At the beginning of the Occupation, French leaders expected to pay a price for France’s defeat and accepted German measures with a degree of resignation. The annexation of Alsace and Lorraine surprised few observers. French policemen turned over common enemies and undesirable refugees to Himmler’s ϟϟ. Laval passed legislation that sent hundreds of thousands of French workers to Germany in exchange for a few prisoners of war and short-lived exemptions for select Vichy supporters.
Place Kléber, renamed Karl-Roos-Platz by the Germans, then and now. After the ceasefire following the Fall of France in June 1940, Alsace was annexed by Germany and a rigorous policy of Germanisation was imposed upon it by the Gauleiter Robert Heinrich Wagner. When, in July 1940, the first evacuees were allowed to return, only residents of Alsatian origin were admitted. The last Jews were deported on 15 July 1940 and the main synagogue, a huge Romanesque revival building that had been a major architectural landmark with its 54-metre-high dome since its completion in 1897, was set ablaze, then razed.
In September 1940 the first Alsatian resistance movement led by Marcel Weinum called La main noire (The black hand) was created. It was composed by a group of 25 young men aged from 14 to 18 years old who led several attacks against the German occupation. The actions culminated with the attack of the Gauleiter Robert Wagner, the highest commander of Alsace directly under the order of Hitler. In March 1942, Marcel Weinum was prosecuted by the Gestapo and sentenced to be beheaded at the age of 18 in April 1942 in Stuttgart, Germany, his last words being "If I have to die, I shall die but with a pure heart". From 1943 the city was bombarded by Allied aircraft. Whilst the First World War had not notably damaged the city, Anglo-American bombing caused extensive destruction in raids of which at least one was allegedly carried out by mistake. In August 1944, several buildings in the Old Town were damaged by bombs, particularly the Palais Rohan, the Old Customs House (Ancienne Douane) and the Cathedral. On November 23 1944 with permission from the British and Americans, the city was allowed to be 'officially' liberated by the 2nd French Armoured Division under General Leclerc. He achieved the oath that he made with his soldiers, after the decisive Capture of Kufra. With the Oath of Kuffra, they swore to keep up the fight until the French flag flew over the Cathedral of Strasbourg. Many people from Strasbourg were supposedly incorporated in the German Army against their will, and were sent to the eastern front, those young men and women were called Malgré-nous with some said to have tried to escape from the incorporation, join the French Resistance, or desert the Wehrmacht but many couldn't because they were running the risk of having their families sent to work or concentration camps by the Germans. Many of these men, especially those who did not answer the call immediately, were pressured to "volunteer" for service with the SS, often by direct threats on their families. This threat obliged the majority of them to remain in the German army. After the war, the few that survived were often accused of being traitors or collaborationists, because this tough situation was not known in the rest of France, and they had to face the incomprehension of many. In July 1944, 1500 malgré-nous were released from Soviet captivity and sent to Algiers, where they joined the Free French Forces.
The wife in front of le maison des tanneurs and the site during the occupation
The Metzig bedecked with swastikas and today
Adolf-Hitler-Platz then and now
After the Prussian victory in the Franco-Prussian War Mulhouse was annexed to the German Empire as part of the territory of Alsace-Lorraine (1871–1918). The city was briefly occupied by French troops on 8 August 1914 at the start of World War I, but they were forced to withdraw two days later in the Battle of Mulhouse. The citizens of Alsace who unwisely celebrated the appearance of the French army, were left to face German reprisals. Alsace-Lorraine was invaded and annexed by France after World War I. Although never formally restored to Germany after the Battle of France in 1940, it was occupied by German forces until returned to French control at the end of the war in May 1945.
The corner of Rue Kleber and Boulevard du Champ de Mars in 1940.
The Germans arrived in Colmar June 17, 1940, taking possession of the city in the name of the Führer as they tore the tricolour of the City Hall's balcony and replaced it with a swastika. The kommandierender des Sturmtruppenregiments Adolf Hitler, Colonel Koch, and his men thus accomplished the first act: changing the flag and made it clear that Colmar was German again.Within a few days Colmar became Kolmar. By July a working group was being set up to determine how best to start Germanising the town chaired by Stadtkommissar Hellstern and moderated by Albert Schmitt, city librarian since 1924 and specialist in the history of Colmar, whose sympathies for the National Socialist regime would be revealed- under the pseudonym Morand Claden he published in August in the Strassburger Monatshefte an ode to Hitler. In the end, over three hundred street names, places or localities, were changed. Adolf Hitler-Str, now avenue de la République Ahnenplatz. Strasse des 17 June now replaced by another military event- avenue de la Liberté. Schillerstrasse replaced rue Victor Hugo and Robert-Koch-strasse replaced rue Pasteur. Avenue Foch was replaced with the name of another general- Hindenburgstraße.
On the bridge at the Château de Kaysersberg with an American cavalryman
Beside the church with an M4 Sherman Tank accompanied by soldiers of the CC5 in the Grand'Rue - Today incongruously Rue de General de Gaulle
La Tour de Fripons - Then and Now
The fountain before the war and today
A M4 Sherman next to the Catholic church
German troops in front of the Obertor
German PoWs in today's Rue de la 1ere Armee
US Stuart tanks in today's rue de la 1ere Armee
The Altes Fachwerkhaus
German POWs marching along the Rue des Chevalieres in Bergheim, Jan. 1945in front of troops from Combat Command 6
Bergheim German Cemetery
Rue principale with the Hôtel de Ville on the left
The town church with the plaque commemorating 51 of its citizens who were apparently press-ganged into the Wehrmacht
The Ziehbrunnen at Place Schwendi
Maison Rittimann then and now
The M4 Sherman "Renard" then-and-now
|The rue du 3eme Spahis Algeriens then and now|
The liberation of Sigolsheim was particularly dramatic on December 19, 1944 when the village was conquered by the five tanks of 1st Platoon, 2nd Squadron of the RCA first under the command of Camille Girard. But the American infantry had not followed, three tanks were destroyed and 25 men, three were wounded, six captured and mortally wounding Girard.
The church of Sts. Peter and Paul after the battle and today
Sigolsheim today as seen from Hill 351, known also as Bloody Hill. Atop Mont de Sigolsheim is this monument honouring the American soldiers who fought for the liberation of Alsace
The residence at 7 Grand Rue further up the road that had served as the German Field Hospital.
For the Americans, the capture of Jebsheim was necessary to protect the north flank of the 3rd Division's advance. With the 3rd Division advancing ahead of the French 1 March Infantry Division on the 3rd Division's north flank, General O'Daniel committed the U.S. 254th Infantry Regiment (part of the U.S. 63rd Infantry Division but attached to the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division for the duration of operations in the Colmar Pocket) to capture Jebsheim. On 26–27 January, troops of the German 136th Mountain Infantry Regiment defended Jebsheim against the advance of the 254th Infantry. On 28–29 January, Jebsheim was taken by the 254th Infantry, French tanks of Combat Command 6 (French 5th Armoured Division), and a battalion of the French 1st Parachute Regiment.
For the Americans, the capture of Jebsheim was necessary to protect the north flank of the 3rd Division's advance. With the 3rd Division advancing ahead of the French 1 March Infantry Division on the 3rd Division's north flank, General O'Daniel committed the U.S. 254th Infantry Regiment (part of the U.S. 63rd Infantry Division but attached to the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division for the duration of operations in the Colmar Pocket) to capture Jebsheim. On 26–27 January, troops of the German 136th Mountain Infantry Regiment defended Jebsheim against the advance of the 254th Infantry. On 28–29 January, Jebsheim was taken by the 254th Infantry, French tanks of Combat Command 6 (French 5th Armoured Division), and a battalion of the French 1st Parachute Regiment.
St. Martin's church in Jebsheim January 1945
The intersection of Rue des Vosges and Grand Rue where the Germans had established a roadblock and, right, a dead German soldier at that same roadblock
The main road into town with many of the houses still recognisable today
A German anti-tank gun January 23, 1945 beside the river outside the town
World War II was disastrous for Ostheim. Located in the “Colmar Pocket” (“Poche de Colmar”) and shelled for almost two months, from November 1944 to January 1945 in order to free the passage over the River Fecht (bitterly defended by the Germans), Ostheim was totally destroyed and its inhabitants evacuated to the surrounding area. The village was awarded the 1939-1945 Military Cross (Croix de Guerre).
