Vichy France

Vichy France was the French state headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain during World War II. Officially independent, but with half of its territory occupied under harsh terms of the armistice, it adopted a policy of collaboration with NSDAP Germany, which occupied the northern and western portions before occupying the remainder of Metropolitan France in November 1942.

After the National Assembly under the Third Republic voted to give full powers to Philippe Pétain on 10 July 1940, the name République française (French Republic) disappeared from all official documents. From then on, the regime was referred to officially as the État Français (French State). Because of its unique situation in the history of France, its contested legitimacy and the generic nature of its official name, the "French State" is most often represented in English by the synonyms "Vichy France"; "Vichy regime"; "government of Vichy"; or, in context, simply "Vichy".

The Vichy regime sought an anti-modern counter-revolution. The traditionalist right in France, with strength in the aristocracy and among Roman Catholics, had never accepted the republican traditions of the French Revolution but demanded a return to traditional lines of culture and religion. The Vichy regime also framed itself as decisively nationalist. French communists, strongest in labour unions, turned against Vichy in June 1941, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Vichy was intensely anti-communist and generally pro-German.

“There is a Jewish conspiracy against all Nations, but first against France. This must be disrupted or France will perish as Russia.”.

Jacques Doriot
Jacques Doriot (26/9/1898 - 22/2/1945)
was a French politician prior to and during World War II. Doriot founded the ultra-nationalist 'Parti Populaire Français' (PPF) in 1936. His party was a strong supporter of France being structured like National Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy. When France declared war on Germany in 1939 Doriot was a dedicated and vocal supporter of Germany and supported the occupation of Northern France by Germany. He gave all his energies to various anti-communist projects, including Radio Paris. He was killed on 22 February 1945 when his car was strafed by Allied fighter planes.
Philippe Henriot
Philippe Henriot (7/1/1889 – 28/6/1944)
was a man of many talents. He was a poet, a politician, a journalist, and Minister in the French government at Vichy. He was a beloved director and orator of political broadcasts. He was also a part-time member of Milice, which he joined in 1943. He believed 'with a deep-seated conviction that Christian civilization was engaged in a life and death struggle against Bolshevism.' He became French Minister of Information and Propaganda in 1944; five months later 15 members of the Résistance, dressed as members of the Milice assassinated Henriot as he slept in the Ministry building.
Pierre Laval
Pierre Laval (28/6/1883 – 15/10/1945)
was a French politician. From January 27, 1931 to February 20, 1932 he served as Prime Minister of France and also headed another government from June 7, 1935 to January 24, 1936. After the Allied occupation of France in 1944, Laval was arrested for 'treason'. In a mock show-trial, Pierre Laval was convicted of treason by the High Court of Justice. Condemned to death, he attempted suicide by poison but was nursed back to health in time for his execution by firing squad on October 15, 1945.
Marcel Bucard
Marcel Bucard (7/12/1895 – 13/3/1946)
was a French Fascist politician. A decorated soldier for bravery in World War I, Bucard was in politics initially as a member of Action française. In September 1933, Bucard founded his group, the Mouvement franciste, which was financed by Benito Mussolini's government. In 1936, a new Popular Front government banned his movement but with the start of Nazi Germany's occupation of France and of Vichy France, Bucard's Parti was again active (from 1941), now as a collaborationist force. In 1946, after the German defeat, Bucard was sentenced to death for treason, and executed by firing squad a month later.
Pierre Pucheu
Pierre Firmin Pucheu (27/6/1899 – 20 March 1944)
was a French industrialist, fascist, and member of the Vichy government. He also formed the Police aux Questions Juives in 1941 and took personal charge of the organization. He was also responsible for setting up the SPAC anti-communist police force, the anti-Masonic Service for Secret Societies and the Amicales de France, which served as the propaganda arm of Vichy. Arrested shortly and charged with treason, transferred to Algiers in October 1943. Pucheu was tried in March 1944, convicted and sentenced to death. Claimed he met his death with “great courage”, shaking hands with the firing squad, and giving the order to fire himself.
Louis Darquier de Pellepoix
Louis Darquier (19/12/1897 – 29/8/1980)
was Commissioner-General for Jewish Affairs under the Vichy Régime May 1942-1944. A veteran of World War I, Darquier had been active in Fascist and antisemitic politics in France in the 1930s, being a member, at various times, of Action Française, Croix-de-Feu and Jeunesses Patriotes. He began collaborated with publisher Ulrich Fleischhauer's Welt-Dienst organisation based in Erfurt, Germany. He was sentenced to death in absentia in 1947 by the French High Court of Justice for collaboration. However, he had fled to Spain, where the Fascist regime of Francisco Franco protected him.
