Were they motivated by anti-Semitism or were they simply bullied by the Nazis? Today, are the French ashamed by their actions?
During WW2, why did the French cooperate with the Germans?
|by Anonymous||reply 35||01/27/2013|
Many didn't cooperate and many had little choice but to cooperate to some extent. Some French people cooperated willingly with the German forces. Your title is far too much of a generalisation.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||01/27/2013|
If you study the mindset of the time, Antisemitism wasn't a driving force behind anything -- German blowhards aspiring for dominance blamed the Jews for every ill, and when they came to power, started a decade long push to demonize them, cripple them socially and economically, (and more importantly) grab their stuff. But maybe one percent of heir time was spent on it, and as their power grew, they took advantage of their power as occupiers to encourage others to act on antisemitic feelings that in the beginning were minor at best and to reward those who became more overt.
But again, it wasn't something they spent a lot of time on in the beginning other than as a way to garner support. It was just one part of a massive campaign to grab power and silence any opposition.
If you look at who was in the camps and when, the initial inmates were those who opposed the Nazis politically in any way -- Commies, Labor types, radical priests and leftist Lutherans. Jews as Jews were targeted for boycotts, but it was many years before Kristalnacht, and many years after that before enforced ghettos grew into Auschwitz and Dachau. And even those were more about forced labor in the beginning rather than the Final Solution.
The French power structure saw the German roundups and harassment of their Jews as a silver lining of Nazi occupation -- something they would not have overtly encouraged or involved themselves in, but something they did not see worth protesting. In the beginning, the Foreign Legion was used in the roundups, not the French Army, although the French police were involved.
So, in a way you could say the French were bullied, but as a whole, they didn't much resist.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||01/27/2013|
[quote]he French power structure saw the German roundups and harassment of their Jews as a silver lining of Nazi occupation -- something they would not have overtly encouraged or involved themselves in, but something they did not see worth protesting.
This is not true. The French refused to deport Jews who were French citizens. The only Jews they allowed to be deported were foreign nationals.
France was divided into occupied and unoccupied areas. The rationalization for establishing the Vichy government was that the alternative was complete occupation by the Germans. Vichy didn't so much co-operate with the Germans as it did try to protect France and French interests during a really bad time.
Frankly, without Vichy it's possible there would have been no operating room for the spies and resistance members who played an important part in defeating the Nazis.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||01/27/2013|
[quote]If you look at who was in the camps and when, the initial inmates were those who opposed the Nazis politically in any way -- Commies, Labor types, radical priests and leftist Lutherans. Jews as Jews were targeted for boycotts, but it was many years before Kristalnacht, and many years after that before enforced ghettos grew into Auschwitz and Dachau. And even those were more about forced labor in the beginning rather than the Final Solution.
There are so many fallacious in this it's hard to know where to begin. Here are few corrections.
Catholics and Lutherans were never a subject of systematic persecution by the Nazis. Ever! The Catholic Church collaborated with the Nazis from the beginning of its rise to power. Reichskonkordat of July 20, 1933 was a treaty between the Holy See and Nazi Germany. It was signed by Cardinal Pacelli who later became Pope Pius. With it the Catholic Center party withdrew all opposition to the Nazi Party. Generally, German Protestants also supported the Nazi party.
Gay men were among the first arrested and sent to labor camps, where they were worked to death.
While efficient large scale death camps like Auschwitz and Dachau came later in the war, systematic arrests and execution of Jews began much earlier. Beginning in 1933, the German government enacted a series of anti-Jewish laws restricting the rights of German Jews to earn a living, to enjoy full citizenship and to educate themselves, including the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, which forbade Jews to work in the civil service. The subsequent 1935 Nuremberg Laws stripped German Jews of their citizenship and forbade Jews to marry non-Jewish Germans.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||01/27/2013|
Oh look -- Tel Aviv has signed on
|by Anonymous||reply 5||01/27/2013|
R4, any political opposition to Nazi power ended up in the camps, regardless of religious orientation, Catholics and Lutherans included. Not everything was about the Jews - 45% of those who died in the camps were NOT Jewish.
The first internees were political dissidents and Soviet POWs. The anti-gay rhetoric served as an excuse to knock off SA Chief Ernst Röhm, the greatest threat to Hitler's consolidation of power.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||01/27/2013|
There was a crisis in leadership in France at the time that the Germans came in. That, plus the fact that the French had been traumatized over the impact of World War 1 on their soil made it easy for the Germans to come in and take over.
