Chronology of Repression and Persecution in Occupied France, 1940-44
On May 10, 1940, the German offensive put an end to the “drôle de guerre” (“phony war”) that had begun in September 1939, an eight-month period during which France had entered the conflict but was not waging war. Until then, the French military High Command had chosen a defensive strategy; the Blitzkrieg (“lightning war”) carried out by the Wehrmacht, or German army, demonstrated the failure of that option. On May 15, the French front was breached, and after the German attacks on the regions of the Somme (June 7) and Aisne (June 10), French defeat was complete. On June 10, the government left , which the German troops entered on the 14th. One week later, they were in the city of Bordeaux. The French debacle was massive. More than 90,000 soldiers died in combat, 200,000 were wounded and 1,850,000 taken prisoner. At least 8 million panic-stricken people took to the roads in an exodus toward the South that revealed “the huge scale of this event, which one could not describe in its entirety,” as well as “the fragility of social structures and the magnitude of the crisis the nation was going through.” “Marshall Pétain, whom the majority of the French perceived as a last resort and the only solution for survival, imposed the political choice of an armistice on this stranded country.” (P. Laborie, p. 591 in Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance by François Marcot, Bruno Leroux and Christine Levisse-Touzé (eds.), : Editions Robert Laffont, 2006) It was signed with Germany on June 22 in the Compiègne forest, in the clearing of Rethondes, and with Italy on June 24. In this way, and not through surrender and continuation of the struggle in another form, the Vichy regime was imposed. Collaboration with Germany came with it. Officially, the Vichy regime was created on July 10, 1940, when both chambers of the French parliament voted to give full powers to Marshall Pétain. The new French head of State then controlled all instruments of government, both in the executive and the legislative branches.
France occupied zones 1940-1944
But the Armistice had other immediate consequences: the partial occupation of French territory and its division into several zones placed under the control of different political authorities (cf. maps). Germany occupied three-fifths of mainland France: the areas with the most economic potential and the Atlantic and Northern coasts. The Militärbefehlshaber in Frankreich (MBF) (the German Military Command in France) was set up in to administer this “occupied zone.” Otto von Stülpnagel took control of it in October 1940. The French government was established in Vichy, in the “free zone”; a “front line,” which became a “ligne de démarcation” (a demarcation or boundary line) separated these two “North” and “South” zones. The armistice signed with Italy led to a minor reduction of the size of the free zone under total control of the Vichy regime, as about 15 French communes (districts) – mainly in the region of Alpes-Maritimes – were administered by Italy.
Defeat and occupation divided the country still more, carving it up (E. Alary, 2003: 17-37). Before the armistice was even signed, the two départements (French geographical and administrative units) of the Nord and the Pas-de-Calais were added to the Military Command for Belgium and Northern France, based in Brussels (Militärbefehlshaber in Belgien und Nordfrankreich, MBB), and run by General von Falkenhausen. The June 22 armistice did not alter these dividing lines, which remained the same throughout the war.
It did not mention the de facto annexation of the three départements of Alsace and Moselle by Germany, which was taking place at the time, either; this was made official in October 1940. By June 20, Hitler had already named two Gauleiters (governors) for the civilian administration of these territories. Alsace was merged with Baden to form the Gau Oberrhein region, run by Robert Wagner; as for Moselle, it was associated to the regions of Saarland and Pfalz (Palatinate), and together they formed the Gau Westmark region, under Josef Bürckel’s control. French borders disappeared as the old boundaries of the Frankfurt Treaty of May 1871 were reinstated, and a German Customs service set up along them. The deportation convoys heading to Metz officially entered the German Reich at Novéant – Neuburg an der Mosel – on the border of annexed Moselle.
Another consequence of the defeat was that the German authorities maintained a “zone interdite” (“forbidden zone”) which they had created in summer 1940 in the North and East of the country, in order to prevent the return of displaced persons that had left during the exodus; it extended through 17 départements, all the way to the Swiss border. The perimeter of this zone was guarded until December 1941. Starting in April 1941, a forbidden coastal zone was created in the occupied area, all along the shoreline from the Basses-Pyrénées to the Nord, due to its strategic importance.
Finally, a significant new territorial change took place: the invasion of the southern zone on November 11, 1942 resulted in the occupation of all of French territory; the region east of the Rhône river valley and Corsica were left under control of Mussolini’s armed forces until the proclamation of the Italian armistice in September 1943. However, in the territories newly occupied by the Germans, the MBF’s authority was not immediately extended, in order to preserve the illusion of a sovereign Vichy government. These areas were qualified a “military operations zone,” and placed under the responsibility of the Commander-in-Chief of the western front. To administrate them, he named a representative in Vichy, who was supposed to liaise with the French government, and a Commander of the military region of southern France, in order to administrate this sector according to the same directives issued to the Military Commander in the northern zone. In fact, the MBF’s services informally confirmed the rulings of the only military court set up in the southern zone (G. Eismann, 2007: 157).
This territorial fragmentation had essential political consequences, since it resulted in the creation of different occupation systems to administer areas that were part of France in 1939. There were two German military administrations (in the northern zone, run by the Command in , and in the areas attached to the Brussels Command), a German Commander of armed forces in the southern zone after November 1942 (and an Italian Commander for the relevant occupied area), and two civilian administrations of the Reich for Alsace and Moselle. In these different zones, the Occupation was not managed identically; hence, neither was the persecution policy or the manner in which repression was run. The consequences of the evolution of the military conflict also differed in these zones. Therefore, this chronology does not include the histories of repression and persecution in the two départements administered by the German military Command in Brussels (E. Dejonghe, Y. Le Maner, 1999; L. Thiery, 2007), or in the three others annexed in effect to the Reich (P. Rigoulot, 1998 ; C. Neveu, 2007). However, we shall briefly summarize the nature and effect of such policies in these particular areas – which historians have not yet finished documenting to this day.
In Alsace and Moselle, the new German authorities implemented a clear Germanization and Nazification policy from the start, aiming to incorporate these territories into the Reich permanently. This was to ensure that the annexation would become firmly rooted. Hence, they began with a vast political purge operation, characterized by a massive exodus of tens of thousands of people deemed “undesirable” – Jews, “Français de l’intérieur,” i.e. Frenchmen from other parts of the country, etc. (P. Rigoulot, 1998). The racial laws in force in the Reich were soon applied, targeting the Jews of Alsace and Moselle. As regards repression, resistance to the annexation appeared immediately; later on, two German measures constituted turning-points. The first was the establishment of the Reicharbeitsdienst, or RAD, service (obligatory labor service for German youth, which was actually the beginning of their military training) in spring 1941 for young Alsatians; the second was obligatory military service in the German army, instated in August 1942. Draft dodgers became more and more numerous; repression was unleashed. In addition to trials before civilian and military courts and many cases of detainment or deportation to the prisons of the different Gaus (FMD, 2004, part 2), the Nazi authorities used policies specific to this zone, such as transferring entire French families into the Reich. Statistics have yet to be compiled, but tens of thousands of people were affected by one or the other of these policies (C. Neveu, 2007).
In Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Oberfeldkommandantur (“High Field Command”) 670 was the local authority representative of the MBB. As in the occupied zone, the military administration had police and judicial powers: it made arrests and tried people in its courts. The Reichssicherheitshauptamt or RSHA (Headquarters of the Reich Security Services, the Nazi police service) had local representatives there, but they had to work under the MBB’s authority (L. Thiery, 2007). This situation did not change until the departure of General von Falkenhausen, which led to the appointment of a Gauleiter, but not until July 19, 1944. Hence, victims of legal judicial repression were the majority; this was substantiated by the fact that nearly 70% of the 5,200 persons deported from Nord-Pas-de-Calais were initially sent to prison in the Reich, not to a concentration camp. The situation was quite different from areas under the MBF’s control (FMD, 2004; L. Thiery, 2007). However, two particular convoys marked the history of repression in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais. The first, carrying miners arrested during the May-June 1941 strikes, resulted in the arrival and registration of 244 French deportees in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, by the end of July 1941 (L. Thiery, 2006). The second corresponded to the evacuation of the metropolitan area of Lille on September 1, 1944, which led to the deportation of almost 900 people on the “Loos Train” (“Train de Loos”) (Y. Le Maner, 2003). Also, approximately 500 persons were sentenced to death, or taken hostage and shot in reprisal killings, by the Germans (the Vichy authorities executed less than 10 individuals in this way). Furthermore, there were about 650 Jewish victims of the Nazi persecution policy in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, as a result of the European “Final Solution” program. Most of them were foreigners arrested during the mass round-up of September 11, 1942, and transferred to Mechelen, the “Belgian Drancy” (Drancy was also a mass transit camp for prisoners on the way to death camps). They were deported to Auschwitz four days later on convoy X (the Nazi authorities in Belgium used roman numerals to number convoys; see Maxime Steinberg’s various works on persecution in Belgium). Finally, a distinctive characteristic of this zone was that arrested Gypsies were subsequently deported to Auschwitz; this was not the case in areas controlled by the MBF. Thus, over 150 people apprehended in Nord-Pas-de-Calais and detained at Mechelen, were deported from there on January 15, 1944 (FMD, 2004).
The chronology presented hereafter is centered on repression (which struck people because of what they had done, or supposedly had done), and persecution (targeting people because of their identity) in the northern zone, occupied since June 1940, and in the southern zone, which was “free” until the German troops took it over on November 11, 1942.
Three types of protagonists played an essential part in the events: the various German authorities, the Vichy government, and the victims they “targeted,” of course. Though the objectives of the various repressors and persecutors seem convergent overall, they were not always united in their decision-making, and the policies they implemented differed. Even the instruments they used often varied, especially as the impact of events and the evolution of the war – especially on the military level – mattered increasingly.
The military command (MBF) was the main executive and decision-making protagonist in the northern occupied zone until the summer of 1942. It opted for “surveillance administration,” as the presence of the French Vichy authorities allowed the MBF to put them in charge of most day-to-day tasks, including repression. This was due to the fact that the MBF’s objectives were rather more pragmatic than ideological: it was essentially focused on the security of the occupying troops, and on allowing efficient economic exploitation of France. As it had to “enforce the law,” and therefore, to repress people (G. Eismann, 2005), it had its Feldgendarmerie (a German military police unit) on the ground, as well as the Geheime Feldpolizei or GFP (“Secret Field Police,” a secret police force), which was in charge of conducting important investigations. Persons arrested had to appear before military tribunals, which had been set up in each département. Those that were found guilty served their sentence in France, or were deported to a prison in the Reich; some were sentenced to death and shot.
The French branch of the Abwehr (the German intelligence service), another military actor, was directly responsible to the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW), the Wehrmacht High Command. The Abwehr carried out sizeable operations in the occupied zone, making large-scale arrests when its investigations allowed it to detect organized Resistance groups. Finally, there were also Wehrmacht troops in France throughout the war, of course; in the run-up to the Allied landing in Normandy, and after this took place, their repressive role became essential.
In order to ensure the success of the occupation, these military protagonists were subject to the judgment and supervision of the highest authorities of the Reich, in Berlin – military, of course (the OKW followed MBF policy), but especially political. In fact, as Hitler carefully observed the situation in France, the leaders of the diplomatic services and the Nazi police forces endeavored to impose their own points of view. This gave rise to the establishment of other German authorities in the occupied zone, the foremost being those of the Reich’s Foreign Ministry.
Von Ribbentrop, the German Foreign Minister was represented in France by Otto Abetz, the German ambassador in . “In contact with the Vichy authorities,” Abetz “developed anti-Semitic and anti-Communist political views, and was particularly noted for his trust in collaboration with the French State, especially with Laval, and to a lesser extent with Darlan.” (D. Peschanski, 2006, Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, p. 22; B. Lambauer, 2001)
Most of all, Himmler sent his men to the occupied zone as soon as it had been captured. Quite soon, the gradually increasing ascendancy of the Nazi police services had to be taken into account. Their ideological objectives were a decisive element from the start, since in spite of the attribution of executive power to the MBF in 1940, a branch of the Sipo-SD (Sicherheitspolizei und Sicherheitsdienst, the SS intelligence service and State security police, which were combined into the RSHA), with about forty men, was set up in France directly after it was occupied in summer 1940. The Sipo-SD branch began implementing its “political program” at once; its main concern was targeting the “enemies of the Reich,” essentially Communists, freemasons and Jews. Hence, it closely observed the application of the Armistice clause requiring the French government to turn in German opponents of Nazism residing in France. The activism of the head of the Jewish Affairs department within the Sipo-SD commando in France, SS Lieutenant Theo Dannecker, soon became especially noticeable (he was replaced by another determined anti-Semite, Heinz Röthke, in summer 1942).
These events allow us to observe the coexistence of different German authorities, and to emphasize the necessity of clarifying the political and administrative origins of decisions. Thus, “on September 20, 1940, Heydrich [Himmler’s deputy, the second-in-command of the Nazi police and head of the RSHA] asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Reich to make the Sipo-SD in France primarily responsible for anti-Jewish action, due to its exceptional experience in this field.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 17. Quotations from Klarsfeld’s works are taken from the re-edited versions of many of them in La Shoah en France, 2001.) This request was “granted by the High Command of the Army in a secret decree dated October 4, 1940.” Thus, from then on, the MBF “sometimes directly managed police operations against Jews when they served as reprisal measures, but its main duty was economic aryanization through the confiscation of Jewish goods, in partnership with the French authorities. Orders from the Military Command determined the progress of anti-Jewish action, but beforehand they were essentially prepared and developed by the Sipo-SD and the German embassy.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 17)
The leader of this Sipo-SD Kommando (Command) in France, which was theoretically under the MBF’s responsibility and supposed to inform the latter of its undertakings, was Helmut Knochen. He was a young member of the SS, close to Heydrich, who already had an brilliant career in the RSHA intelligence services when he arrived in in the summer of 1940. He combined organizational talent with a pragmatic understanding of the situation in France. A March 9, 1942 decree from the Führer, gave the Sipo-SD control of the main repressive powers in France. Knochen was aware of how small his staff was, and how much more efficient his police services were when they allowed their French counterparts maximum autonomy of action, so as soon as the Sipo-SD’s new powers were effective, on June 1, 1942, he opted for reinforced collaboration with the Vichy authorities.
Beyond its effectiveness in terms of repression, this approach also allowed him to meet the objectives that Eichmann’s services in Berlin had assigned him, in the implementation of the “Final Solution” of the “Jewish Question,” this time without bringing the MBF into play. Indeed, with the beginning of anti-German armed struggle, and the hostage crisis – which eventually led to a clash between the Military Command’s policy and that which Hitler wished, in spite of the repressive resolve they shared – the latter named a Höherer SS und Polizeiführer, or HSSPF (High leader of the SS and the police) in France, in March 1942, named Karl Oberg. He settled in at the end of May, with Helmut Knochen as his deputy and main assistant; Knochen was officially the Befehlshaber der Sipo und des SD or BdS (Head of the Sipo-SD) in France. From that day on, in practice, most decision-making powers in the field of repression rested with the Nazi police, and not with the MBF. The policy of deportation of the Jews of France was essentially – though not exclusively – carried out after this decisive turning-point.
This change in the hierarchical structure of the different German authorities in France made the Vichy government’s decisive position even more essential. Ever since the armistice had been decided on, the new French government had sought a form of collaboration with the Germans that would enable it to succeed in implementing its political and ideological program – the “National Revolution” (R. Paxton, 1973). Throughout the war, the Vichy establishment counted on peace and Germany’s victory. When the more pragmatic Pierre Laval became Prime Minister, he made this quest for efficiency an absolute priority. Thus, in the fields of repression and persecution, collaboration meant the convergence of Vichy and German interests – especially police interests – against shared enemies. Laval was running the risk of having the French State sanction and participate in the success of an exclusively Nazi program, simply in order to maintain the illusion of French sovereignty being respected throughout the country, even in the occupied zone. The Vichy State’s role in the deportation of the Jews of France was the most dramatic example of this (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-1985; the French literature on Vichy is profuse, see bibliography). It was also in danger of increasing radicalization, which led to its becoming a police State, with Darnand, leader of the Milice (a French paramilitary, extreme-right militia which frequently acted as an auxiliary to the Gestapo) in charge of all law enforcement forces. For the first time, they were combined with the gendarmerie (a military corps of policemen) and the penitentiary administration within the vast Interior Ministry, where the Milice men took hierarchical positions involving more and more authority. The Vichy State was evolving, but only toward a higher degree of radicalization; this did not constitute a change in its nature (D. Peschanski, “Vichy un et pluriel,” 2004). Repression and persecution benefited from most of the French State apparatus, which had been made even more efficient by the efforts made to centralize it within an authoritarian State. These included the creation of préfets de region (civil servants representing the State in each region, who had executive powers), the nationalization of police forces and the creation of the position of Police Superintendent, the establishment of tribunaux d’exception (military courts), the use of administrative detention, etc. (see D. Peschanski, 1997, 2004; D. Peschanski, J.-M. Berlière, 2000; A. Bancaud, 2002; and others). In , the role of the Préfecture de police (whose powers were hardly altered under the Vichy regime), and especially that of its Brigades spéciales des Renseignements généraux (“General Intelligence Special Brigades”), is a prime example of this efficiency in the field of the struggle against Communists (J.-M. Berlière, 2001; J.-M. Berlière, F. Liaigre, 2004).
