu was a French industrialist, fascist and member of the Vichy government.-Early years:...

    , minister of the interior
  • Maxime Weygand
    Maxime Weygand
    Maxime Weygand was a French military commander in World War I and World War II.Weygand initially fought against the Germans during the invasion of France in 1940, but then surrendered to and collaborated with the Germans as part of the Vichy France regime.-Early years:Weygand was born in Brussels...

    , Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and minister of defense
  • Charles Huntziger
    Charles Huntziger
    Charles Huntziger was a French Army general during World War I and World War II.Born at Lesneven , he graduated from Saint-Cyr in 1900 and joined the colonial infantry. During World War I he served in the Middle Eastern theatre. He was chief of staff of operations of the Allied Expeditionary Force...

    , general and minister of defense
  • René Bousquet
    René Bousquet
    René Bousquet was a high-ranking French civil servant, who served as secretary general to the Vichy regime police from May 1942 to 31 December 1943.-Biography:...

    , head of the French police
  • Jean Leguay
    Jean Leguay
    Jean Leguay was a high-ranking French civil servant complicit in the deportation of Jews from France.During the Vichy regime, Leguay was second-in-command to René Bousquet, general secretary of the National police in Paris. After the war he became president of Warner Lambert, Inc...

    , delegate of Bousquet in the "free zone", charged with crimes against humanity for his role in the July 1942 Vel' d'Hiv Roundup
  • Louis Darquier de Pellepoix
    Louis Darquier de Pellepoix
    Louis Darquier, better known under his assumed name Louis Darquier de Pellepoix was Commissioner for Jewish Affairs under the Vichy Régime....

    , Commissionner for Jewish Affairs of the Vichy government
  • Philippe Henriot
    Philippe Henriot
    Philippe Henriot was a French politician.Moving to the far right after beginnings in Roman Catholic conservatism in the Republican Federation, Henriot was elected to the Third Republic's Chamber of Deputies for the Gironde département in 1932 and 1936...

    , State Secretary of Information and Propaganda of Vichy
  • Maurice Papon
    Maurice Papon
    Maurice Papon was a French civil servant, industrial leader and Gaullist politician, who was convicted for crimes against humanity for his participation in the deportation of over 1600 Jews during World War II when he was secretary general for police of the Prefecture of Bordeaux.Papon also...

    , head of the Jewish Questions Service in the prefecture of Bordeaux (condemned for crimes against humanity in 1998)
  • Simon Sabiani
    Simon Sabiani
    Simon Pierre Sabiani was a World War I hero, businessman, and politician.He served in World War I, incorporated into the XVth corps of the 112th regiment of line infantry, he lost an eye in Douaumont, several times wounded, he directed against the enemy six counter attacks in six hours...

    , head of Doriot's PPF in Marseille
  • Paul Touvier
    Paul Touvier
    Paul Touvier was a French Nazi collaborator. In 1994, he was the first Frenchman convicted of crimes against humanity for his actions in Vichy France.- Early life :...

    , condemned in 1995 for crimes against humanity for his role as head of the Milice
    Milice
    The Milice française , generally called simply Milice, was a paramilitary force created on January 30, 1943 by the Vichy Regime, with German aid, to help fight the French Resistance. The Milice's formal leader was Prime Minister Pierre Laval, though its chief of operations, and actual leader, was...

     in Lyon
  • Xavier Vallat
    Xavier Vallat
    Xavier Vallat , French politician, was Commissioner-General for Jewish Questions in the wartime Vichy collaborationist government, and was sentenced after World War II to ten years in prison for his part in the persecution of French Jews.- Until World War II :Vallat was born in the department of...

    , Commissionner General for Jewish Questions
  • Marcel Déat
    Marcel Déat
    Marcel Déat was a French Socialist until 1933, when he initiated a spin-off from the French Section of the Workers' International along with other right-wing 'Neosocialists'. He then founded the collaborationist National Popular Rally during the Vichy regime...

