New PDF release: A French Tragedy: Scenes of Civil War, Summer 1944

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By Tzvetan Todorov

ISBN-10: 0585247072

ISBN-13: 9780585247076

ISBN-10: 0874517478

ISBN-13: 9780874517477

An the world over popular student examines an episode within the chaos and retributive strife that engulfed France through the liberation on the finish of worldwide conflict II.

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

Example text

I therefore read this story of militiamen and resisters, a story of the past, without abandoning the ethical categories that are mine in the presentnot to condemn, or praise, or absolve the characters of the past (they are almost all dead today, and it is not my intention to teach lessons to the survivors of yesteryear) but to try to understand better wherein lies danger and wherein lies hope. We cannot intervene in the past and undo the events that took place, but we can at least try to understand them so that nonsense is not added to horror.

The organization was also created to serve as a political counterweight to ultracollaborahonists, such as Jacques Doriot and his Parti populaire français, whom Laval considered rivals for power. Although Laval was the titular head of (footnote continued on next page) Page ix was responsible for the worst exactions committed during the Occupation: denunciations, tortures, rapes, murders. The Resistance and the militia fought an open war. France was thus not only the stage for a Franco-German war; it was also the stage, particularly in 194344, for a Franco-French civil war.

The Secret Army (AS) was for a while the armed branch of these organizations. It can thus be said that Van Gaver and Blanchard are members of Combat as much as they are of the MUR or the MLN or even of the AS. On the Communist side, things are a lot simpler. There is but one organization, the FTP. But as usual, the Party has also created a supposedly independent "mass" organization that really is entirely under its command. This is the FN (National Front), an avatar of the Popular Front but with a patriotic reorientation that suits the era; on the surface, its political program boils down to "kicking the Krauts out of France," which gives it wide appeal.

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A French Tragedy: Scenes of Civil War, Summer 1944 (Contemporary French Culture and Society) by Tzvetan Todorov


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