Thus, in spite of this variety of protagonists, who designed different policies and processes of repression and persecution, the choice of their targets, and eventually of their victims, was more a matter of consensus than of conflict. This did not evolve in any significant way during the occupation, either on the German or on the French side. The images of the Jew, the Communist and the “terrorist/franc-tireur (Freischärlerei)” (actually guerrilla fighters/snipers) were clearly dominant; that of the “Gaullist” was probably more significant for the occupying forces than for the French government. However, the evolution of the war and the upsurge of the Resistance radicalized the foundation of this initial struggle even further.
Historians have already highlighted the absence of fundamental disagreements on the definition of the enemy, and the preeminence of the image of the “Judeo-Bolshevik” enemy in the analysis of German protagonists – Gestapo policemen as well as military men from the MBF (see A. Meyer, 2002; G. Eismann, 2005, and others). Ideology was obviously crucial in the anti-Semitic policy carried out in France (against a Jewish population estimated at just over 300,000 in summer 1940), but it also played an essential role in orienting repression, especially since in both fields, the Vichy regime had the same enemies as the Germans.
Thus, “the dynamics of exclusion were at the core of the French State,” “they were inseparable. This was linked to a particular interpretation of the  defeat, which was not explained as the result of military blunders, or even of short-term policies, but rather of the decay of the Republic [the nature of the French political system], which had necessarily led to the downfall of the country and, therefore, to its defeat. This decay, this decadence was due to a plot from the ‘anti-France’ forces, in Pétain’s own words (from August 1940). These forces were designated as Communists, Jews, foreigners, and freemasons. Henceforth, in order to rebuild the country it was no use fighting against the occupying forces, since defeat was a mere symptom of the problem, not its cause. The main priority had to be regenerating French society from the inside by excluding ‘impure’ elements from it, which were considered responsible for defeat, and by rallying its ‘pure’ elements around traditional values, like work, the family, the homeland, order and piety.” (D. Peschanski, “Vichy un et pluriel,” 2004). Hence, the French State’s anti-Jewish policy was launched immediately, and anti-Communist repression began before the PCF (French Communist Party) even began armed struggle against the occupation. Another consequence of this analysis was the radical struggle against Gaullist “dissidence” (for instance, General De Gaulle was sentenced to death in absentia). However, at that point, “there was no attempt to break entirely with the Vichysto-résistants, those partisans of Resistance who considered their active patriotic commitment against the occupying forces was compatible with respect for Marshall Pétain and the legitimacy of all or part of the national Revolution.” (D. Peschanski, 2006, Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, pp. 23-24).
The German authorities – and particularly the Sipo-SD after the southern zone was occupied – were aware of the limited nature of the Vichy authorities’ commitment, whereas in contrast, they themselves were fully engaged in the struggle against the Resistance, in which the Gestapo was obviously a prominent protagonist, along with the Abwehr, which was especially involved in countering British intelligence networks. Hence, they soon complained of lack of enthusiasm in this fight on the part of some of the French police forces, at least in the struggle against non-Communist Resistance.
Though research on the “Final Solution” of the “Jewish question” is more complete, analysis of some of the policies behind repression and persecution in occupied France is still insufficient, especially as regards the history of repression and its victims. In such circumstances, what can one say of the outcome of these policies, of the victims – except in the départements attached to the Brussels Military Command and those annexed to Germany (for these specific cases, see the works of L. Thiery and C. Neveu, 2007)?
The key works to refer to on the subject are those of S. Klarsfeld, who has provided a statistical table of Jewish victims in his conclusions, as well as the Livre-Mémorial compiled by the Foundation for the Remembrance of Deportation (Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Déportation, or FMD) as regards persons arrested due to repressive measures, and F. Marcot’s 2006 overview article, in the Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, pp. 774-775.
Repression and persecution policies differed, in spite of undeniable links between them in the early stages of the “Final Solution” of the “Jewish question” in France (which will be discussed as we review the first mass round-ups of 1941 in ) that are perfectly illustrated by the “Judeo-Bolshevik” enemy concept. Hence, their outcomes varied also, especially inasmuch as they reveal the many processes followed from the victims’ arrest to the moment they were put to death, after trial and/or deportation, or not, in the implementation of either one of these policies.
Though over three-quarters of French Jews were fortunately still alive when the occupation ended, over 74,000 of them had been deported from occupied France (excepting the Nord-Pas de Calais), mostly to the Auschwitz and Sobibor camps; 58.8% of them were gassed upon arrival and only 3.5% of them returned (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001). Less than 1,000 of them were deported on convoys comprising a majority of persons arrested due to repression measures. To that total, we must add estimated numbers of Jews who died in French internment camps (3,000 according to S. Klarsfeld) and in massacres on French territory (probably 1,000 according to the same author, especially at the end of the German occupation, at Saint-Genis-Laval and Bron, on August 20 and 21 respectively).
The persecution policy did not lead to the deportation of Gypsies from France, except for a few dozens of them on the January 24, 1943 convoy to Sachsenhausen. Denis Peschanski estimates that approximately 3,000 Gypsies were detained in the Vichy government camps during the occupation (D. Peschanski, 2004: 377).
The first victims of repression policy were the persons shot after being sentenced to death by German military courts; recent research has determined that around 2,500 people were executed following a death sentence issued in the areas under MBF authority or in the southern zone (J.-P. Besse, Th. Pouty, 2006; G. Eismann, 2005). The “sections spéciales” (“Special Sections,” i.e. French military courts in charge of trying Communists and anarchists) took about a dozen lives. In addition, 735 hostages were executed from September 1941 to October 1943 in the framework of Sühnemassnahmen (“expiation measures,” i.e. reprisal measures) decided by the German authorities, and 200 people were put to death after judgment by courts-martial set up by the Vichy regime in 1944.
Starting in 1940-1941, and especially from 1943, deportation gradually became the German authorities’ main instrument for the repression of acts of opposition. In both the northern and southern zones, between 1940 and 1944, a total of over 60,300 people were deported to Nazi concentration camps and prisons in the Reich ; at least 42% of them died there (according to the most recent data from the FMD’s Livre-Mémorial, 2004).
Finally, the perspective of an Allied landing and of the subsequent end to the occupation of France led the German troops to commit atrocities against maquisards (Resistance guerrilla fighters) and civilians: P. Lieb (2007) estimates the number of victims of the “struggle against gangs” at 15,000.
Between 1940 and 1945, a total of at least 116,000 people were killed – either shot, in massacres or after being deported from France – due to the persecution and repression policies carried out in the northern and southern zones.
Charts representing the numbers of persons executed by firing squad and deported from occupied France (excluding the zone administered from Brussels and the annexed zone). Please bear in mind that the scales of magnitude involved are not identical.
Personns executed by firing squad after au death sentence (July 1940 - August 1944)
Jewish personns deported in the "Final Solution" convoys (March 1942 - August 1944)
Hostages executed through reprisal measures (September 1941 - October 1942)
Personns arrested due to repression measures
and deported to concentration camps or prisons in the Reich (August 1940 - November 1944)
We will consider five main steps of this heavy toll paid by France in terms of human life, its evolution, as well as the different processes that explain it.
Thus, this article is an attempt to summarize these events based on a chronology, which is quite limited by the deficiencies and the imbalance of the existing historiography. Each event described is followed by one to three stars, according to our degree of knowledge of it. However, in the case of occupied France, one rarely has little or no information on an event, especially in comparison with other cases of mass violence, in other places and/or in other periods. Thus, in most cases we have indicated two or three stars; for the purposes of this article, the difference between these two options is essentially linked to our knowledge of the mechanisms of events, rather than to memories of them, which are often considerable. Once again, the overall distribution of these stars indicates the need for finer knowledge of the repressive processes at work, more than of the sequence of events in the “Final Solution.”
June 1940 – summer 1941: judicial repression and the first anti-Jewish measures
The first year of the occupation has often been described as quiet; in fact, it was characterized by the German authorities’ introduction of the first repression policies. The groundwork of the anti-Jewish policy was also quickly laid, both on the German and the French sides.
Though the MBF intended to let the French authorities do most of the repression work – this was the foundation of its “surveillance administration” – it immediately proved implacable in imposing and enforcing its policy of “law enforcement and security,” especially faced with action directly affecting the occupying power (A. Meyer, 2002; G. Eismann, 2005). Indeed, the situation reports of MBF services mentioned increasing hostility within the French population, in spite of the prevalence of “attentisme” (fence-straddling or “wait-and-see attitude), which was still considered the majority position (see MBF reports and synopses of the French préfets’ reports at www.ihtp.cnrs.fr). Hence, strict repressive measures were quickly put into place in order to keep the peace and enforce the law in an area considered strategic for the rest of the war, both economically (France had huge resources) and militarily (in view of the invasion of Great Britain).
From the end of 1940, the MBF made use of administrative internment measures (especially in the fort of Romainville; Th. Fontaine, 2007) and of collective reprisal measures – these were essentially financial penalties, hostage executions were not carried out as planned (R. Delacor, 2000). However, most of its repressive system rested upon its military courts, that is, a judicial policy “with a legal face” (G. Eismann, 2005). Yet “during the first few months of the occupation, judicial repression of everything considered dangerous for the security of the occupying power, or harmful to the Wehrmacht’s image, became stricter step by step.” (G. Eismann, 2007:135) Soon, Gaullist movements were targeted, as well as individual attempts to depart to England; the French police forces, on the other hand, were essentially repressing Communists at the time – before the “PCF’s [French Communist Party] engagement in the Resistance, and then in armed struggle” took place (D. Peschanski, Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, p. 23). All in all, from June 1940 to the end of July 1941, just over 160 death sentences were issued by these military courts, one quarter of which were carried out. Almost a hundred of the detainees thus tried were deported to the Reich, to serve their sentence in prison (FMD, Livre-Mémorial, 2004).
Most of the anti-Jewish legislation was passed during the first year of occupation. On one hand, “without any pressure from the Germans,” the Vichy government showed “its anti-Jewish racism” (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001:18). The segregation of the Jews began, as well as the “aryanization” of their property, i.e. its confiscation and transfer to non-Jews (J-M. Dreyfus, 2003). On the other hand, Dannecker, who headed the anti-Jewish department of the Sipo-SD, developed his policy for the initial internment of thousands of Jews from the occupied zone, mostly with the MBF and Ambassador Abetz’s agreement. The first mass round-up took place as early as May 1941 in .
July 4, 1940: German penal law officially became applicable in occupied French territory. “Article 161 of the German Military Code [specified] that any act harmful to the security of the occupying troops, as well as any violation of a decree from the Führer or his representative, [was] a reprehensible act which [had to] be punished just as though it had been committed on the territory of the Reich.” (G. Eismann, 2006, in Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, pp. 782-784) On the same day, Etienne Achavanne was shot in Rouen after a military court sentenced him to death for cutting a telephone wire. But the first person to be shot in the occupied zone that we know of today was probably Auguste Gras, who was sentenced to death on June 4, in the département of Aisne, by the military court of a Wehrmacht unit, and shot the next day Y. Le Maner, E. Dejonghe, 1999:187). The first person to be shot in was Jacques Bonsergent, who was executed on December 23, after he was arrested for his anti-German attitude (J.-P. Besse, Th. Pouty, 2006:138-139). **
August 6, 1940: Two individuals arrested in the Manche region and judged by the court-martial of a Wehrmacht infantry division in the Saint-Lô area were deported to the Cologne prison, in Germany. They were the first two persons to be deported from the occupied zone; they had been arrested due to repression measures (according to the most recent research, FMD, Livre-Mémorial, 2004, vol.1: 249). *
August 27, 1940: The 1939 statutory order (décret-loi) which had made racist verbal abuse an offense, also known as the Marchandeau law, was abolished. On July 22, the Vichy government had promulgated a law annulling the naturalization of foreigners (C. Andrieu, 2000). ***
September 12, 1940: “The German Military Command in France took measures to legitimize taking and executing hostages in the occupied zone.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1979:19) Local notables then became the German authorities’ first targets. ***
September 27, 1940: In the occupied zone, a German decree set out an administrative definition of “Jews” (on a religious basis) and initiated a population census. The Nazi anti-Jewish policy was established; its objectives were the exclusion of Jews and the confiscation of their property (particularly through the October 18 decree). ***
October 3, 1940: The Vichy government adopted the Statut des Juifs (“Statute on Jews,” discriminatory legislation against French Jews), the definition of which was based on “race.” The next day, another law allowed the internment of foreigners of Jewish “race” in “special camps” or in “forced residence.” In addition, for administrative internment, Vichy also used statutory orders (décrets-loi) issued under the Third Republic (especially those dated November 12, 1938 and November 18, 1939; D. Peschanski, 2004). “This absolute ‘suspect law’ was the core of the repression and persecution mechanisms of the French State in the southern zone.” (D. Peschanski, 2006, Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, p. 25) ***
October 1940: In the occupied zone, many Communist activists were arrested by the Vichy police (J.-P. Azéma/A. Prost/J-P. Rioux, 1986). ***
November 11, 1940: The first sizeable demonstration in , attended by as many as 5,600 people on the Place de l’Etoile, was suppressed by the French police, which arrested around 1,000 people (D. Tartakowski, Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, 2006: 601-602). ***
May 13-26, 1941: On the rue Saint-Dominique, in , the trial of several members of the Nemrod intelligence network began before the Gross (Greater ) court; it was one of the first trials of a resistance group. All of the accused were condemned to death, though only three were eventually shot: Maurice Barlier, Jean Doornick and Honoré d’Estienne d’Orves (J-P. Besse, Th. Pouty, 2006: 140). **
May 14, 1941: The first of the three biggest mass round-ups of Jews of the year 1941 was carried out by the French police in , upon a request from the German occupying authorities. 3,700 Jews, both French and foreign, were arrested and sent to two camps in the département of Loiret: Beaune-la-Rolande and Pithiviers (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001). ***
June 2, 1941: The Vichy authorities also carried out a census of the Jews and their property, in both zones. The records thus produced allowed later arrests to be made. On July 22, 1941, a French law modeled on the previous German one initiated economic “aryanization” (R. Poznanski, 1994). ***
Summer 1941 – autumn 1942: the radicalization of repression, characterized by the hostage issue and the implementation of the “Final Solution” in occupied France
After the invasion of the USSR and the PCF’s decision to engage in armed struggle against the occupier, the MBF became increasingly demanding in terms of security. This tendency had begun previously, before the series of attacks against its soldiers: it had started radicalizing its judicial repression policy as early as spring 1941 (G. Eismann, 2007:141). In spite of genuine achievements on the part of the French police, and its obvious efficiency in the fight against Communism (J.-M. Berlière, 2001; J.-M. Berlière, F. Liaigre, 2004), the MBF led its “surveillance” administration past a distinct turning-point in the level of repression. Police action was markedly increased, and the “Porto” operation, which lasted from October to December 1941, generated hundreds of arrests, mainly among “Gaullist” groups (FMD, Livre-Mémorial, 2004, pp. 316-317). Military tribunals became ever more severe, giving out more death and prison sentences, followed by sentences to deportation to the Reich prisons, especially from summer 1941; at least 1,500 persons were deported from July 1941 to the end of November 1942 (FMD, Livre-Mémorial, 2004). The MBF courts condemned nearly 500 people to death between August 1941 and May 1942; three-quarters of these sentences of carried out, compared to only a quarter of them during the preceding period (G. Eismann, 2007: 141-142).
In December 1941, Hitler deemed this judicial action insufficiently severe and dissuasive, yet he asked the OKW to announce the Nacht und Nebel or NN (“Night and Fog”) decree, which forced military judges in the occupied territories to condemn persons accused of certain acts to death within a week of their arrest (J. de la Martinière, 1989). Alternatively, they had to give up the case to a civilian or military court in the Reich, in which case the persons indicted had to be deported straightaway, before judgment. In order to reinforce the intimidation effect, the decree specified that these persons would disappear in “the night and the fog,” and that no answer should be made to their families’ requests for information. The first deportations of NN prisoners from to the special camp of Hinzert, near the Cologne court, which could judge the accused persons for which the MBF was competent, took place in May 1942 after a second, decisive ordinance for the implementation of the decree was published in mid-April 1942. By late November 1942, a little over 650 NN detainees had been deported from to the Hinzert camp (FMD, Livre-Mémorial, 2004; G. Quesnée, 2004).
