Vichy France


Vichy (vĬsh´ē, Fr. vēshē´), city (1990 pop. 28,048), Allier dept., central France, on the Allier River. Vichy's hot mineral springs made it one of the foremost spas in Europe, with a casino (now a convention center) and grand hotels. In addition to bottled Vichy water, pharmaceuticals, clothing, and cosmetics are manufactured.

The Vichy government was the regime set up there by Marshal Henri Pétain in July, 1940, subsequent to the Franco-German armistice of June 22. Its effective control extended only to unoccupied France and its colonies. The Third Republic was voted out of existence by a truncated parliament, and a new constitution established a corporate state (see fascism). The Vichy government, which was never recognized by the Allies, became a German tool in the hands of such men as Pierre Laval and Jean François Darlan, although German expectations were never completely satisfied. When the Allies invaded North Africa in Nov., 1942, Hitler annulled the armistice of 1940 and occupied all France. The Vichy government continued a shadowy existence, eventually fleeing before the Allied advance to Sigmaringen, Germany, where it collapsed when Germany surrendered in 1945.

See R. O. Paxton, Vichy France (1972).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Vichy France: Selected full-text books and articles

The Changing Image of Vichy in France By Singer, Barnett Contemporary Review, Vol. 291, No. 1693, Summer 2009
France at War: Vichy and the Historians By Sarah Fishman; Laura Lee Downs; Ioannis Sinanoglou; Leonard V. Smith; Robert Zaretsky; David Lake Berg, 2000
Triumph of Treason By Pierre Cot Ziff-Davis Publishing Company, 1944
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "The Vichy Government against Justice"
Uneasy Asylum: France and the Jewish Refugee Crisis, 1933-1942 By Vicki Caron Stanford University, 1999
Librarian's tip: Chap. Fourteen "The Path to Vichy: Continuities and Discontinuities in Jewish Refugee Policy"
The Vichy Regime, 1940-44 By Robert Aron; Georgette Elgey; Humphrey Hare Macmillan, 1958
Vichy's Afterlife: History and Counterhistory in Postwar France By Richard J. Golsan University of Nebraska Press, 2000
Vichy: Political Dilemma By Paul Farmer Columbia University Press, 1955
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