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By Christopher Lloyd

This e-book is set how humans behaved through the German career of France throughout the moment international battle, and extra particularly approximately how contributors from diversified social and political backgrounds recorded and mirrored on their reports in the course of and after those tragic occasions. The publication makes a speciality of the strategies of treason and sacrifice, and takes the shape of an introductory evaluate, through contextualized case stories within the components of politics, way of life, civil management, paramilitary motion, literature and picture.

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It was all too easy to deride this pious trinity by observing that work meant forced labour, families were separated when thousands of men remained prisoners of war, and the fatherland was being pillaged by Germans. A mocking variant invented by Le´on-Paul Fargue was ‘tracas, famine, patrouilles’ (‘trouble, famine, patrols’). 21 The Vichy government in fact continued and expanded the practice adopted in the final years of the Third Republic of detaining without due legal process thousands of refugees and political undesirables.

In 1940, he seemed the only credible alternative to direct German rule, particularly as he enjoyed the prestige of having successfully held the Germans at bay in 1916 at Verdun, unlike his successors in 1940. Vichy’s collaboration is thus a story of success turning to failure, of the failure of Pe´tain (and of the political and establishment e´lites which eagerly supported the suspension of democratic rights) to offer the protection on which they founded their pretensions to rule and reform. The constitutional act of 11 July 1940 gave all judicial, executive and legislative power to Pe´tain, apart from the right to declare war.

18 A particularly constructive discussion of heroic sacrifice and related issues is to be found in several books about the morality of war and ethics of history written in the 1990s by Tzvetan Todorov. 19 The fact that concepts like heroism, legality and morality can be perverted to evil ends does not invalidate what they stand for, which is an essential defence of humane values. Killing others or having them killed are pseudo-heroic acts, although unfortunately few monuments are raised to those who save others’ lives.

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