The houses built since the war now obscure the church, the ruins of which are shown behind the tank.
The ruins of the church serve as a memorial to the town's liberators. As with the next photo, a stork's nest continues to be enjoy the same location then and now.
A light tank of the 12th Armoured Division in what's now the Place de la République February 5, 1945 and today. The Witch's Tower, built in the 13th to the 15th centuries to serve as a gaol sports a stork's nest in both photos. During the time of Nazi annexation, a Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalt (National Political Institute of Education, NEPA, popularly known as Napola) was housed in a former sanatorium of the city from October 1940.
The victory monument in June 1940 draped with the German war ensign and today. In 1916 the Germans tried to ’bleed the French dry’ in a battle that lasted for 10 months and which brought France to the verge of collapse. Both sides lost tens of thousands of soldiers. To reduce the pressure on Verdun, a joint Anglo-French attack was launched on the Somme. Tanks were employed for the first time but the offensive was a fiasco. On the first day of the battle alone, the British lost 60,000 men, killed, wounded or missing. By the end of 1916, casualties on both sides were horrendous.
Between them both sides lost half a million men and how many still lie buried in that charnel soil may never be known. Verdun remained in French hands. For the French it was a magnificent victory, but one that had almost shattered their army. For the Germans it was their first undeniable setback, a heavy blow to the morale of both army and people.Howard (77) The First World War
German victory march past the Memorial to Victory in June, 1940 and after the Anglo-American liberation of France
Nearby the Monument Maginot, erected to the memory of politician and soldier André Maginot and inaugurated in 1935. Maginot had served in the French army during the Great War and was badly wounded near Verdun – an event depicted in the sculptured group placed in front of the central symbolic shield. Maginot served as Minister of War three times between 1922 and 1932 and was the principal advocate of a new line of impregnable defences against a future German invasion, completed after his death and which bore his name. In the event, of course, the Germans bypassed the Maginot Line in 1940 as shown on the right.
DouaumontThis nearby village was destroyed during the Great War. Today the Douaumont Ossuary, which contains the remains of more than 100,000 unknown soldiers of both French and German nationalities found on the battlefield, stands high above the landscape. The cemetery here holding the remains of the dead of the First World War was a target again of the Germans in the Second.
President Raymond Poincaré visiting Munster, badly damaged during the Great War, on Tuesday August 19, 1919.
The church at Lauterbourg, seen from across the road from the hotel where I stayed at whilst watching France defeat Germany in the semi-Finals of the Euro 2016 championships. It is the easternmost commune in Metropolitan France (excluding the island of Corsica), across from the German town of Neulauterburg. In the crossfire between France and Germany in numerous wars, it had originally been developed in the early 18th century, into a French fortification of the Lauter-line, defined as the border of France in the Congress of Vienna of 1815. On August 13, 1793, it was the site of a battle of the War of the First Coalition. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1871, Lauterbourg passed to the German Empire. Lauterbourg was now developed industrially and attached to a railway line. After World War I, the town passed to the French Third Republic. In the 1930s, Lauterbourg was in an uncomfortable position between the Maginot and Siegried-lines. Its population was evacuated immediately upon the outbreak of World War II. In May 1940, the lower town was destroyed completely. Part of its population returned to Lauterbourg in 1942. There was an attempt at taking Lauterbourg on December 15, 1944 by the US 79th Infantry Division, who were forced to hold out against Operation Nordwind until the German offensive was stopped on January 25, 1945. Lauterbourg was taken by the French 1st Army and U.S. VI Corps on March 19, 1945 after assaulting the Siegfried Line fortifications in the Bienwald during a week of heavy combat. The town was rebuilt after the war in a rudimentary fashion.
1945. Prosecutors charged leading Nazis with committing crimes against peace, conspiracy against peace, specific violations of the Hague and Geneva Conventions (i.e. ‘war crimes’), and crimes against humanity. National courts judged citizens accused of treason and German nationals who committed crimes within their jurisdictions. In France, proceedings began immediately after the Liberation. Local resistance cells convened ad hoc courts and judged people who were accused of collaborating with German forces. After the provisional French government purged the judicial system, traditional courts handled charges like ‘(e)ntertaining, in time of war, relations with a foreign power or its agents in order to support this power against France.’1 By the time major trials ended in 1949, French prosecutors had executed approximately 7,000 people and sent another 26,289 to prison, but a 1950 amnesty bill pardoned many offenders. As they rendered verdicts and passed down sentences, French jurists defined unacceptable forms of collaboration and punished those found guilty of treason. Official proceedings failed to 1 Peter Novick, The Resistance versus Vichy. The Purge of Collaborators in Liberated France (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968); Philippe Bourdrel, L’E? puration sauvage, 1944 – 1945 (Paris: Perrin, 1988). after the fall live up to those that followed Napoleon III’s 1851 coup d’e?tat or the 1871 Paris Commune. Although harsh during the months that immediately followed the Liberation, French courts eventually accepted a rather narrow definition of collaboration that, in many ways, let bygones be bygones.2 The relatively moderate nature of purges may be connected to widespread acceptance of arguments advanced by defendants during postwar trials. In response to charges that he betrayed the Third Republic, Marshal Henri Pe?tain, the leader of the French state between 17 June 1940 and August 1944, testified that I used my power as a shield to protect the French people . . . Every day, a dagger at my throat, I struggled against the enemy’s demands. History will tell all that I spared you, though my adversaries think only of reproaching me for the inevitable . . . While General de Gaulle carried on the struggle outside our frontiers, I prepared the way for liberation by preserving France, suffering but alive. In his own mind, Pe?tain assumed a thankless position as leader of a defeated nation. From his capital in the eponymous town of Vichy, he exchanged limited French cooperation for limited German demands. From this perspective, de Gaulle served as a sword that struck against Nazi tyranny from London while Pe?tain shielded the French nation from the same threat in Vichy. Both men employed different tactics to achieve the same basic goal: the preservation of France. The Marshal attributed ‘excessive’ collaboration to unscrupulous politicians like Pierre Laval, fascists such as Jacques Doriot, and adventurers like Joseph Darnand.3 The High Court sentenced the Marshal to death on 14 August 1945, but judges suggested the death sentence be suspended, ostensibly because of the perpetrator’s advanced age. General Charles de Gaulle, then the provisional leader of France, commuted Pe?tain’s death sentence to life in prison.4 From these meager beginnings, the sword and shield theory took root in French society and shaped legal, popular, and academic conceptions of the Vichy regime. Shortly after the Liberation, three sympathetic authors confirmed the sword and shield interpretation of the Vichy era. Louis Rougier’s Les Accords Pe?tain–Churchill appeared in 1945 and Henri du Moulin de Labarthe`te’s Le 2 Jean-Pierre Rioux, The Fourth Republic, 1944–1958, translated by Godfrey Rogers (Cam- bridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 29–42. 3 Proce`s du Mare?chal Pe?tain (Paris: Editions Louis Pariente, 1945), pp. 15–16; Jean-Marc Varaut, Le Proce`s Pe?tain, 1945–1995 (Paris: Perrin, 1995). 