OxBlog

Friday, April 28, 2006

# Posted 10:58 AM by Patrick Porter  

A POLICING MIRACLE: A great set of numbers about occupied France after 1940:
France, a country with a population of some forty million, was administered by fifteen hundred Nazis, plus six thousand German policemen.
Must have been quite a task for this small skeleton staff to govern and police the population, given the great, ongoing national Resistance.

Just joking, French patriots. Our very own Oz Prime Minister salivated over the Hitler Youth in the late thirties, so few emerge with their record intact.
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Comments:
Ummm, and there were numerous German army divisions in France to put down any uprisings, numbering in the tens of thousands (the 100ks of German troops who were defending against the D-Day invasion were in France, after all). There's a difference between numbers needed for administration and numbers needed to keep a population pacified/in awe for an occupation to work.
 
yeah I know. tongue in cheek
 
Yeah, and some of the French resistance fighters were tortured to reveal their secrets. Many did not.

Would you have been so glib about British or US servicemen? Or concentration camp victims?


Jokes tell a lot about the person who makes them.
 
I wouldn't question the valour of those who resisted. Merely the extent of the resistance. Which, with respect, I believe has been overstated in folk memory.

As has the opposite view in the dichotomy, of France as a purely 'collaborationist' nation:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805071687/002-1369354-3338444?v=glance&n=283155
 
sorry, the book I was trying to link to is this:

Robert Gildea, 'Marianne in Chains'

which effectively challenges the polar views of France as a nation of resisters v. France as a nation of collaborators.
 
Well, the Resistance did seem to materialize quite suddenly *after* Allied troops had arrived in France, but that's a fact with multiple implications.

There were probably a lot of people who saw which way the wind was blowing ... but the Resistance was not meant, primarily, to be a native insurgency sapping German strength as much as it was meant to be an underground network for supporting the Allied liberation. So a lot of people who would likely have been more overt in their resistance to the Germans during the occupation were likely persuaded to wait and act only in secret until a major opportunity arose.
 
not to mention widespread collaboration of French civilians and also in the Nazi deportations of Jews. like elsewhere in occupied Europe
 
Porter, you little lambskin wanker, I though you were cured...but I see without an daily beating you get too excited. Why don't you go back to playing video games for a while, and leave the blogging for adults.
 
I must say that I for one am glad to see that anonymous is really rising to the challenge and breaking out the epithets of choice for any rigorous and well-adjusted person.

Also, if we're going to be a bunch of humourless cunts about it, and seems to be very much on the (anonymous) cards, don't rhetorical questions take a question mark.
 
Claude:

French monkeys are not allowed to correct the grammar of native English speakers.*

* Lamb loving wankers are NOT native English speakers.
 
Which Australian PM was that? Hadn't heard of it but am curious.
On main topic, point of jest seemed clear especially with apologetic sign-off... However I think there is a problem in criticising resistance efforts - I hazard a wild generalisation: in all cases of occupation (with intent to incorporate or otherwise absorb) the percentage of hard core resisters in the occupied population has been very small. Small opportunistic action would be more common but not amount to resistance with a capital R.
Counter-examples?
 
hi Seneca,

it was Robert Menzies, who after his study tour in 1938, spoke of the 'spiritual quality' of the Hitler Youth.

P
 
Thank you. Your post on Tony Judt's new book, and particularly the link to the review, is the type of post that keeps me returning to Oxblog. Judt's book looks interesting, and, but for your post, I wouldn't have noticed it for weeks or more. From the review (and given Judt's ideas about Isreal), I doubt I'll agree with all of what he has to say, but I'll certainly add it to my reading list.
 
thanks anonymous! glad you are enjoying the site.
 
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