ACCOMMODATION OR COLLABORATION:
EXAMINING POLICY AND LIFE IN FRANCE DURING WORLD WAR II
Many examinations of World War II begin with ‘what if’ as an attempt at better understanding the consequences of the events. However, if the primary source materials that are available remain unexamined, whether in part or as a whole, then the consequences of the event remain slightly out of reach. Such is the case of the German occupation of France during World War II. France fell to German forces in June of 1940. The French and German armistice agreed to separate the nation into two zones, the northern Occupied Zone and the southern Unoccupied Zone, which was also known as the “Free Zone.” France’s fledgling Vichy government controlled the south and the German government controlled the north along the Demarcation Line. During the war, France lost roughly 567,600 lives, more than half of which were civilians. However, it was not until the mid-1990s when the French President, Jacques Chirac, confessed to the French responsibility of those lives lost, that French culpability was truly studied by scholars. Historians have argued both before and after the 1990s that the French were either collaborating with the Nazis or accommodating them as a means of preserving their identity. However, prior to the confession, France had kept many documents unavailable to scholars and the general public, making a thorough examination of life in France during World War II extremely difficult. Yet, as the field grew, a lack of consensus remained regarding whether what occurred under the occupation was truly the responsibility of the French, as well as what it means for France’s history, their role in World War II, and the Holocaust. An examination of policy and life in France during the German occupation shows that the French collaborated with the Germans until mid-July 1942 after which Germany took complete control of France and rendered the Vichy government a puppet state. Therefore, France is accountable for its crimes against the Jewish inhabitants.
Three days after France fell to the Germans, Marshal Philippe Pétain addressed the French people and stated, “Armed resistance had to cease. The Government was forced into either of these two decisions: remain on the spot, or take to the high seas.” Léon Marchal, a French diplomat living in French Morocco and later the United States, maintained that the June 25th, 1940, address was a combination of frustration and sadness for the residents of France and its principalities. It was the first time the details of the armistice were elaborated on and Pétain explained that the surrender was the only way to preserve France and that “the Government remains free, and France will be administered only by Frenchmen… A new order is starting. You have suffered. You have yet to suffer.” The most significant part of this speech, in retrospect, is the statement that France could and would continue to function at the will of the French government. This is extraordinary because Pétain’s Vichy government was seen as a collapse of French values fought for in World War I, of which Pétain was seen as a great hero by the French people. The first messages released by the Vichy government discussed a crumbling society and economy at the hands of a dominating evil within France that had existed prior to the Germans, an aspect of this rhetoric implied that the growing immigrant population was to blame for France’s downfall. Many of Pétain’s addresses were published in the successful French magazine La Revue des Deux Mondes which was available in nearly one hundred different countries. From June through September of 1940, Pétain’s messages that created a founding ideology for the Vichy government were spread across French newspapers. Pétain criticized everything from a lack of French moral, capitalist politicians’ failure to help the working class, and immigrant destruction of culture for the struggle of the French economy, which he reasoned was the cause of the occupation. However, Pétain’s political actions throughout the occupation were more divisive and anti-Semitic than the politicians that preceded him. Therefore, this created a contradictory path for scholars in which France claimed it would continue to act on its own and not collaborate with the Nazi’s, yet they proceeded with anti-Semitic legislation that arguably accommodated the relationship with their occupiers to preserve France from German hostility. Moreover, this rhetoric, while in line with Germany’s Final Solution, was not new to France.
Legislation passed prior to the German occupation demonstrates a clear case of French anti-Semitism that supports the argument that the French collaborated with the Germans. In 1939, Prime Minister Édouard Daladier attempted to curb growing anti-Semitism in France and endorsed the Marchandeau Law. Though the Marchandeau Law did not specifically address residents of the Jewish faith, it clarified that a person could not be attacked based on religious beliefs or anything similar, particularly in the media. However, some historians find Daladier’s political platform to counter the argument that he was an advocate for the Jewish community, calling his time in office the beginning of a movement toward government-led racial prejudice. Further evidence of Daladier’s anti-Semitism can be seen in the politicians he appointed, such as Jean Giraudoux. Appointed into the Commissariat of Public Information, Giraudoux said that “[France] has become a land of invasion…not by armies but by a continual infiltration of barbarians” and that the refugees were a threat to France’s racial purity even stating explicitly that he agreed with Hitler’s opinions on racial policies. Historians argued that Jean Giraudoux, a respected writer, abused his position as the head of the French government’s propaganda sector, arguing that he was quick to use the office as a platform of anti-Semitism when the position should have been used to defend French ideals against growing Nazi propaganda. One such example of this abuse was a piece that complained about the failure of French healthcare and lax immigration regulations in which he blamed tuberculosis on immigrants, dehumanizing the Jewish community with terms such as barbarians and elements. Daladier’s appointee, a respected upper-class Frenchman, created the position of a Minister of Race and publicly declared, “we are in full agreement with Hitler in proclaiming that a policy only achieves its highest plane once it is racial.” However, Giraudoux is not the only factor in the argument that Daladier supported anti-Semitism. Facing a wave of political refugees from Italy and Jewish refugees from Germany, Daladier supported arbitrary labeling of the refugees in order to lower the number of asylum seekers capable of obtaining residency. Daladier’s government’s anti-refugee and anti-Semitic policy was neither new nor reformative, nor would the creation of such policy end with him.
His predecessor, Pierre Laval, had expanded quota policies to make obtaining residency more difficult, promoted the imprisonment of undocumented refugees, and enforced employment standards on businesses that made available jobs less accessible to refugees regardless of their status. Pétain, Daladier’s successor and the founding father of the Vichy regime, would repeal the Marchandeau Law before the Germans proposed a single ordinance in France. The repeal allowed anti-Semitic propaganda to flourish in France within both the Vichy government and German occupied zones, with the Vichy government disseminating their own propaganda before the Germans established their specialized propaganda department. Regardless of how quickly either side dispersed their anti-Semitic propaganda, Hitler believed it was vital for “persuading Frenchmen to believe that responsibility for their present plight rested wholly upon the shoulders of other Frenchmen.” Moreover, repeal of the Marchandeau Law was just the beginning of Vichy legislation that targeted Jewish communities across France.