But as attacks against its soldiers and premises were increasing, the MBD launched collective reprisal measures, proceeding to execute hostages and justifying this before the French population. In autumn 1941, a “Hostage Code” recapitulated and articulated the rules which were supposed to govern the shootings and the choice of victims. This period was an opportunity for the German authorities to radicalize their repressive policy anew. But as early as December 1941, as Hitler deemed the number of hostages shot to be insufficient, the MBF also asked Berlin to also authorize massive reprisal deportation operations, considered more dissuasive (S. Klarsfeld, 1979; C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000; R. Delacor, 2000; A. Meyer, 2002; J.-M. Berlière, F. Liaigre, 2004; G. Eismann, 2005).
Though the Communists were the first to be put on the hostage list, Jews were soon added to the catalog of potential victims, especially as of autumn 1941: thus, the German authorities, military or otherwise, were aiming for the “Judeo-Bolshevik enemy” (S. Klarsfeld, 1979; U. Herbert, 1998; C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000; A. Meyer, 2002; J.-M. Berlière, F. Liaigre, 2004). This was borne out by the execution of 95 hostages on December 15, 1941: though three-quarters of the victims were close to Communist circles, over half of them were Jewish. This ideological definition of the hostages to be shot broke with the more traditional one which had previously been in force in occupied France, which targeted the notables of French society.
From then on, this choice in the designation of the most important enemy was agreed upon by the military, the police and the diplomatic authorities (respectively the MBF and the OKW in Berlin, the Sipo-SD, and the German embassy in ). This opened the door to instrumentalization of this retaliation policy by the Jewish Affairs department, which led to “reprisal” deportations. Its representative in , Dannecker, did not pass up this opportunity to launch the “final solution of the Jewish question” for occupied France, which the RHSA had been preparing (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001). On March 4, 1942, during a meeting in Berlin of the heads of Jewish Affairs departments in France, Belgium and Holland with Eichmann, Dannecker proposed the figure of 5,000 deportees, in addition to the 1,000 whose departure was already planned for the end of March (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 44). This was an ambitious program, whereas the “actual implementation of the principles decided upon” during the Wannsee conference of January 20, 1942, was supposed to be “very slow,” as Eichmann had clearly told his representatives. Nothing had “portended an acceleration of the deportations [of Jews] in the year 1942,” and “it was only upon Dannecker’s insistence and his contention that this was necessary in France, that Eichmann consented to suggest to Heydrich that 5,000 Jews be deported from there during the year 1942, whereas no deportation program was being proposed for Belgium or for Holland in the near future.” (F. Brayard, 2004: 109)
In fact, at the Wannsee inter-ministerial conference, Heydrich had explained to the different protagonists of the “final solution” that the latter had become a “State policy,” and on the subject of the “appropriate treatment” for the Jews that might survive the process, he had endorsed the “now genocidal character of the Nazi project.” (F. Brayard, 2004: 400, 406). Since mid-August of the previous year, the Einsatzgruppen ("task forces" or "intervention groups," which were in fact paramilitary groups formed by Heinrich Himmler and operated by the SS) had executed over 450,000 Jews in the USSR (G. Bensoussan, 1996: 48). But the process presented at Wannsee was also meant to be long, as the “final solution” could not be initiated immediately “to its full extent” and “in its ultimate form.” (F. Brayard, 2004: 405) The Jews, beginning with those from the Reich and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (the protectorate Nazi Germany established in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, in what is today the Czech Republic), were first supposed to be transplanted to transit ghettos, then transported further East, to lands that had not yet been conquered at the time of the conference. There, they were to be separated according to gender, and used as forced labor, in a second phase that could “perfectly be assimilated to an ‘extermination through work’ policy, before the expression had even been invented.” (F. Brayard, 2004: 418) The genocide discussed at Wannsee was complex and gradual, and not exempt from various forms of experimentation, and was supposed to occur initially by way of the terrible conditions the Jews would be forced to live in, and then though murder of the most resistant ones. At the end of January 1942, Himmler began a vast deportation program of 150,000 Jewish workers. During the March 4 meeting mentioned above, Eichmann indicated to Dannecker that the deportees selected for this “had to be Jewish men under forty-five years of age, fit for labor.” (F. Brayard, 2004, pp. 416-417) But Dannecker was also to meet the MBF’s deportation criteria, and in the guise of a reprisal policy, he obtained authorization to prioritize the departure of Jewish hostages to Auschwitz as early as March 27 and June 5, 1942 (respectively convoys 1 and 2). “Thus, though some of the German authorities in France considered deportation as part of the repression policy, to the RSHA, it was an element of both the “final solution” and Himmler’s attempt to build up a gigantic industrial complex using Jewish labor.” (F. Brayard, 2004: 417) Therefore, as regards deportation, the repression policy and the “final solution” overlapped at the time in occupied France (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001; M. Steinberg, Annales E.S.C., 1993; C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000).
But this instrumentalization or collusion of interests did not prevent these two policies from evolving differently. In December 1941, the MBF had announced reprisal deportations, which were meticulously prepared as of April 1942: thus, the July 6, 1942 convoy left Compiègne carrying 1,175 men, essentially Communists and members of the Confédération générale du travail or CGT (“General Confederation of Labor,” a French confederation of trade unions) (C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000). Meanwhile, as the Sipo-SD took over the repression policy in June 1942, Danneckerwas able to carry on with his agenda by gradually emancipating himself from the criteria for hostage selection defined until then by the MBF. Though convoys 3, 4 and 5, which left in June, were still in the framework of a retaliation policy, their composition departed more and more from the definition of the “deportable Jewish hostage”: women and persons “unfit” for work, such as the elderly, were part of them (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001; C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000). Dannecker was essentially seeking to complete the program he had announced in March 1942 in Berlin. However, as to the future, Heydrich had not “given any indication that the deportation of Jews from France could be accelerated in months to come,” when he had come to in May (F. Brayard, 2004: 417).
However, starting in April 1942, in a context aggravated by military losses, which limited their options, the Nazi leadership decided to abandon the “arrangements defined in Wannsee” and to shift “from a political project of extinction to a program of murder” and immediate and total extermination, with a distinct acceleration in May-June 1942 (F. Brayard, 2004: 436). In the case of France, the selection of victims directly upon their arrival in Auschwitz began with convoy number 7 of July 19; the deportees that were not chosen for labor were gassed immediately.
On June 11, 1942, another key meeting took place in Berlin, in the premises of Eichmann’s Jewish Affairs department. He had summoned his representatives in France, Belgium and Holland again. This meeting was intended to quickly get the extermination of the Jews of Western Europe underway, by planning a quick death for most people thus deported. As of summer 1942, the heads of Jewish Affairs in these three countries sent convoys off from the transit camps of Drancy in France, Malines in Belgium and Westerbork in Holland, though their methods sometimes differed a great deal.
Still, to begin with, Eichmann opted during the June 11 meeting to draw on the deportation program of 150,000 Jewish workers decided by Himmler in January, though he allowed an additional contingent of victims that were unfit for work to be deported along with the workers. In France, Dannecker worked out the processes for this, as the department he belonged to had just taken over the administration of repression and police matters in the occupied zone. In fact, the hostage issue had affected many different protagonists, since each decision had given rise to many discussions between the various German repressive organizations and with the French authorities, at the highest hierarchical levels. A crisis finally broke out between the military Commander for occupied France, Otto von Stülpnagel, and Berlin; Stülpnagel was replaced in February 1942 and on March 9, Hitler decided to appoint a HSSPF (High leader of the SS and the police) within the MBF, Karl Oberg, and to put him in charge of repression – and also, therefore, of the “hostage policy” – from then on. Oberg took up his post at the end of May. Along with his deputy, Helmut Knochen, he revived the policy of collaboration with the French police: the “Oberg-Bousquet” agreement adopted in late July and presented on August 8 “formalized the close collaboration of [German and French] police forces in the field of repression.” (D. Peschanski, 2004: 321-332) The Sipo-SD’s staff was limited in size and faced with an increase in Resistance activity, as it was trying to achieve relative efficiency in the field of repression, the stakes were high. While constantly trying to meet this primary requirement of security, which also guaranteed effective exploitation of French economic resources, Oberg and Knochen also obtained the Vichy administration’s collaboration in the arrest and deportation of the Jews of France, during the negotiations; the French authorities agreed to hand over the foreign and stateless Jews, who were considered undesirable. “In order to launch the decisive phase of mass deportation, the German authorities adapted the anti-Jewish system to the arrangements in force in the society from which they were eliminating Jews”: thus, Maxime Steinberg underlined the “xenophobic start” of this deportation program decided in June 1942 (M. Steinberg, 1993: 585-586). He also reminded that “French reticence toward the deportation of Jewish French citizens had yet another repercussion, the outcome of which on deportation policies from all of Western Europe, was much graver. It allowed [the Germans] to overcome the obstacle of the labor criterion, which was still impeding the ‘final solution’ in the West in July 1942.” Actually, Laval “offered the SS officers compensation so that they could still receive the same number of persons originally planned,” proposing to include Jewish children under the age of 16. “On June 11, in the Headquarters of the Reich Security Services [RSHA], only Jews aged 16 to 40 had been considered for labor in Auschwitz” (M. Steinberg, 1993), though 10% of the deportees on each convoy could be persons unfit for work. “Thus, Himmler had identified these deportations with labor.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 69) Accordingly, 12.2% of the persons deported on the nine convoys that had left Drancy between July 19 and August 3 were gassed directly upon arrival because they were unfit for work; this proportion was consistent with the authorized ratio. But at the end of August 1942, the “obstacle of ‘labor’ was removed: the regulatory telegram from the Jewish Affairs department in , informing the various Berlin authorities of the departure of convoy number 19 on August 14, specified that ‘for the first time, there were children’ [under 12 years of age].” (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001: 731; M. Steinberg, 1993)
After the June 11 meeting, Dannecker’s unrealistic plan (for the deportation of 100,000 Jews) was revised by Knochen, with Eichmann; the target figure was lowered to 40,000 (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 75). Thus, the “final solution” deportation program was carried out, even though in fact, the heads of the Nazi police in France did not consider it a priority; they were essentially concerned with meeting their political and security objectives. 38 convoys of Jews headed from France to Auschwitz between mid-July and mid-November 1942 (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001).
Initially, the HSSPF’s takeover of repression did not lead to any change in the hostage policy. However, several executions were carried out at the same time, in order to increase their intimidating impact on French public opinion, and to leave the German and French police forces enough time to locate the culprits. 88 hostages were shot on August 11, 1942 and 116 others on September 21. But these reprisal killings did not put a stop to the attacks against the occupation forces. The population did not approve of them, and furthermore, they were in danger of hindering the requisition of workers planned by the new French law of September 4, 1942; the Reich needed these workers ever more urgently. Hence, the execution planned for October 15 was postponed, then suspended, indicating that the “hostage policy” had been put on hold (S. Klarsfeld, 1979; S. Choumoff, 1982; Th. Fontaine, 2007).
Thus, in a few months, from June to September 1942, the Sipo-SD in power in occupied France took over the administration of several pre-existing projects and altered them. While the MBF’s military courts continued their clampdown (nearly 460 death sentences were handed out following acts of resistance from June 1942 to January 1943, 80% of which were carried out; see G. Eismann, 2007: 152), the Sipo-SD first ensured the completion of the “final solution” program by deporting about 37,000 Jews from France from mid-July to mid-November 1942. This did not lead to any conflict with the Vichy administration: in September, as the pool of Jews to be deported was running out and Röthke asked for large numbers of French Jews to be rounded up, Knochen explained to Eichmann that he did not wish to run the risk of “grave political consequences.” So doing, he obtained Himmler’s approval on this position: “for this reason, it will be impossible to evacuate large contingents of Jews,” he concluded (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 195). Lessons were also learned from the hostage crisis, and the Sipo-SD’s repression policy took a turn that led to the recurrent organization of mass deportations that were “preventive” and systematic in character. It was at the end of the year 1942, rather than in June 1942 when the Sipo-SD took over, that there was a real turning point in the German authorities’ repressive policies in occupied France. The occupation of the free zone, starting in November 1942, increased the impact of this change still further: from then on, repression and persecution could develop throughout the entire French territory, taking a heavier toll in human lives.