There was always the French Resistance - but really what could they do?
|by Anonymous||reply 7||01/27/2013|
Essentially they are cheese-eating surrender monkeys.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||01/27/2013|
[quote]any political opposition to Nazi power ended up in the camps, regardless of religious orientation, Catholics and Lutherans included. Not everything was about the Jews - 45% of those who died in the camps were NOT Jewish.
While some of the people who opposed the Nazis and were persecuted by them were Catholic and Protestants, it is important to note that there is no evidence anywhere that these opponents were systematically persecuted because of their religion. It is not even possible to determine how many of these political opponents were Catholic or Protestant. Except for Jews and Jehovah's Witnesses, the religions of prisoners were not even recorded.
Of course lots of other people were killed by Nazis. An estimated 5 to 10 million Russians may have been killed. Political Prisoners, Gypsies, Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, Gay men, Asocial people, and Emigrants were systematically arrested and killed. My point was that the systematic persecution of various groups by the Nazis did not include persecution of anyone because they were Catholic and Protestant.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||01/27/2013|
It's telling that Hitler forced the Italian to withdrew from the small part of France that they occupied because they were relatively tolerance of Jewish people, far more so than the Vichy government.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||01/27/2013|
The French were under German military occupation. They were in a similar situation to the people in Afghanistan currently under U.S. occupation: either obey the orders of the people who had them under the point of a gun and risk being marked by their own people as collaborators, or disobey them and risk being tortured, imprisoned and killed. Some of them cooperated for their own reasons, some of them mounted armed resistance, some of them engaged in covert resistance. Do you think the Afghans who cooperated with our troops are motivated by religious prejudices? Should they be ashamed? Plenty of people see them as traitors and consider the fact that we have killed a fuck of a lot of people there.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||01/27/2013|
[quote]"If you study the mindset of the time, Antisemitism wasn't a driving force behind anything" - R2 R5
Holocaust denial and revisionism is another form antisemitism.
R2's post at R5 gives his antisemitic self away.
No, I'm not from Tel Aviv. I'm not Israeli, I'm not even Jewish. I am concerned when someone adds insult to injury by denying underlying antisemitism of the Third Reich. That and the fact antisemitism is just plain stupid.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||01/27/2013|
No one's denying the Holocaust r12 -- not the targets or the scope -- but if there has been any revisionist history going on, it has been from the Jews who keep acting like it was all about them, and only about them.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||01/27/2013|
It's hilarious how r2 tries to dress up his trivialization Nazi anti-Semitism all rationally and objectively, but then immediately exposes his shit-stained anti-Semitic underpants as soon as he's challenged with real historical facts.
It's like David Irving's retarded little brother.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||01/27/2013|
if there has been any revisionist history going on, it has been from the Jews who keep acting "like it was all about them, and only about them."
Do you have any more stupid generalizations to make about Jews?
Thanks for proving my point, R13 R5 R2 .
|by Anonymous||reply 15||01/27/2013|
[quote] "...if there has been any revisionist history going on, it has been from the Jews who keep acting like it was all about them, and only about them." R14
That was supposed to be in quotes.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||01/27/2013|
And then r11 comes along and almost joins him in the vileness stakes by likening Afghans who worked with the Nato forces to Vichy collaborators.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||01/27/2013|
r14 still doesn't understand why he wasn't invited to join the country club.
Leave the bathroom in the bathroom r14.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||01/27/2013|
To get back to your original questions, OP -- Germany marched into France and occupied it, with the Vichy government in exile governing only the south of France. Anti-semitism was rampant not only in most of Europe, including France, but also in the United States.
The French today are still fairly anti-semitic. They also like to highlight their resistance movement when they talk about WWII -- they don't like to talk about Americans and British coming in to rescue them and save Europe. Talk to some French people, and you'd think no one cooperated with the Germans and everyone was working with the resistance.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||01/27/2013|
Because of WWI, which was fought mainly on French soil or to be more exact, in French soil. They had a very vivid memory of that war and the destruction that came with it. It was only twenty year before. They saw what happened to anyone who resisted the Germans and wisely put down their arms. It was smarter to work against the Germans while living with them than watch their country get bombed to smithereens again.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||01/27/2013|
r17, I was talking about HOW YOU ACT WHEN YOUR COUNTRY IS INVADED BY HOSTILE FOREIGNERS.