    , founder of the Rassemblement national populaire (RNP) in 1941. Joined the government in the last months of the Occupation.
  • Gaston Henry-Haye
    Gaston Henry-Haye
    Gaston Henry-Haye was a merchant, French politician and diplomat. He served in the French Chamber of Deputies from 1928 to 1935, and in the French Senate from 1935-1944. He was also Mayor of Versailles from 1935-1944...

    , ambassador of Vichy France to the United States of America.

Notable collaborationists or pétainists not linked to the Vichy regime

  • Marcel Bucard
    Marcel Bucard
    Marcel Bucard was a French Fascist politician.Early career=...

    , founder of the Mouvement franciste
    Mouvement Franciste
    The Mouvement Franciste was a French Fascist and Antisemitic league created by Marcel Bucard in September 1933; it edited the newspaper Le Francisme. Mouvement Franciste reached of membership of 10,000, and was financed by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini...

    far-right league and of the Legion des volontaires francais contre le bolchevisme (LVF)
  • Eugène Deloncle
    Eugène Deloncle
    Eugène Deloncle was a French engineer and Fascist leader, and the adoptive father of Jacques Corrèze....

    , co-founder of La Cagoule
    La Cagoule
    La Cagoule , officially called Comité secret d'action révolutionnaire , was a violent French fascist-leaning and anti-communist group, active in the 1930s, and designed to attempt the overthrow of the French Third Republic...

    right-wing terrorist group in 1935 and then of the fascist Mouvement social révolutionnaire
    Mouvement Social Révolutionnaire
    The Mouvement Social Révolutionnaire was a Fascist movement founded in France in September 1940. Its founder was Eugène Deloncle, who was previously associated with La Cagoule ....

    in 1940
  • Jacques Doriot
    Jacques Doriot
    Jacques Doriot was a French politician prior to and during World War II. He began as a Communist but then turned Fascist.-Early life and politics:...

    , founder of the Parti Populaire Français
    Parti Populaire Français
    The Parti Populaire Français was a fascist political party led by Jacques Doriot before and during World War II...

    (PPF) and member of the LVF
  • Étienne Leandri
    Etienne Léandri
    Étienne Léandri was an intermediary close to Charles Pasqua. He took part in the negotiations concerning many important international contracts, and represented, among others, the interests of Elf, Thomson CSF and Dumez.-Inventor:...

    , wore the Gestapo uniform during the war (participated in the creation of the Gaullist Service d'Action Civique
    Service d'Action Civique
    The SAC , officially created in January 1960, was a Gaullist militia founded by Jacques Foccart, Charles de Gaulle's chief adviser for African matters, and Pierre Debizet, a former Resistant and official director of the group...

    (SAC) in the 1960s
  • Robert Brasillach
    Robert Brasillach
    Robert Brasillach was a French author and journalist. Brasillach is best known as the editor of Je suis partout, a nationalist newspaper which came to advocate various fascist movements and supported Jacques Doriot...

    , writer, executed for collaboration after the war
  • Louis-Ferdinand Céline
    Louis-Ferdinand Céline
    Louis-Ferdinand Céline was the pen name of French writer and physician Louis-Ferdinand Destouches . Céline was chosen after his grandmother's first name. He is considered one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, developing a new style of writing that modernized both French and...

    , writer
  • Pierre Drieu La Rochelle
    Pierre Drieu La Rochelle
    Pierre Eugène Drieu La Rochelle was a French writer of novels, short stories and political essays, who lived and died in Paris...

    , writer
  • Lucien Rebatet
    Lucien Rebatet
    Lucien Rebatet was a French author, journalist and intellectual, an exponent of fascism and virulent antisemite.-Early life:...