June 22, 1941: The day of the attack on the Soviet Union, preventive measures were taken against Communist activists in the occupied countries. In France, the Aktion Theodorich operation led to the arrest and internment of nearly 1,300 people in the Royallieu camp, near Compiègne. This camp, which was administered by the MBF, was reserved for the detention of “active enemies” of the Reich from then on (C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000:59). ***
August 20, 1941: The second operation of mass arrest of Jews took place between August 20 and 23. It was decided by the German military authorities in retaliation for acts against the occupying power. It was “suggested by Dannecker who was carrying out his program of creation of special camps in the occupied zone, and of filling them with Jews. The ian municipal police was responsible for the implementation of this measure, with the assistance of Feldgendames.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 28) Over 4,200 Jews (men, including 1,500 Frenchmen) were arrested and taken to the new Drancy camp, in the suburbs (R. Poznanski, 1994: 321-330). ***
August 21, 1941: Pierre Georges, who was later known as Colonel Fabien, killed a German midshipman named Moser at the Barbès metro station in . The military administration immediately announced that French citizens detained for the Germans would be considered hostages, and therefore liable to be shot (D. Peschanski, in Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, 2006: 607-608; J-M. Berlière, F. Liaigre, 2004). ***
August 22, 1941: Under pressure from the German authorities and upon their request, the Vichy government created a special judicial authority to judge “anti-national acts,” especially “Communist and anarchist” activity. This law was essentially directed against Communists and was backdated to August 14, so that these special courts would have retroactive jurisdiction. Accordingly, as early as August 27, a “Special Section” of the Appellate Court of condemned Emile Bastard, André Bréchet and Abraham Trzebucki to death; they were guillotined the next day. The November 18, 1942 and June 5, 1943 laws broadened the range of persons targeted by these Special Sections, notably to perpetrators of acts of resistance (A. Bancaud, 2002). ***
September 6, 1941: The MBF had the first three French hostages shot after Sergeant Ernst Hoffmann was lightly wounded by gunshot on September 3, 1941 (S. Klarsfeld, 1979). ***
September 7, 1941: The Vichy authorities, who had committed themselves to the execution of six Communists after the first anti-German attacks, promulgated a new law in order to create a State Tribunal for the judgment of all acts against “the people’s security,” with no possibility of an appeal. On September 13, Jean Catelas, the parliamentary representative of the town of Amiens, as well as Adolphe Guyot and Jacques Woog, were condemned to death, and guillotined on September 24 (A. Bancaud, 2002). ***
September 16, 1941: The MBF had 10 hostages executed in retaliation for the September 6, 10 and 12 attacks against Wehrmacht soldiers. Hitler deemed this insufficiently severe, and after a meeting with the main military and police leaders of the Reich in Berlin on August 30, he asked General Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel for a repressive decree. This decree was signed on September 16 and it concerned the “Seditious Communist movements in the occupied territories.” It required the execution of 50 to 100 Communists in reprisal for the killing of one German soldier, and asked military courts to sentence the perpetrators of acts of resistance to death (S. Klarsfeld, 1979; C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000). ***
September 20, 1941: After an attack four days earlier against a Wehrmacht captain in , the MBF had 12 hostages executed. In order to successfully implement his law enforcement policy, Otto von Stülpnagel chose not to apply the Führer’s harsh orders systematically (S. Klarsfeld, 1979; C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000; G. Eismann, 2005). ***
September 28, 1941: Von Stülpnagel edicted a long decree, known as the “Hostage Code,” which unified and completed the different arrangements made by the MBF in the field of reprisal killings (C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000; G. Eismann, 2005). ***
September 20 – October 20, 1941: “More acts of sabotage and attacks took place, but no one was killed among the occupying forces. No hostages were executed. However, the Germans made multiple arrests of persons suspected of ‘anti-German propaganda,’ mostly Communists: between October 6 and 10, 1,600 people were taken into custody in , with help from the French police. Similar operations took place between October 19 and 21 in several départements of the occupied zone.” (C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000: 86-87) ***
October 20-24, 1941: On the morning of October 20, Lieutenant-Colonel Hotz, the Feldkommandant (German military commander) of the city of Nantes, was shot. The next day, a military administration adviser, Hans Reimers, was killed in Bordeaux. In retaliation for Holz’s death, the German authorities proceeded to executed 48 hostages, essentially from the Châteaubriant camp, on October 22; for Reimers, they had 50 more hostages shot at Souges, near Bordeaux (C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000; J-M. Berlière, F. Liaigre, 2004; G. Eismann, 2005) ***
November 28 – December 5, 1941: While the attacks and acts of sabotage against the occupying power over the previous month had claimed no lives, this time, three German soldiers were killed and five others wounded in the explosion of a ian bar (J-M. Berlière, F. Liaigre, 2004). Two days later, a soldier was shot in the streets of Brest. In retaliation, “on December 5, in a telegram to Berlin, Otto von Stülpnagel suggested the execution of 100 hostages, demanding a 1 billion Franc fine from the Jews of , and the internment, followed by the deportation of 1,000 Jews and 500 young Communists to Eastern Europe.” (C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000: 104) Accordingly, the MBF’s staff organized a mass round-up of ian Jews and counted the Communists in custody (G. Eismann, 2005). ***
December 7, 1941: The Führer was still displeased with the repression policy being carried out in the West, and upon his request, Keitel promulgated the Nacht und Nebel decree, which was the logical continuation of the preceding edict, that of September 16. When military courts could not swiftly hand out death sentences to persons that had committed certain acts, and have them executed promptly, they were to be deported in total secrecy, in order to intimidate the French population further (K. Jonca, A. Konieczny, 1981; J. de la Martinière, 1989). **
December 10, 1941: The first three persons arrested during the vast operation “Porto” were deported to the prisons of Düsseldorf and Essen in Germany, where their cases were to be investigated. This was the first big convoy of persons under investigation who had not been judged yet, sent to Germany. 89 other deportees left France five days later, for the same destination (FMD, Livre-Mémorial, 2004, vol. 1: 316-317). *
December 12, 1941: The third mass round-up of Jews was carried out in the context of collective reprisal measures taken by the MBF on December 5. 743 Jews, of which almost all were French and many from well-to-do backgrounds, were arrested in by Feldgendarmes and members of the Sipo-SD, assisted by French policemen. 300 detainees selected from Drancy and who had been arrested in August were added to the first contingent in order to reach the predetermined target of 1,000 “deportable” Jews. During the night from December 12 to 13, they were taken to the Compiègne camp (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001; in addition, see J.-J. Bernard’s testimony in Le Camp de la mort lente, which was re-published in 2005). ***
December 15, 1941: 95 hostages, most of which were Communists, were shot according to the planned reprisal measures; over 50 of them were Jews from the Drancy camp. The others were taken from the Romainville fort, the Compiègne and Châteaubriant camps, and the prisons of Fresnes, Fontevrault and La Santé. Among them were Gabriel Péri, the former parliamentarian for the town of Argenteuil and editor of the Communist newspaper L’Humanité, and Lucien Sampaix, the former secretary-general of L’Humanité (S. Klarsfeld, 1979; C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000; G. Eismann, 2005). ***
December 24-27, 1941: Müller, the head of the Gestapo (the Nazi Secret State Police) in the Reich, warned the Sipo-SD staff on December 24 and the MBF on December 27 “that it [was] quite inappropriate to house Jews and French Communists in the same eastbound transit ghetto.” (C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000: 113) Rail transportation was also lacking. The reprisal deportations planned and announced by the MBF were then postponed. Therefore, the 1,000 Jews interned in Compiègne remained in one part of the camp, isolated in very harsh conditions, suffering from hunger and exposure, which killed several of them (for instance, see J.-J. Bernard’s testimony in Le Camp de la mort lente, which was re-published in 2005). On December 30, 1941, a decree made Compiègne a “German police detention camp.” ***
January-February 1942: As the difference of opinion grew between the MBF and Berlin regarding management of the hostage crisis, it led to the departure of Otto von Stülpnagel, who was replaced by his cousin Karl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel. After further attacks against German soldiers (9 in January, 45 in February) the executions continued. 46 new hostages were shot in March (S. Klarsfeld, 1979). ***
February 19, 1942: In Riom, the trial of the Third Republic, the Popular Front and the June 1940 defeat began before the members of the Vichy administration who were promoting it. “The former Présidents du Conseil [heads of government] Edouard Daladier and Léon Blum, as well as Guy de la Chambre, Air Force minister from 1938 to 1940, General Gamelin, who had been Army Chief of Staff from 1935, and Robert Jacomet, the former Secretary General of the National Defense ministry, all appeared in court.” The speeches for their defense sounded like an indictment of the Vichy government’s position. Hitler himself called for the suspension of the trial; this request was granted on April 11, 1942 (G. Morin, in Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, 2006: 610-611). ***
March 4, 1942: The “publicized” trial of some young Communist francs-tireurs (Resistance guerrilla fighters) from the 11th arrondissement (district) of began in the French parliament building, before a German military court; seven of them were sentenced to death on March 9. On April 15 and 16, in the Maison de la Chimie, the MBF organized a second trial of this “spectacular” type, intended to stigmatize “antisocial killers”; 23 members of the PCF’s Special Organization and “Youth Battalions” were shot on April 17, 1942, at the Mont-Valérien (E. Alary, 2000; A. Meyer, 2002: 103-122; J.-M. Berlière, F. Liaigre, 2004). ***
March 9, 1942: Hitler decided to appoint a High leader of the SS and the police (HSSPF) within the MBF’s jurisdiction. Karl Oberg, who was chosen in April, became Himmler’s personal representative in France; more significantly, the “expiation measures” became his responsibility. ***
March 27, 1942: Deportation convoy number 1, the first carrying Jews away from France, left from Compiègne and was composed of third-class passenger cars. The detachment of German soldiers escorting the convoy was commanded by Dannecker in person. Upon its arrival, 1,112 deportees were registered. Part of them had been arrested during the August 20, 1941 mass round-up in , and others during that of December 12. They were Jewish hostages, fit for labor, whose deportation had been planned by the MBF in December 1941, in retaliation for attacks against the occupation forces. Thus, the first convoy of the “final solution” was also the first reprisal deportation from the occupied zone. Nearly 92% of the deportees from that train died before the end of August 1942, due to the extreme conditions in Auschwitz (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 47). ***
April 16, 1942: The Maastricht-Cherbourg train was derailed near Moult-Argences, in the Calvados region; 28 German sailors on leave were killed and 19 others wounded. Hitler ordered exceptional executions and the deportation of 1,000 Communists. A few days earlier, after another series of attacks, he had already decided to systematically supplement the hostage executions with reprisal deportations of Communists, Jews and “anti-social elements.” On April 30, 24 hostages were shot following the Moult attack. But the next night, the Maastricht-Cherbourg train was derailed a second time; 10 German soldiers were killed and 22 more wounded. On May 9, 28 hostages were shot and 80 others from the region of Calvados were deported on the July 6, 1942 convoy. Preparations for this reprisal convoy had started as of April 20 (C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000). ***
April 18, 1942: Laval returned to power as a result of pressure from German diplomats, who sought to revive the Collaboration policy. In addition to his key role as head of the executive – Pétain having retreated into the background – Laval was also Minister of the Interior, of Information and of Foreign Affairs. From then on, his role consisted in striving to ensure that France would have an important place [une place de choix] by Germany’s side, in a new Europe struggling against Communism (R. Paxton, 1973-2003). ***
May 28, 1942: In accordance with the December 1941 decree, the first convoy composed only of Nacht und Nebel detainees (43 men and 9 women) was organized from the occupied zone and left the Gare de l’Est, in . The men were taken to the special camp of Hinzert, near the Cologne court, and the women to Aachen [Aix-la-Chapelle]. They were all supposed to appear before a German court (J. de La Martinière, 1981; FMD, Livre-Mémorial, 2004, vol. 1: 370-371). **
May 29, 1942: The 8th German decree on the subject of anti-Jewish measures was promulgated. It required Jews over six years of age to wear a yellow star in public. It came into force on June 7 (A. Kaspi, 1991; R. Poznanski, 1994). ***
June 1, 1942: Oberg, who had arrived in in early May, accompanied by Heydrich in person, officially took up his post. ***
June 5, 1942: The departure of convoy number 2 deporting Jews from France was decided upon in early May in Berlin; the telegram from the RSHA’s department in charge of deportations, notifying Knochen of this, specified that the train would “deport Communists, Jews and anti-social elements to the East, in retaliation.” (C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000: 138) Dannecker, who had successfully pushed for the Jews to be deported first, composed a list of 1,000 men aged 18 to 54, most of whom were Polish and had been arrested during the May 14 and August 20, 1941 round-up operations, then transferred from Drancy, Beaune-la-Rolande and Pithiviers to Compiègne, as hostages around late April or early May. Some of them were unfit for work, which was not compatible with the decrees on hostages. Nearly 80% of the deportees from this convoy died in Auschwitz in ten weeks (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001; G. Eismann, 2005). ***
June 11, 1942: Eichmann held a meeting of his representatives for Jewish Affairs in France, Belgium and Holland. The systematic deportation program of all the Jews of Europe began at a quick pace. Dannecker suggested a contingent of 100,000 French Jews; when he returned to , it was revised down to around 40,000 by Knochen (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001; F. Brayard, 2004). ***
June 22, 25 and 28, 1942: The reprisal deportation measures decided by Hitler were upheld by the Sipo-SD, who was now in charge of the repression policy in the occupied zone. As for Dannecker, he was still trying to carry out his program of evacuation of the ian Jews arrested in 1941. Once again, three convoys of 3,000 Jews each, organized in June 1942, departed toward Auschwitz on a retaliatory basis. However, as the MBF was no longer in charge of the process, this time the convoys were organized directly from the internment camps of Drancy on June 22, Pithiviers on June 25 and Beaune-la-Rolande on June 28. The military administration’s instructions for the constitution of reprisal convoys were no longer a constraint for Dannecker; hence, the deportees selected included women for the first time (66 of them on June 22). 80% of the deportees of the June 22 convoy, which included 430 French citizens, died within seven and a half weeks. Respectively 45% and 30% of the Jews of the two following convoys died in seven weeks. Preparations for the reprisal convoy, composed of Communist hostages, and which had been announced in December 1941, were finished at the end of June (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001; C. Cardon-Hamet, 1997-2000). ***
July 2, 1942: During a decisive conference held in with Bousquet, Oberg and Knochen, in view of the Franco-German policing agreements, the Secretary-General of police and Vichy government representative suggested not arresting French Jews, but promised to assist – along with the French police, therefore – in the arrest of foreign Jews “everywhere”, i.e. including in the free zone. The nationality criterion became key South of the demarcation line, partly as a result of this Vichy agreement. In fact, on July 2, Bousquet promised to deliver 10,000 foreign Jews interned in the free zone and to arrest 20,000 others in the area (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001). ***
July 6, 1942: The Communist hostages, whose deportation had been considered since December 1941 and prepared for since April 1942, were taken away. This was the first mass convoy of deportees arrested owing to a repression measure that left from the occupied zone. It probably included about 1,175 persons who boarded the train to Auschwitz in the Compiègne station; about half of them were quickly sent to work in the building sites of the Birkenau camp. After about nine months, only 160 of them were left alive due to the terrible conditions in Auschwitz (C. Cardon-Hamet, 2005). ***
July 10, 1942: Oberg promulgated a decree extending the designation of hostages to the family members of “terrorists on the run.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1979) ***
July 16-17, 1942: The biggest mass round-up of Jews in France, known as the “rafle du Vel d’Hiv’ ” took place in the area; the targets were foreign Jews. Other similar operations were carried out in the occupied zone, near the cities of Dijon and Orléans, for instance. The French police carried out these round-ups. Though the Germans had been counting on the arrest of over 27,000 people, “only” 13,152 were actually detained (according to the definitive tally established by the Prefecture of Police; see S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 136), including over 4,000 children. The French police representatives were trying to avoid the Germans’ falling back on the arrest of French Jews; faced with the “unsatisfactory” result of the July 16-17 round-up, they helped the Germans to meet the target numbers of Jews to be deported that had been agreed on in the July 2 accords, by pushing for the deportation of children. This had two advantages: it avoided both the extra internment problems linked to the detention of children and, theoretically, having to separate families. In the meantime, after the round-up, the women and children were sent to the Vélodrome d’hiver, a sports ground in the 15th arrondissement of , where they stayed for several days before they were transferred to transit camps in the département of Loiret (Lévy-Tillard, 1967; S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001; M. Rajsfus, 2002). ***
July 17, 1942: Dannecker obtained permission to organize a new convoy from the Pithiviers camp to Auschwitz. Though the literature (especially M. Steinberg and C. Cardon-Hamet) associated this with the deportation program of 6,000 Jews decided in March 1942, the code of this 6th convoy (DA-901-1) indicates that it may have been the first of the new deportation program initiated by the June 11 meeting. In Berlin, the Ministry of Transportation had authorized its implementation from July 13 (S. Klarsfeld, 2001). **
July 19, 1942: Another convoy left the Le Bourget train station (near ) in the direction of Auschwitz; it was composed of around 1,000 Jews. These were still mostly persons rounded up in 1941 in the area. For the first time 375 Jews from France, “probably the oldest” (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001: 540), were gassed immediately upon their arrival at Auschwitz, after being selected. ***
July 20, 1942: Deportation convoy number 8 left Angers, France in the direction of Auschwitz. It was the only convoy to be maintained of all those that Dannecker had initially planned from French provincial towns, before the Oberg-Bousquet agreements on French and foreign Jews. A little over 800 Jews were deported on it, including 200 French citizens who had just been rounded up by the Commander of the Sipo-SD in Angers, in violation of the agreements (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001). ***
July 22, 1942: 996 Jews, including 385 women, were sent from Drancy to Auschwitz. This was deportation convoy number 9, and the first one to be composed of persons arrested during the July 16-17 round-ups in . They were all registered upon arrival. The same day, the cardinals and bishops of France met in , under Cardinal Suhard, and broke the silence they had kept till then by signing a document denouncing “the massive arrests of Israelites.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 139) ***
July 31, 1942: The 13th convoy of Jews left Pithiviers. “It was the first convoy from the Loiret camps that included fathers and mothers arrested during the Vélodrome d’Hiver round-up.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001: 626) Of the 1,052 Jews deported, there were 147 mothers accompanied by their children (139) aged 15 to 20, but who “had to leave their children under 15 years of age behind. The gendarmes had to beat the mothers in order to separate them from these small children and lock them in the rail cars.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 147) The next convoy, number 14, which left Pithiviers on August 3, was almost entirely made up to women (982 out of the 1,034 deportees) who had been separated from their children; 452 of them were gassed directly upon their arrival in Auschwitz. The others may have seen their children arrive three weeks later (between August 17 and 31, in seven convoys) and be sent straight to the Birkenau gas chambers (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 149-150). ***
August 7, 1942: Convoy number 16 left Pithiviers, heading to Auschwitz. This was the last of the series of convoys essentially composed of the adult Jews arrested in on July 16 and 17. This last convoy essentially held women, as well as 258 children aged 13 to 15. Three quarters of the members of this convoy were gassed immediately upon arrival, including the children (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001). ***
August 10, 1942: Convoy number 17 left Drancy in the direction of Auschwitz, carrying approximately 1,000 Jews, almost all German citizens; over half were women. “This was the first convoy of deportees from the free zone, who had been turned over to the Nazis by the Vichy authorities,” in accordance with the Bousquet-Oberg accords. They had been sent “from the Gurs camp, where many German Jews had been interned in October 1940,” to Drancy on August 6. Three quarters of them were gassed directly upon arrival in Auschwitz (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001: 699). Throughout the month of August, convoy after convoy left the non-occupied zone, heading to Drancy (E. Conan, 1991). ***
August 11, 1942: After members of the Main-d’œuvre immigrée or MOI (Immigrant Labor Force) threw two grenades at members of the Luftwaffe (German air force), at the Jean Bouin stadium in on August 5, killing 8 of them in the deadliest anti-German attack carried out in occupied , the Sipo-SD had 88 hostages executed at the Mont-Valérien fort, near (S. Klarsfeld, 1979; J.-M. Berlière, F. Liaigre, 2007). ***
August 14, 1942: On convoy number 19, which took 1,015 Jews from Drancy to Auschwitz, most of which were Germans in transit from four French camps in the free zone (les Milles, Recebedou, Noé and Rivesaltes), the regulation telex from the Jewish Affairs Department indicated that “for the first time, there are children” (i.e. children under 12 years of age; see S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001). ***
August 17-31, 1942: A series of seven Drancy-Auschwitz convoys deported the children arrested during the July 1942 round-up en masse, together with adults they did not know. In convoy number 20 of August 17, there were 530 children under 16, including 339 under 10; some were only two years old. The following convoy, on August 19, included 373 children under 13; two days later, 544 children under 14 were deported on the next train, convoy number 22, including 11 infants under two years of age. On the August 24 convoy, there were 465 children under the age of 12, including 131 that were less than six years old (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001). ***
