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By Christopher Lloyd (auth.)

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Extra resources for Collaboration and Resistance in Occupied France: Representing Treason and Sacrifice

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29 The BCRA (the London-based Gaullist intelligence service) defined the essential criteria for a resistance movement as publication of a journal for propaganda purposes, together with an efficient intelligence network and paramilitary group. Over 1000 clandestine periodicals were published during the occupation; the most important usually took the name of their movement (the best known including Combat, Libe´ration and Franc-Tireur). Many networks were however directly linked to overseas intelligence agencies (such as the BCRA or the British SOE, Special Operations Executive), without being allied to movements in mainland France.

Pe´tain ultimately became a victim of his fondness for the trappings of power, the prisoner first of the more active collaborationists whom he helped bring to power, then of his adversaries; he escaped execution, unlike Laval, but at the price of life imprisonment for his legitimisation of a political regime that abetted Nazism. Vichy’s project of moral regeneration, announced as part of a so-called national revolution, seems equally spurious in retrospect, in that its few positive aspects are outweighed by many negative features.

There is no doubt that many profiteers, collaborators and extortionists attempted to masquerade as resisters; the ‘faux re´sistant’ is a figure of legend. Sonia Combes cites several notorious cases, including a Vichy sous-chef de cabinet responsible for arrests of Jews who subsequently became a well-known historian of the resistance, having been deported as a resister in 1944 (1994: 35–6). What is Understanding and Representing the Occupation 37 more disturbing is the persecution of genuine resisters, most of them low-ranking members of the communist FTP lacking influential protection.

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