    , writer
  • Charles Maurras
    Charles Maurras
    Charles-Marie-Photius Maurras was a French author, poet, and critic. He was a leader and principal thinker of Action Française, a political movement that was monarchist, anti-parliamentarist, and counter-revolutionary. Maurras' ideas greatly influenced National Catholicism and "nationalisme...

    , writer and founder of royalist movement Action Française
    Action Française
    The Action Française , founded in 1898, is a French Monarchist counter-revolutionary movement and periodical founded by Maurice Pujo and Henri Vaugeois and whose principal ideologist was Charles Maurras...

  • Pierre Taittinger
    Pierre Taittinger
    Pierre-Charles Taittinger was founder of the famous Taittinger champagne house and chairman of the municipal council of Paris in 1943–1944 during the German occupation of France, in which position he played a role during the Liberation of Paris.-Personal life:Born in Paris, Pierre...

    , chairman of the municipal council of Paris in 1943–44
  • Henri Lafont
    Henri Lafont
    Henri Lafont, real name Henri Chamberlin was the head of the French Gestapo during the German occupation in World War II.-Sources:*Magazine Historia Hors Série n°26 1972 by Fabrice Laroche...

  • Pierre Bonny
    Pierre Bonny
    Pierre Bonny was a French police officer. As an inspector, he was the investigating officer on the 1923 Seznec case, in which he has been accused of falsifying the evidence, and left the police before the war. During the Second World War joined the French Gestapo, known as the Carlingue...

     (a.k.a. Pierre Bony)

See also

  • Collaboration
    Collaboration
    Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing...

     and Pursuit of Nazi collaborators
    Pursuit of Nazi collaborators
    The pursuit of Nazi collaborators refers to the post-World War II pursuit and apprehension of individuals who were not citizens of the Third Reich at the outbreak of World War II and collaborated with the Nazi regime during the war...

  • Foreign relations of Vichy France
    Foreign relations of Vichy France
    The Vichy regime, proclaimed by Marshal Philippe Pétain after the Fall of France in 1940 before Nazi Germany, was quickly recognized by the Allies, including the USSR until 30 June 1941 and Operation Barbarossa. However, Vichy France broke with the United Kingdom after the destruction of the French...

  • 1942–43 Riom Trial
    Riom Trial
    The Riom Trial was an attempt by the Vichy France regime, headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain, to prove that the leaders of the French Third Republic had been responsible for France's defeat by Germany in 1940...

     and The Vichy 80
    The Vichy 80
    The Vichy 80 were a group of elected French parliamentarians who, on 10 July 1940, voted against the constitutional change that dissolved the Third Republic and established an authoritarian regime known as Vichy France....

  • Military history of France during World War II
    Military history of France during World War II
    The military history of France during World War II covers the period from 1939 until 1940, which witnessed French military participation under the French Third Republic , and the period from 1940 until 1945, which was marked by mainland and overseas military administration and influence struggles...

  • German occupation of France during World War II
  • Italian occupation of France during World War II
  • Organisation Todt
    Organisation Todt
    The Todt Organisation, was a Third Reich civil and military engineering group in Germany named after its founder, Fritz Todt, an engineer and senior Nazi figure...

  • Cadix
    Cadix
    Cadix was the codename of a World War II clandestine Polish-French intelligence center that operated at Uzès, on the Mediterranean coast in southern, Vichy France, for over two years from September 1940 to November 9, 1942.-History:...

    , Allied intelligence center in Uzès
    Uzès
    Uzès is a commune in the Gard department in southern France.It lies about 25 km north-northeast of Nîmes.-History:Originally Ucetia, Uzès was a small Gallo-Roman oppidum, or administrative settlement. The town lies at the source of the Eure, from where a Roman aqueduct was built in the first...

  • Western Front (Frankreich) Area (Luftflotte 3, France)
  • Franco-German cooperation
    Franco-German cooperation
    The relations between France and Germany is embodied in a cooperation called Franco-German Friendship . This came about after 1945, when a French-German enmity between the two countries ended....

