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I saw many "sympathetic to Allies/la Résistance" propaganda in less than only two minutes on the video. Like the intentions of the video, which is to focus on the hardships of people under the occupation of Germany (like, the fabled harshness of compliance to stay at home curfews), in addition to the video's claim that the German government viewed France as just "a convenient source of labor and resources for their war machine."
Can anyone refute the claims this video said?
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He says that the French were humiliated, this is true, but why should I feel bad for them? Who wouldn't feel humiliated if their country lost a conflict? Especially in the pathetic way the French did in 1940 which would've been particularly embarrassing. The Germans won so quickly they didn't even know they had won:
On the very day when the Army Ordnance Office completed its examination of possible ways to boost armaments production, the French government requested an armistice.
Germany in the Second World War, Volume V, Pp. 567
The only real attempt at badmouthing the German occupiers this armchair historian could drum up, was the bureaucracy. Which, in reality, was just a symptom of the very organised way the Germans did things. ID cards, rations, curfews, this is all Teutonic discipline and rigorous applications of order which would allow the system to function in a way that would be optimal. Hardly something to cry about.
It must be understood that nothing in the video is unique in anyway to the German occupation of France. What the Germans did, is what all occupying forces have done in any war literally ever. The idea of holding certain members of the French public hostage, as they were already the booty of war, made a lot of strategic sense in order to ensure the Germans could secure the labour necessary to continue fighting. It was a situation the Germans could use to their advantage, and should we seriously have expected them not to do so?
The only reason we're supposed to feel bad, is because it was the Germans or "Nazis" occupying France, therefore the sympathy is immediately given to the French and the French Resistance, who are shown as heroes, while juxtaposing with whatever the Germans did as something innately evil and awful, only because it was the Nazis doing it. This kind of moral bias leaves no room for objective evaluation. It turns the Germans guilty for whatever they did, even if what they did was actually just reasonable.
The guy in the video did admit that Frances infrastructure was destroyed by the Allied bombings. And I would bet you more French died due to the Allies then the Germans. He mentions a number of 150,000 French people dying under the Occupation, which is a rather tiny figure, even if we assume it was all the result of some sort of injustice and it wasn't just the killing of partisans. Which it probably was.
Keep in mind, partisan activity was illegal, the French were bound by the laws of war, the Geneva convention and others which DID NOT ALLOW partisan activity, yet, because it's the "French Resistance", who were Communists, Socialists, Jews and other Marxist trash we're expected to give them a pass because why? Because they were "fighting the evil Nazis". There is no consistency in the orthodox view. Whenever the Germans defy some convention or other, you can be sure some wanker is trying to reprimand Germans in the historical record for having done so. Yet the Allies are given passes because they apply to the morality of the Allies.
I've even heard at one time or another that more Frenchmen died fighting on the side of Germany, than on the side of the Allies. I haven't verified this, but such a fact wouldn't surprise me and would be rather funny.
I would also keep in mind that for all the talk about how "humiliated" the French felt, one must be aware of how the French humiliated the Germans at the end of WW1. The dude in this video pops up on screen to tell us how the Germans made the French pay for their own occupation, as if this is to be some kind of mark against the Germans. These people hasten to forget that it was the French who were most adamant against equal armaments for Germany, which resulted in Germany leaving the league of nations in the early 1930s. Let it not also be forgotten that it was the French and British who expected Germany to pay vast sums of money under the treaty of Versailles:
Out of Germany’s despair and frustration with their loss in the First World War and the subsequent humiliations of the Versailles peace treaty came a latent desire to once again take great pride in German nationality. The hated Versailles treaty set unrealistically high reparations payments which the state could not meet. Much of her industry and some of her territory was stripped from her. She was not permitted to have any army of any reasonable size (100,000 men and no navy). In short, Germany was no longer a major station. The brief period of German nationhood seemed like a golden age to which there was no return.
James B. Whisker, National Socialist Ideology: Concepts and Ideas (W.U.N. Press, 1979), Pp. 14 Also see: John Wear, Breaking the Chains of Versailles, Inconvenient History Journal, Vol. 12, No. 2 (2020) https://www.inconvenienthistory.com/12/2/7278
The French were also responsible for invading Germany and ripping away the Rhineland and other German territories, like Alsace-Lorraine which Hitler did not try to make a move on.
