From 1940 to 1944, France's Vichy government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Marcel Ophüls mixes archival footage with 1969 interviews of a German officer and of collaborators and resistance fighters from Clermont-Ferrand. They comment on the nature, details and reasons for the collaboration, from anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and fear of Bolsheviks, to simple caution. Part one, "The Collapse," includes an extended interview with Pierre Mendès-France, jailed for anti-Vichy action and later France's Prime Minister. At the heart of part two, "The Choice," is an interview with Christian de la Mazière, one of 7,000 French youth to fight on the eastern front wearing German uniforms.
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Self - Former Prime Minister of France
It's not surprising that, at first, such poison won over many new converts at first. Little by little, people began to realize it was propaganda, and to see that the government was practicing a policy, which they themselves called collaboration with the enemy. Slowly but surely, people began to open their eyes, and change their minds. But this propaganda still won over many new converts.
Referenced in The Surrogate
Ça Fait d'Excellents Français
Music by Georges Van Parys
Lyrics by Jean Boyer
Performed by Maurice Chevalier See more