August 26, 1942: In three days, the French police arrested over 6,500 Jews in the free zone (this was less that what the Jewish Affairs Department had expected) and quickly transferred them to Drancy. The French population’s reaction was very negative; in response to such strong emotion, on August 30, the bishop of Montauban, Monsignor Théas, had a strongly-worded letter against the deportation read in every church of the diocese. Counting the Jews from camps in the free zone turned over to the Nazis in August, the Vichy authorities supplied the Germans with nearly 10,000 Jews “in under a month,” essentially foreigners (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 174; P. Laborie, 1993; R. Poznanski, 1994: 401-419). ***
On the same day, a new convoy, number 24, left Drancy en route to Auschwitz. It was “the first of a long series of convoys that lasted until the end of the year 1942, the deportees of which were sorted twice. The first selection generally took place near Kosel, in the vicinity of Auschwitz: the Germans took most of the able-bodied male deportees off the trains and put them to work in camps such as Blechammer, Johannisdorf, Kochanowitz, Oderberg, Gogolin, Ottmuth, etc. The SS in had probably informed the SS general inspectors in charge of the camps that the Vichy authorities were sending them convoys that included large, valuable contingents of young workers, which would have led the Berlin authorities to temporarily send this work force to camps where it could probably be useful. Survivors of this category, from France and Belgium, were gathered by the Germans in Blechammer in late March 1944, this time, they were registered in Auschwitz.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001: 879-880) ***
August 30, 1942: From this point on, the Sipo-SD gathered the hostages from the area by at the fort of Romainville, which did not hold more than 200 prisoners after that (Th. Fontaine, 2005, 2007). ***
September 2, 1942: Laval met with Oberg in ; though he made a commitment to turn over the remaining stateless Jews, he asked the German authorities not to make any further, new demands on him in terms of anti-Jewish policy. For that point on, the reactions of public opinion mattered (P. Laborie, 1990 and 1992). The Nazi police authorities accepted this request in order to ensure that their political collaboration with the French government, which was still considered a priority, would remain harmonious. At the Jewish Affairs department, Röthke had to find other ways to implement the enormous deportation program he was considering for September-October (with a target of around 52,000 deportees). As early as September 16, after he received authorization to arrest them, Röthke organized the deportation of the Latvian, Bulgarian, Yugoslav and Dutch Jews arrested two days previously in , on convoy number 33. On September 23, he launched another massive deportation of French Jews (at least 540 people) on convoy number 36, in disregard of the agreements with the Vichy authorities. On the 24th, with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s approval, Röthke and the French police organized a mass round-up of nearly 800 Romanian Jews and their children, who were French citizens. They were deported on convoys numbers 37 and 38, respectively on September 25 and 28; most of them were gassed at Birkenau just a few days after their arrest (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001). ***
September 21, 1942: In retaliation for various attacks that had taken place since mid-August, including one outside the Rex cinema theater (three German soldiers were killed), the Sipo-SD had 46 hostages executed at the Mont-Valérien fort, and 70 others simultaneously at Souges, near Bordeaux (S. Choumoff, 1982; Th. Fontaine, 2005, 2007; J.-M. Berlière, F. Liaigre, 2007). On the same day, over 500 French Jews, who had been categorized as “of undetermined nationality” by the Jewish Affairs department, were deported on convoy number 35, which left Pithiviers in the direction of Auschwitz. ***
September 25, 1942: Knochen refused a mass round-up of French Jews that the Jewish Affairs department had contemplated organizing in order to compose the convoys planned for October. This position, which preserved the established political relationship of collaboration with Vichy was confirmed by a telex from Himmler to Oberg. The deportation program for October was canceled, and on September 30, 1942, convoy 39 left the station of Le Bourget-Drancy, heading to Auschwitz with “only” 211 deportees on board. The contingent of Jews available for deportation was no longer sufficient, but for “prestige reasons,” Röthke had still decided to have the convoy leave. It was essentially made up of elderly people over 55 years of age, from Belgium and Holland; 56 were selected for labor upon arrival, and the others were gassed (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001). ***
October 9-10, 1942: The different Kommandos (units) of the Sipo-SD in the regions of provincial French carried out operations to arrest the foreign Jews who were now part of the groups to be deported (Bulgarians, Yugoslavs, Belgians, etc.). Almost 2,000 people were then on hand for transfer to Drancy, where 600 Jews were also available. Convoys were immediately planned for November (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001). ***
October 19, 1942: On October 15, the II Pol section of the Sipo-SD suggested having 114 detainees shot in retaliation for different anti-German attacks that had taken place since September 21 (one German was killed at the Gare de l’Est train station, and another at the Maillot-Palace), the date of the last reprisal execution. But on the 19th, this execution was suspended for political and timing reasons (S. Klarsfeld, 1979). The main point was not to impede the recruitment of laborers for work in Germany. In fact, an August 22, 1942 directive had already set off the implementation of a recruitment plan called “Sauckel,” after the man in charge of recruitment in the territories occupied by the Reich. But most of all, the Vichy government, which was opposed to mass executions, had promulgated a law “for the use and orientation of the labor force” on September 4, 1942 (B. Garnier/J. Quellien/F. Passera, 2003). ***
November 4-11, 1942: The deportation of the Jews of France began again. The Jews arrested outside of the capital in October were carried away on two convoys, numbers 4 and 6. The Greek Jews, whose arrest had just been authorized, were rounded up on November 5, then deported on the 9th and the 11th, in two new convoys to Auschwitz. After this, Knochen warned Eichmann than the deportations would have to be halted until February 1943 (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001). ***
November 11, 1942: The free zone was occupied by the German army in retaliation for the Anglo-American landing in North Africa three days earlier. Italian troops quickly took control of the Alpine départements. Sipo-SD Kommandos were established in this new German “operation zone.” The Vichy government had less and less latitude to act autonomously. ***
December 1942 – August 1943: as massive deportation began to be used as a repressive measure, the “final solution” convoys continued to leave France
The year 1942 ended with a pause in massive executions of hostages. But this decision did not settle the issue of what was to become of these people. The Sipo-SD elected to deport them to concentration camps as Schutzhäftlinge (“security detainees,” i.e. extra-judicial political prisoners), but in a specific manner, by using the guarantee of secrecy that the Nacht und Nebel (NN) decree offered. Since it did not intend to have these people tried, it was actually taking advantage of the NN label to secretly send thousands of detainees to concentration camps in the Reich, as of March 1943 (Th. Fontaine, 2007). Nevertheless, NN prisoners due to be tried before a Reich court continued to be deported to the special camp of Hinzert until September 1943. Finally, the deportation to Reich prisons of persons who had already been found guilt by a military court bore witness to the fact that judicial repression by the MBF was as severe as ever (FMD, 2004 ; G. Eismann, 2005).
By the end of 1942, the Sipo-SD was also officially assured that it could put suspects in administrative detention without necessarily using the usual procedure, which was still in force, that of a trial before a military court (Eismann, 2007: 149). Faced with overcrowding of the internment locations available, as well as with the risk involved in maintaining large groups of prisoners behind German lines in the event a second front were opened, interning ever greater numbers of prisoners in occupied France became both an impracticable and an undesirable option. Hence, most people arrested were destined to be deported from France as Schutzhaft prisoners.
But this repressive choice was also linked to the turning point the Nazi concentration system had gone through in the spring of 1942. “As of 1942, the Nazis understood that contrarily to what they had planned, the war would last a long time, and that they would have to wage it in a situation of demographic and economic inferiority.” (Y. Le Maner, 2005: 127) From that point on, the concentration camp detainees had to work for the Reich’s war economy (many examples of this are to be found in M. Fabreguet, 1999; R. Steegmann, 2005; B. Streibel, 2005). The occupied zones became manpower reserves, at a period when the vast majority of Germans had been called up to the front. A December 14, 1942 decree from Himmler, asking the various police forces in the Reich and the occupied territories to send 35,000 “detainees fit for work” to the camps (initially by February 1943, but later by June), led to the departure for 6 convoys from France between January and June 1943, deporting a total of nearly 7,000 people (Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, 1949; FMD, 2004; E. Rimbot, 2006).
Over the same period, the deportation of the Jews of France resumed, after a phase during which no convoys had been organized, from mid-November to early February 1943. However, the recommencement of deportation was seriously “hindered by the resolutely pro-Jewish attitude of the Italian authorities, as well as the reluctance of the Vichy government, without whose cooperation the mass arrests were impossible.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 209) The Italians now occupied eight départements of the southern zone of France, and precisely at this point, it appeared that their difference of opinion with the German authorities, as well as with the Vichy government, on the “Jewish issue,” was considerable. Thus, thousands of Jews fled from the areas occupied by the Germans to the Italian zone, temporarily finding shelter there. In addition, Röthke’s other means for obtaining the arrest of Jews, which was the de-naturalization law under consideration, which would have made thousands of French Jews “deportable” (by stripping them of their French nationality) was constantly being put off by the Vichy authorities, who were now attentive to public opinion and to the unmistakable criticism from the Catholic Church hierarchy (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001; A. Cohen, 1993). Yet consistently with their initial political line, Oberg and Knochen were still loath to sacrifice their priority of keeping order in France – and, therefore, their necessary collaboration with the Laval government – in order to move the “Jewish issue” forward in an extremist direction, which the French government would refuse. On February 12, 1943, Knochen sent a note to Müller, the head of the Gestapo throughout the Reich, in which he again opposed the deportation of the French Jews. He reminded Müller of the “complex realities of the political context of the Jewish issue in France.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 228) In July, when it became obvious that the Vichy authorities did not intend to proceed to massively strip French Jews of their citizenship, Knochen restrained his Jewish Affairs Department once again, as it was attempting to organize a mass round-up of French Jews using only German police forces. During the first semester of 1943, this Department continued to arrest foreign and APATRIDE Jews, especially in , thanks to the help of French police forces; it also asked the provincial Sipo-SD Kommandos to send them as many such persons as possible. In addition, some Jews were also arrested in the context of reprisal operations which, thus, extended beyond the year 1941.
January 13, 1943: Upon the German authorities’ request, prefect Parmentier ordered mass arrests of French Jews in Normandy, implementing new reprisal measures following the murder of a Wehrmacht officer in the Rouen train station the day before. On January 16, 222 people were thus transferred to Drancy, including 170 French citizens (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001). ***
January 22-27, 1943: Upon Himmler’s request, the Germans carried out a vast military/policing operation to destroy the Vieux Port neighborhood of the French city of Marseilles. Its entire population was “filtered.” Hundreds of people were arrested and transferred to the Compiègne camp, in view of their deportation; among them were around 800 Jews (C. Oppetit, 1993; Ryan, 1996; A. Meyer, 2002: 143-158). ***
January 15-28, 1943: In Nantes, in a trial known as that of “the 42 [accused]” (“les 42”), the military court of Feldkommandantur 518 sentenced 37 persons from the local Francs-tireurs partisans Français or FTPF, (the "Partisan irregular riflemen," Resistance fighting formations created by the PCF) to death; most of them had been arrested since summer 1942 by the French authorities. They were treated as “criminals,” as the German judges focused on elements such as the murder of the French juge d’instruction (committing magistrate) initially in charge of the case against them, in the middle of the Palais de Justice (courthouse) (F. Liaigre, 2007; see also S. Defois’ forthcoming paper “Le Procès des 42, Nantes, janvier 1943. Propagande et criminalisation de la résistance communiste,” given at the Fondation de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme seminar entitled Autour des guerres mondiales. Ordre civil et ordre militaire : les limites de la justice militaire, 1914-1955). In terms of the number of death sentences served, this was probably the deadliest trial of the whole of the Occupation. **
January 24, 1943: Over 1,500 men and 230 women were taken from Compiègne into the German Reich, on the second mass convoy of deportees arrested in the framework of repressive measures to leave the occupied zone; the first had left on July 6, 1942. The rail cars of the convoy were separated at Halle, once it was past the German border. The men were sent to the Sachsenhausen camp, near Berlin, where most of them were put to work in the Heinkel factory Kommando (unit of workers), for the German war effort (E. Rimbot, 2006). The women, including Danielle Casanova and Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier (two famous French Communist activists and members of the Resistance), were sent to Auschwitz, where the conditions were terrible, partly due to a typhoid fever epidemic. By April 10, only 70 of them were still alive. The persons put on the convoy at Compiègne were mostly Communists, and many of them had been arrested in the context of the hostage policy. But at least as far as the men were concerned, this convoy was also linked to the deportation policy determined by Himmler’s December 1942 decree for the supply of camps with slave labor. This was probably why the Germans forced a few dozen Gypsies onto the train; they were the only ones deported from the occupied zone (C. Delbo, 1965; D. Peschanski, 2004; FMD, 2004; Th. Fontaine, 2005; E. Rimbot, 2006). **
February 9-13, 1943: The interruption of the deportation of the Jews of France had lasted about three months. But then three convoys were planned in early February. The first, number 46 (there were mistakes in the numbering of these trains by the German services: this one was not actually the 46th), left on February 9, carrying around 1,000 prisoners. The numbers of Jews held in the transit camps did not leave the Jewish Affairs Department much leeway: on the second convoy, which left on February 11, there were 170 deportees over the age of 60. They had only just been taken out of the asylums where they had been interned previously (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001). ***
February 13, 1943: Two Luftwaffe officers were killed during the Carousel in . “The first reprisal measure elaborated jointly by the Military Command, the German embassy and the Sipo-SD was a plan for the deportation of 2,000 Jews.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 228) Mass round-ups of Jews were immediately planned in the southern zone, with the Vichy authorities’ help; male foreigners aged 16 to 65 were targeted. ***
March 2, 1943: A new convoy, number 49, left Drancy in the direction of Auschwitz. Once again, there had been some difficulty gathering the necessary contingent of deportees; most of them were elderly, and had been taken from the Rothschild hospice or arrested during the last round-up, that of February 11, which had led to the capture of 1,500 Jews, thanks to the French Prefecture of Police. On convoy 49, over 300 prisoners were over the age of 70; 395 were in their sixties (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001). ***
March 4-6, 1943: Almost 2,000 Jews, who had been arrested following reprisal measures taken on February 15, were deported to the Sobibor camp in two convoys, almost as soon as they had arrived from the southern zone. It was the first time that a deportation convoy from France was sent straight to this death camp. Nearly all of the prisoners on board were gassed directly upon arrival (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001). **
March 23-25, 1943: The third and fourth convoys were sent from France to Sobibor; they were also the last. The prisoners on board were mostly Jews that had been rounded up in Marseilles in early January. Out of the 2,000 that were deported, only 15 or so from the second convoy were selected for labor upon their arrival. On March 25, Knochen answered Eichmann on the subject of the schedule of future deportations, saying that until the Vichy government passed the law abolishing the naturalization of Jews who had become French starting in 1932, “special convoys for the transport of Jews [would] not be necessary.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 244) From then on, the Jewish Affairs Department essentially relied on the mass round-ups due subsequently to this Vichy government law. No convoys were organized from the end of March to the end of June 1943. ***
March 25 and 27, and April 1, 1943: Three convoys, carrying a total of 166 men, left the Gare de l’Est in , heading to Trèves, then to the Mauthausen concentration camp. They were former hostages due to be shot, who had been re-labeled as “security” detainees, categorized as NN by the Gestapo, partly to guarantee they would be deported secretly. As the execution of hostages had been suspended and the number of hostages present in the “official” reserve at the Romainville fort could not go over 200, their departure had actually been planned since December 1942. From that point on, other convoys of former hostages, male and female detainees considered highly dangerous and labeled NN, were deported by the Gestapo directly to a concentration camp in this type of small convoy. From July they were sent to Natzweiler and Ravensbrück; starting in August they were mostly deported to Buchenwald and Mauthausen, via the Saarbrücken camp for sorting prisoners (FMD, 2004; Th. Fontaine, 2007). ***
April 1943: The German troops withdrew from Tunisia. The persons detained at the Tunis prison were deported by airplane to Italy, then to Germany. Some of them were then interned at the Sachsenhausen camp (FMD, 2004, vol. 1: 862-863). **
April 2, 1943: The Bousquet-Oberg accords, which had been in the process of renegotiation since February, were extended to the southern zone (D. Peschanski, 2004). ***
April 16 - May 8, 1943: Four convoys of prisoners arrested because of repressive measures were deported; the first two were sent to Mauthausen and the last two to Sachsenhausen, in accordance with Hitler’s December 1942 decree on directing manpower to the Nazi concentration system. The third of these convoys, which left on April 28, 1943, also included 220 women who were taken to the Ravensbrück camp, which was reserved for women (FMD, 2004; E. Rimbot, 2006; Fontaine, 2007). **
June 21, 1943: The Gestapo services led by Klaus Barbie arrested Jean Moulin at Caluire, near Lyon during a clandestine meeting, along with other important leaders of the Resistance in the southern zone (see D. Cordier, La République des catacombes, 1999; J.-P. Azéma, Jean Moulin, 2003; J. Bénac, Présumé Jean Moulin, 2006). ***
June 23, 1943: The deportation of the Jews of France was resumed, and a new convoy of 1,002 Jews headed to Auschwitz from Drancy (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001). ***
June 26, 1943: Another convoy of deportees arrested due to repression measures left Compiègne, heading to Buchenwald in order to supply the concentration system with detainees fit for work; it was the last convoy of that type. The day before, a document from Müller had just announced the end of this deportation program (FMD, 2004, vol. 1: 939-940). **
July 1, 1943: The Sipo-SD took complete control of the Drancy camp. Röthke was expecting a massive arrival of French Jews only just stripped of their nationality (thanks to the mass round-up he was planning to organize as soon as Vichy promulgated the necessary law). Hence, he was concerned about potential problems in Drancy, where the French authorities would have to intern some of their former fellow citizens and organize their deportation. The solution he chose to avert this problem was simple and marked a turning-point in the history of Drancy : the Gestapo itself took over the direct administration and complete control of the camp. Röthke’s personnel were insufficient: there were barely ten people in his team. He had to request help from Eichmann, who detached a special Kommando (unit), which arrived in on June 1. It was then placed under the responsibility of Eichmann’s best lieutenant, Captain Alois Brunner, who had just organized the deportation of the 43,000 Jews of Thessaloniki.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001: 263; D. Epelbaum, 1990) Brunner became head of the Drancy camp. ***
July 18, 1943: Convoy number 57 was the first one headed to Auschwitz from the Bobigny train station. The telex for this train deporting 1,000 Jews was the first signed by Alois Brunner, and showed his resolution to make room in Drancy before the de-naturalized Jews arrived. On July 12, the Beaune-la-Rolande camp had been emptied and its detainees transferred to Drancy (Serge Klarsfeld, 1983-2001). ***
July 19, 1943: The “Flora” report, written by an agent of the Sipo-SD Marseille office, “took stock of one of the Gestapo’s biggest repression operations against the Resistance in the southern zone.” (J.-M. Guillon, 2006, Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, pp. 771-772). It lists the names of over 200 people who were arrested or identified: “the leadership of the Mouvements unis de Résistance (MUR) in Marseilles, Toulon and Nice was devastated.” This report bore witness to the importance of police investigations in the Nazi repressive practices (J. Bénac, Présumé Jean Moulin, 2006). ***
July 25, 1943: Mussolini’s regime fell in Italy. In this new context, the Vichy government’s de-naturalization law, the enactment of which had already been postponed several times, was suspended by Laval. For Röthke, prospects of mass arrests and deportations came to nothing, as Knochen still was not prepared to sacrifice his political collaboration with the Vihy authorities in order to attain this objective. In spite of Pétain's promise to have the files of people targeted for denaturalization examined on a case-by-case basis, the Gestapo knew that in fact, there would be very few such procedures (S. Klarsfeld, 1983-2001; A. Cohen, 1993). ***
August 13, 1943: The first convoy of “notable-hostages” left the Compiègne camp, passed through Buchenwald (not the part reserved for deportees) and finally arrived in Plansee, near Füssen, where a hotel had been converted specially for the internment of these particular detainees. Since the Allies had landed in Sicily, the German authorities were increasingly anxious about the possibility of an Allied landing in Provence, and had drawn up lists of prominent civilians and military men who were likely to become Resistance cadres. The 38 individuals deported on August 13 had been targeted and taken into custody during preventive arrest operations in about fifteen different départements between August 9 and 11. On August 31, 48 further “notable-hostages” were taken from to the Eisenberg castle (FMD, 2004). *
September 1943 – summer 1944: systematic deportation of members of the Resistance and of Jews; escalation of violence against the civilian population
The proclamation of the Italian armistice on September 8, 1943, and the German troops’ immediate occupation of the zone beyond the Rhône River modified Nazi priorities in the field of anti-Jewish policy, which had previously been focused on the French de-naturalization law. They launched a “savage manhunt against Jewish families,” especially in Nice (S. Klarsfeld, 1985-2001: 298).
