Politics, Society and Christianity in Vichy France

By W. D. Halls | Go to book overview

8
Christians and Jews--II

The year 1942 saw an acceleration of anti-Jewish activity. By then it was plain the Germans intended to clear Western Europe of all Jews, and eventually make the whole continent 'Judenfrei'. The suggestion to create the CGQJ had come from them, although the statement by Barthélémy, the Justice minister, writing long after the event, that 'the so-called anti-Jewish legislation of Vichy' was entirely of German origin is palpably inaccurate. 1 By now, however, the Germans had completed their own arrangements to deal with the Jews in France. For the Wehrmacht, Dr Michel, of the German military administration, ran a Jewish section to deal with economic matters under Dr Blanke, whose main aim was to promote the German war machine. For Wilhelmstrasse, a section of the Consul-General's office in the charge of the malevolently anti-Jewish diplomat, Zeitschel, handled Jewish questions. But the most significant German agency for dealing with the Jews was the SS, particularly after the arrival in Paris in June 1942 of SS Brigadeführer Oberg, whose Judenreferat was staffed until July by the notorious Dannecker, and then by Rothke. None of this complex organisation could, however, function without the active support of French officials, particularly Bousquet, appointed Secretary-General for the Police Nationale in May 1942. It was, for example, the French police that were responsible for rounding up the Jews; in any case Pucheu, then Interior minister, had set up the special police for Jewish Affairs (Police des Questions Juives) in the previous autumn. By 1942 the co-operation between occupiers and occupied had become much closer. Vichy's own initiatives against the Jews and their complicity in German ones rendered the position of Christians even more uncomfortable. In early 1942 Vallat was reported as saying that he did not know whether he was Commissaire aux Questions juives or Commissaire aux Questions des prâtres, so persistent had become their interventions on behalf of individual Jews? 2 On New Year's Day Gerlier, held to be the most flexible and prudent member of the episcopal bench, 3 admonished Catholics: 'No Christian should add to this pitiful

-113-

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Politics, Society and Christianity in Vichy France
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Berg French Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • List of Abbreviations x
  • Part I - Christianity in Crisis 1
  • 1 - Introductory 3
  • Notes 13
  • 2 - Christians and Pre-War Politics 15
  • Notes 28
  • 3 - Prelude to Vichy 31
  • Notes 40
  • Part II - Aspirations, Realisations and Disappointments 43
  • 4 - The Man of Destiny 45
  • Notes 65
  • 5 - Christians in Disarray 69
  • Notes 84
  • 6 - The Church: New Laws 87
  • Notes 92
  • Part III - The Scapegoats 93
  • 7 - Christians and Jews--I 95
  • Notes 110
  • 8 - Christians and Jews--Ii 113
  • Notes 124
  • 9 - Christians and Jews: The Aftermath 127
  • Notes 144
  • Part IV - Friends and Foes 149
  • 10 - Christians and the Allies 151
  • Notes 162
  • 11 - Christians, Bombings and 'terrorism' 165
  • Notes 174
  • 12 - Christians and Germans 177
  • Notes 195
  • 13 - Christians and the Resistance 199
  • Notes 220
  • 14 - Vichy, the Church and the Vatican 223
  • Notes 236
  • Part V - The Church and Society 239
  • 15 - The Church and Economic and Social Affairs 241
  • Notes 265
  • 16 - Youth Policy and the Church 269
  • Notes 284
  • 17 - Youth Movements 287
  • Notes 307
  • 18 - Christians and Deportation to Germany 311
  • Notes 334
  • Part VI - Settling the Accounts 339
  • 19 - Christians and the Collaborationists 341
  • Notes 356
  • 20 - 'Epuration' and the Higher Clergy 361
  • Notes 379
  • 21 - Concluding Remarks 383
  • Notes 388
  • Appendix I Before the War: L'Aube and the Catholic Intellectual Press 389
  • Notes 391
  • Appendix II Bishops and Archbishops by Province 393
  • Bibliographical Note 397
  • Select Bibliography 399
  • Index 405
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