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Collaboration Horizontale

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by KodiakBeer, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. Alsa.se

    Alsa.se Member

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    This is false what you write. Or at least you summarize very clumsily the history of France during the occupation. This last word is important to understand: "OCCUPATION". From 1940, there were 2 "France". One in the pay of traitor PETAIN who delivered the country to the occupying Nazi. The other, representing the majority of the French, refused this occupation. What could the French men do with this Vichy regime devoted to the occupier? Nothing. Any attempt to refuse to go to Germany or to obey any order sent his family and himself to camps.
    You say that the prisoners were obliged to write that everything was fine. If it was practiced somewhere, it was very far, not a generality. On the contrary, it was difficult to hear from him. My wife's grandfather was a prisoner on a farm where he had to work. It was almost impossible for him to write to his wife to give him news. NOT ALLOWED ! He had to find ways to send his letters. Care must be taken not to generalize certain things that can be read or heard.
    And to say that the French prisoners were privileged workers (even compared to other nationalities), I find it really inappropriate.
     
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  2. Alsa.se

    Alsa.se Member

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    You do not have the right to say that. Or, specify your thoughts. The majority of French people have been forced to collaborate. It's a fundamental nuance. It saddens me to see how the French are judged today during the WWII. I believe that a people who has not lived under occupation, can not know what it means. There are books and personal opinions. This is worthless compared to the real experiences lived by the population.
     
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  3. Alsa.se

    Alsa.se Member

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    [QUOTE="harolds]
    I've also read/heard that Maurice Chevalier was quite cozy with the Germans. He seemed to have a good career after the war nonetheless.
    .[/QUOTE]

    You are right. A number of well-known people (singers, actors, ...) were comfortable with the occupant. It starts to irritate (only now) These people have escaped and not always in the most beautiful way. An example of actors who refused the occupation is Jean GABIN. He left the world of show business to join the army. He will make war as a private soldier and will survive. He will resume a good acting career afterwards.
     
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  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Well said.

    .
     
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  5. wooley12

    wooley12 Active Member

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    In 1930's Timmerlah, Germany, when the agent of the government told my wife's aunt not to allow the Jewish regular in her restaurant anymore, she had to comply. I suppose that some could call that collaborating.
     
  6. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    What of the German children who dobbed (told on) their parents in to the Nazis?
     
  7. wooley12

    wooley12 Active Member

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    I have many friends who are in the US illegally. My government has made removing them from our country a National Security priority. Am I a collaborator for not turning them in? Please say yes.
     
  8. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    There is no intention to disparage a whole country. However, the vast majority of the occupied populations simply put up with their fate. The British inhabitants of the Channel islands too. Few people were engaged with the resistance prior to 1944.

    The Second World War is leaving the realm of remembrance and becoming history. I support Liberation Route Europe's efforts to take a more measured perspective from the individuals involved. https://liberationroute.com/media/1336473/magna-carta-final-english-version.pdf
    9,000 frenchmen and women were tried as collaborators and 1,500 executed, fairly or otherwise. 350,000 were affected by the post war judicial purge.
     
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  9. USAAFson

    USAAFson Member

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    This is one view of the war and the occupation certainly that put forth by the Allies at the time. The politics of France in the 1940s was complex to the nth degree with fractious parties, Communists controlled by Moscow, Fascists sympathetic to the Nazis, an aristocracy fearful of Bolsheviks, and so on.

    Petain was empowered by the cowardly Deputies to make peace. As I recall the real crimes of the collaborators were not in cooperating, but in deporting French citizens for forced labor and death.
     
  10. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    Indeed, I suppose it's back to the question of choice, and a real collaborator is someone who voluntarily gives help to the German invader, such as turning informant for financial gain or just to get back at someone they have got a grudge against.
    From my interest in The Netherlands , I can't help thinking that the worst collaborators, or at least a large number, probably fled to Germany. The 'moffenhoeren' -'sluts who had sex with Germans' -were an easy target After the trauma of occupation,communities needed to vent their anger. But there is just something about seeing a woman or small group of women being humiliated by an angry crowd which makes me feel very uneasy.


     
  11. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    People who attack other people are criminals.
    People who harm the weak and vulnerable (e.g. women) are scum.

    The occupation of France wasn't especially onerous and incomparable with the horrors in Eastern Europe.
    I could understand living in abject poverty illiterate East European peasants and their looting and other crimes of opportunity during ww1 and ww2, but the living the good life French had no right to behave right that, especially considering their deep (and initially supported by the population) collaboration with the Germans.
     
  12. green slime

    green slime Member

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    "Under the armistice terms, all France was to be disarmed. In addition, the country was divided into zones. Alsace and Moselle, long a source of Germano-French tensions, were annexed into the Third Reich and cultural vestiges such as speaking French or wearing berets were outlawed. Alsaciens and inhabitants of the Moselle who had fled with the exode were only permitted to return home if they could prove they were not of Jewish descent, and that their families had been in residence prior to 1918. The Nord Pas de Calais was closed off from the rest of France and governed from Belgium as part of a German-administered military zone. 7 This stopped any movement in or out, isolating it from neighboring regions. The north and east, including Paris and extending down along the Atlantic Coast, were occupied, placed directly under German control and answering ultimately to Berlin."

