France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944

By Julian Jackson | Go to book overview

20
Resistance in Society

Chapter 19 described the history of the Resistance in 1943 in terms of power struggles: between London and France, BCRA and the Interior Commissariat, Communists and non-Communists, North and South, politicians and resisters, first- and second-generation resisters. These conflicts were, however, accompanied by a parallel process of consolidation. Through the creation of such organizations as the AS, the CNR, the MUR, and the MLN, the Resistance was moving towards greater integration and unification: controlling this process was what lay behind the power struggles. Consolidation was accompanied by centralization. From the spring of 1943, even the main resistance organizations in the South—the BIP, the CGE, and the MUR—moved their headquarters to Paris. Lyons had become too dangerous and too small. The former 'capital of the Resistance' was now also the regional capital of the Gestapo. Serreulles reported in August that resistance leaders had been forced increasingly to 'confine themselves to the outskirts of Lyons in premises which were each day harder to find, and which they could not leave once they had taken refuge in them. Paris offered greater anonymity. The move to Paris also signalled that the Resistance was looking to the day when it would be called upon to govern.


Diversification and Radicalization

Consolidation and centralization did not mean uniformity. The Resistance was not just a series of acronyms. Centralization at the summit was accompanied by diversification at the base. This diversification was partly a result of size. Resistance never became a mass movement, but 1943 was the year of fastest expansion. Défense de la France never had more than about 2,500 members, but three-quarters of them joined between February and December 1943; just over half Libération-Nord's members joined in 1943. Of the 3,658 members of resistance organizations in the Alpes-Maritimes, 52 per cent joined in 1943 (19 per

1 Quoted in L. Douzou, 'La Constitution du mythe de la Résistance', in C. Franck (ed.), La France
de 1945: Résistances retours renaissances (Caen, 1996), 73–83: 75.

-475-

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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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