chapter  1
14 Pages

Occupation: French and Germans

The Occupation of France was heralded by Article 1 of the Franco-German Armistice, signed in June 1940.2 This notorious document announced that Germany would be occupying northern and western regions of the country; approximately 35 million French people would, therefore, have to live under direct German tutelage. Agulhon talks about the occupied zone as the ‘third quarter of the disjointed nation’.3 Kedward argues that, initially, French people thought of the Occupation in military terms only and ‘did not envisage it in either political or economic terms’,4 while Larkin says that the attitude of most French people was ‘stunned acceptance’.5 In the second half of 1940, the Nazis launched a systematic campaign of pro-German, anti-British propaganda.6