Here are some detailed posts refuting and discussing many of the Orthodox/Allied myths about the German Occupation of France:
Jean-Marie Le Pen is right: the occupation "was not particularly inhuman"
The action of the German police in occupied France
https://web.archive.org/web/20150129015 ... stapo2.htm
Occupation, what we hide 60 years later
These articles are in French, but you can just right click and translate them into English, they read pretty well I have to say.
Overall the video is pretty low effort. He cites 3 books in the description, none of which I could actually see him using in this video of his. It's very simplistic, and would hardly require 3 separate books to source. That's presuming he did that much, when in the entire video he doesn't cite any of those books even once. He could've for all we know just read a wikipedia page and went to the relevant literature and cited 3 books of a general nature regarding the German occupation. Burrin's book is probably the standard source.
aa1874 wrote:also, was it prohibited to have firearms during the occupation? I'm still kinda confused.
That depended on who you were.
There is a book about this:
Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France: Tyranny and Resistance
Google Books: https://books.google.com/books/about/Gu ... QRtAEACAAJ
Book review: http://archive.fo/FAz9s or https://mises.org/library/gun-control-n ... resistance
No preview on Google Books but I found an except from chapter 1 here: https://barnesandnoble.com/w/gun-contro ... 1127210022
Crisis in the Third Republic
FRANCE IN THE mid-1930s experienced conflict between political factions and the collapse of governments. The most volatile disturbances rocked Paris on February 6, 1934, in which police and the Mobile Guard (garde mobile) — helmeted horsemen wielding pistols and sabers — opened fire on civilians, killing eighteen, while one policeman was killed. Among other repressive measures, clamping down on civilian gun ownership appeared to politicians to be a remedy.
This was the era of the Third Republic, born at the defeat of France in the Franco-German War in 1871, and now nearing its death throes, finalized by its subsequent defeat by Nazi Germany in 1940. The 1932 elections brought the Cartel des Gauches (Leftist Coalition) government to power. The Great Depression struck France hard in 1933, and the resulting lower wages and unemployment sparked violent strikes and political unrest. The French Communist Party (Parti Communiste Français, or PCF) welcomed the opportunity for insurrection.
A scheme involving false bonds in large amounts by a swindler named Alexandre Stavisky, who had connections in high places and who died mysteriously after the scandal broke, led to allegations of corruption and the replacement of the prime minister by Édouard Daladier, the leader of the Radical-Socialists, on January 27, 1934. Action français and other rightist groups prepared to take to the streets.
The pot boiled over just days later, after Daladier dismissed the right-leaning Police Prefect Jean Chiappe from office. On February 6, some 4,500 members of the Croix de Feu (Cross of Fire) marched in front of the Ministry of the Interior, proceeding from the Madeleine to the Arc de Triomphe, when the Mobile Guard assaulted them at the Place Beauvau. Self-described as a patriotic veterans' organization, Croix de Feu included anti-Communists, far-rightists, and French-style fascists.
Demonstrators rushed onto the bridge of the Concorde to storm the passage that led to the Chamber of Deputies. Soldiers shot machine guns over their heads into the air, but one bullet found its mark in the head of a woman. One account described riots by Communists leaving twelve dead and hundreds wounded, while the police prefecture said ten demonstrators were killed and up to 700 were injured. It was later estimated that 1,664 were injured, mostly by use of stones, broken glass, sticks, and hand weapons.
The Croix de Feu did not carry arms. Private possession of firearms was highly regulated, and military arms were banned to civilians, but the group hoped to obtain them from like-minded military commanders if needed to meet a Communist threat.
The Daladier government was accused of provoking a civil war by shooting demonstrators, while Minister of Justice Eugène Penancier announced an investigation into the plot against national security, incitation to murder, assault and battery, and arson. The Croix de Feu placed posters all over Paris asserting that "[a] government controlled by the red flag attempts to enslave you. ... Sectarian dictatorship is trying to establish itself here."