It's not about comparing us to Nazis. It's the fact that when somebody marches into your neighborhood and occupies it by force, you're presented with a set of moral choices that aren't that easy to sort out. Ask the Southerners how they feel about the army of Northern occupation during the Civil War. There are still plenty of mixed feelings about that.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||01/27/2013|
The point, r21, is that - as you would know if you had read anything on the topic - the majority of Afghans SUPPORTED the presence of Western troops. Not because they were threatened with "being tortured, imprisoned and killed" - but because most of them didn't actually like being subjugated by the Taliban, whatever your orientalist-dressed-as-anti-imperialist fantasies.
There was no "resistance" opposing the Western forces, just Islamist terrorists - unless you also count the "Werwölfe" as "resistance".
|by Anonymous||reply 22||01/27/2013|
[quote]The French today are still fairly anti-semitic.
I think that is mostly the immigrants, r19. I don't think a Dreyfus would happen today.
But you are correct about every French person of a certain age claiming (mostly non-existent) ties to the Resistance -- at the time, the Underground was dismissed by the majority of France as a bunch of Communists.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||01/27/2013|
The French are pussies.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||01/27/2013|
[quote]There was no "resistance" opposing the Western forces, just Islamist terrorists - unless you also count the "Werwölfe" as "resistance".
Actually, there was, r22 -- in every war there are those who back who they perceive as winning, and insurgence against the Allies by locals was a real problem in both France and Italy. There were even problems with sabotage in the UK, and it was a notable problem in the Philippines.
Granted, no "green on blue" massacres, but still, there were issues with that -- there always are.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||01/27/2013|
France was also kind of hamstrung by some really poor decisions that the leaders of the French and British government made between the invasion of Poland and the Nazis' march into France. They wanted to fortify the Maginot Line into Belgium, but the King of Belgium wouldn't let them do that. They had intelligence that the German advance would actually flank the Maginot and go through the Ardennes instead, and they ignored that.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||01/27/2013|
You misread, r25 - I was still talking about Afghanistan (admittedly off-topic).
|by Anonymous||reply 27||01/27/2013|
A little off topic but my favorite part of the war is how not one single goddam German claimed to know what was going on during the war.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||01/27/2013|
Speaking of the French, does anyone have news as to how well the pro marriage equality demonstrations went in Paris today? I hope the turnout was good. According to polls support in general has risen in France over the last few weeks.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||01/27/2013|
R28 -- there is a great film called "The Dirty Girl" that talks about that very subject.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||01/27/2013|
It was for love of Paris! Those animales threatened to bomb Paris, to set it on fire, to destroy it! Quel domage! This we could not allow.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||01/27/2013|
The Action Francaise had a long and loud history of antisemitism. Furthermore, antisemitism had been inculcated in the officer corps through the polarizing Dreyfus Affair in 1906. Probably a majority of French officers, and certainly their commanders, were Nazi collaborators. The Nazis hinted that they had several on their payroll. What is not in dispute is that Marshal Petain had been living in retirement in Spain where he was a great fan of Generalissimo Franco and his fascist regime. Did he understand when he set up Vichy that the Germans intended to run it in an extreme ideological fashion under their puppet Laval? Probably not. These were a mostly idiot class (not unlike America's generals today).
The French upper class and media had been denigrating the politicians of the Third Republic nonstop for twenty years. During the 1920s they went on a capital strike to sink the economy so they could overturn leftist politicians like Leon Blum (not unlike what is happening in the U.S. today). So when the invasion came, they believed the Nazis would overturn what they viewed as the leftist excesses of national politics, and the gridlock in Parliament. Instead, the Nazis plundered them. It was what they deserved for getting so wrapped up in a world of propaganda and unreality out of hate for the poor and middle class.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||01/27/2013|
You see the same thing with the rich in America today. The Arabs, and wealthy Asians wouldn't think twice about stealing everything they own. But they will gladly make common cause with the Arabs against the American poor and middle class.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||01/27/2013|
"Better Hitler than Blum!"
|by Anonymous||reply 34||01/27/2013|
R28, not every German was like that but it should be noted that the worst behavior occurred outside of Germany, particularly in Poland and Russia.
R19, if you want to really acknowledge who saved the French, British, and other western Europeans from Hitler, you need to tip your hat to the Russians. Americans are very guilty of not acknowledging roles other nations play - past or present.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||01/27/2013|