Further Vichy government legislation specifically focused on French citizenship at the demands of the general public. Before the German occupation, legislation stripped the citizenship from much of the refugee population that arrived after World War I. Though that had included some of the Jewish population, legislation passed on July 22, 1940, specifically “decreed that the Jews’ French citizenship, which they had acquired since the enactment of the law on French nationality of August 10, 1927, would be reviewed.” The terms used, again, were the Daladier labels of ‘desirable’ and ‘undesirable.’ In doing so, France denaturalized over fifteen thousand people, of which six to seven thousand were Jewish. This first Statut des juifs can be seen as a blatant preservation of the values of France, anti-Semitic before the German arrival and passing legislation of similar values to the Germans to maintain a healthy relationship with their occupiers, again bordering accommodation and collaboration.
The revocation of citizenship was not merely done in private either. The Vichy regime publicized the information in a government newsletter showing each person’s denaturalization as “by the decree of Maréchal Pétain and Minister of Justice Joseph Barthelemy.” A further issue of this legislation stems from the French-born Jews whose parents were immigrants. Isaac Lewendel, a French-born Jew, recalled his mother and father, Polish-born Jews, applying for French citizenship leading to an investigation and revocation of his own citizenship due to clever jargon that legalized the review of all citizenship. Therefore, the first Statut des juifs not only stripped the citizenship of French-born Jews but denied citizenship to the foreign-born refugees. Furthermore, revocation of citizenship was not the only legislation the Vichy government passed without German oversight that altered the lives of the Jewry in both the Occupied and Unoccupied Zones of France.
The leading scholar on the Vichy government, Robert O. Paxton, stated that the French government acted without German influence on policy due to the German military’s focus being spent on threats to their forces outside of France. France’s Vichy government had been already so aligned with Nazi anti-Semitic values before their arrival that Germany deemed the French to be a non-threat, not an ally but rather a subordinate helper. This was demonstrated during the March 1947 trial of the 1940 Minister of Justice, Raphaël Alibert, when years of research into German records presented no German orders to Vichy requesting that the French implement anti-Semitic legislation. Vichy led ordinances displayed an anti-immigration and anti-Semitic alignment and many were heavily focused on employment, blaming the lack of jobs and France’s economic collapse on the Jews.
First, France saw legislation revoking public service to only those with a French father. Second, they establishment of the Ordre des Médecins limited jobs in the medical field, again, to only those with French fathers. Third, legal professions closed in the same restrictive manner with the revocation of access to the bar unless, once more, the person had a French father. These laws were passed, one month after the other in 1940 from July onward, slowly chipping away at the livelihoods of the Jewish population in France. Though, unlike what was to follow, these decrees did not specifically use the word ‘Jew,’ though these were professions in which the Jewish community had dominated the fields and the laws were enacted to limit the prominence of the Jewish community.
Deliberate jargon in legislation against the Jewish community by the Vichy government began in October of 1940 with the Statut des juifs. On October 4th the Vichy regime created a league of French agents to “intern foreign Jews in “special camps” or to assign them to live under police surveillance in remote villages (résidence forcée).” Article 10 of the Franco-German armistice stated that “[France was] not to undertake any hostile action whatsoever against the Reich” with orders “to prevent her citizens from going abroad to do so, to justify going beyond the armistice where war needs demanded it.” Therefore, despite having been stripped of citizenship, they could no longer emigrate. However, movement had already been restricted along the Demarcation Line as soon as the occupation began. First, correspondence was limited to “only three hundred letters a day.” Second, a carry limit of two hundred Francs was established on the 13th of September. Still, one needed to be authorized to even cross the Demarcation Line and crossing from Vichy’s Unoccupied Zone into the Occupied Zone was extremely difficult. These regulations followed the armistice terms quite precisely and support scholarly arguments regarding the German’s lack of concern for maintaining order in France as well as the argument that France’s values aligned with Germany’s and they were, therefore, collaborators. Additionally, these regulations were only part of a first wave of the Statut des juifs.
The second phase of the Vichy government’s Statut des juifs took place on June 2nd, 1941, and was followed shortly thereafter by the aryanisation law on July 22nd, 1941. While the first phase called for “the exclusion of Jews from the military, civil service, and university faculties,” internment, and residency regulations—as previously mentioned, the second phase focused on a census of Jews. Moreover, it once again redefined what it meant to be Jewish in France. These new laws were more stringent and labeled any person with two grandparents that were Jewish to be, themselves, a Jew. Furthermore, to be exempt from the labeling there needed to be tangible proof that the person and their relatives were adhering to an approved faith that had been “recognized in France before the Act of Separation of Church and State of 1905” and the proof, such as a baptism certificate, needed to be dated no later than June 20th, 1940. Additionally, the Statut des juifs applied to both the Occupied and Unoccupied Zones. The second phase specifically required registration of the Unoccupied Zone’s Jewry, including “name, age, nationality, address, and all pertinent economic information on every Jewish member of their household.” Failure to report and lying on a report was punishable with a one thousand to twenty thousand francs fine and a one to five year prison term. However, the Vichy regime, which had not yet established a branch specifically tasked with enforcing the Statut des juifs, was forced to change move the registration deadline from the beginning of July to end of the month. By the third wave of the Statut des juifs, however, the Vichy regime would be far more organized and prepared to enforce the new anti-Semitic legislation.
Both the politicians and the general public in France, regardless of which side of the Demarcation Line they resided on, maintained an idealistic view that France was being led by the French, yet they lacked supplies within the country and neither the Allied or the Axis powers provided support to the French people. The sentimentality of an occupied France being under French political control likely stemmed from Pétain’s initial address when he came to power. The address was the first after the armistice was signed and Article 3 of the armistice stated, “[the French were the] administration from Paris of occupied and unoccupied territory.” Germany did not see the French as a threat, as German Armistice Commission reports and scholarly analysis of their actions show. Yet, Vichy was seen as “hostile to the British and the Gaullists.” Gaullists, were a French resistance movement with forces fighting alongside the Allied powers and led by Charles de Gaulle that aimed to restore the French government by overthrowing both the Vichy regime and the Germans. From the beginning of the war, Charles de Gaulle became the leader of French resistance against the Germans. De Gaulle requested the assistance of the Allied nations but failed to stop the German invasion of France and, in turn, his efforts were placed on being a bridge between the Vichy regime and the Allied powers until the Free French forces could overtake the Vichy government. Likewise, the goal of de Gaul and the Free French, or Fighting French, forces was to continue fighting in the war alongside Britain, which led to various types of aid from the British. The conflict between Gaullists and the Vichystes was seen by Adolf Hitler as a non-issue. He told Benito Mussolini, “The best policy was for Vichy France to defend French Africa herself.” In fact, despite an Italian preference for neutrality and disarmament in the French colonies, Hitler allowed the militarization of the territories and approved the release of French officers from German prisons so that the French could protect themselves from the Allied Powers. Meanwhile, south of the Demarcation Line in Vichy-controlled France, Pétain kept a running list of suspected sympathizer of the Gaullist movement, arrested them as traitors, and turned the prisoners over to the Germans.