Most of all, the criterion of French nationality was gradually eliminated during the second half of August 1943 (S. Klarsfeld, 1985-2001: 315). The September 2 convoy bore witness to this change which, from then on, allowed the composition of convoys made up of French Jews; they accounted for over half the persons on this train. Subsequently, the Gestapo “gathered as many Jews [as it] could and (…) sent them to Auschwitz. There was no more criticism from Berlin, but neither did [the Berlin authorities] harbor any illusions. Eichmann knew that the Röthke-Brunner team was doing its best on a difficult hunting-ground with a reduced staff.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001: 1648) But Oberg and Knochen did not drive the Vichy authorities into a corner immediately, avoiding serious political conflict. The Sipo-SD in provincial areas had orders to arrest as many Jews as possible and, to this end, to obtain lists from the French, but the préfets still refused to hand over these documents. For example, the German operations carried out in the region of Basse-Normandie led a mediocre outcome. In Nice, where Alois Brunner had hoped to arrest almost 25,000 Jews, the French authorities also refused to help, and his operations finally led to the internment of no more than about 1,800 people (S. Klarsfeld, 1985-2001).
Therefore, on this level as well as in the field of the struggle against the Resistance, Bousquet no longer appeared as the ideal partner to the Nazi leaders: in December 1943, under pressure from Hitler himself, Darnand entered the Vichy government and took charge of law enforcement (“le maintien de l’ordre”) and of the police, which was increasingly reticent toward collaboration with the Germans. From this point on, the Vichy regime became more radical: on January 20, 1944, the law instituting military courts was signed (V. Sansico, 2002). In fact, “as soon as the leader of the Milice, Darnand, became head of the Secrétariat général au au Maintien de l’Ordre (Secretariat-general for keeping order) and, therefore, took charge of all regular police forces, the barrier against the arrest of French Jews that Bousquet had more or less managed to create, crumbled.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1985-2001: 327) Laval yielded, and the lists of French Jews were turned over to the Germans at the beginning of January 1944, following a request put to the préfecture of Bordeaux. On January 25, Parmentier, the Director-general of the national police force (who had ordered the arrests of Jews in Rouen a year earlier, in retaliation for an anti-German attack), asked “all the préfets of the southern zone to transmit the list of French and foreign Jews to the Sipo-SD at the headquarters of each préfecture. The same measure was carried out in the northern zone.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1985-2001: 332) From then on, according to the arrests carried out in both zones, the Gestapo managed to form regular convoys to Auschwitz until July 1944.
After the end of the first deportation program carried out following Himmler’s December 14, 1942 decree, the mass deportations of persons arrested due to repression measures were resumed from the Compiègne camp on September 3, 1943, the day after a large number of French Jews was sent to Auschwitz, and were accelerated. This coincided with an increase in the activity of Resistance groups, and often with their fall and dismantling by the German police services. From September 1943 to the end of January 1944, all the detainees in the convoys (over 9,500 in total) were deported to the Buchenwald camp, from which many of them were sent to the Dora Kommando (unit of laborers) where they worked on the creation of the secret plant for the manufacture of the future V2 rockets (A. Sellier, 1998). After the large convoys of January 1944, the transit camps where prisoners to be deported were gathered, were reorganized: from then on, Compiègne became the point of departure for men, whereas female detainees were assembled for deportation at the Romainville fort (Th. Fontaine, 2005, 2007). This binary system remained in operation until August 1944 – like Drancy, which was kept as the transit camp for Jews due to be deported to Auschwitz – and only ended when that part of French territory was evacuated by the German administration.
The deportation of NN detainees also continued throughout this period; almost all of them were sent to concentration camps. Persons found guilty by military courts in the occupied zones were also deported, right through to November 1944 from certain French cities that were still under German control.
Autumn 1943 was a turning point in quantitative terms: more and more people fell victim to repressive measures and were deported in ever larger numbers. The activity of military courts was intensified further during this period, in parallel to the escalation of violence in occupied France. Thus, over 380 detainees were condemned to death during the second half of the year 1943, essentially for “actes de francs-tireurs” (acts of armed resistance). Around 600 others were sentenced to death from January to April 1944 (G. Eismann, 2007: 158-161).
In autumn 1943, as the opening of a second front in the West was imminent, the MBF was given more powers in the field of law and order, even though in that sphere it was “subordinate to the military command.” (P. Lieb, 2007: 174; G. Eismann, 2005) Its objective was to eradicate the nascent maquis (guerrilla fighter groups) and Resistance groups, which were increasingly numerous – especially since the Service du travail obligatoire, or STO, law of February 1, 1943. This law requiring French men to carry out an obligatory term of labor in Germany had led the proliferation of opponents to the regime – and might threaten the German rearguard in the event of an Allied landing. The “struggle against gangs” became a priority, especially in mountainous and woodland areas; in this fight, the policing methods of the Sipo-SD forces and their collaboration with the French police forces were no longer sufficient. As of autumn 1943, large-scale military operations began, in partnership with the Sipo-SD, which was in charge of the policing aspect and the fate of the persons arrested. Four major operations were carried out from February to April 1944 (A. Meyer, 2002: 159-183). This type of operations resulted in a “change in the nature” of the German authorities’ repressive practices: “from then on, they used methods borrowed from the Eastern front.” (G. Eismann, 2007: 156) In particular, the “Sperrle ordnance” allowed widespread abuse. Massacres of the civilian population became increasingly frequent, especially after the Allied landing in Normandy (99 people were hanged in Tulle, 642 civilians, including children, were killed at Oradour-sur-Glane, etc.), indicating another step in the radicalization of German violence. During this period, “the struggle against the Resistance gradually turned into an all-out war against the partisans,” and the German High Command counted around 7,900 “francs-tireurs” killed in a 30-day period following June 6; many were actually civilians (P. Lieb, 2007: 171, 181 and 184 for the map of the largest massacres carried out).
The Vichy forces mirrored this radicalization of repression. “René Bousquet’s scruples were finished with. There was no more talk of asserting Vichy’s sovereignty over the entire French territory, or of the independence of the French police: at best, operations were carried out jointly by the German police, the Maintien de l’ordre forces and the Milice; at worst, the information was shared. At all hierarchical levels, there was regular contact between German and French personnel. Darnand put himself – and his police force – at the service of the total war the Germans were engaged in. Negotiation was all the less relevant that the head of the Milice did not even wish it.” (D. Peschanski, 2006, in Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, p. 28) After the Allied landing, the Milice, legitimated by the nomination of its leader as head of the “Secrétariat d’Etat au Maintien de l’ordre,” (“Secretariat of State for Law Enforcement”) also carried out political assassinations (of Jean Zay, Georges Mandel, Mr. and Mrs. Basch, etc.).
September 2, 1943: Convoy number 59 left the Bobigny train station on its way to Auschwitz; over half the deportees on board were French citizens. The Gestapo had decided to deport French Jews as well (Serge Klarsfeld, 1978-2001). ***
September 3, 1943: Another massive convoy of prisoners arrested due to repression measures left the Compiègne camp, heading to Buchenwald. It was the first since the end of the program launched in December 1942 upon Himmler’s request. The majority of the nearly 1,000 male deportees in this new convoy, many of which had been arrested as they were attempting to cross the Pyrenees Mountains into Spain, were sent to the new Dora Kommando which was being formed in order to build and set up the production lines for German secret weapons, the future V2 rockets (A. Sellier, 1998; FMD, 2004). **
September 9, 1943: The last train of NN prisoners due to be tried in the Reich left on its way to Hinzert. From then on, the Natzweiler and Saarbrücken camps were the most frequent destinations of the Nacht und Nebel convoys (FMD, 2004). **
September 10, 1943: Alois Brunnerarrived in Nice and combed through the streets with a small Kommando (unit), checking the papers of people whose appearance he found suspicious, regardless of their nationality (R. Poznanski, 1994: 568-571). The Jews found refuge in other people’s homes or attempted to leave town, but the train stations were full of German soldiers. A vast search operation was held, to comb through he ex-Italian zone from East to West “to prevent the Jews from escaping,” and two camps near Marseille and Lyon were to serve as transit locations for these prisoners on their way to Drancy. “Several documents describe the brutal character of the Nice round-ups, which were among the most terrible in Western Europe.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1985-2001: 302-303) But this time, it was a mass round-up carried out by the Germans alone, faced with a “hostile population” and probably trying to hunt down around 25,000 Jews. This operation finished in mid-December and its “result [was] very mediocre”: about 1,800 people were arrested (S. Klarsfeld, 1985-2001: 310). ***
At the same time, on September 10, a new convoy of 54 “notable-hostages” was taken to the Eisenberg castle, inside the German Reich (FMD, 2004, vol. 1: 1106). *
September 17, 1943: A new mass deportation convoy carried nearly 1,000 prisoners, which had been arrested as the result of a repression measure, to Buchenwald. Like the September 3 convoy, these were men that were physically fit enough to dig the Dora tunnels; the working conditions were terrible and many died in the weeks and months that followed (A. Sellier, 1998; FMD, 2004). **
October 2, 1943: On September 28, 1943, on the rue Pétrarque in , Julius Ritter, the German head of the workforce department in France, and a direct representative of Fritz Sauckel – whom Hitler had appointed “plenipotentiary for the recruitment and employment of manpower” – was shot by a special team of the FTP-MOI, whose military leader was Missak Manouchian. Even though the reprisal killings of hostages had been halted since autumn 1942, exceptionally, 50 hostages were taken from the Romainville fort and shot at the Mont-Valérien fort (S. Courtois, D. Peschanski, A. Rayski, 1989; Th. Fontaine, 2005). ***
October 7 and 28, November 20, December 7 and 17, 1943: Five new convoys of French and foreign Jews left Bobigny, heading to Auschwitz. Some of them were always gassed upon arrival (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001). ***
October 28 and December 14, 1943: Two new convoys of prisoners arrested due to repressive measures – these were more and more often composed of arrested Resistance fighters – were sent to Buchenwald, to the work Kommandos and to the Dora camp (FMD, 2004). **
December 20, 1943: The very day of the cabinet reshuffle that brought Darnand to the “Secrétariat d’Etat au Maintien de l’ordre,” the commander of the Sipo-SD of Bordeaux asked the préfet for the list of the Jews in that département, including those who were French citizens. The préfet gave in, even though the new government had not even officially been instated yet, allowing the arrest of over a hundred Jews during the night, including around fifty children; nearly 80 of them were French (S. Klarsfeld, 1985-2001). ***
December 1943 – January 1944: Almost 130 members of the Alliance Resistance network, who had been arrested by German counter-espionage services, were deported to Reich prisons to be tried, in small groups of 30 to 40 people. In the end, few of them were prosecuted and the others were executed in the second half of the year 1944 (FMD, 2004, vol. 1: 1347). **
January 10, 1944: The Sipo-SD in Bordeaux asked the préfecture for lists of Jews again, in order to arrest all of those still present in the département. This time, Darnand and Laval were informed and they yielded. Almost 500 Jews, including over 220 French citizens, were arrested by the Germans. At the end of January, a similar round-up was organized in Poitiers, with the same quantitative result. In , two large operations on January 22 and February 4, led to the arrest of nearly 1,000 people. But the Germans did not put pressure on the Police Headquarters, and did not receive the complete lists they wanted until August 2 (S. Klarsfeld, 1985-2001). ***
January 20, 1944: The French government enacted a law creating courts-martial for the trial of persons accused of “terrorist activities.” There was no judicial investigation (like the normal procedure), the persons charged had no lawyer, and the death sentences served were legally binding and had to be carried out without delay: the Vichy regime was becoming more radical (V. Sansico, 2002). **
January 17, 22, 27 and 31, 1944: 5,500 people arrested due to repression measures were deported to Buchenwald; this number included almost 1,000 women, who were sent to Ravensbrück, the women’s camp near Berlin, in a single convoy, the biggest one to leave Compiègne. Geneviève de Gaulle was on board. Compiègne was literally emptied of most of its detainees. These trains were still supplying workers for the Kommandos of the concentration system, which were working for the Reich’s war economy; however, they were also linked to a transformation of the internment system in France. In December 1943, the decision had been made to make the Romainville fort the main transit camp for women due to be deported. Compiègne became a camp for men (which was why it was emptied of all its female detainees) (FMD, 2004; Th. Fontaine, 2005, 2007). **
January 20 and February 10, 1944: Three convoys left the Bobigny train station, heading to Auschwitz. The detainees rounded up in Bordeaux were deported on January 20; those from Poitiers and from were sent off on February 3 and 10 (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001). ***
February 5-13, 1944: The German army launched operation “Korporal” against the Maquis in the département of Ain (P. Lieb, 2007). ***
February 12, 1944: Marshall Hugo Sperrle, deputy Supreme Commander for Western Europe, promulgated a decree ordering German soldiers to “return fire straight away” in case they were subject to a “terrorist” attack. “The houses where the partisans had found shelter were to be burned.” This was the “reference order” (or watchword) [« l’ordre de référence »] of the last few months of the Occupation. On March 4, 1944, the decree was supplemented “with an order from Marshall Wilhelm Keitel according to which the francs-tireurs who were bearing arms when they were captured should be shot, and not turned over to the military courts any more.” All those who were not caught red-handed were to be sentenced to death in quick trials, and executed promptly (P. Lieb, 2007: 176-178). ***
February 19, 1944: The members of the “Manouchian group” had a speedy trial. The German authorities decided to transform this judgment of the MOI’s action into a propaganda operation in order to discredit the Resistance, embodied by this army of “Jewish terrorists and immigrants sold out to England and to Russian Bolshevism.” (S. Courtois, D. Peschanski, A. Rayski, 1989) The struggle “against the gangs” was radicalized a little further. ***
March 2-3, 1944: The Germans rounded up almost 800 Jews in a massive operation in eastern France, especially in the départements of Meuse and Meurthe-et-Moselle (S. Klarsfeld, 1985-2001). ***
Early March – mid-April, 1944: Due to a gradual increase in the deportation of members of the Resistance since spring 1943, in addition to the steady pace of the convoys deporting Jews from France – though this was not as fast as in 1942 – the year 1944 was characterized by a considerable number of departures. The variety of procedures leading to deportation was also striking, as the calendar of early spring 1944 shows.