4 Varaut, Le Proce`s Pe?tain, p. 381ff. 2 introduction Temps des illusions followed a year later. Louis-Dominique Girard published Montoire, Verdun diplomatique in 1948. All three highlighted the diplomatic successes of the Vichy regime and implied that France might have fared much worse without Pe?tain. Most on the political right blamed Pierre Laval for the ‘excesses’ of Vichy, and few authors disputed the consensus.5 During the ten years that followed World War Two, Pe?tain’s sword and shield argument influenced historical analysis of the Vichy era. Postwar politics eventually divided veterans of the resistance into two camps. Allies of de Gaulle initially supported the trial of Pe?tain because the latter ‘had symbolized capitulation and, even if he did not wish it, collaboration with the enemy.’6 Eventually General de Gaulle shifted his position and attributed Pe?tain’s collaboration to weakness brought on by old age. Gilbert Renault, a confidant of the general who was known as Colonel Re?my during the war, reported that de Gaulle described himself and Pe?tain as two strings on the same bow. Taking their lead from the general, prominent Gaullists made amends with some former collaborators. Robert Aron’s scholarly Histoire de Vichy, 1940–1944 exonerated many bureaucrats who had worked for the Vichy regime and confirmed Pe?tain’s ‘sword and shield’ theory. Slowly but surely, moderate and conservative Frenchmen embraced the notion that forty million re?sistants had opposed Germany.7 Left-wing opponents of the Vichy regime halfheartedly opposed the sword and shield theory. L’Humanite?, the official newspaper of the French Communist Party (Parti Communist Fran?cais or PCF), supported the execu- tion of Marshal Pe?tain. Long-time members of the resistance (as opposed to re?sistants who joined during the last months of the war) condemned lenient sentences that courts handed down to functionaries of the Vichy regime.8 5 Henry Rousso, The Vichy Syndrome: History and Memory in France since 1944, translated by Arthur Goldhammer (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991), pp. 241–251; Louis Rougier, Les Accords Pe?tain–Churchill: Historie d’une mission secre`te (Montreal: Beauchemin, 1945); Henri du Moulin de Labarthe`te, Le Temps des illusions: Souvenirs, juillet 1940–avril 1942 (Geneva: E?ditions du Cheval aile?, 1946); Louis-Dominique Girard, Montoire, Verdun diplomatique: Le Secret du Mare?chal (Paris: A. Bonne, 1948); Rene? de Chambrun, France during the German Occupation, 1940–1944, translated by Philip W. Whitcomb (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1957); Paul Badouin, Neuf mois au gouvernement (Paris: E? ditions de la table ronde, 1948); Yves Bouthillier, Le Drame de Vichy (Paris: Plon, 1950). 6 Rousso, The Vichy Syndrome, p. 35. 7 Rousso, The Vichy Syndrome, pp. 32–43; Robert Aron, The Vichy Regime 1940–1944 (Paris: Fayard, 1954); Pierre Laborie, L’Opinion fran?caise sous Vichy (Paris: E? ditions du seuil, 1990). 8 Varraut, Le Proce`s Pe?tain, p. 387; Fred Kupferman, Les Premiers beaux jours, 1944–1946 (Paris: Calmann-Levy, 1985); Jean Cassou, La Me?moire courte (Paris: Minuit, 1953), pp. 33–4; Charles 3 after the fall Yet the dismay of the political left may have been disingenuous. Commu- nists avoided a thorough discussion of the past because such an endeavor might talk about the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, widespread public apathy during the first years of the Occupation, and other disconcerting facts. With skeletons in almost every closet, neither right- nor left-wing parties pushed for a thorough examination of the Vichy era. They both accepted the sword and shield theory as the least-worst explanation of the Occupation.9 Robert Paxton’s Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, 1940–1944 forced many to revise their understanding of the Vichy era. Using German sources, Paxton argued that the shield theory hardly bears close examination. The armistice and the unoccupied zone seemed at first a cheap way out, but they could have bought some material ease for the French population only if the war had soon ended. As the war dragged on, German authorities asked no less of France than that of the totally occupied countries. In the long run, Hitler’s victims suffered in proportion to his need for their goods or his ethnic feelings about them, not in proportion to their eagerness to please. Vichy managed to win only paltry concessions: a few months of the rele`ve instead of a labor draft, exemption from the yellow star for Jews in the unoccupied zone, slightly lower occupation costs between May 1941 and November 1942, more weapons in exchange for keeping the Allies out of the empire. Judged by its fruits, Vichy negotiation was barren.10 Paxton examined the actions of the Vichy regime and found that Pe?tain and his lieutenants pushed their own agenda. In 1940 Pe?tain asked Germany for an armistice to prevent a left-wing revolution. After hostilities ceased in June 1940, Laval and Darlan tried to exchange economic and military collaboration in return for an easing of restrictions outlined in the Armistice Agreement. Although fettered by the 1940 defeat and the occupation of two-thirds of France, Pe?tain’s lieutenants used whatever autonomy they could muster to construct a new version of La Patrie. Instead of describing Vichy’s program as something imposed by Hitler, Paxton characterized Rist, Une Saison gaˆte?e. Journal de la guerre et de l’occupation Matt Bera Department of History York University 2187D Vari Hall 4700 Keele Street Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3 Canada The Canadian Centre for German and European Studies 230 York Lanes Building 4700 Keele Street Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3 Canada email@example.com Raise the white flag: Conflict and collaboration in Alsace by Matt Bera The views expressed in the Working Papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of The Canadian Centre for German and European Studies/Le Centre canadien d’études allemandes et européennes. CCGES/CCEAE welcomes offers for publications. Please send your papers to the CCGES at York University. Les opinions exprimées dans les Notes de Recherche sont celles de l’auteur et ne reflètent pas nécessairement le point de vue du CCEAE. CCGES/CCEAE accepte volontiers des propositions d’articles. Faites parvenir votre article au: CCGES York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, On, Canada M3J 1P3 CCEAE Université de Montréal Pavillon 3744, rue Jean- Brillant, bureau 525 Montréal, Qc, Canada H3T 1P1 2 Abstract The history of Alsace in the modern period provides historians with an opportunity to examine the course and effects of collaboration both before and after the momentous events of the Second World War. The Alsatian experience suggests that collaboration can be a rational choice for the articulation of social and political conflicts within an occupied region. The peculiar divided linguistic and cultural identity of Alsace in particular created a pool of potential collaborators for both France and Germany throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. At the same time, each new invasion created new opportunities to settle old scores and improve the social mobility of particular groups. However, the detrimental effects of Alsatian adaptability increased with every regime change, and the enormous impact of the National Socialist government broke the cycle of collaboration, purge and counter-collaboration in the region. As a result, Alsatians quickly developed a discourse of total victimhood that allowed them to collectively turn away from Germany, integrate more thoroughly into France and overlook the implications of their own collaborationist past in the post-war period. Résumé L’histoire de l’Alsace, pour ce qui est de la période moderne, donne aux historiens l’opportunité d’examiner le processus et les effets de la collaboration, avant comme après les principaux événements de la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale. L’expérience alsacienne implique que la collaboration peut avoir constitué un choix rationnel par rapport à l’articulation des conflits sociaux et politiques au sein d’une région occupée. Les spécificités liées à l’Alsace, une région dont l’identité culturelle et linguistique est divisée, créèrent un environnement pour des collaborateurs potentiels pour la France comme pour l’Allemagne aux dix-neuvième et vingtième siècles. En même temps, avec chaque invasion s’annoncèrent de nouvelles opportunités de régler de vieux comptes et de permettre l’ascension sociale de certains groupes. Malgré tout, les effets négatifs de l’adaptabilité alsacienne s’accrurent avec chaque changement de régime, et l’impact considérable du gouvernement National-Socialiste interrompit le cycle de collaboration, purges, et contre-collaboration dans la région. Ainsi, les Alsaciens développèrent rapidement un discours de victimisation totale, ce qui leur permit d’opérer une distanciation collective vis-à-vis de l’Allemagne, de s’intégrer plus complètement au sein de la France, et d’éluder les implications liées à leur propre passé collaborationniste au cours de l’après-guerre. Introduction “Collaboration” is a tricky business. While some (such as Hendrik Dethlefsen) have attempted to establish a broad, neutral definition of collaboration as “the continuing exercise of power under the pressure produced by an occupying power,” it continues to evoke powerful and often contradictory emotions that are capable of overpowering a more measured definition (Dethlefsen 1990, 199). Since the term developed into a description primarily of a relationship with brutal and aggressive regimes, most notably National Socialist Germany, “collaboration” has been unable to disentangle itself from connotations of treachery, venality and cruelty. This is partly due to the effects of collaboration itself. Successful collaboration can lead to a new or integrated social hierarchy that transforms the original act of collaboration into an act of patriotism in the eyes of future generations. Unsuccessful collaborators, on the other hand, find themselves with few friends to defend or explain their actions. At the same time, while invasions can destroy governing structures and elites, they can also open up new opportunities for dispossessed members of the occupied region. As a result, the motives and effects of working with a new authority depend largely on context. The history of Alsace throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries provides a unique example of a series of regimes that relied on the co-operation of sympathetic locals both before and after the watershed period of the Second World War. Historically, Alsatians have claimed to possess a unique regional identity that was nevertheless fissured by cultural and linguistic affinities with both Germany and France. During the tumultuous period between 1870 and 1945 the question of the dominance of French or German culture turned Alsatian intellectuals and artists away from more rarefied and