Maurice Papon
Maurice Papon (3/9/1910 – 17/2/2007)
was secretary general for the police in Bordeaux during World War II, he participated in the deportation of more than 1600 Jews. Most were sent directly to the camp of Mérignac, and then they were transported to Drancy internment camp, near Paris, and finally deported to Auschwitz. Papon went to trial on 8 October 1997, after 14 years of bitter legal wrangling he was sentenced to a 20-year prison term. After his death in 2007 the Irish Independent wrote in an article: 'Have no doubt Hitler would have wiped out Arabs after Jews'.
Xavier Vallat
Xavier Vallat (23/12/1891 – 6/1/1972)
was a French politician, and Commissioner-General for Jewish Questions in the wartime Vichy collaborationist government. Vallat supported the rise to power of Marshal Philippe Pétain as head of a collaborationist regime based in Vichy. In March 1941, he was appointed as head of the Commissariat-General for Jewish Questions, a body set up to implement the anti-Semitic laws enacted by Pétain's government. In this position, he oversaw the Aryanisation of the French economy, education system, civil service and professions, and the enforcement of laws requiring all Jews to be registered with the police.
Marcel Déat
Marcel Déat (7/3/1894 – 5/1/1955)
During the occupation of France by NSDAP Germany, Déat founded the collaborationist National Popular Rally (RNP). In 1944, he became Minister of Labour and National Solidarity in Pierre Laval's government in Vichy, before escaping to the Sigmaringen enclave along with Vichy officials after the Allied landings in Normandy. Déat also founded, along with fellow Collaborationists Jacques Doriot and Marcel Bucard, the Légion des Volontaires Français (LVF), a French unit of the Wehrmacht (later affiliated with the Waffen-SS). After the war, he had been convicted of treason and sentenced to death in absentia by a French court.
Raymond Abellio
Raymond Abellio
(11/11/1907 – 26/8/1986), known by his pen name Raymond Abellio, was a French writer. took part in the X-Crise Group. He advocated far-left ideas, then joined the Vichy regime during the Second World War and became in 1942 secretary general of Eugène Deloncle's far-right Mouvement Social Révolutionnaire (MSR) party.
Jean-Marie Charles Abrial
Jean-Marie Charles Abrial
(17/12/1879 – 19/12/1962) was a French Admiral and Naval Minister. In 1939 Abrial was charged with protecting French overseas trade as well as the north coast of France, and the following year General Maxime Weygand named him Commander-in-Chief of the northern naval forces.
J. M. Aimot
J. M. Aimot
was a French novelist, critic, biographer and translator who was active in the middle third of the 20th century.
Pierre Amidieu du Clos
Pierre Amidieu du Clos
(169/9/1881 - 30/8/1966) was a French engineer, iron master and politician.
Armand Annet
Armand Annet
(5/6/1888 - 25/4/1973) was a French colonial governor for various colonies in the French colonial empire.
Saint-Loup (writer)
Saint-Loup (writer)
(19/3/1908 - 16/12/1990), better known by the nom de plume Saint-Loup, was a French anti-capitalist, later turned into fascist, politician, writer, and mountaineer.
Victor Barthélemy
Victor Barthélemy
(21/7/1906 – 21/10/1985) was a French political activist, operative, and author. Originally, a member of the French Communist Party and the Communist International, he moved to the fascist French Popular Party.
Alfred Baudrillart
Alfred Baudrillart
(6/1/1859 – 19/5/1942) was a French prelate of the Catholic Church, who became a Cardinal in 1935. In August 1941 Baudrillart endorsed the formation of the creation of a Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism to fight alongside the Germans.
Georges Bénézé
Georges Bénézé
(1888 – 1978) was a French philosopher with a scientific background. Professor of Lycée Henri-IV starting in 1936. A regular contributor to L'Œuvre, a collaborationist paper of Vichy France, Bénézé was sentenced to Indignité nationale by virtue of the 1944 Ordonnances.
Jacques Benoist-Méchin
Jacques Benoist-Méchin
(1/7/1901 – 24/2/1983) was a French politician, writer, journalist, and historian.
Henri Béraud
Henri Béraud
(21/9/1885 - 24/10/1958) was a French novelist and journalist. He was sentenced to death — later commuted to life imprisonment — for collaboration with the Germans, in 1945.
Jacques de Bernonville
Jacques de Bernonville
(20/10/1897 - 26/4/1972) was a French collaborationist and senior police officer in the Milice of the Vichy regime in France.
Jean Bichelonne
Jean Bichelonne
(24/12/1904 – 22/12/1944) was a French businessman and member of the Vichy government that governed France during World War II following the occupation of France by NSDAP Germany.
René Binet (neo-Fascist)
René Binet (neo-Fascist)
(16/10/1913 – 16/10/1957) was a French militant political activist. Initially, a Trotskyist in the 1930s, he espoused fascism during World War II and joined the SS Charlemagne Division.
Georges Blond
Georges Blond
11/7/1906 - 16/3/1989), was a French writer. A prolific writer of mostly history but also other topics including fiction. Blond was a writer for the collaborationist journal Je suis partout. Blond, published L'Angleterre en guerre: Recit d'un marin francais in 1941