  • Oradour-sur-Glane
    Oradour-sur-Glane
    Oradour-sur-Glane is a commune in the Haute-Vienne department in the Limousin region in west-central France.The original village was destroyed on 10 June 1944, when 642 of its inhabitants, including women and children, were massacred by a German Waffen-SS company...

  • Ordre Nouveau
    Ordre Nouveau (1940s)
    In Vichy France during World War II the Ordre Nouveau was French for the New Order, the political order that the Nazis attempted to impose in Europe....

    , French translation of Nationsozialistische Neue Ordnung
    New Order (political system)
    The New Order or the New Order of Europe was the political order which the Nazis wanted to impose on Europe, and eventually the rest of the world, during their reign over Germany from 1933 to 1945...

    , Hitler's planned Nazi hegemony in Europe.
  • Amy Elizabeth Thorpe
    Amy Elizabeth Thorpe
    Amy Elizabeth "Betty" Thorpe was, according to William Stephenson of British Security Coordination, an American spy, codenamed "Cynthia," who worked for his agency during World War II...

  • List of French possessions and colonies
  • French Colonial Empire
    French colonial empire
    The French colonial empire was the set of territories outside Europe that were under French rule primarily from the 17th century to the late 1960s. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the colonial empire of France was the second-largest in the world behind the British Empire. The French colonial empire...


English

  • Nicholas Atkin
    Nicholas Atkin
    Nick Atkin was appointed Lecturer in History at the University of Reading in 1986, having previously taught at the University of London. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2000 and the personal title of Professor of Modern European History was conferred on him in 2004...

    , Pétain, Longman, 1997
  • Azema, Jean-Pierre. From Munich to Liberation 1938-1944 (The Cambridge History of Modern France) (1985)
  • Berthon, Simon. Allies at War: The Bitter Rivalry among Churchill, Roosevelt, and de Gaulle. (2001). 356 pp.
  • Carmen Callil
    Carmen Callil
    Carmen Thérèse Callil is a publisher, writer and critic. She founded Virago Press in 1973.-Life:Callil was born in Melbourne Australia, but has lived in London since 1960. Her mother Lorraine Clare Allen, widowed in her early forties, raised four children of whom Carmen was the third...

     Bad Faith. A Forgotten History of Family, Fatherland and Vichy France. New York: Knopf. 2006. ISBN 0-375-41131-3. [Biography of Louis Darquier de Pellepoix].
  • Diamond, Hanna. Women and the Second World War in France, 1939-1948: Choices and Constraints (1999)
  • Funk, Arthur Layton. Charles de Gaulle: The Crucial Years, 1943-1944 (1959) online edition
  • Gildea, Robert. Marianne in Chains: Daily Life in the Heart of France During the German Occupation (2004) excerpt and text search
  • Charles Glass
    Charles Glass
    Charles Glass is an American author, journalist, and broadcaster specializing in the Middle East. He writes regularly for The Spectator, was ABC News chief Middle East correspondent from 1983–93, and has worked as a correspondent for Newsweek and The Observer...

    , Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation, Harper Collins, U.K. ISBN: 978-0-00-722853-9.
  • Jackson, Julian. France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944 (2003)
  • Kersaudy, François. Churchill and De Gaulle (2nd ed 1990 482pp)
  • Simon Kitson
    Simon Kitson
    Simon Kitson is a British historian.Kitson did his undergraduate studies at the University of Ulster and his post-graduate studies at the University of Sussex, under the supervision of Professor Roderick Kedward...

    , The Hunt for Nazi Spies: Fighting Espionage in Vichy France, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-226-43893-1.
  • Megan Koreman. The Expectation of Justice: France, 1944–1946. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. 1999.
  • Lacouture, Jean. De Gaulle: The Rebel 1890-1944 (1984; English ed. 1991), 640pp; excerpt and text search
  • William Langer
    William Langer
    William "Wild Bill" Langer was a prominent US politician from North Dakota. Langer is one of the most colorful characters in North Dakota history, most famously bouncing back from a scandal that forced him out of the governor's office and into prison. He served as the 17th and 21st Governor of...

