Something Vichy

           Erin's letter to Medic   page 1Erin's letter to Medic page 2










Medic’s friend Erin,at the time living in France,sent the letter above and accompanying small piece of history,which she found in a bunker built during WWII.


Instructions-Vichy era unemployment card.From 1940,when Germany conquered France,to the Allied liberation in 1944,under Marshal Philippe Petain France was known as Vichy France. Marshal Pétain collaborated with the German occupying forces in exchange for an agreement not to divide France between the Axis powers. Germany kept two million French soldiers in Germany as forced laborers to enforce its terms. Vichy authorities aided in the rounding-up of Jews and other “undesirables.” At times in the colonies Vichy French military forces actively opposed the Allies. Much of the French public initially supported the new government despite its pro-Nazi policies,often seeing it as necessary to maintain a degree of French autonomy and territorial integrity.

Pétain’s Vichy France was constantly challenged by the exiled General Charles de Gaulle,based inVichy era unemployment card-identifying information. London. Public opinion turned against the Vichy regime and the occupying German forces over time and resistance to them increased. Following the Allied liberation, de Gaulle proclaimed the Provisional Government of the French Republic (GPRF).

In the summer of 1944,most of the Vichy regime’s leaders fled or were put on trial by the GPRF and a number were executed for treason. Thousands of collaborators were killed without trial by local Resistance forces. Pétain was sentenced to death for treason,but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Only four senior Vichy officials were tried for crimes against humanity,although many more had participated in the deportation of Jews for extermination in concentration camps,abuses of prisoners and severe acts against members of the Resistance.

Vichy era unemployment card with stamped dates.