The next day, February 7, a delegation of veterans petitioned the president of the Republic, complaining that they marched unarmed and peacefully, but were attacked without provocation with sabers and revolvers by the Mobile Guard on the order of the minister of the interior and of the police chief. They demanded a new government. Daladier resigned at 1:00 p.m. that same day. Communists demonstrated that day and the next, provoking riots that resulted in injuries to both police and demonstrators. A run on every gun shop in Paris sold out firearm inventories.
Pierre Laval acted as head of a group made up of members of parliament and Parisian municipal councilors in a visit to President Albert Lebrun urging the appointment of ex-president Gaston Doumergue. Doumergue formed the National Union government of rightists and Radical-Socialists. (The Radical-Socialists were moderate leftists, but the far left saw them as a bourgeois party that was neither radical nor socialist.) Laval was appointed minister of colonies, and Philippe Pétain was appointed minister of war. Pétain and Laval would later head Vichy France, the puppet government of Nazi Germany.
Pétain, known as the Lion of Verdun for halting the German advance there in 1916, was a national hero. After the Great War, his urgent proposals to enhance military service and to build strong air and tank forces came to naught. He would try again as minister of war, but the Great Depression, now in full swing, frustrated his plans. By contrast, Laval was a professional politician who had been a socialist during the war and was now what might be described as an independent opportunist. His drift from left to right as a populist would be politically expedient as he served in various legislative and ministerial roles.
Prohibiting the Carrying and Sale of Arms
On February 7, invoking an 1834 law, the government decreed a ban on the carrying of pistols and revolvers of all models, calibers, and sizes, together with edged and blunt weapons. On February 8, the new Police Prefect Adrien Bonnefoy-Sibour issued this proclamation: "The sale of arms and ammunition is prohibited in Paris and in the Seine department." The proclamation began by reciting as authority a litany of firearm restrictions dating from 1790 through 1885, including decrees as far back as the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era. Asserting a need to prevent private individuals from obtaining arms, it proclaimed:
Article One. — The sale of arms and ammunition of any kind shall be prohibited from this day on, and until further notice, in Paris and in the Seine department.
Article Two. — The gunsmiths shall be closed, and the arms and ammunition shall be kept in a locked place, and shall not be accessible to the public.
Article Three. — Arms and ammunition shall be removed from the existing gunsmith department in department stores, bazaars and cutlery shops, etc.
Article Four. — The Superintendent of the City Police, the colonel head of the Republican Guard, the colonel head of the Gendarmerie of the Seine, and the officers placed under their command are in charge of carrying out this order.
On February 9, the Communists demonstrated again, clashing with the police. Allegedly armed provocations prompted armed reaction by the police, and blood flowed again in the streets of Paris. Citizens wishing to obtain arms to protect themselves still could not do so ten days later, when pleas were made to allow the reopening of the gunsmith shops.
Former President Daladier denied any government order to shoot during the February 6 disorders, and the Chamber of Deputies named a commission of inquiry to find those responsible. The Croix de Feu and others wrote to Council President Doumergue that they had peacefully demonstrated and did not carry weapons, as the police prefect admitted. They considered themselves patriotic workers who were not to be confused with looters, robbers, and enemies of the nation.
Seizing Arms from Alleged "Communists"
A bill to ban associations whose leaders advised their members to violate the law by carrying arms or committing other crimes was introduced in mid-March. Existing penalties for manufacture or sale of illegal arms under an 1834 law were revised to impose incarceration of ten months to two years and a fine of 500 to 5,000 francs if the arms were carried in a group or at a public meeting.
On March 28, Paris newspapers blared with sensational reports of arms seizures. L'Echo de Paris carried this headline: "Searches Lead to Weapons Caches in Paris and Suburbs: Arms Owner, Husband of a Communist Teacher Is Arrested." Rumors had spread about arms caches for extremist groups, and the commission of inquiry of the February 6 events invited the government to take the necessary police measures. Police Prefect Roger Langeron instructed the Renseignements Généraux Department (the RG, or Police Political Security Branch) to conduct searches for arms.