    , Our Vichy gamble, (1947); U.S. policy 1940-42
  • Larkin, Maurice. France since the Popular Front: Government and People 1936-1996. Oxford: Oxford U P / Clarendon Press, 1997. ISBN 0-19-873151-5
  • Isaac Levendel. Not the Germans alone: A son's search for the truth of Vichy. North Western University Press. 2001. ISBN 0-8101-1843-2
  • Michael R. Marrus and Robert Paxton. Vichy France and the Jews. Basic Books: New York. 1981. ISBN 0-465-09005-2
  • George E. Melton. Darlan: Admiral and Statesman of France, 1881–1942. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. 1998. ISBN 0-275-95973-2.
  • Henri Michel
    Henri Michel
    -External links:...

    , Vichy, année 40, Robert Laffont, Paris, 1967.
  • Nord, Philip. France's New Deal: From the Thirties to the Postwar Era (Princeton University Press; 2010) 457 pages
  • Paxton, Robert O. Vichy France 2nd ed. (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Henry Rousso
    Henry Rousso
    Henry Rousso is a contemporary French historian specializing in World War II France.He studied at the École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud, the Sorbonne, and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris....

    . The Vichy Syndrome: History and Memory in France since 1944. Harvard University Press. 2006. ISBN 0-674-93539-X (Original first ed. 1987)
  • Smith, Colin. England's Last War Against France: Fighting Vichy, 1940–1942, London, Weidenfeld, 2009. ISBN 978-0-297-85218-6
  • John F. Sweets
    John F. Sweets
    John F. Sweets is an American historian of modern French history specializing in the Vichy France era, the French Resistance, and occupied France. Sweets earned his Ph.D...

    , "Choices in Vichy France: The French Under Nazi Occupation" (New York, 1986), translated into French as, "Clermont-Ferrand à l'heure allemande" (Paris, 1996)
  • Martin Thomas
    Martin Thomas
    Martin Thomas is a British Historian.Thomas did both his undergraduate and doctoral studies at Oxford University, completing his D.Phil in 1991. He joined the history department at the University of the West of England, Bristol in 1992 before leaving to take up a post at the History Department of...

    , The French Empire at War, 1940–45, Manchester University Press, 1998, paperback 2007.
  • Vinen, Richard. The Unfree French: Life Under the Occupation (2007)
  • Richard H. Weisberg
    Richard H. Weisberg
    Richard H. Weisberg is a professor of constitutional law at the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York City, a leading scholar on law and literature.-Biography:...

    . Vichy Law and the Holocaust in France. New York University Press. 1998. ISBN 0-8147-9336-3

French

  • Henri Amouroux
    Henri Amouroux
    Henri Amouroux was a French historian and journalist.-Life and career:Henri Amouroux was born in the French city of Périgueux on 1 July 1920. After studying at the ECJ, he began his career as a journalist during World War II and joined a French Resistance group based in Bordeaux...

    , La grande histoire des Français sous l'Occupation, 8 volumes, Laffont, 1976
  • Jean-Pierre Azéma
    Jean-Pierre Azéma
    -Early life:Azéma is the son of the Réunionese poet Jean-Henri Azéma. Jean-Henri was a collaborator with the black-shirted Milice during the occupation of France, and lived in exile in South America after the war.-Career:...

     & François Bedarida,Vichy et les Français, Paris, Fayard, 1996.
    • Le régime de Vichy et les Français (dir. Jean-Pierre Azéma & François Bédarida, Institut d'histoire du temps présent), Fayard, 1992, ISBN 2-213-02683-1
  • Michèle Cointet. L'Eglise sous Vichy. 1940–1945. La repentance en question., Perrin, Paris, 1998. ISBN 2-262-01231-8
  • Eric Conan et Henry Rousso
    Henry Rousso
    Henry Rousso is a contemporary French historian specializing in World War II France.He studied at the École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud, the Sorbonne, and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris....

