France opens WWII collaboration archives
The French government was on Monday to begin releasing online WWII-era records on collaboration with Germany, several newspapers reported on Sunday – 200,000 records that have been sealed for three-quarters of a century.
According to the Guardian, the records were taken from “the foreign, justice and interior ministries as well as from France’s provisional government after liberation.”
During the Second World War, France was divided into two zones after its defeat in the spring of 1940: the occupied zone, which included Pari, and the so-called free zone, largely known today as Vichy France because of its capital city, which remained an independent country that was dependent on Germany and collaborated with it.
While Vichy France has widely become known as a symbol of French collaboration with the Nazis, this does not seem to be the most accurate picture. Historian and author Thierry Worth told the New York Times that the newly-opened records prove that collaboration was more common in the occupied zone, and what’s more, Vichy is the region that “France’s largest force of Resistance fighters, ‘Maquis du Mont Mouchet’.”
Now that most of the collaborators and resistants are dead I wonder if the fact that one’s father or grandfather was a collaborator will be used to smear current political figures?