By Tzvetan Todorov

An across the world well known pupil examines an episode within the chaos and retributive strife that engulfed France in the course of the liberation on the finish of worldwide warfare II.

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Extra info for A French Tragedy: Scenes of Civil War, Summer 1944 (Contemporary French Culture and Society)

Example text

One no longer encounters the slightest difficulty in denouncing any particular turpitude of the Vichy regime. On the other hand, it is not nearly so easy to remain dispassionate when analyzing the action taken by the Resistance for the Free French forces (in London or Algiers). Associations of former Resistance members, veterans, or deportees see to it that the official image of the past remains unchanged, and the moral authority enjoyed by former heroes and victims cuts short many a debate, particularly if it takes place in the public sphere (that is, in the mass media, especially television) rather than in the specialized publications of historians.

With the number of those who refuse to work in the STO (Forced Work Service in Germany)12 increasing as of 1943, Lalonnier and Diaz have been scouring the villages to recruit them, provide food to them if they are hiding in the forest, and also to teach them how to handle weapons. Their group already has undertaken a bold raid, the rescue of a wounded comrade at the hospital of Saint-Amand. But this same action also reveals the lack of rigor in their organization; the one comrade was freed, it is true, but they accidentally killed another, whose body they left behind in front of the 12.

Page xx Auguste Vigier, age 33, regional head of the militia Joseph Lécussan, age 49, militia officer, then subprefect of Saint-Amand5 Clément Marchand, age 28, militiaman, chef de trentaine6 Louis Bastide, age 34, militiaman, chef de trentaine André Rochelet, age 30, lieutenant under Lécussan Roger Thévenot, age 41, leader of the militia in Bourges Pierre-Marie Paoli, age 23, works at the Gestapo in Bourges The Civilian Population René Sadrin, age 63, mayor of Saint-Amand François Villatte, age 31, bureau chief at the subprefecture Bernard Delalande, age 39, employee at the subprefecture Msgr.

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