    . Vichy, un passé qui ne passe pas, Fayard, Paris, 1994, ISBN 2-213-59237-3
  • Yves Maxime Danan, La vie politique à Alger, de 1940 à 1944, L.G.D.J., Paris 1963.
  • André Kaspi. Les Juifs pendant l'Occupation, Seuil, Paris, 1991, ISBN 2-02-013509-4
  • Simon Kitson
    Simon Kitson
    Simon Kitson is a British historian.Kitson did his undergraduate studies at the University of Ulster and his post-graduate studies at the University of Sussex, under the supervision of Professor Roderick Kedward...

    , Vichy et la chasse aux espions nazis, Autrement, Paris, 2005, ISBN 2-7467-0588-5
  • Serge Klarsfeld. Vichy-Auschwitz. Le rôle de Vichy dans la solution finale de la question juive en France. 1943–1944., Fayard, Paris, 1985, ISBN 2-213-01573-2
  • Herbert R. Lottman. Pétain. Seuil, 1984, ISBN 2-02-006763-3
  • Jacques Sabille. "Les Juifs de Tunisie sous Vichy et l'Occupation". Paris: Edition du Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine, 1954
  • David Bensoussan, Il était une fois le Maroc : témoignages du passé judéo-marocain, éd. du Lys, www.editionsdulys.com, Montréal, 2010 (ISBN 2-922505-14-6)

German

  • Eberhard Jäckel
    Eberhard Jäckel
    Eberhard Jäckel is a Social Democratic German historian, noted for his studies of Adolf Hitler's role in German history. Jäckel sees Hitler as being the historical equivalent to the Chernobyl disaster.-Career:...

    : Frankreich in Hitlers Europa: die deutsche Frankreichpolitik im 2. Weltkrieg, Stuttgart 1966.
  • Martin Jungius: Der verwaltete Raub. Die „Arisierung“ der Wirtschaft in Frankreich 1940–1944. Thorbecke, Ostfildern 2008, Beiheft der Francia Nr. 67, hrsg. von Deutschen Historischen Institut Paris.
  • Henry Rousso, Vichy. Frankreich unter deutscher Besatzung 1940–1944 (München, C.H.Beck, 2009) (beck'sche reihe; 1910).
  • Michael Mayer
    Michael Mayer
    Michael Mayer may refer to:* Michael Mayer , American theatrical and film director* Michael Mayer , German football player* Michael Mayer , German electronic musician...

     Staaten als Täter. Ministerialbürokratie und 'Judenpolitik' in NS-Deutschland und Vichy-Frankreich. Ein Vergleich. Preface by Horst Möller and Georges-Henri Soutou München, Oldenbourg, 2010 (Studien zur Zeitgeschichte; 80). ISBN 978-3-486-58945-0. (Comparative study of anti-Jewish policy implemented by the government in Nazi-Germany, by German occupational forces in France and by the semi-autonomic French government in Vichy)

Films

  • Marcel Ophüls
    Marcel Ophuls
    Marcel Ophüls is a documentary film maker and former actor.He was born in Frankfurt, Germany, the son of the director Max Ophüls...

    , 1969. The Sorrow and the Pity
    The Sorrow and the Pity
    The Sorrow and the Pity is a two-part 1969 documentary film by Marcel Ophüls about the French Resistance and collaboration between the Vichy government and Nazi Germany during World War II. The film uses interviews with a German officer, collaborators, and resistance fighters from...

  • Claude Chabrol
    Claude Chabrol
    Claude Chabrol was a French film director, a member of the French New Wave group of filmmakers who first came to prominence at the end of the 1950s...

    , 1993. Eye of Vichy

External links