Looking back on France's Vichy regime, Hitler's willing collaborators

On the 80th anniversary of the date when the notorious Vichy regime took power in German-occupied France, Jim Wolfreys, a senior lecturer in French and European politics at Kings College London, analyses the reactionary currents in French politics and society it drew upon, and its legacy.

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The Vichy regime in France was established on July 10, 1940, following the French surrender to Germany. The terms of the armistice divided France into an occupied zone covering the north and west of the country, and the so-called free zone in the south. Marshal Philippe Pétain, a hero of the First World War for his role in the defence of Verdun, became the leader of the new regime, having been granted full powers by both chambers of parliament, writes Jim Wolfreys in this feature article for Jacobin.