World War 1 and 11

1. Vice-Premier Darlan’s Broadcast to the French People.
2. The extracts from the autobiography of Simone de Beauvoir. (PDF file)

1. How did Darlan justify his collaboration with the Germans? Why do you think the majority of French people, at least in the beginning, were prepared to accept his advice to follow the lead of Marshal Pétain?
Hint: The central figure in the Vichy government was Marshal Petain. Darlan presented his cause as noble not treacherous; preserving France’s honor, not collaborating with France’s enemy. Thus, one must decide if this hero of WWI (Marshal Petain), was in fact still a hero in WWII.

2. What impressions does de Beauvoir’s account provide of life in France under the German Occupation? What forms might collaboration or resistance take?
Hint: Consider the extent to which Simone de Beauvoir was personally affected by the Occupation and the extent to which life went on as normal. How might opposition to the Occupation be expressed without resorting to overt military action?


Sample Solution

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