The result of the strengthening of the Free French forces was that on August 7, 1940, both Britain and the Gaullists would only aid anti-Vichy Frenchmen, therefore creating supply restrictions until there was an agreement that the supplies would not cross into the Occupied Zone. With tensions high inside and outside of France and its territories, matters were only made worse by further Vichy government led anti-Semitic legislation and the implementation of common German ordinances. This also displayed a distrust and dislike of the Vichy government on an international scale because they were seen as aligned and collaborating with Germany. Still, the British sentiment remained that the Allied powers should aim to liberate France and not just aid them, with Prime Minister Winston Churchill considering taking the offense in order to “shake off the mental and moral prostration to the will and initiative of the enemy.” However, the support of Charles de Gaulle, particularly by the Roosevelts, was less than enthusiastic.
During the Casablanca Conference, Elliott Roosevelt listened to Franklin Roosevelt describe de Gaulle as “out to achieve one-man government in France. I can’t imagine a man I would distrust more.” Then he added that the Free French movement was “honeycombed with police spies—he has agents spying on his own people.” Understandably, tensions were high regarding the various French governments’ intentions after the armistice with Germany, followed by years of Vichy-led anti-Semitic legislation and relatively little conflict between the Vichy-controlled south of France and the French territories in northern Africa where resistance to Vichy, German, and Italian regimes was prominent. Ultimately, during the Casablanca Conference, FDR settled on a foreign policy with France that he felt would curb de Gaulle’s power, “The provisional government must be set up and must be set up with [Henri] Giraud and de Gaulle equally responsible for its composition and welfare; This provisional government must undertake to run France until the country’s liberation was complete.” This opinion likely began with de Gaulle’s BBC announcement on June 19th, 1940, in which he declared he that as a soldier and leader he would speak for the true France, yet through October 1940, he failed to be a bridge between FDR and Pétain. Even then, it was known that correspondence between Pétain and U.S. officials would be difficult without a bridge because of German or German sympathetic persons interfering. Moreover, both Winston Churchill and FDR spent November 1940 to December 1941 concerned that France may go to war with Great Britain, further separating political support until Britain tried to use aid with the Unoccupied Zone as a means of buying Pétain’s support. Additionally, growing tensions between the U.S. and Japan briefly involved added strain with the Vichy government in 1941 due to an agreement that Japan could act as a “joint protectorate over French Indochina.” When determining the scope of French involvement in the crimes committed during the German occupation of France, it is important to understand the international opinion toward the Frenchmen that were fighting, in positions of political power, and those who attempted to gain power. Where these Frenchmen put their efforts significantly impacted the outcomes of events such as Operation Torch, the Vel d’Hiv Roundup, and Nacht und Nebel, which would save and claim many lives.
Likely due to a delay in Berlin’s placement of SS officer Theodor Dannecker, the Paris headquarters for the German Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) did not pass any ordinances on the Jews within the Occupied Zone until September 27, 1940. Captain Dannecker was a notorious anti-Semite that pushed relentlessly for the segregation of Jews in the Occupied Zone, regardless of whether the person was French or foreign born. Vichy politician and convicted collaborationist, Xavier Vallat, wrote that Captain Dannecker pressed the Reich toward the implementation of their own anti-Semitic ordinances, which Vallat had to review and advise, adding that Dannecker would play a pivotal role in the deportation of Jews across France. RSHA was the German security office with its main French headquarters in Paris and a satellite down the French west coast in Bordeaux, both of which were under the command of Heinrich Himmler. Moreover, Dannecker’s request, which was sent to Himmler through Dannecker’s superior, Ambassador Otto Abetz, was met with the same nonchalance shown in previously mentioned sources, which was that the expansion of anti-Semitism in France was welcome, but the French were expected to implement the ordinances.
The German’s first ordinance clarified the definition of who was Jewish, banned Jews who left the Occupied Zone from reentry, required all Jews in the Occupied Zone to register their place of residence with French authorities, and required Jewish identification papers to have Juif or Juive stamps. Though these were German ordinances and the Militärbefehlshaber in Frankreich (MBF) was the military and diplomatic German presence in the Occupied Zone, the MBF and RSHA expected these tasks and policies to be carried out by French police and the French citizenry, and they were.
The Occupied Zone saw several German ordinances that would not take effect in the Unoccupied Zone. Nevertheless, these ordinances impacted Jews on both sides of the Demarcation Line because many had already fled the Occupied Zone. These decrees were a direct act of anti-Semitism that the Vichy government diplomats collaborating with the Germans in the Occupied Zone failed to stop, though there was some attempts at differing their impact. On May 20th, 1940, the most noteworthy ordinance decreed that the property owned by someone that had left the Occupied Zone would be confiscated and though it did not specifically identify these property owners as Jewish, the following ordinance on October 18th would clarify whom the Germans had in mind. The October 18th ordinance mandated that all property owned by a Jewish person “be registered and placed under trusteeship.” This gave several big businesses that were a staple of the French economy over to the Germans, who had already confiscated valuable art from Jews in France, some of which had been in the bank vaults of wealthy Jewish families, leading historians to argue that this was a display of German power over the French. French ministries created the Service de Contrôle des Administrateurs Provisoires (SCAP) to place the Jewish properties with French rather than German trustees. Paxton clarified that the three monthly censuses on Jewish property were performed efficiently by SCAP and, though the ordinance ensured France held the properties, the Germans would have confiscated far less property had the French administrators been intentionally less accommodating. However, SCAP accomplished very little in assigning the trustees as, by April 26, 1941, it proved to be an intermediary act in which these trustees were given the authority to then sell and liquidate the property to Aryans, subsequently they turned the money over to the Vichy government, which in turn was paying Germany throughout the Occupation. This was all performed under the Commissariat Général aux Questions Juives (CGQJ), a Vichy government entity, who preferred the sale and liquidation of Jewish property to eliminate the Jewish influence on the economy, regardless of that elimination’s effect on the economy, which was the responsibility of the Ministry of Industrial Production. However, as nearly forty thousand properties were confiscated and either liquidated or “Aryanized” the Vichy government turned the process back to the Germans because they feared Aryanisation was synonymous with Germanization.