State Prosecutor Gornien brought an indictment under the 1834 law, which made it unlawful to manufacture, sell, or even possess a "war weapon" or ammunition therefor. A communiqué from the justice minister announced an investigation about arms caches and possession of war weapons. Four judges led searches beginning at 7:00 a.m. on March 28. Further, the justice and interior ministers submitted a regulatory decree to the Council further restricting arms sales.
One search warrant was executed by Judge Roussel, along with Police Superintendent Pradier, at the home of a Mr. Léopold Dancart, an apartment at 25, rue Godillot in St-Ouen. The dining room was an immense aviary where hens, finches, and other birds were feeding and flying from one piece of furniture to another. The search revealed about fifty military rifles, shotguns and Lebel carbines, Mauser rifles, German parabellum pistols, Brownings and other automatic arms and cartridges hidden under the bed and in the armoires.
Mr. Dancart declared himself to be a nonpolitical collector with no intent to harm anyone. He added that he did not even vote and had never been to an electoral meeting. As he spoke, his wife walked in, criticizing her husband for his hobby, which put her job at risk. She was a schoolteacher supposedly affiliated with the French Communist Party.
Dancart, who was born in 1879, had previously been convicted for an illegal arms cache. On this occasion, he was interrogated by Police Superintendent Pradier, who arrested him under a warrant issued by Judge Saussier. In searches elsewhere, police confiscated clubs, sword canes, bayonets, and cartridges. Some war weapons were confiscated at the homes of people who otherwise were licensed to sell arms.
L'Homme Libre published an editorial lauding the searches for caches of arms in private homes, which had increased since February 6. The regime was based on freedom and majority rule, the editorial argued, and should avoid dictatorship based on force, as had occurred in neighboring states. Regrettably, gunsmiths allegedly made a gold mine in sales the day after February 6. Ignoring that law-abiding people may have been arming for defense, the editorial continued that extremists, whether from left or right, would be able to prepare for civil war. It praised the judicial proceedings and the introduction of a decree to the Council of State severely limiting the sale and possession of arms.
Le Figaro published the same communique by the justice department prefaced with this commentary: "Finally the government takes care of the war weapon caches set up by Communist organizations!" It provided more details on the raid at the home of Léopold Dancart, described as a former mechanic and race-car driver who now was a flea market vendor. "Mr. Dancart has a small hobby, which is collecting weapons, can you imagine! For this reason, the police searched his home yesterday, and confiscated 48 rifles and shotguns, 86 revolvers and pistols, a few clubs and daggers, and about a thousand cartridges."
The article alleged that Dancart had provided war weapons to Colonel Francesc Macià when he was preparing his Catalan plot, for which Dancart had been imprisoned for four and a half months. He now "acts as an innocent angel," stating that "collecting guns is no more reprehensible than merely collecting stamps, and moreover he was not hiding anything since we can see from the street the arms hung up on nails in his bedroom."
Describing Dancart as "a bird catcher," the article continued: "When one knocks on his door, a concert of chirping sounds answers, and from the street, one can see cages more than display of guns." Turning to his wife, it added that "Mrs. Dancart is an elementary school teacher precisely at the school on Rue du Château ... where subversive theories seem to have been favored at times." Under the subtitle "Bolshevik agent?" it asked, "Could the bird catcher–flee market vendor be one of those agents named by the Communists to carry out their plan of secret armament, which has been indubitable over the past few days?" Hopefully, the police search at his house, resulting in his arrest under Article 3 of the 1834 law forbidding arms caches, would only be the beginning of operations against others preparing for revolution.
After the above operation, investigating Judge Roussel and Police Superintendent Pradier proceeded to Number 47 of the rue Ordener, the shop of another flea market vendor named Gruyer. His wife opened the door, explaining that he was at a scrap metal fair. Police confiscated twenty-seven revolvers, some automatic pistols, eight military rifles of different calibers, and two large bags filled with cartridges. The load was transported to the Renseignements Généraux Department (the RG, or police political security branch).
Other searches were carried out by investigating Judges Saussier, Cuenne, and Verdier, assisted by Police Superintendents Oudard, Noetz, and Gianvilti from the RG Department. At Mr. Burgeroux's home at 52 rue du VertBois — Burgeroux was also a flea market vendor — investigators confiscated a German military rifle and some cartridges. They went to several other businesses but found no violations.