universal pursuits (Schreiber 1988, 327). At the same time, as Alsatians found themselves shuffled between these two great powers, this dual identity provided a pool of potential collaborators for both States. As a result, collaboration in Alsace took on many of the attributes of a local partisan conflict. This was allowed to develop over a long period of time and affected both the occupied Alsatians and the two competing Imperial powers. The region was caught in a cycle of collaboration, purges and counter- collaboration which provide a robust example of the phenomenon of collaboration itself in different stages and contexts. Collaboration provided a number of advantages to both the invading power and specific groups of Alsatians. However, with each new regime change, the cycle grew increasingly bitter and dangerous. This trend culminated in the Nazi occupation and annexation of 1940-44. As old elites were toppled and replaced by a new group of privileged collaborators in 1871, 1918 and 1940 the consequences were becoming disastrous. While Alsace did not escape the redefinition of the term “collaboration” that took place over the course of WWII to take into account the relationship between Vichy France and Nazi Germany in particular, the period had a profound effect on the development of a discourse of collaboration in Alsace. Rather than leading to a renewed condemnation of collaboration (or at least a few representative collaborators), the implications of both wartime collaboration itself and the post-war use of the term led Alsatians to turn away from the concept of collaboration entirely in favour of a discourse of “total victimhood.” This discourse corresponded with the Gaullist myth of resistancialisme and allowed Alsatians to break the cycle of collaboration and unite the formerly antagonistic groups in an Alsace that was imagined to be firmly embedded in French culture. The Alsatian example 5 therefore demonstrates both the advantages and dangers of collaboration for a small region caught between powerful enemies. Collaboration worked, but it often came at a high price. At the same time, the Alsatian experience of collaboration also demonstrates the profound effects the dislocations of the Second World War had on the region and its relationship to its neighbours. 1. Background: A complicated identity Alsace provides an example of a social polity with a self professed unique regional identity that was nevertheless deeply entangled in the culture and politics of both France and Germany. This both established an identity with a specific regional focus and provided a reserve army of potential collaborators in times of conflict between the two larger powers. In Das Elsaß auf der Suche nach seiner Identität, Michael Essig argues that Alsatian identity is in fact closely bound to the concept of Heimat (Essig 1994, 135). Like the English concept of home, the German Vaterland and French patrie, Heimat solidly anchors Alsatian identity in an identifiable geographical region which is invested with an enormous emotional appeal (ibid., 138). The concept offers a median position between tradition and modernization embodied palpably in physical surroundings (ibid., 139). Collective identity is thus rooted in “the soil,” geography, architecture and customs of the region and disintegrates the farther one moves from home (ibid., 138). This regional identity allowed Alsatians to maintain a sense of coherent collective identity despite its position between two formidable and often fractious nation states. At the same time, it fostered support for a broader European identity that would serve to disarm the centralizing tendencies of both (Craig 1984, 333). In practise, however, this often meant a delicate process of negotiation between French and German interests. This rather rarefied provincial concept of Heimat is bolstered by both Alsatian cultural practise and Alsatians more practical capacity to survive momentous change. When questioned after the Second World War, Herr and Frau “E” identified Alsace as an entity entirely separate from both France and Germany which was nevertheless always on the side, or at least in the possession, of the victors.1 Frau “E” in particular mused that it was important to “always fly the right flag”.2 For Alsace, the right flag also meant the white flag. For Frau “E”’s father-in-law in particular, this meant peace rather than surrender (ibid., 301). However, while Alsatians like Herr and Frau “E” seem willing to submit to an invading power with surprisingly little resistance, they have traditionally been unwilling to accept full integration into either occupying nation. In Alsatian popular culture, this intransigence has been parlayed into a popular identification with a permanently dissatisfied people. This is notably expressed through the Alsatian folk song “Hans-im-Schnockeloch” in which: 1 “4. Ab) Schuld sin ja net die Leut” (in Stamm 1997, 300-01) 2 “Un dann hat er erzält vom Krieg, wie’s war, un der hat er g’sagt, er muß immer an sein Vatter denke -war aa’n Bäker- der hat g’sagt zu’m: Des eine musch der merke, bei jedem Krieg immer glei die richtige Fahn zun Fenstschter rauhänge- Des isch so typisch Elsäßer, die wechsle, immer glei die richtige Fahn. Un der hat au glei g’sagt, wo’s fertich war: geh’ raus un häng die weiß Fahn raus. Wisse Se dei weiße Fahn bedeutet? Friede, net, mir sin friedlich” (Stamm 1997, 301). 6 Hans in the Mosquito-hole has all that he wants. And what he has, he doesn’t want, And what he wants, he doesn’t have. Hans in the Mosquito-hole has all that he wants. (Harvey 2001, 205) This song was so closely identified with Alsatian identity that it was used by the Russian army on the Eastern Front as a signal to conscripted Alsatians waiting to defect from the Wehrmacht (Graff 1996, 84). Taken together, this would point to a well integrated social polity whose identity remains rooted in the region and that tacitly accepts a certain measure of reluctant collaboration, or at least capitulation, in order to protect local interests in times of crisis. Pétain might have been comfortable in this Alsace. Like Ashis Nandy’s Indian Babu, a figure who absorbed other cultures into his Hindu identity in order to avoid any real change, Alsatians have the ability to adapt to the demands of power in order to survive as an intact cultural unit (see Nandy 1983). However, in reality, this version of identity rests uneasily on Alsatians, particularly in the context of their relationship with both France and Germany in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Alsace has not been populated by a separate border people caught between two foreign powers, but is rather characterised by a population that is a linguistic, ethnic and political mixture of the two. The heterogeneous nature of Alsace has had a profound impact on both Alsatian identity and blurred the line between collaboration, patriotism and normal cultural practise at any given time. The possession of Alsace nominally passed to Louis XIV during the Thirty Years War. However, the Sun King experienced considerable difficulty administering the region, which was only brought to heel after an extensive siege of Strasbourg that ended in 1681 (Kahn 1990, 27). Despite efforts to centralize both the administration and culture of Alsace, the new territory remained a strangely mixed population divided along confessional, linguistic and cultural lines. By the mid-nineteenth century 32% of the population of Bas-Rhin and 11% of Haut-Rhin were protestant, while the region also supported a substantial Jewish minority (Harp 1998, 27; Kahn 1990, 46). At the same time, a majority of the population spoke German or a closely related Alsatian dialect as a first language while only the nobility and bourgeoisie of the cities were raised primarily in French (Philipps 1980, 25). Linguistic and religious differences also combined in strange ways in Alsace. While the French speaking bourgeoisie were generally Protestants integrated into the Lutheran church, German speaking workers were predominantly Catholic and maintained ties to French ecclesiastical structures. Alsace thus came to be seen as a linguistically fractured region whose population demonstrated a love of French politics and German culture (Kahn 1990, 28). Like Nandy’s Babu, this divided population of Alsace provided a deep reservoir of potential collaborators for both Germany and France. This duality allowed individuals and social groups to move between both regions with relative ease. This dual identity was cause for concern for political figures from the French interior from the revolutionary Bertrand Barère to Napoleon III. Barère in particular explicitly identified Alsatians as potential collaborators with their “brothers” in Prussia and advocated the forcible imposition of French culture and language in the region (Harp 1998, 27). This fear seemed to be 7 confirmed in the eyes of the administrators of the Second Empire as support for Napoleon III’s last plebiscite in 1870 declined substantially in Alsace and a wave of strikes swept the region, particularly Colmar, on the eve of the Franco-Prussian war (Silverman 1972, 20-21). As the Prussian troops advanced, violent outbursts increased in the region. While the Second Empire was entering its death-throes, municipal authorities in Colmar and Mulhouse formed volunteer corps to restore order at home in Alsace, rather than to meet the invading Prussians (ibid., 22). Excited by the prospect of unification and ideas linking ethnicity, culture and nationhood, Prussian and North German nationalists took this to be evidence of the “German” nature of the region and hoped to incorporate Alsace into the new Reich with little difficulty. However, the German Imperial government