Two convoys of Jews left Bobigny and headed to Auschwitz on March 7 (1,500 people were on this train; they had arrived at Drancy on February 10) and 27. On April 13, convoy 71 deported almost 1,500 Jews, including 148 children under 12 years of age; among these were some of those arrested at Izieu by Klaus Barbie, the head of the Gestapo in Lyon (S. Klarsfeld, 1984). Simone Jacob, who is now known as Simone Veil (a French magistrate and politician), was on this train. Nearly 2,000 Jews were also arrested in provincial France by the Gestapo, in order to form future convoys (S. Klarsfeld, 1985-2001). ***
After a pause in February, the convoys leaving Compiègne resumed on March 22 with a large train taking more than 1,200 men to Mauthausen. Almost 1,500 others were deported on April 6, also in the direction of Austria. On April 18, in accordance with the new rules governing transit camps in France, over 400 women were taken to Ravensbrück, this time from Romainville (Th. Fontaine, 2007). Convoys of NN prisoners and detainees found guilty by military courts were still being formed and sent inside the Reich; among these were four consecutive trains of female NN prisoners who were taken to the Aachen prison. On the same day that the second convoy left Compiègne en route to Mauthausen, 51 female NN detainees were taken from the Gare du Nord train station to the Aachen jail, remaining there for a few days before they were sent to Ravensbrück; 66 male NN prisoners were deported to Natzweiler, the only camp located within the 1939 French borders. At least 8 prisoners found guilty by a German military court in the occupied zone were sent to a prison in the Reich to serve their sentence. In March 1944, the first special trains took members of the Alliance Resistance network to the Alsatian camp of Schirmeck; until June, 120 of them were secretly detained there, and 106 of them were executed on September 1, shot in the back of the neck in the Natzweiler camp nearby (FMD, 2004). **
March 25 – April 15, 1944: As the German army took control of the Glières plateau in late March, operation “Brehmer” was launched against the maquis in Dordogne and Corrèze (A. Meyer, 2002; G. Penaud, 2004; P. Lieb, 2007). ***
April 7-18, 1944: The German army carried out a new operation against the maquis and the Resistance groups in Ain and Jura (A. Meyer, 2002; P. Lieb, 2007). ***
April 27, 1944: Over 1,600 prisoners arrested due to repression measures were sent from Compiègne to the Auschwitz concentration complex. It was the first massive convoy of members of the Resistance to be sent to the biggest camp of the “final solution” to the “Jewish question” since January 1943. But this time, this was not linked to the reprisal policy. It was more likely to have resulted from overcrowding in Buchenwald, the camp where the deportees of this convoy were eventually sent two weeks later (H. Clogenson, P. Le Goupil, undated). They arrived there on May 14, at the same time as another convoy that had left Compiègne two days earlier, carrying over 2,000 men. The day before, over 560 women had been deported to Ravensbrück (FMD, 2004). ***
May 15, 1944: Almost 880 men, all able-bodied adults, were deported on convoy number 73 from the Bobigny train station, as usual, but this time they were sent to Kaunas (Lithuania and Tallub (Estonia). “The presence of men only indicates that it may have been a reprisal convoy, like those of March 4 and March 6, 1943, or possibly that it was composed in response to an exceptional demand for workers for a vital economic sector.” (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001: 1837; Nous sommes 900 Français, 3 vol, 1999-2000) ***
May 20-21, 1944: On May 20, 1,200 Jews, including many families with small children, were deported to Auschwitz. The next day, 2,000 men arrested due to repression measures were taken from Compiègne to the Neuengamme concentration camp, near Hamburg. This was the first large convoy of members of the Resistance to be sent there (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001; FMD, 2004). **
May – June 1944: As the Allied landing in Normandy drew near, and just after it began, the German authorities organized the deportation of 150 new “notable-hostages,” mainly French soldiers, to the camps of Plansee, Eisenberg and Bad-Godesberg (FMD, 2004). *
June 6, 1944: The Allies landed in Normandy. The final phase of the German occupation of France began. Two days earlier, a new convoy of over 2,000 deportees arrested due to repression measures had been taken to the Neuengamme camp. On the day itself, 61 female NN prisoners were deported to the Saarbrücken camp, in transit to Ravensbrück (FMD, 2004). **
June 8-9 and 10, 1944: On June 8, the German OB West (Western Supreme Command) authorized the targeting of civilians during military operations. Thus, as the German troops moved toward the Normandy front, there were many massacres of civilians. On June 9, the “Das Reich” 2nd SS armored division had 99 men hanged in Tulle, in retaliation for the murder of German prisoners by “francs-tireurs.” The next day, soldiers from the 3rd company of “Der Führer” regiment, also from “Das Reich” division, destroyed the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, in the département of Haute-Vienne, and assassinated 642 men, women and children. This was an extreme case which did not happen again on the same scale (J.-J. Fouché, 2001; A. Meyer, 2002: 185-212; P. Lieb, 2007: 178-179). ***
June 10-11, 1944: The German troops took control of Mont-Mouchet, in Auvergne, where a large number of members of the maquis had based their organization. Over 125 members of the Resistance and around 50 civilians were killed (E. Martres, in Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, pp. 739-740). ***
June 18 to 29, 1944: The Allied landing had not ended deportations – quite the reverse, in fact. On June 18, over 2,100 people arrested due to repression measures were taken from Compiègne to the Dachau camp. Most of them were Communist activists who had just been evacuated from the Eysses central prison on May 30, in anticipation of an Allied invasion. On June 22, the new military situation prevented the Germans from systematically having the detainees due for deportation pass through the Compiègne and Romainville transit camps on their way to camps in the Reich: thus, a convoy of 359 men headed straight to Buchenwald from Grenoble. Two days later, 256 people were sent from Besançon to Dachau; on June 28, 317 others were also sent there from Bordeaux. Finally on the 29th, the Germans deported 720 detainees from the St-Paul prison in Lyon, administered by the French, to Dachau (FMD, 2004). **
June 28, 1944: Philippe Henriot, named Secretary of State for Information and Propaganda in French government at the same time as Darnand, who was a famous chronicler on the Vichy radio, was shot by the Resistance. “During the days that followed, throughout France, members of the Milice, goaded by their leaders to strike against persons linked to the organization of the crime (even remotely),” kidnapped and killed members of the Resistance, but also Jews and prominent individuals simply associated with “Gaullism.” (B. Leroux, 2006, in Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, p. 636) Georges Mandel, a “notable-hostage” who had been deported to Germany and had just been brought back to France, was handed over by the Germans to a Milice commando who executed him in the Fontainebleau forest. ***
June 29, 1944: The German military court of Nantes condemned 30 members of the Saffre forest maquis to death; 27 of them were shot the same day (J.-P. Besse, Th. Pouty, 2006). **
June 30, 1944: Another convoy left the Bobigny train station, taking 1,150 Jewish deportees, including 160 children, to Auschwitz. This was the only “final solution” convoy of the month of June because to the Allied landing in Normandy, fewer detainees were sent from provincial areas of France to Drancy, which meant that the Jewish Affairs department was only able to form one convoy (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001). ***
July 2, 1944: Like on June 18, over 2,100 men were deported from the Compiègne station to Dachau. This convoy has been anchored in people’s memories due to the large number of victims (at least 530) who died during the trip, mainly in Reims, because of the heat in the rail cars, as well as dehydration and overcrowding (C. Bernadac, 1970, Le Train de la mort, : France-Empire; FMD, 2004, vol. 2: 1081-1083). **
July 8, 1944: Alongside the “Sauckel” operations for the forced recruitment of workers, Keitel authorized the deportation of the entire male population of the areas “infested by gangs” (i.e. by maquis groups) (P. Lieb, 2007: 177). ***
July 15 and 28, 1944: Deportation convoys continued to leave Compiègne in large numbers. 1,500 people were sent to Neuengamme; among them were over 320 “notable-hostages” who thus, were exceptionally deported directly to a concentration camp due to the urgency of the military situation. Two weeks later, over 1,600 others were sent to a location near Hamburg and quickly forced to work for the German war economy (FMD, 2004, see vol. 2: 1202-1203 regarding the “notable-hostages”). **
July 21, 1944: After a series of German incursions in January and March, and by the Milice in April, the occupying troops launched a general offensive against the Vercors maquis; some of the German soldiers were parachuted in. This made it “the largest operation carried out against the Resistance in Western Europe. The operation was characterized by atrocities against the population (at Vassieux and La Chapelle) and the wounded Resistance fighters (in the La Luire cave), and wiped out the maquis in three days.” A total of 326 Resistance fighters were killed, as well as 130 civilians (G. Vergnon, in Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, pp. 766-768). ***
July 30, 1944: Another convoy left directly from a large provincial city, headed for concentration camps in the Reich, without going through Compiègne or Romainville. Around 1,200 people left Toulouse in this way; they were taken from the city prisons or from internment camps in the area. Around a hundred women and children under 15 years of age (including two six-month-old babies) were taken to Ravensbrück. Due to Allied progress, the Germans were unable to separate the men from the women beforehand in France, nor the Jews from the persons detained due to repressive measures, so all of them were sent off together. The Jewish deportees, over 160 of them, were also registered in Buchenwald, but the camp arrival register mentioned that specificity, and their names were marked by a cross on the list. They were not sent on to Auschwitz afterwards (FMD, 2004, vol. 2: 1358-1359). ***
July 31, 1944: The last large convoy composed of detainees from Drancyleft the Bobigny station, heading to Auschwitz and carrying almost 1,300 Jews. Hundreds of them had only just been arrested in the area. There were 330 children under the age of 18, many of which came from Jewish children’s homes run by the Union générale des Israélites de France or UGIF (an association of all Jewish aid groups imposed by the Vichy Government and the German occupying forces), which had been dissolved by Alois Brunner in on July 20 (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001). The same day, the Allies broke through the Normandy front in Avranches. ***
August 1, 1944: About 90 men, who had been rounded up in the département of Creuse in July because of nearby maquis operations, were deported to prisons in the Reich, from which many of them were sent on to Buchenwald (FMD, 2004, vol. 3: 32-33). *
August 9, 1944: A last large train left the Southwest of France and Bordeaux, carrying detainees toward the Reich. In fact it left Toulouse in July, stopped over in Bordeaux, and then headed to Compiègne; but due to the Allied advance, it was stopped again and had to return to Bordeaux, where the prisoners were detained for nearly a month until they could be taken away again on August 9. The convoy headed toward the Southeast of France in order to cross the border more easily this time, but the Allied landing in Provence slowed it down again. The prisoners on board (over 550 men and around 60 women according to the recently reconstituted lists) finally arrived in Dachau three weeks later. This trip by train, by truck, on foot and then by train again made a strong impression on the civilians who witnessed it and in people’s memories; today, it is known as the “ghost train.” (FMD, 2004, vol. 3: 55-57). **
August 11, 1944: Similarly to what occurred in Toulouse on July 30, a new convoy left from provincial France carrying 600 people, men and women, Jews and Resistance members all together. From Lyon, it went to Alsace where, this time, the men arrested due to repression measures (over 220 of them) were taken off the train and sent to the Natzweiler camp; the female Resistance members were taken to Ravensbrück. The Jews of both sexes were transferred to Auschwitz without having passed through Drancy (S. Klarsfeld, 1978-2001; FMD, 2004, vol. 3: 91-92). **
August 15, 1944: French and American troops landed in Provence (J.-M. Guillon, in Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, 2006, pp. 636-637). On the same day, the Germans formed the last large deportation convoy to leave from the area. Over 2,200 deportees arrested due to repression measures were sent inside the Reich only a few days before was liberated. They were taken from all the prisons and camps of the area, in spite of the agreements being negotiated with the Swedish consul and the Red Cross. Over 1,650 men were sent to Buchenwald, and 550 women were registered in Ravensbrück (FMD, 2004, vol. 3: 105-107).
Until the, the system organizing the departure from France of deportees who had been arrested due to repression measures, which rested upon the Compiègne and Romainville camps, had functioned “normally,” even though some transfers of detainees from other areas of France could not take place, which had led to the organization of convoy leaving directly from large provincial cities. Until the July 28 convoy from Compiègne to Neuengamme, and the August 4 women’s convoy from Romainville to Saarbrücken, emergency evacuations of detainees due to Allied progress through French territory did not really seem to have begun yet. Procedures for the regular organization of deportation convoys, which had probably been set before the Allied landing, were followed right up until a week before the liberation of . There was no perceptible change until the August 8 convoy, which was composed of female prisoners from Romainville, and could not leave the Gare de l’Est train station in due to a rail workers’ strike.
As the evacuation had become urgent, the convoy finally departed from the Pantin train station, where some female prisoners from the Fresnes jail were also assembled; thus, they were not deported via Romainville. The Pantin station was also chosen as a point of departure on August 15 (Th. Fontaine, 2007). ***
August 17, 1944: The last convoy left Drancy carrying 51 people, some of which were hostages. Brunner himself left the camp on this train (regarding this convoy, see J.-F. Chaigneau, 1981, Le dernier wagon, : Julliard). ***
August 18, 1944: The Drancy camp was liberated. 1,386 detainees were still (S. Klarsfeld, 2001: 1897). The same day, a last convoy managed to depart from Compiègne and reach the Reich, taking 1,250 men to Buchenwald, where they were registered (FMD, 2004). A few days later, another convoy was organized, but it did not reach Germany: the detainees were abandoned along the way, at Péronne. The Romainville fort was liberated on August 21, and the Compiègne camp in early September. **
The end of the Occupation
The retreat of German troops and police forces did not put an end to deportation or to massacres – quite the reverse, in fact. Nazi violence continued to the bitter end: in early February 1945, people were still being deported from Colmar, in the annexed zone. Though the “final solution” convoys ended with the liberation of Drancy, the Jews were targeted for German reprisals during the evacuation of French territory. More generally, the entire civilian population was continually the target of massacres, blind shootings and deportation to the Reich. Thought the military courts ceased their activity, people were still being sent to Nazi camps: the system based on the Compiègne and Romainville camps was replaced by the organization of convoys where the Germans were able to do so, as they withdrew. The imminent liberation of had not prevented the departure of the last mass convoy from the capital; similarly, the liberation of the entire country did not prevent the deportation of hundreds of men from the eastern cities of France, until November 1944.
August 19-31, 1944: Since the detainees to be evacuated could no longer be sent to Compiègne, the German authorities sent many of them to the Natzweiler camp, which was one of the transit areas before the Reich and the other camps in the concentration system. Belfort was another: on August 29, a convoy took 720 men from there to Neuengamme, while almost 200 women were sent from Saarbrücken to Ravensbrück on September 4. Whenever it was possible, convoys were also organized to easily accessible prisons in Germany: thus, around 50 detainees, not all of whom had been tried before a military court, were removed from the Besançon jail and sent to that of Freiburg-im-Breisgau, Germany on August 31. The same day, 60 others were taken from Franche-Comté to Dachau. At least 140 other detainees were taken to prisons in the Reich in August 1944.