The CGQJ was headed by Xavier Vallat until May 6th, 1942, when the position was passed on to Louis Darquier de Pellepoix. Both were well known proponents for anti-Semitism before the German occupation and partook in the dissemination of anti-Semitic Vichy government led laws and literature. Vallat was made famous, or rather infamous, for his “France for the French” rhetoric in which he declared, even before World War II began, that France was on the cusps of becoming a Jewish nation that would rid France of both its history and tradition. He found success under the Vichy regime and framed much of the Statut des Juifs. With his work, the CGQT became synonymous with anti-Semitism, yet his successor, who was more liked by the Germans, would be the driving force in the deportation of Jews from France that began in 1942. There was, however, further evidence of French compliance with the Germans to be seen before that point. Darquier de Pellepoix caught the CGQJ’s attention when he supported the L’Union Générale des Israélites de France (UGIF) idea that taxation of Jews was uneven, with some providing any funds to the Solidarity Fund. The Solidarity Fund was the UGIF’s financial support system to the Jewry in Occupied France. However, Darquier de Pellepoix had to strategize funding to keep both his job and the system afloat to which he decided to tax the Unoccupied Zone’s Jewish community in an attempt to stabilize the UGIF while increasing taxation in the Occupied Zone. The theory, based on their own propaganda, did not account for the class differences in the Unoccupied Zone and Occupied Zone, the latter of which had a growing impoverished middle class of Jews, but it would not be addressed again until Darquier de Pellepoix took Vallat’s position. Aside from the UGIF’s failure to ascertain the financial crisis of the Jews, they also failed to have a way to enforce the taxation, so despite the threat of internment for tax evasion, many Jews could not and did not pay.
Collaboration with the Germans was displayed once again in December 1940 when Pierre Laval was dismissed from his position by Pétain and France’s “Armistice Army took no measures of military preparedness.” Though German officials were surprised by Pétain’s ousting of Laval, the Vichy and German governments continued to collaborate on further anti-Semitic ordinances. Together they made life harder for Jews across France through the revocation and denial of naturalization, the dissolution of the Freemasons and any organization that involved Jewish persons, the abolition of workers and owners unions, a complete withdrawal of citizenship from anyone that was Jewish and of Algerian descent, and decreeing that all public functions were exclusive to the non-Jewish. This negatively impacted the employment of Jews and the unemployed were then ordered to the country where they could farm and unburden the cities. For many, life in either the Occupied Zone or the Unoccupied Zone was fairly unchanged so long as the person was not Jewish, even then it was not until May 1942 that an ordinance was passed requiring all Jews to wear the Star of David.
For the public, there was only a brief window between June 10th, 1940, and July 11th, 1940, where business such as France’s national theaters had shut down. When the Opéra Comique, the Opéra, and the Odéon reopened, they experienced program censorship and reservation of the stage-boxes for Nazi officials. Cabaret music halls such as The Palace, the Lido, and the Folies-Bergère quickly followed suit and reopened to shows packed with, as they became known, uniformed tourists. Though these businesses remained opened to the public and were frequented by the Germans there were also other businesses made exclusive to them or converted to meet their other whims such as a prison, garage, and casino. However, the occupiers were not merely enjoying French entertainment but providing it. The Germans performed daily parades at the Champs Élysées with soldiers on horseback and a full marching band, street signs were renamed with anti-Semites, and the Nazi’s swastika banners were hung throughout the cities. Moreover, even common wartime discomforts, such as rationing of food and fuel, were met with defiance by Frenchmen. Rationing took place in both the Occupied and Unoccupied Zones and the French were quick to establish a black market by the severe 1940-1941 winter. Though there was certainly a food shortage and most families could only afford to heat one room at roughly fifty-one degrees Fahrenheit, most did not change their lifestyles and some, in spite of the Germans, lived intentionally beyond their means or used their careers to make political statements. Others kept their opinions to diaries or letters to family abroad. One such letter from November 1940 captures the common moral throughout the occupation when a male refugee addresses the fanfare of the daily German parades in Paris:
This year there are a great many foreigners and—one doesn’t know why—they have all decided to dress in green while traveling. The result is a rather strange uniformity, which has, at least, the advantage of enabling one to recognize instantly this peculiar category of people.
These foreigners have their little daily entertainment with music—something like circus music—which, I must say, has long since ceased to amuse us.
Food is a symbol of life and throughout many letters, diaries, and oral histories the rationing is repeatedly addressed. One thing rings true in many of them, though lines were long for certain items there was always a similar substitute, in the case of meat, though it was scarce and likely a long line before the shops opened fish would also be available. Even on the cusps of a year under German occupation, Parisian still had easy access to vegetables, fish and other seafood, and rabbits, then rations on some food products increased, namely rice. Outside of Paris the food was still rationed but varied in taste, namely bread in which Paris’ was “dark grey[sic] and of disagreeable taste, but always white and good here in Nesles.” Nesles, a country town northeast of Paris within the Occupied Zone, took less than a day to travel to due to a lack of German traffic stops where travelers would have their papers inspected and, additionally, the town had no German troops stationed there, seemingly common in the first two years of the occupation.
While both the German and French governments heavily documented their actions, the post-war trials of Vichy government officials focused on treason against France for working with the Germans, not because of the racially motivated legislation passed by their regime that led to the death of tens of thousands. The significance of these laws and the lifestyles of French residents during the German occupation lies not only in the time frame the laws were enacted but in their long-term effects, especially in 1942. There can be no denying that the laws built up to an easy collection of Jews in both the Occupied and Unoccupied Zones. The first phase of the Statut des juifs registered only the Jews in the Occupied Zone and the later ordinances of 1941 registered the Jews in the Unoccupied Zone. Further legislation criminalized travel not only between the two zones but made travel in and out of France, except through Germany and Lisbon, extremely difficult, if not impossible without connections and a significant amount of money. Unaccustomed to the enforcement of German ordinances in the Unoccupied Zone, some did not register and nearly seven hundred were reprimanded, some of which were French-born Jews. For the Germans, 1942 began with the Wannsee Conference in which the Nazis planned the Final Solution and included plans for the extermination of Jews in France.