soon found itself entangled in the contradictory identity of Alsace. When, despite being occupied by Prussian troops, Alsatians were allowed to participate in the National Assembly elections immediately following the armistice of 1871, the region overwhelmingly endorsed Léon Gambetta and his call to renew the war against Prussia (Silverman 1972, 25). Thereafter, the German government treated the region with some caution. When Alsace and Lorraine were both eventually incorporated into the German constitution in 1874, they entered as subordinate regions directly administered by the Prussian government (Kahn 1990, 30). Despite the subordinate position of the region, the Reich government did not actively attempt to purge Alsace of its French population. This was left up to the effects of time and the allure of German culture (Harvey 1999, 540). Residents wishing to retain French citizenship, however, were required both to make an open declaration of their intention and to relocate across the new border by October 1, 1872 (Silverman 1972, 66). Fleeing French citizens were quickly replaced by a wave of German born administrators and migrants until, by 1910, approximately 123 out of every 1000 inhabitants of Alsace-Lorraine were born in the German interior (ibid., 69). This was increased by the presence of an unusually large military garrison in the region which accounted for 4.4% of the population. Thus, by 1879, 95% of the population of Lower-Alsace and 78% of that of Upper-Alsace spoke German or dialect as a first language. In contrast, less than 5% of the population Alsace as a whole primarily spoke French (ibid., 75). Although the Reich government was relatively uninterested in the French speaking population of Alsace, it did actively encourage integration into the Reich through its education policies, military conscription and an administration that was wholly dependent on the German interior. As early as April 14, 1871, the Imperial government issued a directive that prohibited the use of French as a language of instruction in the primary grades (ibid., 76). In 1874 this policy was extended to the elementary level in general and finally to the Gymnasium. On May first and second 1872, a new German university was inaugurated in Strasbourg (Craig 1984, 61). At best, the new University of Strasbourg was intended to help spread German learning and culture throughout the new territories. On a more practical level, the institution would allow the new administration to prepare Alsatians for a range of professions in which they would operate in German (ibid., 30-60). In practice, however, the education system was much less demanding than it appeared. Many regions with predominantly French populations continued to educate their children in French, while both French and German were routinely taught. Many professional fields became functionally bilingual and technical terms were often expressed using both their French and German equivalents (Silverman 1972, 76-77). Moreover, the German government expressed little interest in the ethnicity or convictions of Alsatian teachers and 8 retained the French educators of the Second Empire (Harp 1998, 55). The relationship between Alsatians and both the German military and administration was rather less ambivalent. As new citizens of the Reich, Alsatians were now expected to serve in that great school of the nation, the Imperial army. Despite suspicions regarding the reliability of troops conscripted from the new territories, compulsory service was introduced to Alsace- Lorraine the same day the option for emigration to France expired (Silverman 1972, 71). However, these troops were generally stationed far away from home in the Reich’s eastern provinces, and even volunteer Alsatians could not expect to advance into the fabled Prussian officer corps (Harvey 1999, 538). The administration of the Reichsland was equally restrictive. With the exception of Secretary of State Zorn von Bulach, no Alsatian was permitted to serve in a responsible position in the administration of the region (Silverman 1972, 79). Even the potential appointment of the Strasbourg industrialist Jean Schlumberger, honoured twice for his service to the Kaiser, was rejected in 1885 as a “dangerous concession” to Alsatian ambitions (ibid., 84). The upper echelons of the civil service were likewise staffed by Germans from the interior and were closed to locals (Harvey 1999, 538). While some Alsatians, particularly members of the “League of Alsace”, protested during the initial stages of Prussian administration, the region soon began to adapt to its new circumstances. The proportion of conscript soldiers who failed to turn up for duty in Alsace- Lorraine dropped from 25% in 1879 to 8% in 1904, a figure comparable to some areas of central Germany (Silverman 1972, 72). At the same time, the education system and new university prepared Alsatians to work in German and created a corps of civil servants and technical elites who functioned exclusively in the language of the Reich (Grünwald 1984, 55). This effectively inverted the pre-1871 hierarchy (Essig 1994, 128). Whereas a minority of French speakers had once dominated Alsatian society through their connections to effective authority in the interior, opportunities for collaboration opened up for German and German speaking Alsatians under the auspices of the nascent German Empire. With the introduction of a more liberal constitution for the region in 1911, both Alsace and Lorraine seemed to be moving closer into the Reich (Silverman 1972, 151). While émigrés and French Alsatians might nurse bitter memories of the effects of the Franco-Prussian war, they now watched as a largely pacified and increasingly German Alsace sank into a complacent “paix du cimetiere” during the last decades of the nineteenth century (Kahn 1991, 31; Anderson 1972, 19). Thus, while the German occupation of Alsace shifted opportunities from French to German speaking Alsatians, collaboration largely took the form of the speedy adaptation to a new centre of authority. As long as things went reasonably well under the German administration, Alsatians seemed largely content to work for improvements rather than fundamental change. However, as the German occupation grew more onerous, the Reich found it difficult to maintain its position in Alsace. 9 2. 1914-1944: Diminishing returns The advent of the First World War had a profound impact on the population of Alsace. While the war helped to bolster the hopes of both regional autonomists and French sympathists, it also aroused deep suspicions on the part of the German Imperial government. Faced with an ongoing war on its western borders, the German government now feared that Alsace would act as a fifth column for the interests of the French. Therefore, while the German army mobilized over 380 000 Alsatians during the conflict, it also placed the two territories under direct military authority (Boswell 2000, 132). Lenient policies towards French speakers were suspended and the use of the language was banned in public places. “Strict Censorship” was introduced and freedom of movement was suspended (ibid.). While these provisions generally held true in the rest of the Reich as well, the peculiar linguistic mixture that characterized the Alsatian population made them particularly problematic. Contact, or even sympathy, with France became a punishable offence and several thousand inhabitants of the two regions were arrested as a wave of denunciations swept Alsace and Lorraine (Harvey 1999, 538). While the denunciation of neighbours might indicate a certain amount of sympathy for the German cause, or at least a willingness to settle old scores through the regime, support for the Reich plummeted over the course of the war (Boswell 2000, 133). At the same time, support for regional autonomy grew. As the Imperial government collapsed into chaos in November of 1918, an ad hoc committee of three made a serious attempt to establish an independent republic in Alsace (Grünwald 1984, 47-49). However, as the victorious poilus crossed the Moselle, they were greeted by an enthusiastic and, by all accounts, suddenly Francophile population (Harvey 2001, 127; Beyer 1995, 42, 49). When the invading power began establishing its own authority, Alsace was gripped by a wave of purges of the former German “collaborators”. As in 1871, the occupation by a new power altered the relationship and relative position of Alsace’s two linguistic groups. However, this reorganization was decidedly more bitter and thorough than its predecessors. While the French troops advanced, Francophone Alsatians that had been excluded from power under the old regime quickly set about settling the score with local collaborators. Following the armistice, an Alsatian comité d’épuration was established in Strasbourg in order to “purge Alsace of the boches who deserve it” (Boswell 2000, 140). However, despite the enthusiasm of some Francophile members of the local population, the French government itself quickly assumed responsibility for the purge of those associated too closely with the German regime. Like the German government, the French administration was deeply suspicious of the populations of Alsace-Lorraine during the war and had in fact interned a number of émigrés and up to 8000 Alsatians from parts of the region that had been briefly re-occupied by French troops in the confusion of the opening days of the war (Boswell 2000, 133). Their suspicions were underscored by the fact that, by 1918, only 2% of the population spoke French fluently (Anderson 1972, 20). The French government was therefore committed to aggressively reintegrating the two regions into the republic as loyal French provinces. Accordingly, a committee charged with establishing the ethnicity of each inhabitant and expelling undesirables was created under the forbidding title of “Commissions de Triage” in November 1918 (Grünwald 1984, 20). 