Verdict on Vichy: Power and Prejudice in the Vichy France Regime

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Arcade Publishing, 2002 - History - 419 pages
On May 10, 1940, Hitler's Panzer divisions launched an all-out offensive, sweeping through the Low Countries and the Ardennes. Despite France's impressive army and equality in weaponry, by mid-June the Germans had occupied Paris, Days later, a new Frnch government under Marshal Philippe Petain was formed, with its capital in Vichy. For the next four years France was occupied by the Nazis. What actually happened during that fateful period has been hard to assess, for many who collaborated later surfaced as prominent post-war figures in politics, business, and finance. Now finally, after almost six decades, the complex truth is emerging, as long-suppressed files are made public. Using the latest research, Michael Curtis examines the degree to which ministers and officials of the Vichy regime, the legal and administrative system, the Church, the French police, and people in all walks of life, collaborated with the Nazis, especially regarding the fate of France's 330,000 Jews, one-third of whom perished in the Nazi death camps. Despite all we have learned about World War II atrocities, this is a book that will shock and anger.
World War II still fascinates readers: this is an important, still relatively little-known aspect of that tumultuous period.
Supplements and complements Robert Paxton's book on the subject, published 30 years ago.
Analyzes postwar trials, including the recent, highly-publicized trials of Klaus Barbie and Maurice Papon.
Reveals that Hitler's ally Mussolini was far more solicitous about and protective of Italian Jews than were the French.
Prewar chapters demonstrate how the strength of anti-Semitism in France in the 1930s made Hitler's "final solution"much easier to implement.
Answers the question: Why were the French, as opposed to many occupied countries in World War II, such zealous collaborators?

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User Review  - thegeneral - LibraryThing

A damning indictment of the Vichy Government during the Second World War. Well written and researched and worth a read for any student and reader of the time in French history. Read full review

Verdict on Vichy: power and prejudice in the Vichy France regime

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Drancy. Vel d'Hiv. Petain. These are just a few words that evoke one of the darkest times in France's history: the Vichy government of 1940-44. Curtis (political science, Rutgers Univ.) has written a ... Read full review


List of Abbreviations XV
The Jews of France
AntiSemitism in France
The judgements of Paris
I2 Servants of the state and the law
I3 The Churches and antiSemitism

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Page 385 - Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (New York: Viking Press, 1963), p.

About the author (2002)

Curtis is a distinguished professor emeritus of political science at Rutgers University.

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