At first, the decisions made at the Wannsee Conference did not seem to change anything substantial in the day to day lives of French Jews. Internment of Jews—mostly men, which had already been occurring, increased but only substantially by the summer of 1942. The most evident, the ordinance mandating that all Jews wear the Star of David, was not announced until late May 1942 and took effect in early June. However, the yellow badge drastically changed the treatment of the Jews in Paris. Fania Freilich, a Polish Jew that moved to Paris in 1937 from Luxembourg, recalled that police surveillance was common so that Jews caught in public without their Star of David could be reported and arrested, a common occurrence for younger Jews who were banned from public events, such as the movies. Freilich also recalled that there were cases where the badge would be ripped off a Jew so that they would be reported and deported. Though the emblem, three per person, was turned over at no charge, a UGIF invoice showed that they had footed the bill, therefore indirectly charging the Jewry through taxes. The reaction to this ordinance makes a strong case for accommodation. The French obliged in following the new law and yet the papers elected to follow the motto of Holland, another German-occupied nation, by encouraging the support of those wearing the star. Though there is no record of the newspaper’s call to action being a success or failure, a police report stated that only those forced to wear the badges had an opinion but most remained indifferent. This report lacked a full analysis, however, as oral histories show immediate violence to Jews in the Occupied Zone, in the Unoccupied Zone Christians published work that spoke out against the stars, and the French on both sides of the Demarcation Line were in agreement that they “[did] not see the measure as a necessary in terms of the national interest.” Resistance to the ordinance was equally as underwhelming with just a negligible amount failing to wear the badge, some non-Jews wearing them in protest, and a few altercations where non-Jews were either pushing for a denial of services to Jewish patrons or they physically fought with the Star-laden themselves.
Though the Wannsee Conference went unknown to the French population and Allied powers, it remains one of the most impactful events of World War II. The Wannsee Conference is often remarked on as the venue from which the Final Solution was born, but some scholars have argued that, despite the increase in the number of functioning extermination camps after the Wannsee Conference, German actions before the Wannsee Conference displayed their regime’s desire to exterminate anyone they deemed undesirable, not just the Jews. Wolf points out that the Wannsee Conference was one of three similar conferences which also included RSHA, led to an increase in deportations, and was likely a result of German retaliation for the resistance to Aryanisation in their annexed territories. However, the implementation of the Final Solution in France took significantly longer than other nations. The collaboration camp could argue that this was a show of faith between the Vichy government and their German occupiers because the Vichy regime had provided little to no pushback in the implementation of the Statut des juifs and had adopted their own anti-Semitic legislation without German political interference. Meanwhile, the accommodation camp could argue that the delay in deportations from France was unrelated to the Vichy or German government policies but rather due to disorganization, lack of funding, or even distance from concentration camps in comparison to other countries with higher death tolls.
Though the first deportation from France, from Compiègne, occurred on March 27th, 1942, shortly after the Wannsee Conference, the true and frequent deportations did not begin until the summer. Though the Final Solution may have been a creation of the Nazi regime, the Vichy regime did nothing to resist the deportations or to lower the quotas set by the Germans. Berlin expected the deportation of one hundred thousand Jews from both the Occupied and Unoccupied Zones of France but was met with delays when SS Obergruppenführer Heydrich could only initially provide a single train. In the short waiting period the new head of the CGQT, Louis Darquier de Pellepoix, planned large-scale roundups for the summer of 1942. The third phase of Statut des juifs, as proposed by Darquier de Pellepoix’s predecessor, aimed to close loopholes and clarify who was and was not to be labeled as undesirable. With Darquier de Pellepoix, however, the Germans could be certain that he had no issue with coupling both French and foreign-born Jews as undesirable. The Statut des juifs system, which had previously been left to local authorities to implement, now fell to the CGQT and effectively so. Between 1942 and 1944, half of the investigations of Jews were due to the Statut des juifs. Therefore, with Darquier de Pellepoix’s ambiguity to the definition of an undesirable Jewish person and the Council of Ministers intentionally deferring votes on the quotas of Jews to be rounded up and deported between the Occupied and Unoccupied Zones, there is no question that the Vichy regime approved of the deportations. Once ousted and, after the 1942 Wannsee Conference, reinstated to Pétain’s cabinet, Pierre Laval, with Darquier de Pellepoix, were key players in determining quotas and maneuvering the Council of Ministers to clear the way for deportations.
Laval and Pétain publicly swore that the Frenchmen would support the Vichy government’s deportation of non-French Jews and that sympathies for the Jewry were only directed toward French Jews. Laval’s sympathies were seen throughout early 1942 as he tried to work with Darquier de Pellepoix, who was unsuccessfully intervening in immigration affairs to stop the rapidly growing amount of Jews legally leaving France through the Unoccupied Zone. These statistics may have been an example of public awareness of the dramatic and negative power shifts in Franco-German relations. With the swift changes in the enforcement of German and Vichy ordinances, the public was made extremely aware of the Franco-German plans for the Jewish population and though many did not believe that the stories of extermination camps were true, the Vel d’Hiv Roundup would quickly change the opinions of the German occupation and what anti-Semitism meant to the regime.
The Vel d’Hiv Roundup was the two-day capture of Jews in Paris on July 16th and 17th, 1942. The Germans asked that twenty-eight thousand Jews be arrested and then twenty-two thousand then be selected for deportation, but they remained unclear on the nationality of their victims, only clarifying that they should not be old or ill. Many diaries note that the buildup to the roundup was palpable. The first week of July 1942 brought the barring of Jews to any city-operated canteen except in the 4th and 13th Arrondissements and Jewish women protesting their husbands’ arrests. The following week saw a ban on the Metro that forced Jews from all but the last carriage, a sharp increase is recorded in the number of sick Jews—likely due to lack of a varied diet weakening their immune systems, two further expansions on the banning of Jews from public spaces such as eateries, places of recreation, and libraries, and posters threatening to kill and imprison Jews involved or related to parties involved in an assassination attempt. The day before the Roundup most knew that arrests and deportations would occur, though some were in disbelief and others remained unaware of when. It was decided that, using the Vichy regime’s card collection of registered Jews, men and women between sixteen and fifty were to be selected for arrest and anyone under the age of sixteen would be left behind to be gathered by the UGIF and placed into an orphanage. Additionally, those arrested would be held at the Vélodrome d’Hiver and later assigned to a transit camp; either Drancy, Compiègne, or to one of two camps in Loiret—Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande. The end result would be only slightly aligned with that plan.
Roughly nine hundred arresting teams were assembled for the Vel d’Hiv Roundup. These teams, all of which were led by French officers, consisted of nine thousand French police from an array of French task forces such as bailiffs, patrolmen, and detectives with an additional collection of up to four hundred French volunteers. The units were supposed to be monitored by German officers as they combed through the seven arrondissments, or neighborhoods, with the largest Jewish populations and made their arrests, but there were so few of them they went unnoticed and they did not get involved in the arrests. The expectation of twenty-eight thousand arrests, however, could not be met.