10 The commissions represented both the new opportunities for collaboration with the French and the increasing tendency of national governments to classify the inhabitants of Alsace according to race or ethnicity. The commissions themselves were made up of three members; one presiding French general and two local Alsatians (Harvey 1999, 542). One of the local members of the commission was appointed by the government in Paris, while the other was named by the local military administrator. In practice, this meant that Alsatians with close ties to either the French interior or the new military presence presided alongside a French officer who often spoke no German (Boswell 2000, 145-46). The commissions were immediately “overwhelmed by a wave of denunciations” and the effects of the previous collaboration with the German government became apparent (Harvey 1999, 542). Those accused of harbouring pro- German sentiments, including Alsatians who had denounced others to the German government during the war, “pangermanists” or those who demonstrated “Germanophilia,” were then summoned “to answer for anti-French acts” and faced expulsion from the region, internment or the loss of a number of civil rights (Grünwald 1984, 21; Boswell 2000, 147, 150). Defendants were allowed no access to legal council and were not permitted to summon witnesses to speak on their behalf. Apart from those accused of directly collaborating with the German authorities, the commissions also targeted important or influential figures from the previous regime. Civil servants, priests and teachers in particular were relieved of their duties and often expelled outright (Boswell 2000, 152). The post-war purge also furnished an excuse to remove a variety of groups determined to be undesirable by the new administration. Labour leaders, “women of easy virtue” and even Alsatian autonomists were targeted by the Commission de Triage (Harvey 1999, 547). More than 4 300 cases were examined by the Strasbourg commissions alone between 1918-1919 (Boswell 2000, 147-48). The post-war purges were underscored by French efforts to assign every Alsatian an identity card establishing their ethnic descent. “Pure” Alsatian citizens and émigrés from the French interior were issued “A” cards, while residents with at least one Alsatian parent were given “B” cards. Alsatians born as a result of the union between two foreign parents received “C” cards. At the very bottom of the new social hierarchy, Alsatians with two German parents were issued “D” cards (Harvey 1999, 548). While identity cards did not confer or deny citizenship in the Third Republic, “A”, “B” and even “C” cards conveyed considerable advantages over ”D” card holders. Employers in Alsace were actively encouraged to dismiss “D” card holders, or at the very least to avoid hiring German-Alsatians. These individuals were also required to exchange their Marks for Francs at an inflated rate as compared to “A” through “C” card holders (ibid., 549). At the same time, “D” card holders were prevented from registering to vote, effectively disenfranchising residents of German descent (Boswell 2000, 144). In the context of the activities of the Commissions de Triage, the introduction of the identity card system seemed to be an ominous indication of the future for German-Alsatians. As a result of the purges, over 150 000 Germans left or were expelled from Alsace- Lorraine (Grünwald 1984, 57). While those who left voluntarily fared better than the expelled Germans, those fleeing across the Rhine were officially only permitted to transport 2000 Marks, 30kgs of goods and sufficient provisions for the journey (ibid., 55). Once inside Germany, the refugees were forced to rely on aid agencies and self-help organizations, particularly the “Hilfsbund für die vertriebenen Elsaß-Lothringer im Reich” (ibid., 60). While these organizations served to integrate former Alsatian Germans into the young republic, they also 11 helped to cultivate bitter feelings towards France that would bear terrible fruit in the future.3 The situation in Alsace itself remained rather ambiguous. French administrators from the interior and émigrés who had fled in 1871-2 flooded in to fill the positions vacated by the Germans, infuriating many Alsatians by behaving “with the arrogance of colonial officials” while also collecting handsome salary bonuses for having relocated to the region (Anderson 1972, 20). German speaking civil servants and teachers were largely replaced by French Alsatians or appointees from the interior (Harp 1998, 188-89). A new generation of Alsatians was to be raised in French. Accordingly, in 1919 schools were required to teach in French for 50% of the week and classes were to be conducted entirely in French by the fall of 1920 (ibid., 191). On December 7 1918, the German university in Strasbourg was closed, only to reopen one month later as a French institution (Craig 1984, 108-110). For many Alsatians, the shine soon wore off the Third Republic. Administrative and educational changes proved to be disorienting at best, a “lost generation” of bureaucrats and administrators from the old regime were unable to secure comparable employment and many Alsatians actively condemned the heavy-handedness of the post-war purges (Boswell 2000, 159). Moreover, local residents soon learned that their opportunities for advancement under the Third Republic were as limited as those under the Second Reich (Harvey 2001, 144). As a result, the government in Paris grew increasingly alarmed at the “Alsatian malaise” which reflected the provinces disappointment with the French administration (Anderson 1972, 20). Nevertheless, French-Alsatians were able to step into the places of former German speaking collaborators and reap the rewards of a close association with power. At the same time, Alsatians in general could look east and be thankful that the fortunes of war had delivered them from the political and economic quagmire into which the young Weimar republic was visibly sinking. However, the uneasy peace between Paris and Alsace was shattered by the election of a new government in 1924. For Alsatians, the election of the Cartel des Gauches and establishment of the government of Eduard Herriot was as divisive as the government of Léon Blum would be in the rest of France some eight years later. Committed to fully integrating Alsace into a secular, unitary French state, Herriot announced on June 17 1924 that his government would eliminate the last of the special laws obtaining in Alsace. As a result, the province would be subject to all French laws and the Napoleonic Concordat of 1801, which still governed the relationship between church and state in Alsace, would be abolished (Kettenacker 1973, 15). Catholic Alsatians in particular were outraged by Herriot’s intention and 17 000 protesters turned out in Strasbourg alone to denounce the Cartel on July 20 (Bankwitz 1978, 14). Although the Cartel des Gauches was forced to abandon the project in January 1925, the controversy surrounding the proposal had alienated a wide variety of Alsatians and emboldened autonomists and German- 3 This is particularly true in the case of Valentin Beyer, whose memories of the French occupation and his own exile became coloured by national socialist ideology in the 1930s. His memoirs thus present a fascinating example of the relationship between ideology, memory and identity. Because the book is largely concerned with Beyer’s later writing and is heavily glossed by his grandson, most of the text represents a troubled meditation on the significance of Beyer as the head of a family and representative of the Nazi period. (Beyer 1995, 42) 12 Alsatians dissatisfied with the new regime (ibid., 15). The following year, this widespread dissatisfaction began to develop into an autonomist movement with close ties to Germany. On May 9 1925, the newspaper “Die Zukunft’ (The Future) was founded in order to promote the interests of the region (Heimat) and the traditional rights of its inhabitants (volksrechte) (Kettenacker 1973, 16). By the end of the year, Zukunft was read by one in twelve households in Alsace (Bankwitz 1978, 16). In September of 1925, the regional Communist Party officially endorsed the autonomist movement in Alsace (Kettenacker 1973, 16). This was quickly followed by the establishment of an Elsaß-Lothringisches Heimatbundes in 1926 (ibid.). The Heimatbund in turn supported two separate autonomist parties: the moderate Elsaßische Fortschrittspartei (Alsatian Progressive Party) and the more radical Landespartei (Bankwitz 1978, 18). By 1928, three Alsatian autonomists sat in the French National Assembly (Anderson 1972, 22). This new movement was not simply an expression of dissatisfaction with the policies of the Cartel des Gauches. Rather, the autonomists of the mid-1920s identified themselves explicitly with the old Reich and developed a discourse that linked the Alsatian Heimat to irredentist Germany and cultivated resentment towards French efforts to re-orient Alsatian culture and society towards Paris. The manifesto of the Heimatbund in particular identified the Alsatians to whom it appealed as belonging to a separate race as well as language.4 At the same time, the movement was largely financed from the east bank of the Rhine. The Hilfsbund in particular had quickly transformed itself from a mutual aid society into a political organization representing German interests in Alsace on both sides of the border (Grünwald 1984, 99). By early 1924, it employed Robert Ernst, an embittered ex-patriot who had fled Alsace with his family in 1918 and nursed dreams of an eventual reunification with Germany, to establish a relationship between the Hilfsbund and the autonomist movement (Kettenacker 1973, 76; Grünwald 1984, 101). It was Ernst who secured the funds necessary for the establishment of Die Zukunft and the Heimatbund (Bankwitz 1978, 21). At the same time, German émigrés and the Hilfsbund re-established connections with local and municipal governments in Alsace in order to offer their services in the “reconstruction of our German Fatherland”.5 The French government was now sufficiently unnerved by the prospect of a German fifth column that Paris began to crackdown on autonomist activities. Autonomist newspapers were outlawed in the region in November 1927 and French authorities arrested twenty-four leaders of the movement on the following Christmas eve (Bankwitz 1978, 25). Four of the accused were convicted for subversion, sentenced to one year in prison and expelled from the region for a further five. However, sympathetic Alsatians rallied around the autonomist leaders and two of the convicted men, Joseph Rossé and Georges Ricklin, were elected to the National Assembly in the spring (ibid., 26). Although they were prevented from sitting in the assembly, their election sent a powerful message both to the government in the interior and Germans waiting across the Rhine. 