Keeping Track of Gun Buyers
Details on the proposed new law punishing the carrying and sale of prohibited arms were reported by L'Echo de Paris. At the general assembly on March 28 presided over by Théodore Tissier, the Council of State passed a decree bill proposed by the minister of justice and the minister of interior revising the law of May 24, 1834, Article I of which punished the manufacture, sale, or transfer of prohibited arms with imprisonment of one month to one year and a fine of 16 to 200 francs. The law would be amended as follows:
Article 1 of the decree reported by Mr. Peyromaure-Debord, in charge of petitions, lists all arms for which the above Article 1 sanctions shall be applied: any models of pistols or revolvers, daggers, dirks [couteaux-poignards], clubs, sword canes, leaded and steeled canes (at one tip only), as well as any object liable to constitute an arm dangerous to public safety.
In addition, in Article 2, the decree-law enacts that anyone involved in the commerce of arms prohibited to be carried and the ammunition thereof, must have a special register, each page of which shall be numbered and signed by the Prefect or his delegate, and without blanks or alterations. For each arm sold, it must include its features, as well as the full name and home address of the buyer, with an indication of the picture identification document provided by the said buyer to demonstrate his identity.
A further proposed law considered by the Chamber of Deputies on May 17, 1934, provided that the sale, transfer, or trade of weapons of unregulated models or designs would require the presentation by the purchaser of a written, approved authorization prepared after an investigation by the prefect or the subprefect. The bill did not pass, but the subject would be addressed again the following year.
Pierre Etienne Flandin was named prime minister on November 8. He proposed a bill to restrict private possession of firearms, which did not pass. His presidency ended on June 1, 1935, after which Pierre Laval took over.
After serving in the Parliament, Laval would head the French government three times during the 1930s, and would assume a primary leadership role during the Vichy regime in the 1940s. In all four of these periods, he would serve as prime minister, minister of foreign affairs, and at times other positions. His policies were French-style socialism and fascism.
A Conscripted Army or a People in Arms?
As France experienced internecine conflict, Hitler was preparing for war. On March 15, 1935, the Führer announced the creation of the Luftwaffe and the introduction of conscription of young men into the armed forces. That same day, the Chamber of Deputies debated whether to require young Frenchmen to serve for two years in the military. The Socialists and Communists voted against it.
However, Socialist leader Léon Blum noted, "Jaurès declared here, twenty-two years ago, that the true military protection of a country lies not in permanent strong forces, or in numerous troops in barracks, serving as the basis of defensive strategy. Rather that it is to be found in what Revolutionaries have called the levying of the masses, in what our old master Vaillant called the general arming of the people...."
Blum was referring to Jean Léon Jaurès, who in 1910 had proposed a bill in the Chamber requiring all able-bodied citizens from age twenty to forty-five to provide military service. Besides promoting widespread rifle practice, the plan proposed that "in the departments of the Eastern region, each soldier will keep his arms at home." As he explained elsewhere, this was a scaled-down version of the democratic Swiss militia army in which all citizens served and kept their arms at home. Responding to those who may have feared a revolution of the proletariat, Jaurès stated, "I do not believe that the universal arming of the citizens, everyone keeping at home their sabers and their rifles, has the social consequence that one imagines." The Swiss experienced no upheaval from having citizen soldiers keep their arms at home.
The French public was not well armed when WWII broke out. One 1834 law banned "war weapons," restricting civilians to shotguns, hunting rifles, and some handguns. In 1935, due to violent political turbulence the French government required the registration of all non-hunting guns. There were an estimated 3 million hunting guns in 1939 France, out of a population of roughly 40 million.
In Vichy France, French authorities including police were permitted to use firearms. It was the "French resistance" that was particularly interested in obtaining firearms in order to commit terrorist attacks against the German occupation forces and the French that collaborated with them.
The "Allies" parachuted these partisans firearms and other weapons of war, and German arms were also captured in ambushes.
-- Herbert Spencer
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