Of those arrested, the non-married Jews and the married Jews without children were taken directly to Drancy internment camp in a rough count of six thousand. Meanwhile, families with children were taken to the Vélodrome d’Hiver, accounting for another three thousand adults and more than four thousand children. With only thirteen thousand arrests, it could easily be argued that the Roundup was a failure and there are many reasons as to why there were so few arrests. Word spread that the arrests would occur several days before the Roundup, resulting in an exodus from Paris, some police called on the person and informed them they would return to make the arrest and thus allowing some to escape, but there were also over a hundred suicides.
When analyzing these arrests, the accommodation camp could argue that the various warnings saved more lives than were lost. They could argue that though there could have been more arrests, the French were the ones issuing warnings and saving lives, which shows French resistance to the Germans. It could be argued that these small acts of kindness or defiance were evidence that France accommodated the Germans by following their orders as loosely as possible to save as many as possible. However, it is vital to analyze the treatment of the Jews, while under arrest and their deportation before applying the argument.
There are no positive accounts of the Vel d’Hiv Roundup. For five days, families were crammed into the bicycle racing stadium with no accommodations, the clothes on their backs, no food, no water, and no bathrooms. These conditions and the fluctuating temperatures between day and night quickly led to the spread of diarrhea and dysentery, but the Germans only allowed two doctors into the Vel d’Hiv at any point in time. Then, despite obtaining less than half the quota, SS Obersturmführer Heinz Röthke stated that “the [deportation] program can be achieved if the French government makes a commitment to it with the necessary dynamism.” Röthke, also stated that it was the Vichy regime that proposed the deportation of children. This was also reiterated by Dannecker, who said that Laval wanted the Unoccupied Zone’s deportations to include children under sixteen. Though major Vichy officials, such as Laval, had expressed outrage at the suggestion of arresting French-born Jews, particularly when many of the Jewish refugees in France were German or from a German-occupied state, they remained mum during and after the Vel d’Hiv Roundup and, as previously mention, there are conflicting accounts regarding the depth of his involvement in the selection of which Jews would be deported.
In fact, the majority of warning communications were only printed four and five days before the event and by roughly three hundred members of Solidarité, an underground French Resistance group. The Roundup was seen as their first attempt at undermining France’s anti-Semitic authorities. The message, however, appealed to emotions, mostly regarding the need to protect children, and provided no precise details other than the roundup would occur “shortly” and still in its planning phase, which was not accurate. Of the records available, however, many mentioned an awareness of the impending event. The journal of Hélène Berr, which is deemed a French treasure equal to the Diary of Anne Frank, began her July 15th, 1942 entry, “Something is brewing, something that will be a tragedy, maybe the tragedy. M. Simon came round this evening at 10:00 to warn us that he’d been told about a roundup for the day after tomorrow, twenty thousand people.” Another account by Israël Belchatowski rang of the same hopeless sentiment upon learning from the Jewish Resistance that the Roundup would take place the next day, “This news spread like lightning. Terrified, the Jews didn’t know how to escape this misfortune. Those who could, left their lodgings, but most of them had nowhere to hide.”
Accounts of the event immediately afterward toe the line of shock and horror, Lucie Aubrac knew many families on one of the busses headed to the Vélodrome and was waved over, upon doing so she was given a child that used to be in one of her daughter’s classes. Others recalled suicides and suicide attempts within the Vel d’Hiv and in the streets during the Roundup. Yet, once again the only advocates for the Jewry were Solidarité. They relocated hundreds of children from hiding in the French countryside and many of which were placed in private schools, and sixty-five percent of which had one or both of their parents deported. However, 1942 France would see more hardship than it ever had for the remainder of the German occupation.
With the help of the United States and Great Britain, food made it into France and its principalities through relief programs, specifically with the Red Cross. However, in Prisoners of Hope, Reverend Howard L. Brooks describes the manipulation and propaganda of the Vichy government to manipulate the public perception of this aid. What told that bread would be given freely as “an addition to the legal ration” through fifty thousand bakeries in the Unoccupied Zone, the Vichy government charged the Frenchmen bread ration cards, which led to hostility against Americans like Rev. Brooks, who was in the Unoccupied Zone to help French children. In addition to the food crisis, deportations continued and became more hostile, arrests continued to include the French police, and there was no longer differentiation between French and foreign-born Jews. Internment camps were turned over to German officers that resulted in nearly fifteen thousand deportations in the final eight months of the occupation alone. Regardless of who controlled the camps, French organizations and politicians denied aid throughout the entirety of the war. Despite outrage at events like the Vel d’Hiv Roundup, the UGIF denied aid, be it in the form of hiding or relocation, to another two hundred and thirty-three children in 1944, resulting in over two hundred being deported to Auschwitz. Nevertheless, unlike camps outside of France, letters and supplies were fairly easy to legitimately pass into French internment camps and though the contents of these letters after 1942 spoke of the poor and dwindling conditions and constant fear of deportation, the prisoners’ letters were still being mailed to family members.
There remains an accommodation sentiment that focuses on the fact that there was a significant amount of lives saved. Due to warnings by the French Resistance, many Jews fled to the Unoccupied Zone controlled by the Vichy government and some would be smuggled later back into the Occupied Zone, though in September of 1942 laws were implemented to stop Jewish people in the Unoccupied Zone from crossing the Demarcation Line. However, the deplorable treatment of the Jews within the Velodrome d’Hiver was the most public display of Frances longstanding anti-Semitic ideals.
The dehumanization of the Jews in France, particularly blaming them for economic collapse, were completely aligned to the Nazi Germany rhetoric. However, these ideals had existed strongly in France since 1885 with the publication of Edouard Drumont’s La France Juive, which sold one hundred thousand copies in a single year and led to the long-running and heavily subscribed anti-Semitic paper, La Libre Parole. Drumont’s anti-Semitic ethos was used in Pétain’s Vichy propaganda and it would be de Gaulle and the Free French that spoke against those values. France had a long, albeit rarely discussed post-World War II, history of anti-Semitism that clearly supports the Vichy government’s reasons for working closely and easily with their German occupiers. Focusing solely on the lives saved or the few who worked against the Vichy regime does no justice to the victims or French history.
