Choices in Vichy France
The French Under Nazi Occupation
This provocative study challenges the stereotypes about Nazi-occupied France--both the old Gaullist myth of "a nation of resisters" and the newer myth of "a nation of collaborators." From evidence gathered at Claremont-Ferrand, the largest town near Vichy, the Occupation capitol, Sweets found the French far less supportive of Petain than some have argued and far more supportive of de Gaulle than has been suspected. He reconstructs the experiences of individual men and women in Clermont-Ferrand to understand the dilemmas that Occupation set before them. He finds that everything was made difficult and complex by the Occupation, and that our traditional notions of "resistance" and "collaboration" are inadequate to describe the reality of people's behavior under such extreme circumstances.