Jean Boissel
Jean Boissel
(1/5/1891 – 19/10/1951) was a French architect, journalist, and political activist. Boissel founded Le Front Franc— and the Paris-based periodical, Le Réveil du peuple which espoused anti-Masonic, anti-parliamentarian, and “antijudéométèque” views.
Achille Boitel
Achille Boitel
was a French industrialist and NSDAP member in Paris during the Second World War. He manufactured aircraft engines, traded with the Germans, and played a pivotal role in a collaborationist art syndicate. He was killed by the French resistance.
Abel Bonnard
Abel Bonnard
(19/12/1883 – 31/5/1968) was a French poet, novelist and politician. He was a member of the committee of the Groupe Collaboration, an organisation that aimed to encourage closer cultural ties between France and Germany. After WW2 he was banished to Spain.
James Bouillé
James Bouillé
Bouillé was pre-war Breton architect who was an innovator in the art of building villas. Founder of the Breton Christian Art Workshop in 1929, he led a fight against the conservative reluctance still stubborn in the Catholic hierarchy for the renovation of sacred art in Brittany.
Jacques Bouly de Lesdain
Jacques Bouly de Lesdain
Lawyer and diplomat. He was the author of books about Mongolia and Tibet, based on his travelling experiences. Bouly de Lesdain co-organised an anti-Freemasonry conference with Jean Rivière in October 1940 at the Petit Palais. It was attended by more than a million visitors.
Pierre Bousquet
Pierre Bousquet
Bousquet joined the Waffen-SS in Alsace and ended up with the rank of Caporal in the Charlemagne Division. in Paris in 1946, he tried to infiltrate anti-communist movements with a group of former Waffen-SS in order to maneuver them. Bousquet then became an activist in the neo-fascist movement Jeune Nation.
René Bousquet
René Bousquet
Bousquet was a high-ranking French political appointee who served as secretary general to the Vichy French police from May 1942 to 31 December 1943. For personal heroism, he had become a protégé of prominent officials before the war and had risen rapidly in the government.
Robert Brasillach
Robert Brasillach
French author and journalist. Brasillach is best known as the editor of Je suis partout, a nationalist newspaper which came to advocate various fascist movements and supported Jacques Doriot. A group called Association des Amis de Robert Brasillach celebrates the author's work and legacy.
Nikolay Breshko-Breshkovsky
Nikolay Breshko-Breshkovsky
Russian writer, a son of the renowned revolutionary Catherine Breshkovsky. a known writer in early 20th century he became a French citizen. During World War II, Breshko-Breshkovsky collaborated with the NSDAP Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda.
Fernand de Brinon
Fernand de Brinon
High official of the collaborationist Vichy regime. During the defeat of France, remnants of the Vichy leadership fled into exile, where Brinon was selected as president of the rump government in exile. After the war, he was tried in France for war crimes, sentenced to death, and executed.
Mathilde Carré
Mathilde Carré
Member of the Franco-Polish Interallié espionage network under the cryptonym "Victoire" (as all the headquarters section staff had "V" initial names) although nicknamed La Chatte, ("The She-cat") for her feline predatory and stealthy propensities. Sentenced to death but commuted to 20 years in jail.
Alexis Carrel
Alexis Carrel
Surgeon and biologist awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1912 for pioneering vascular suturing techniques. He had a leading role in implementing eugenic policies in Vichy France. After the defeat of Paris, Carrel was suspended by the Minister of Health; he died in November 1944.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Novelist, polemicist and physician. Céline is widely considered to be one of the greatest French novelists of the twentieth century but remained heavily supressed. Céline published Les beaux draps (A Fine Mess) in which he denounced Jews, Freemasons and the Catholic Church.
Forces Ocultes
Film recounts the life of a young member of parliament who joins the Freemasons in order to relaunch his career. He thus learns of how the Freemasons are conspiring with the Jews and the Anglo-American nations to encourage France into a war against Germany.

The Milice française (French Militia) was a political paramilitary organization created on 30 January 1943 by the Vichy regime (with German aid) to help fight against the French Resistance. The Milice's formal head was Prime Minister Pierre Laval, although its Chief of operations and de facto leader was Secretary General Joseph Darnand. It participated in summary executions and assassinations, helping to round up Jews and résistants in France for deportation. The French Resistance considered the Milice more dangerous than the Gestapo and SS because they were native Frenchmen who understood local dialects fluently, had extensive knowledge of the towns and countryside, and knew local people and informants.

Milice Poster
Recruitment poster for the Milice. The text says "Against Communism / French Militia / Secretary-General Joseph Darnand".
Milice Guard
In France, a member of the militia armed with a revolver monitors resistance fighters who have been taken prisoner.