Scholars have shown that Vichy not only collaborated with the Germans but went above and beyond the German’s expectations. The result of these actions was a lack of resistance to deportations. Moreover, it is repeatedly addressed that Laval and Pétain, repeatedly worked to keep the Vichy government out of a position that conflicted with the Nazi’s interests. Key players, especially Laval, would see rises and falls throughout the occupation and continually move back into power, supporting the Vichy regime. Moreover, the salvation of those escaping the Occupied Zone or France entirely, gaining access to food and coal for heat, and finding job opportunities when the Statut des juifs laws revoked business licenses and restricted employment eligibility to Jews landed mainly on the French Resistance and a few trusted neighbors, as recalled in many letters and oral histories.
In conclusion, France fully collaborated with the Germans until the summer of 1942 upon which Germany began to take further control of the Vichy government and rendered the Vichy government a puppet state by November 1942. The result of their collaboration, therefore, holds France accountable for the crimes against the Jewish inhabitants. The Vichy regime was a product of a pre-existing anti-Semitic sentiment in France in which the French used Jewry as an outlet of blame for economic collapse and the degradation of French culture before Hitler came to power. France’s anti-Semitic sentiment was only further justified when Germany occupied the state and shared equal anti-Semitic values, as proven by the increase in both their expansion of Jewish oppression through laws and dehumanizing treatment. Pétain and Laval were the leaders of the Vichy government that perpetuated anti-Semitism sentiments using their pre-occupation popularity, propaganda, and legislation. After the liberation of France, Pétain and Laval would both be put on trial, of which Laval would be sentenced to death and Pétain to life imprisonment. The greatest difference in the two trials was that Pétain maintained that his actions were done for the greater good of France and unpleasantly “with a dagger at [his] throat,” while Laval argued that he was a buffer between the people and the Germans, which treated their other annexed territories far worse than France. Also, international awareness of the collaboration and these Vichy government laws led to reluctant ties to the French colonies where the Free French Gaullist movement hoped to fight with Britain and reclaim France. As France continues to slowly release documents from the war, scholars will continue to attempt to define what collaboration and preservation of culture meant to France from 1940 to 1944. The following question should be asked: What if the French had not enacted anti-Semitic legislation, created their own propaganda, or arrested their own people? The current consensus among collaboration supporters is clear, more people would have survived the war in France. However, according to the accounts available fear and disbelief were stronger than the ability to picture survival under the Germans. Nevertheless, the French denial of culpability for fifty years, while inexcusable, is telling of the retrospective French opinion regarding collaboration with their German occupiers.
Berr, Hélène. The Journal of Hélène Berr. Translated by David Bellos. New York: Weinstein Books, 2008.
Curie, Eve, Philippe Barrès, and Raoul De Roussy De Sales, eds. They Speak for a Nation: Letters from France. Translated by Drake Dekay and Denise Dekay.
Garden City, NY: Doubleday Doran and Company Incorporated, 1941.
d’Albert-Lake, Virginia. An American Heroine in the French Resistance: The Diary and Memoir of Virginia D’Albert-Lake. Edited by Judy Barrett Litoff. New York: Fordham University Press, 2006.
“David P. Boder Interviews Bertha Goldwasser; August 4, 1946; Paris, France.” Interviewed by David P. Boder. Voices of the Holocaust. Galvin Library, Illinois Institute of Technology. 2009. http://voices.iit.edu/interviewee?doc=goldwasserB
“David P. Boder Interviews Fania Freilich; August 9, 1946; Paris, France.” Interviewed by David P. Boder. Voices of the Holocaust. Galvin Library, Illinois Institute of Technology. 2009. http://voices.iit.edu/interviewee?doc=freilichF.
Lewendel, Isaac. Not the Germans Alone: A Son’s Search for the Truth of Vichy. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1999.
Marchal, Léon. Vichy: Two Years of Deception. Translated by Jean Davidson and Don Schwind. New York: Macmillan Company, 1943.
Marshall, George Catlett. The Papers of George Catlett Marshall: We Cannot Delay; July 1, 1939 – December 6, 1941. Vol. 2. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986.
Roosevelt, Elliott, and Eleanor Roosevelt. As He Saw It. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1946.
Whitcomb, Philip W., trans. France during the German Occupation: 1940-1944; A Collection of 292 Statements on the Government of Maréchal Pétain and Pierre Laval. Vol. 2. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press, 1957.
Adler, Jacques. The Jews of Paris and the Final Solution: Communal Response and Internal Conflict, 1940-1944. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.
Atkinson, Rick. An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943. New York: Henry Holt & Company, 2002.
Aron, Robert, and Georgette Elgey. The Vichy Regime: 1940-1944. Translated by Humphrey Hare. New York: MacMillan Company, 1958.
Burrin, Philippe. France under the Germans: Collaboration and Compromise. New York: New Press, 1996.“By The Numbers: World-Wide Deaths.” The National World War II Museum: New Orleans. June 19, 2012. Accessed November 8, 2016. http://www.nationalww2
“By The Numbers: World-Wide Deaths.” The National World War II Museum: New Orleans. June 19, 2012. Accessed November 8, 2016. http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/education/for-students/ww2-history/ww2-by-the-numbers/world-wide-deaths.html.Cariguel, Oliver. “180 Ans: Une Brève Chronologie.” Revue Des Deux Mondes. October Accessed December 1, 2016. http://www.revuedesdeuxmondes.fr/qui-
Cariguel, Oliver. “180 Ans: Une Brève Chronologie.” Revue Des Deux Mondes. October Accessed December 1, 2016. http://www.revuedesdeuxmondes.fr/qui-sommes-nous/.
Conan, Éric, and Henry Rousso. Vichy: An Ever-present Past. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1998.
Curtis, Michael. Verdict on Vichy: Power and Prejudice in the Vichy France Regime. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2002.
Dombrowski Risser, Nicole. France under Fire: German Invasion, Civilian Flight and Family Survival during World War II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Hytier, Adrienne Doris. Two Years of French Foreign Policy: Vichy, 1940-1942. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1974.
Jackson, Julian. France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Kitson, Simon. “Arresting Nazi Spies in Vichy France: 1940 – 1942.” Intelligence and National Security 15, No. 1 (Spring 2000): 80-120.
________. “From Enthusiasm to Disenchantment: The French Police and the Vichy Regime, 1940–1944.” Contemporary European History 11, No. 03 (2002): 371- 390.
________. The Hunt for Nazi Spies: Fighting Espionage in Vichy France. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
Langer, William L. Our Vichy Gamble. New York: A. A Knopf, 1947.
________, and S. Everett Gleason. The Challenge to Isolation 1937-1940: The World Crisis and American Foreign Policy. Vol. I. London: Royal Institute of International Affairs., 1952.