4 “Appeal to all Alscace-Lorrainers faithful to their homeland” (in Bankwitz 1978, 16-18) 5 “An die Stadtverwaltung der Stadt Restatt. Z.H. des Herrn Oberbürgmeister Renner. Dez. 1927." (in Stamm 1997, 152) 13 While the autonomist movement was underwritten by dissatisfied German-Alsatians and their supporters in the Reich, the rise of the National Socialists as a viable political movement and then governing party split the autonomist movement and created a small cadre willing to collaborate with an aggressive German Reich. Although many were initially drawn to the dynamic progress made by the Nazis in Germany, moderate autonomists, particularly those associated with the Catholic church, soon distanced themselves from the pro-German movement and embraced regional rights within a strong French republic (Harvey 2001, 167). Others, including the former editor of Die Zukunft, Robert Schall, openly endorsed the political and racial ideology of the Nazi party and continued to advocate for strong ties with Germany (ibid.). In 1931, an Elsaß-Lothringische Jungmannschaft, modelled on the growing Nazi volkische and youth movements, was formed with the support of pro-German fraternities at the University of Strasbourg (Craig 1984, 302). By the mid-1930s, the clash between right wing organizations such as the Croix de Feu and the left wing Popular Front government likewise polarised politics in Alsace, driving many German speaking Alsatians into the fascist Elsäßische Arbeiter und Bauern Partei (Alsatian Workers and Farmers Party) (Harvey 2001, 173-176). As refugees from the third Reich began to enter and settle in Alsace, an increasing number of right-wing Alsatians began to protest the number of Jews and other “undesirables” being allowed into the region (ibid., 171). When the relationship between France and Germany deteriorated, the French government once again took measures to contain the internal threat in Alsace. In February 1939 one of the leaders of the Landespartei, Karl Roos, was arrested and imprisoned. In the weeks immediately following the declaration of war on Germany, fifteen other autonomist leaders were arrested and held in the city of Nancy (Bankwitz 1978, 34). However, in their haste to prevent discontented Alsatians from aiding Germany, the French authorities conflated real German agents like Roos and Friedrich Spieser with local fascists such as the head of the Junmannschaft, Herman Bickler, and the mercurial autonomist Rossé, who now sat as a deputy for the Union Populaire Républican along with René Stürmel (ibid., 37-66). The group’s arrest and the subsequent execution of Roos underlined the seriousness of the situation and turned the “Nanziger” as a group into a minor cause celebre in Nazi circles (Kattenacker 1973, 128). Together, this group would constitute the public face of Alsatian collaboration during the war. Following the successful invasion of France, the Nazi government demanded the return of the Nanziger to Alsace. On July 17, one month after Petain had made a “gift of his person” to the nation, the fifteen prisoners were returned to Alsace (Harvey 2001, 195). However, before they returned to their homes, the former prisoners were pressured into signing a joint declaration publicly condemning the French government and calling for the full integration of Alsace into the Third Reich (Bankwitz 1978, 69-70). Thereafter, members of the group were shuffled into visible positions in the new National Socialist administration. Four of the former Nanziger (Lang, Hauss, Bickler, and Nußbaum) were appointed Kreisleiter of Zabern, Hagenau, Strasbourg and Molsheim, respectively (Kettenacker 1973, 126). The remaining members found employment in important positions in the semi-official Elsäßischer Hilfdienst, founded by Robert Ernst upon his return to Alsace (Bankwitz 1978, 77). A number of other prominent pre- war figures were also integrated into the new governing structure. Ernst himself was made chief advisor to the new Gauleiter, Robert Wagner (Harvey 2001, 194). Kreisleiter positions in Mülhausen, Gebweiler and Rappoltsweiler were likewise filled by former members of the 14 Jungmannschaft and the Arbeiter und Bauern Partei (Kettenacker 1973, 126). These, however, were only the most visible Alsatians willing to work under the new regime. The Hilfdienst in particular was able to find work for a wide variety of German-Alsatians (ibid., 116). By the end of the war, 30 000 Alsatians had joined the NSDAP and 63% of the population was member of at least one Nazi organization (Graff 1996, 91). In the early days of the occupation, the population of Alsace began to adapt as they had after conflicts twice before in living memory. Like French citizens all over occupied France, Alsatians were relieved to discover that the German troops, from whom they expected terrible acts of brutality, were in fact well disciplined, clean and orderly young men.6 This revelation was particularly poignant to the refugees returning after having been evacuated from Strasbourg and the areas surrounding the Maginot Line. These families returned to Alsace to discover that their homes and wine cellars had been plundered by unruly French, rather than German, troops while their livestock was requisitioned without compensation by the French high command (Boswell 1999, 561-62). Many of these Alsatians were at least thankful for a swift end to the war and a return to their homes. The German invasion of 1940 thus repeated the pattern set for Alsace in 1871 and 1918. The social hierarchy was once again inverted and collaborators connected to the new site of power were integrated into the new administration. Schools and the civil service again functioned in the language of the victor and the creatures of the old regime were expelled. However, the National Socialist government was of an entirely different order than that of previous invading powers. Ethnically or politically undesirable Alsatians were sometimes exiled into France, but they were also often sent into the German interior or into concentration camps. Use of the French language was banned outright as the government attempted to stamp out the remains of the previous regime (Essig 1994, 146). Francophone civil servants were seized as hostages to ensure the safety of the region’s new masters (Ungerer 1998, 32). The distasteful French policy of classifying Alsatians according to ethnicity found a terrible echo in the imposition of National Socialist racial policies in 1940. Alsatians themselves also seem to have developed a reputation as opportunists and collaborators over the course of the previous two regime changes. The Alsatians historical ability to come to terms with their most recent invaders met with a cool reception amongst a Nazi leadership who considered most Alsatians to be little more than crass opportunists (Bankwitz 1978, 74; Robert Ernst in Stamm 1997, 268-69). Alsatians were therefore barred even from positions of relatively little importance such as local police forces (Ungerer 1998, 60). As a result, the full weight of the National Socialist State was brought to bear on Alsace, undermining the Alsatian rationale for collaboration. Although Alsace was not publically annexed to the Reich, an unpublished decree of August 2, 1940 officially extended the German administration into the region (Milward 1970, 39). Gauleiter Wagner, a comrade of Hitler’s since the Beer-hall putsch of 1923, was charged with fully assimilating Alsace-Lorraine into the Third Reich within ten years. Wagner himself 6 For a discussion of the French reaction to German troops see Burrin 1993, 197. For the Alsatian reaction see Ungerer 1998, 30-31. 15 was determined to expunge all cultural and linguistic peculiarities from the region ahead of schedule (Kettenacker 1973, 62). Education was therefore made little more than indoctrination into National Socialism and young people were uniformly drafted into a variety of Nazi youth organizations (Ungerer 1998, 60-64). Even minor cultural differences were not tolerated, and Alsatians were pressured to switch their wedding rings to their right hand after the German custom (ibid., 58). The Concordat of 1801 was finally abolished in 1940, and the new regime began a policy of repression of Catholicism as an “enemy of the Reich” (Kettenacker 1973, 197). As new citizens of the Reich, young Alsatians were required to perform at least one year of compulsory labour service after May 1941 (Harvey 2001, 195). On August 23 1942, compulsory military service was introduced to the region (Kettenacker 1973, 223). As a result, 130 000 Alsatians were sent to the eastern front, where 40 000 perished or disappeared (Graff 1996, 76). While the Allied armies approached Alsace in the summer of 1944, virtually the entire population was inducted into the German Labour corps in order to prepare the region’s defences (Wurch 1973, 194). 