Politics, Society and Christianity in Vichy France

By W. D. Halls | Go to book overview

20
'Epuration' and the Higher Clergy

At the Liberation many Frenchman, particularly those in the Resistance, hardly distinguished collaboration with the Germans from co-operation with the regime. This was because what might be termed the 'second Vichy' under Laval had increasingly subordinated policy to Nazi demands. However, although the bishops had, up to a certain point, fallen in with the wishes of the government, it would be patently untrue to assert they were manifestly guilty of advocating or practising collaborationism.

There were two principal exceptions: Cardinal Baudrillart and Mgr Dutoit, Bishop of Arras.

Baudrillart, who had died in 1942, had been Rector of the Paris Institut Catholique since 1907. At first he was treated by the Germans with justifiable reserve. In 1940 they searched his quarters, as they had done those of his confrères. They recalled how, during the First World War, he had campaigned against them. 1 It was not until the 1930s that his attitudes changed. He began to consider atheistic communism, because it was a global creed, as more dangerous than nazism, which initially was restricted to Deutschtum, those considered to be German. Despite a friendship with Poincaré the cardinal was no lover of parliamentary democracy; his sympathies were more with Action Française. In 1939 he had clubbed Hitler 'un monstre', and after war broke out declared the time had come to 'se mesurer avec une barbarie renouvelée du paganisme'. 2 Up to the defeat his patriotism was unquestionable, but in the aftermath he feared a Communist coup and civil war. By the autumn of 1940 he had made a complete volte-face and predicted that the Führer would go down as one of the greatest men in history. He was reported in Le Cri du Peuple in December as not forgiving the British for defeating Napoleon and for supporting 'le traÞtre de Gaulle'. About this time he suffered a decline in his mental and physical faculties--he was then already in his eighties. Almost blind, he relied heavily on 'le très énigmatique chanoine Tricot', 3 Vice-Rector pro tempore belli of the Institut Catholique. After the handshake of Montoire

-361-

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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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