Lee, Daniel. Pétain’s Jewish Children: French Jewish Youth and the Vichy Regime, 1940-1942. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.
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Marrus, Michael R., and Robert O. Paxton. Vichy France and the Jews. New York: Basic Books, 1981.
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Paxton, Robert O. Parades and Politics at Vichy: The French Officer Corps under Marshal Pétain. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1966.
________. Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, 1940-1944. New York: Knopf; Distributed by Random House, 1972.
Poznanski, Renée. Jews in France during World War II. Translated by Nathan Bracher.
Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press in Association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2001.
Rayski, Adam. The Choice of the Jews under Vichy: Between Submission and Resistance. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005.
Ryan, Donna F. The Holocaust & the Jews of Marseille: The Enforcement of Anti-Semitic Policies in Vichy France. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1996.
Viorst, Milton. Hostile Allies: FDR and Charles De Gaulle. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1965.
White, Dorothy Shipley. Seeds of Discord: De Gaulle, Free France, and the Allies. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1964.
Wolf, Gerhard. “The Wannsee Conference in 1942 and the National Socialist Living Space Dystopia.” Journal of Genocide Research 17, no. 2 (April 03, 2015): 153-175.
 William L. Langer, Our Vichy Gamble (New York: A. A. Knopf, 1947), 3.
 Lee, Pétain’s Jewish Children, 71.; Note that the name of the regime comes from the name of the city which the French government was relocated during World War II, south of the Demarcation Line but in the center of France.
 “By The Numbers: World-Wide Deaths,” The National World War II Museum: New Orleans, June 19, 2012, accessed November 8, 2016, http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/education/for-students/ww2-history/ww2-by-the-numbers/world-wide-deaths.html.
 Robert O. Paxton, Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, 1940-1944 (New York: Knopf; Distributed by Random House, 1972), 392-399.
 Marchal, Vichy, 4-5.
 Marchal, Vichy, 14.
 William L. Langer and S. Everett Gleason, The Challenge to Isolation 1937-1940: The World Crisis of 1937-1940 and American Foreign Policy (New York: Published for the Council on Foreign Relations by Harper, 1952), 497-498.
 Elliott Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, As He Saw It (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1946), 73.; The Casablanca Conference was a meeting from January 14th to the 24th in 1943 of the Allied Powers in French Morocco in which they discussed their plans for continued war efforts and the support and inclusion of the Gaullist Free French forces.
 Rick Atkinson, An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 2002), 1-17, 530-541.; This secondary source provides an analysis of the Gaullist movement, international relations with the Vichy regime and the resistance movement, and the many battles and strategies of the North African territories during World War II from the American perspective. While not wholly relevant to the collaboration or accommodation argument it does provide a strong perspective on international opinions of the three segments of France during the war—the German-occupied north, Vichy government in the south, and the Gaullist resistance in London and Northern Africa.
 Nacht und Nebel, also known as Night and Fog, was the 1941 German operation to target and arrest resistance members in Germany’s annexed territories. One of the prisoners was Virginia d’Albert-Lake, an American living in Paris with her French husband. Together they saved British and American airmen.
 Philip W. Whitcomb, trans., France during the German Occupation: 1940-1944; a Collection of 292 Statements on the Government of Maréchal Pétain and Pierre Laval, vol. 2 (Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press, 1957), 636-640.
 Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, 6-7.
 Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, 101-103.
 Renée Poznanski, Jews in France during World War II, trans. Nathan Bracher (Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press in Association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2001), 428-431.; Adler, The Jews of Paris and the Final Solution, 145-149.
 “David P. Boder Interviews Bertha Goldwasser; August 4, 1946; Paris, France,” Interviewed by David P. Boder, Voices of the Holocaust, (Galvin Library, Illinois Institute of Technology, 2009), http://voices.iit.edu/interviewee?doc=goldwasserB.
 Eve Curie, Philippe Barrès, and Raoul de Roussy de Sales, eds., They Speak for a Nation: Letters from France, trans. Drake Dekay and Denise Dekay (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Doran and Company Incorporated, 1941), 38.; Note that these letters cover a variety of people (refugees, prisoners of war, the elite, students, shopkeepers, and children) of all ages and nationalities writing from different places across France throughout 1940 to mid-1941. Many of their letters were sent to the United States and England. All of them have the names of their authors and recipients redacted to protect their identities in a time when all citizens were monitored and the book was published to present Americans specifically with an understanding of life in France, mostly, under the Germans.
 Curie, Barrès, and de Roussy de Sales, They Speak for a Nation, 39-55.
 “David P. Boder Interviews Fania Freilich; August 9, 1946; Paris, France,” Interviewed by David P. Boder, Voices of the Holocaust, (Galvin Library, Illinois Institute of Technology, 2009), http://voices.iit.edu/interviewee?doc=freilichF.
 “David P. Boder Interviews Fania Freilich; August 9, 1946; Paris, France,” Interviewed by David P. Boder, Voices of the Holocaust, (Galvin Library, Illinois Institute of Technology, 2009), http://voices.iit.edu/interviewee?doc=freilichF.
 The operation itself was called Vent printanier, translating to “spring wind,” but it is often referred to as “The Roundup,” and “The Vel d’Hiv Roundup” due to the families being locked inside the Vélodrome d’Hiver.
 Philippe Burrin, France under the Germans: Collaboration and Compromise (New York: New Press, 1996), 156-157.; Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, 251-252.; Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, 263.
 Lee, Pétain’s Jewish Children, 71.
 Simon Kitson, “Arresting Nazi Spies in Vichy France: 1940 – 1942,” Intelligence and National Security 15, No. 1 (Spring 2000).; Simon Kitson, “From Enthusiasm to Disenchantment: The French Police and the Vichy Regime, 1940–1944,” Contemporary European History 11, No. 03 (2002).; Simon Kitson, The Hunt for Nazi Spies: Fighting Espionage in Vichy France (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008).; Simon Kitson has been a driving force in the accommodation camp and focuses much of his work on the work of spies and the French Resistance. However, he remains the only one to firmly call upon Paxton to question why the issue must be black and white.
 Nearly every secondary source on life in France during World War II includes these accounts; however, these scenarios are also in the journals of Hélène Berr and Virginia d’Albert-Lake—previously cited, and others found online through the National Holocaust Museum and France’s Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation and Musée de la Résistance Nationale. Additionally, though only one specific Dr. David P. Boder interview was cited, Dr. Boder’s Voices of the Holocaust project includes many French Jew and foreign-born Jewish refugee interviews in Paris that discuss life in France during the war.