France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944

By Julian Jackson | Go to book overview

6
The Debacle

Causes and Consequences

At the end of 1940, the popular historian Sir Arthur Bryant published his English Saga which depicted England as 'an island fortress … fighting a war of redemption, not only for Europe but for her own soul'. This was the first of several patriotic works in which Bryant celebrated the epic of English history culminating in the glorious leadership of Winston Churchill. What made these effusions particularly remarkable was the fact that, until the end of the 1930s, Bryant had been an ardent appeaser, anti-Semite, and admirer of Nazi Germany (he chose Mein Kampfas his book of the month in January 1939). Had British history taken a different turn in 1940, it is all too easy to imagine Bryant playing the same hagiographical role towards whoever might have become the British Pétain as he did towards Churchill. In different circumstances he would probably have become a British equivalent of René Benjamin, the writer notorious for his works of obsequious flattery of Pétain after 1940.

The case of Bryant is a salutary reminder of the importance of contingency in history. As Pierre Vidal-Naquet remarks: 'History is not Tragedy. To understand historical reality, it is sometimes necessary not to know the outcome.' One must resist the temptation to read the history of inter-war France merely as a prehistory to Vichy Daladier's government may have represented a marked shift to the right by the Radicals, but within the Party there was still a vocal minority, led by Édouard Herriot, which still defended the Party's traditional values. Despite the obsessive natalism, women's rights did advance in the inter-war years: 1939 was the year of the Family Code, but in the previous year a law was passed bestowing civil equality on women. France did have an anti-Semitic tradition, but it was the country in which Dreyfus was eventually vindicated: such a case could never have arisen in Germany since at that time no Jew would have attained comparable rank in the army. Despite the xenophobia of the late 1930s, France in that decade took a higher proportion of refugees than any other

1 A. Roberts, Eminent Churchillians (1995), 287–322.

2Les Juifs, la mémoire et le présent (1991), 87.

3 C. Bard, Les Filles de Marianne: Histoire des féminismes 1914–1940 (1995).

-112-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Maps and Figure xvi
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • Introduction: Historians and the Occupation 1
  • Part I - Anticipations 21
  • 1: The Shadow of War: Cultural Anxieties and Modern Nightmares 27
  • 2: Rethinking the Republic: 1890-1934 43
  • 3: Class War/Civil War 65
  • 4: The German Problem 81
  • 5: The Daladier Moment: Prelude to Vichy or Republican Revival? 97
  • 6: The Debacle 112
  • Part II - The Regime: National Revolution and Collaboration 137
  • 7: The National Revolution 142
  • 8: Collaboration 166
  • 9: Collaborationism 190
  • 10: Laval in Power: 1942–1943 213
  • Part III - Vichy, the Germans, and the French People 237
  • 11: Propaganda, Policing, and Administration 246
  • 12: Public Opinion, Vichy, and the Germans 272
  • 13: Intellectuals, Artists, and Entertainers 300
  • 14: Reconstructing Mankind 327
  • 15: Vichy and the Jews 354
  • Part IV - The Resistance 383
  • 16: The Free French 1940-1942 389
  • 17: The Resistance 1940-1942 402
  • 18: De Gaulle and the Resistance 1942 427
  • 19: Power Struggles 1943 447
  • 20: Resistance in Society 475
  • 21: Remaking France 506
  • Part V - Liberation and After 525
  • 22: Towards Liberation: January to June 1944 529
  • 23: Liberations 544
  • 24: A New France? 570
  • Epilogue: Remembering the Occupation 601
  • Appendix: The Camps of Vichy France 633
  • Bibliographical Essay 637
  • Index 647
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 660

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.