But most importantly, by August 19, 370 men had arrived in Natzweiler from western France and the prisons of Brest, La Rochelle and La Roche-sur-Yon. On the 23rd, around a hundred of them were sent to this concentration camp from Poitiers, Dijon and Nancy. On August 26, 280 men arrived there from Belfort and 130 others from Chalon-sur-Saône and Dijon. On the 30th, a large convoy which had left from Clermont-Ferrand, taken on more prisoners in Epinal and in Nancy, entered Natzweiler carrying 380 deportees. The following day, 80 men arrested during operations at Baccarat, en Meurthe-et-Moselle, were also registered. Most of these deportees brought from all over France were sent on to Dachau in early September.
The other Alsatian camp, at Schirmeck, also became a transit center on the way to the Reich. At least 90 detainees arrived there in August from the occupied zone. Schirmeck replaced Natzweiler as a transit camp for the assembling of detainees in September (FMD, 2004; Th. Fontaine, 2004). **
August 20-31, 1944: Many massacres illustrated the outburst of violence during the last few weeks of the occupation. As their deportation could no longer be organized, the Jews were one of the main targets of these exactions: 110 and 109 Jewish victims were assassinated by the Germans in the Rhône region, respectively at Saint-Genis-Laval on August 20 and at Bron, the next day. In general, from then on, civilian populations were mostly massacred in eastern France, where the retreating German troops were concentrated. On August 28, 28 people were killed at Terre Noire, on the Italian border; the next day, “some soldiers from the 3rd armored division of Grenadiers, who had just arrived from Italy, killed 86 men at Couvonges, Robert-Espagne and in two other villages of the département of Meuse.” On August 30 and 31, 34 civilians were executed in northeastern France, at Tavaux and Plomion (P. Lieb, 2007: 178-179). On August 25, in Indre-et-Loire this time, at Maillé, German soldiers assassinated 124 men, women and children in one of the biggest massacres of this period. ***
August 25, 1944: was liberated (C. Levisse-Touzé, in Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, 2006: 637-638; P. Buton, 2004). The same day, some individuals rounded up in retaliation for an attack on German soldiers were deported from Le Perreux, in the département of Seine-et-Marne, in the midst of a convoy of retreating troops (FMD, 2004, vol. 3: 253-254). ***
September-November 1944: The Schirmeck camp, which was replacing Natzweiler as a transit camp, in a way, received a large number of detainees, most of which were members of the maquis and persons who had only just been rounded up during combat in the Vosges Mountains. In September, 1,100 people were transferred to Alsace in transit toward the Reich, and another 800 in October, and finally 140 in November – even though Strasbourg was liberated on the 23rd of that month. Likewise, the departure of other convoys was organized directly from Belfort in the direction of Buchenwald: 180 men were sent off on September 5 and 60 others on October 3. On November 17, five days before the Belfort was liberated, one last convoy departed from the city, carrying around 100 detainees to a Kommando in the Schirmeck camp, on the other side of the border (FMD, 2004). **
Repression and persecution in occupied France: a selective bibliography
This bibliography is centered specifically on the history of repression and persecution in France. For some entries in the chronology above, we have indicated particular sources to be consulted.
However, we have not listed the very many available sources on the history of the Resistance; readers may refer to the recent bibliography offered in the Dictionnaire historique de la Résistance, which we have referred to above.
We have not included works on the Nazi concentration camp system and the Holocaust at the European level, excepting a few references which provide essential overviews on the subject.
Alary, Eric (2000) Un Procès sous l’Occupation au Palais-Bourbon, mars 1942, report requested by Mr. Laurent Fabius, President of the French Assemblée nationale (Parliament), : Assemblée nationale.
Alary, Eric (2003) La Ligne de démarcation, 1940-1944, : Perrin.
Auda, Grégory (2002) Les Belles Années du “milieu,”1940-1944. Le Grand banditisme dans la machine répressive allemande en France, : Michalon.
Azema, Jean-Pierre (1979, 2004) De Munich à la Libération, 1938-1944, : Seuil.
Azema, Jean-Pierre (1990) “La Milice,” Vingtième Siècle 28, pp. 83-105.
Azema, Jean-Pierre; Prost, Antoine; Rioux, Jean-Pierre (eds.) (1986) Le Parti communiste des années sombres, 1938-1941, : Seuil.
Azema, Jean-Pierre; Prost, Antoine; Rioux, Jean-Pierre (eds.) (1987) Les Communistes français de Munich à la Châteaubriant, : Presses de la FNSP.
Azema, Jean-Pierre and Bedarida, François (eds.) (1992) Vichy et les Français, : Fayard.
Azema, Jean-Pierre and Bedarida, François (eds.) (1993) La France des années noires, : Seuil, 2 volumes.
Andrieu, Claire (2000) La Persécution des Juifs de France et le rétablissement de la légalité républicaine. Recueil des textes officiels, 1940-1999, , Mission d’étude de la spoliation des Juifs de France, La Documentation française.
Bancaud, Alain (2002) Une Exception ordinaire. La Magistrature en France, 1930-1950, : Gallimard.
Bensoussan, Georges (1996) Histoire de la Shoah, : PUF, “Que sais-je ?” collection.
Berliere, Jean-Marc (2001) Les Policiers français sous l’Occupation, : Perrin.
Berliere, Jean-Marc and Liaigre, Franck (2004) Le Sang des communistes : les bataillons de la jeunesse dans la lutte armée, automne 1941, : Fayard.
Berliere, Jean-Marc and Liaigre, Franck (2007) Le Détachement Valmy. La Ghépéou du Parti communiste clandestin, 1942, : Robert-Laffont.
Boüard (de), Michel (1964) “La Répression allemande en France de 1940 à 1944,” Revue d’Histoire de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale 54, pp. 63-90.
Brayard, Florent (2004) La “solution finale de la question juive.” La Technique, le temps et les catégories de la décision, : Fayard.
Buton, Philippe (2004) La Joie douloureuse. La Libération de la France, Brussels: Editions Complexe.
Cardon-Hamet, Claudine (1997, 2000) Mille Otages pour Auschwitz. Le Convoi du 6 juillet 1942 dit des “45 000,” : Fondation pour la mémoire de la déportation-Graphein.
Cardon-Hamet, Claudine (2005) Triangles rouges à Auschwitz. Le Convoi politique du 6 juillet 1942, : Autrement.
Choumoff, Pierre-Serge (1982 and 1992) “Il y a quarante ans, l’exécution de 116 otages le 21 septembre 1942,” Le Monde juif, la revue du Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine 108, pp. 151-159 ; and “Les 116 fusillés du 21 septembre 1942,” Le Patriote résistant 635, pp. 6-7.
Clogenson, Henry; Le Goupil, Paul (undated) Mémorial des Français non-juifs déportés à Auschwitz, Birkenau et Monowitz. Ces 4500 tatoués oubliés de l’Histoire, edited by the authors.
Cohen, Asher (1993) Persécutions et sauvetages. Juifs et Français sous l’Occupation et sous Vichy, : Les Editions du Cerf.
Cointet, Jean-Paul (1993) Pierre Laval, : Fayard.
Conan, Eric (1991) Sans oublier les enfants. Les Camps de Pithiviers et de Beaune-la-Rolande. 19 juillet-16 septembre 1942, : Grasset.
Couderc, Frédéric (1992) Les RG sous l’Occupation : quand la police française traquait les résistants, : Olivier Orban.
Courtois, Stéphane; Peschanski, Denis; Rayski, Adam (1989) Le Sang de l’étranger. Les immigrés de la MOI dans la Résistance, : Fayard.
Delacor, Regina (2000) Attentate und Repressionen. Ausgewählte Dokumente zur zyklischen Eskalation des NS-Terror im besetzten Frankreich 1941/42, Stuttgart: Thorbecke.
Delarue, Jacques (1962) Histoire de la Gestapo, : Fayard.
Delbo, Charlotte (1965) Le Convoi du 24 janvier, : Les Editions de minuit.
Dejonghe, Etienne and Le Maner, Yves (1999) Le Nord-Pas-de-Calais dans la main allemande (1940-1944), Lille: La Voix du Nord.
Dreyfus, Jean-Marc (2003) Pillages sur ordonnances. La Confiscation des banques juives en France pendant l’Occupation et leur restitution à la Libération, 1940-1953, : Fayard.
Eismann, Gaël (2005) La Politique de “maintien de l’ordre et de la sécurité” conduite par le Militärbefehlshaber in Frankreich et ses services entre 1940 et 1944, PhD thesis, : IEP (Institute of Political Studies).
Eismann, Gaël; Martens, Stefan (eds.) (2007) Occupation et répression militaire allemandes, 1939-1945. La Politique de “maintien de l’ordre” en Europe occupée, : Autrement.
Eismann, Gaël (2007) “L’Escalade d’une répression à visage légal. Les Pratiques judiciaires des tribunaux du Militärbefehlshaber in Frankreich, 1940-1944,” in Eismann, Gaël; Martens Stefan (eds.) (2007) Occupation et répression militaire allemandes, 1939-1945. La Politique de “maintien de l’ordre” en Europe occupée, : Autrement.
Epelbaum, Didier (1990) Aloïs Brunner, : Calmann-Lévy.
Fabreguet, Michel (1999) Mauthausen : Camp de concentration national-socialiste en Autriche rattachée (1938-1945), : Honoré Champion.
Ferro, Marc (1987) Pétain, : Fayard.
Fondation Pour La Memoire De La Déportation (2004) Le Livre-Mémorial des déportés de France arrêtés par mesure de répression et dans certains cas par mesure de persécution, 1940-1945, : Editions Tirésias.
Fontaine, Thomas (2003) “Déportation et déportés de répression en France occupée, 1940-1945,” in Fréchet, Hélène (ed.), Les Sociétés, la guerre et la paix de 1911 à 1946, Nantes: Editions du Temps, pp. 365-380.
Fontaine, Thomas (2004) “Les Déportés de répression partis de France : définition et connaissance,” Bulletin trimestriel de la Fondation Auschwitz 85, pp. 7-22.
Fontaine, Thomas (2005) Les Oubliés de Romainville, un camp allemand en France (1940-1944), : Tallandier.
Fontaine, Thomas (forthcoming in 2007) “Les Politiques répressives en France occupée : l’exemple du camp d’internement installé au fort de Romainville, 1940-1944,” in La Répression en France, 1940-1945, Proceedings of the international conference of Caen, December 8-10, 2005, Caen: Editions du CRHQ.
Fouche, Jean-Jacques (2001) Oradour, : Liana Levi.
Froment, Pascale (1994) René Bousquet, : Fayard.
Gerlach, Christian (1999) Sur la Conférence de Wannsee : de la décision d’exterminer les Juifs d’Europe, .
Giolitto, Pierre (1997) Histoire de la Milice, : Perrin, re-edited in the Tempus paperback collection in 2002.
Grynberg, Anne (1991) Les Camps de la honte. Les Internés juifs des camps français, 1939-1944, : La Découverte.
Herbert, Ulrich (1995) “Die deutsche Militärverwaltung in und die Deportation der französischen Juden,” in Jansen, Christian; Nierthammer, Lutz and Weisbrod, Bernd (eds.) Von der Aufgabe der Freiheit. Politische Verantwortung und bürgerliche Gesellschaft im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Festschrift für Hans Mommsen zum 5 November 1995, Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, pp. 427-450.
Herbert, Ulrich (1996) Best. Biografische Studien über Radikalismus, Weltanschauung und Vernunft, 1903-1989, Bonn: Dietz.
Hilberg, Raul (1988) La Destruction des Juifs d’Europe, : Gallimard ; paperback edition en 2006; English edition: 1985, The Destruction of European Jews, London, New York: Holmes and Mayer; German edition : 1982, Die Vernichtung der europäischen Juden. Die Gesamtgeschichte des Holocaust, Berlin: Olle und Wolter.
Jäckel, Eberhard (1968) La France dans l’Europe de Hitler, : Fayard.
Jonca, K. and Konieczny, A. (1981) Nuit et Brouillard, NN, l’opération terroriste nazie 1941-1944, Draguignan.
Kaspi, A. (1991, 1997) Les Juifs pendant l’Occupation, : Seuil.
Klarsfeld, Serge (1978) Le Mémorial de la Déportation des Juifs de France, : Beate and Serge Klarsfeld ; re-edited in the “La Shoah en France” collection, : Fayard, 2001, 4 volumes.
Klarsfeld, Serge (1979) Le Livre des otages, la politique des otages menée par les autorités allemandes d’occupation en France de 1941 à 1943, : Editeurs français réunis.
Klarsfeld, Serge (1993) Le Calendrier de la persécution des Juifs de France, 1940-1944, – New York: Les Fils et Filles des déportés juifs de France, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation.
Klarsfeld, Serge (1983-1985) Vichy-Auschwitz, Le Rôle de Vichy dans la question juive en France, : Fayard, 2 volumes ; re-edited in the “La Shoah en France” collection, vol. 1.
Klarsfeld, Serge (1984) Les Enfants d’Izieu, une tragédie juive, : publications Repro; English edition: 1985, The Children of Izieu, a Human Tragedy, New York: N.H. Abrams.
Klarsfeld, Serge (1993) “Juillet-septembre 1942. Les Divergences dans l’appareil policier nazi et la réalisation de la solution finale en France,” Annales E.S.C. no. 3, pp. 545-556.
Kupferman, Fred (1987) Laval, 1883-1945, : Balland.
Laborie, Pierre (1990) L’Opinion française sous Vichy, : Le Seuil.
Laborie, Pierre (1993) “1942 et le sort des Juifs : quel tournant dans l’opinion ?” Annales E.S.C. no. 3, pp. 655-666.
La Martiniere (de), Joseph (1981) Le Décret et la procédure Nacht und Nebel (Nuit et Brouillard), Orléans: Impressions Boulas-Vitry ; re-edited, : FNDIRP, 1989.
Lambauer, Barbara (2001) Otto Abetz et les Français ou l’envers de la collaboration, : Fayard.
La Répression en France, 1940-1945, Proceedings of the international conference of Caen, December 8-10, 2005, Caen: Editions du CRHQ (forthcoming in 2007).
Le Maner, Yves (2003) Le “Train de Loos,” le grand drame de la déportation dans le Nord-Pas-de-Calais, printed by the author.
Le Maner, Yves (2005) Déportation et génocide, 1939-1945. Une Tragédie européenne, Saint-Omer: La Coupole.
Le Maner, Yves; Thiery, Laurent (2004) Fusillés et déportés du Nord-Pas-de-Calais, 1940-1945, Lille: Editions La Voix du Nord, “Les Patrimoines” collection.
Les journées tragiques des 16 et 17 juillet 1942 à . Les grandes rafles. “Vélodrome d’Hiver.” Déportations, appendix to no. 28-29 of the CDJC’s journal, : Editions du Centre (1962).
Les Juifs sous l’Occupation. Recueil des textes officiels français et allemands 1940/1944, : FFDJF/CDJC (1982).
Levisse-Touze, Christine (ed.) (1994) 1944, les enjeux de la Libération, : Albin Michel.
Levy, Claude; Tillard, Paul (1967) La Grande rafle du Vel d’Hiv, : Robert Laffont ; English edition: Betrayal at the Vel’ d’Hiv’, New York: Hill and Wong, 1969.
Liaigre, Franck (2007) “Le Parti communiste et la lutte armée en Bretagne à la lumière des archives, 1940-1943,” in Courtois, Stéphane (ed.), Communisme en France. De la révolution documentaire au renouveau historiographique, : Institut catholique d’études supérieures, Editions Cujas, pp. 107-144.
Lieb, Peter (2007) Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg ? Kriegführung und Partisanenbekämpfung in Frankreich 1943/44, Munich: Oldenburg.
Lieb, Peter (2007) “Répression et massacres. L’occupant allemand face à la résistance française, 1943-1944,” in Eismann, Gaël; Martens Stefan (eds.), Occupation et répression militaire allemandes, 1939-1945. La Politique de “maintien de l’ordre” en Europe occupée, : Autrement.
Luther, Hans (1957) Der französiche Widerstand gegen die deutsche Besatzungsmacht und seine Bekämpfung, Tübingen.
Matard-Bonucci, Marie-Anne (2007) L’Italie fasciste et la persécution des juifs, : Perrin.
Marcot, François (ed.) (1996) La Résistance et les Français. Lutte armée et Maquis, : Proceedings of the international conference of Besançon of 1995.
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Marrus, Michaël R.; Paxton, Robert O. (1981) Vichy et les Juifs, : Calmann-Lévy ; English edition: Vichy France and the Jews, New York, Basic Books, 1981.
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