The resistance of the French people against their occupiers grew as the war dragged on and led to sheltering of the increasingly persecuted Jewish population. The Jewish people who fled from throughout Europe to France, had been trapped when France signed the armistice in 1940. The Third Republic made a quiet exit and was not missed by much of France. Resistance towards the Germans was scant at best while the Vichy regime was established as the ruling body for the free south half of France. The Jews living in Vichy France remained shadows of French society but weren't vehemently sought after in these beginning stages of the war. The stage was set for a long and difficult 4 years for both the Jewish community and those who wanted to make a difference by thwarting the Germans who occupied France. Both the members of the resistance and the Jewish community lived from day to day not knowing what the future had in store for them.
[...] As the persecution got worse the resistance grew and more of French society stepped up to thwart the Germans and help the Jews. When the Vichy regime began, the resistance was almost non existent. The French were complacent with their position after the cease fire. They also increasing resented the British and that helped the Germans establish themselves without too much of a problem. As the Jeremy Popkin states in A History of Modern France most of the population accepted Hitler's triumph as an accomplished fact.” (Popkin 2006, 254). [...]
[...] The action of her running into a church pretending to be something she's not furthers the idea that being Jewish is dangerous. This is not just a single old lady snooping around but rather a much larger problem with Vichy France introducing harsh policies against Jews. We get a glimpse at Petain and Vichy's role in the early persecution of Jews when Jeanette is making pamphlets. She describes Petain when she says is Vichy now, making laws against the Jewish people” (Cretzmeyer 1999, 10). [...]
[...] Just like the resistance is a miniscule movement at this time, so is help for the Jewish population, its limited in the beginning of the war. As Vichy fails the people of France the resistance movement gains more followers. As Popkin puts it “Petain and his colleagues actively sought possibilities for collaboration, sometimes offering to go further than the Germans wanted.” (Popkin 2006, 259). Vichy was failing France, the people were unhappy with their present positions and saw the Vichy regime with just as much resentment as the Germans. [...]
[...] French resistance overall was not a large operation but in comparison before the failure of Vichy it was non existent. In a ineffective Vichy nation both the resistance movement and persecution of Jews inevitably grew. Without a weak Vichy government there would have been less growth in both of the two trends discussed. The book's mood portrayed the grim timeline of Jewish peoples struggle to survive. Renee describes it perfectly with the phrase “Life was almost normal” (Cretzmeyer 1999, 28) at the beginning of the book, however the [...]
[...] There's going to be a roundup, probably within the hour! You cannot wait another minute.” (Cretzmeyer 1999, 37) This is a shock because they family goes from apparent safety to grave danger in seconds. There is finally a sense how of dangerous Vichy France is becoming for Jews. Up until this point nothing like this has happened and the seriousness of the situation is understood. Now on the run it is apparent Jews no longer have relative safety and hiding is the only option. [...]
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