Vichy, resistance and the lessons of defeat
DOI link for Vichy, resistance and the lessons of defeat
Vichy, resistance and the lessons of defeat book
The clearest evidence of Vichy's sectarian motives was the regime's persistent effort to criminalise the defeat by prosecuting specific individuals whom it regarded as responsible for the disaster. The strategy of putting the Republic on trial was fashioned, as we have noted, in the early days of Vichy rule, when the universal disaffection towards the former regime made it seem an uncontroversial project. Vichy's strategy began to unravel well before the ill-fated trial began in Riom. In the collaborationist camp, one finds the Vichy discourse on defeat rendered with the literalness and pungency of extremists. The lessons that defeat held for the Resistance were inherently more complex than for Vichy or for collaborationists. Vichy's partisan assault on the Third Republic, in particular its mismanaged show trial at Riom, had drained the issue of much of its credibility.