France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944

By Julian Jackson | Go to book overview

18
De Gaulle and
the Resistance 1942

Moulin's Plan

Jean Moulin's resistance began on 17 June 1940 when he tried to cut his throat rather than sign a document dishonouring French colonial troops. This was one of those actions which reveals an individual's inner resources of courage, but the political convictions which inspired it had long been evident. Moulin came from a family where republicanism was lived like a religion. In 1939, as prefect of Chartres, it fell to him to attend the annual banquet in memory of a hero of the First Republic, General Marceau. Moulin's speech made clear that as 'the great grandson of a soldier of the Republic, grandson of a man who knew the prisons of the Second Empire for daring to declare his attachment to the Republic', the occasion was no mere formality for him.

Moulin's father, a teacher at Perpignan, had Radical and Masonic connections which helped Moulin in the first stages of his career. By 1925, he was the youngest sub-prefect in France. Around this time, Moulin met the left-wing Radical Pierre Cot who was a passionate advocate of a Franco-Soviet alliance. Cot became a close friend and patron, and in 1936 when he became Air Minister in the Popular Front government, he made Moulin his chef de cabinet. Moulin's experience of underground activity dated not from 1940, but from this experience of working for Cot when he helped to organize secret shipments of arms to the Spanish Republicans. One of Moulin's associates later dubbed this his period of 'archeoResistance'. These shipments occurred with Blum's secret approval, and involved other members of Cot's entourage—Pierre Meunier, Robert Chambeiron, and Henri Manhès—and also brought Moulin into contact with a number of Comintern agents: Maurice Panier, André Labarthe, and Louis Dolivet. Despite subsequent insinuations that Moulin was a crypto-Communist, even a Soviet agent, there was nothing sinister about these contacts in the context of the interna-

1 Cordier, Jean Moulin, ii. 198–200.

-427-

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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
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