    "... Germany held the French capital, the richest agricultural lands and the majority of French industry. They controlled access to the English Channel and the Atlantic coast. Perhaps most importantly though, stopping short of a full territorial occupation allowed the Germans to preserve their own resources. Maintaining French bureaucracy spared German personnel for more valuable tasks in Berlin and on the Eastern Front. Additionally, by keeping the French administration in place and working with them through official channels, the Germans gave the French government a vested interest in collaboration. And, should the need arise, German forces felt comfortable in the knowledge that occupying the remainder of the country would pose little challenge."
    -The Civilian Experience in German-Occupoed France 1940-1944, Meredith Smith
    https://digitalcommons.conncoll.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=histhp

    ====================



    "In France, the German occupiers spent at least 15% of all financial resources made available to them through the Vichy occupation levy on the illegal market. This purchasing started from the onset of occupation and until the December 1941 resource crisis; German economic agencies bought ‘anything, at any price’. This uncoordinated bidding led to a black market bubble, the effects of which spilled over into the official markets where they caused havoc. Spring 1942 brought the centralisation of purchasing. During the ensuing second phase (until spring 1943), the occupier still bought ‘anything’, but no longer at ‘any price’. Although this stabilised prices, it also encouraged illegal production, with raw materials diverted from official industry allocations. During this period 50–60% of all Vichy occupation payments were spent on the black market, at a strategic juncture of the war when such extravagance was no longer justifiable. This undermined German finances in France and became a liability to exploitation and collaboration. The third phase of black market exploitation, from summer 1943 to the end of the occupation, was the most rational. The Germans restricted purchasing to genuinely indispensable strategic raw materials. This built on the effective implementation of a German black market purchasing ban in spring 1943, the support of the Vichy government and French industrial leaders for economic collaboration, business concentrations and closures, market monitoring and resource management methods. As a result, the illegal market in the industrial economy was largely controlled. Arguably the same degree of economic mobilisation could have been achieved one or even two years earlier, had the Germans abstained from unilateral black market purchasing and instead heeded Vichy calls for closer cooperation. German failure in this area was due to lack of coordination, institutional chaos, economic dilettantism, endemic corruption and reckless resource competition; all have their origin in the structure of the Nazi system. Illegal food markets, on the other hand, demonstrated the limits of coercion. As the nutritional value of official civilian rations remained below subsistence level, the French continued to depend on the illegal market for sustenance. Evading food restrictions became something of a national pastime. This further compounded Vichy's lack of willingness (and authority) in enforcing economic regulation in the countryside."
    - Economic draining – German black market operations in France, 1940–1944, Paul Sanders
    ==========


    "Although the measure of GDP is fragile and there was a substantial black market, the total of resources extracted by the Nazis is stunning. Even in the partial first year of occupation, nearly 20 percent of GDP was transferred, rising to well over a third of GDP in 1941 and 1942."

    "The extraordinary extraction of resources from the French economy was successful, though ultimately unsustainable. Fearful of the inflationary potential of the payments demanded by the Nazi occupation, Vichy France´s policy makers raised taxes and tried to induce the public and financial institutions to absorb the stream of new bond issues. In addition to wage and price controls imposed at the war's outset, the new regime soon added rationing and an intervention in the financial sector to redirect the flow of funds. While moderately successful in limiting inflation, the economy steadily contracted. If the war had not ended, the French economy would have continued to shrink with consumption declining rapidly. Our estimates emphasize the costliness of these policies. For the fast approaching future, Vichy was adding to an already dangerously high debt ratio, which appears not to have been sustainable, even at the outset of the war. The real debt, rising from just under 100 percent of GDP to nearly one and a half times GDP, left postwar policy makers with an even more urgent day of reckoning.

    - How Occupied France Financed its own Exploitation in World War II, Filippo Occhino, Kim Oosterlinck, & Eugene N. White
    https://eml.berkeley.edu/~webfac/eichengreen/e211_fa05/white.pdf

    French citizens were not allowed to travel freely in their own country.
    Occupiers destroyed the economy, and took vast quantities of foodstuffs, and most of the industrial products. That the occupation of Poland was far worse, is little consolation for the French, and does nothing to mitigate their call for justice. That mobs took it upon themselves to seek retribution on individuals that had seemingly profiteered or "collaborated," is regrettably human nature.
     
  13. wm.

    wm. Well-Known Member

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    The same may be said about Germany, the Nazis extracted an extraordinary amount of resources from Germany too - to the point a massive famine was certain in 1945 and later (without the American help.)
    A black market existed in Nazi Germany too.
    The German food rations were low and a serious threat to health in the long term.
     
  14. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Active Member

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    I can see the argument that the women who were sexually intimate with servicemen from the occupying forces might have damaged community morale.
    Yet compared with collaborators who gave military and /or financial aid which helped the occupying forces, and those who betrayed the resistance or people in hiding, what the women did doesn't seem so bad. They were an easy target after the War as they were unarmed and unprotected.

    QUOTE="wm., post: 844480, member: 31668"]People who attack other people are criminals.
    People who harm the weak and vulnerable (e.g. women) are scum.
    .[/QUOTE]
     

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