3. Post-war years: Identity out of the ashes As the reality of the situation revealed itself, it became apparent that this occupation was substantially different from its predecessors. The region’s population and resources were being consumed by a nation which demonstrated a surprising commitment to obliterating regional identity. In this context, it is often asserted that “Hitler did more for the cause of the French state than all the “patriots” taken together” (Anderson 1972, 23). While it is true that the war drove Alsatians into the arms of the French, this also involved a profound redefinition of the relationship between Alsace and any outside power. In this context, the relationship between the two competing linguistic groups in Alsace changed fundamentally as Alsatians attempted to sever or downplay ties to Germany. Alsace did not experience the purges that wracked the interior of France or the majority of liberated states in the closing days of the war. Rather, Alsatians developed a unique approach to the war years that focussed on the totalizing effects of victimhood at the hands of a totally foreign power. Opportunities for collaboration and the close ties between Germany and Alsace itself were therefore minimized, or turned into acts of resistance. This approach hardened into a surprisingly durable discourse through the controversy surrounding the massacre at Oradour in particular which allowed Alsace to integrate itself into French society and avoid some of the contemporary implications of its collaborationist past. The Alsatian understanding of the wartime experience is largely dependant on its illegitimate integration into the Third Reich. A wide variety of writers and historians, including the filmmaker and playwright Martin Graff, have based their discussion of the occupation on this point (Graff 1996, 178; see also Harvey 2001, 193). This has had several consequences for Alsatian memories of the war years. First, it established a clear distinction between the experiences of occupied France and that of annexed Alsace. At the same time, it distinguished Alsatians from Germans of the same period. This median position allowed Alsatians to claim (with some justification) that they, unlike the collaborators of Vichy, were forced to serve the Nazi State while also avoiding the guilt associated with full participation in the Third Reich. Alsatians experienced National Socialism as victims, without contributing to it. This effectively precluded widespread resistance and removed the voluntary aspects of collaboration. This later 16 argument formed a substantial part of the defence of the Alsatians charged with participation in the massacre at Oradour (Farmer 1999, 151). At the same time, this position papered over the competition between French and German speaking Alsatians. Alsatians’ approach to collaboration during and following the war is consistent with this model of totalizing victimhood. Thus, actions which might have been considered acts of collaboration in the French interior have been transformed into acts of necessity or minor acts of resistance in Alsace. When Tomi Ungerer describes his beautiful mother’s ability to trade her attentions and flattery for extraordinary privileges, he uses this as an example of both the stupidity of the Nazi officers in question and of Alsatians ability to manipulate the occupying authorities (Ungerer 1998, 36, 105-06). As a result, Alsace was not swept by a wave of riotous unofficial purges following liberation. Many Alsatians in fact expressed their concern at the tendency of the French army to arrest “good Alsatian citizens” on charges of collaboration (Wurch 1973, 200). The region proved to be equally indulgent during the period of the post war trials and was more sympathetic to collaborators who claimed to have shielded Alsatians during the Nazi period than inhabitants of the interior (Anderson 1972, 23). The increasingly debauched former kreisleiter of Mülhause, Jean-Pierre Mourer, was executed in 1947. However, the evidence brought against him primarily concerned his relationship with the German government before hostilities broke out and served to conclude his pre-war Nancy trial (Bankwitz 1978, 106). Rossé, Stürmel and Ernst also seemed to be in line for execution, but the courts acceptance of the special circumstances in Alsace resulted in commuted sentences. Rossé, who had rewarded himself handsomely during the war as the head of the Hilfdienst indemnification board, was stripped of his possessions and sentenced to fifteen years in prison, where he died after having served four years (ibid., 107-08). Stürmel was sentenced to eight years in prison, but was released six years later following the general amnesty bill of 1953 (ibid., 109). Due to his questionable legal citizenship, Ernst was not tried until 1955. When he was finally sentenced to eight years in prison as a French citizen and collaborator, the years he had spent awaiting trial were taken into account and he was released, ironically, into Germany (ibid., 111). This developing consensus on the Alsatian wartime experience was forged into a remarkably powerful discourse by the Oradour trial at Bordeaux trial in 1953. For the survivors of the Oradour massacres and a wide cross-section of French society, the trial of 21 members of the SS Das Reich division responsible for the event under the “collective responsibility” provision of 1948 was the long delayed retribution for an exceptionally brutal act (Rousso 1991, 55-56; Kruuse 1967, 146). This was to be a “trial of Nazism” (Farmer 1999, 139). However, for Alsatians, the trial of 14 SS-men from Alsace alongside former German troops was regarded as a trial of wartime Alsace (Wurch 1973, 339). As a result of the controversy surrounding the trial, the collective memory of Alsatians was parlayed into a public statement on the nature of the relationship between Alsace and Germany. The fourteen Alsatian defendants exemplified the variety of relationships possible between Alsatians and the German administration during the war. Two of the accused had voluntarily joined the Waffen SS and might therefore be considered genuine collaborators. However, the thirteen remaining troops had been drafted directly into the German army, or had 17 graduated from the compulsory Hitler Jugend into the SS. Two of the men had served in the French army before the defeat in 1940 while five defected to the Free French in Normandy after the massacre at Ordour (Kruuse 1967, 117-34). The case of Joseph Busch in particular exemplifies the complexities of the Alsatian war experience. Busch was transferred from the Hitler Youth to the SS as a teenager in February 1944. Five months later he found himself at Oradour. Of all the defendants present at the trial, including the former German troops, Busch was the most candid about his activities on June 10, 1944. He admitted to having shot at least two civilians whom he later burned to death and to having stood guard over the women and children held in Oradour’s church shortly before it was put to the torch. Busch later agreed with the court president’s description of him as “a machine, like a mechanism that someone else operates” (Kruuse 1967, 125). However, less than one month after the incident, this “machine” deserted to join the French army in Normandy. After the war, he returned home to Alsace where he lived quietly as a bricklayer until summoned before the court (ibid., 125-26). This experience is difficult to reconcile comfortably with any one narrative of collaboration or resistance during the war years. Despite the obvious variety of experience amongst the accused, Alsatians rallied to their cause, which was then taken to exemplify that of Alsace itself. The former soldiers were quickly integrated into the prevailing Alsatian discourse regarding the war. They, and the other 130 000 Alsatians who had served in the German army were consistently portrayed as the “malgré-nous” or “incorporés de force” in French and the “Zwangsrecrutierten” (forced recruits) in German (Farmer 1999, 144; Graff 1996, 76). At the same time, the Zwangsrecrutierten were conflated with those who had managed to evade or escape inclusion in the German army in a catch-all Alsatian veterans association, “l’Association des Evadés et Incorporés de Force” (Farmer 1999, 143). In a more difficult leap, Alsatians further identified the wartime experience of the Zwangsrecrutierten with that of Alsace in general (Wurch 1973, 341; Graff 1996, 91; Essig 1994, 147). The thirteen impressed Alsatians were thus elevated as representations of the limited choices of all Alsatians during the war while citizens in the interior saw them as the worst kind of collaborators. For Alsatians, to condemn the Zwangsrecrutierten would be to effectively condemn Alsatian conduct during the war and the Alsatian post-war consensus. As a result, the province pressured the government in Paris to exonerate the malgré-nous and avoid raising the question of Alsatian wartime collaboration (Farmer 1999, 143). The indignant reaction to the trial in Alsace achieved a number of results in Paris and Bordeaux. In January 1953 the trial and sentencing of the Alsatians was severed from that of the German defendants, confirming some of the distinctions made in the Alsatian post-war discourse (Rousso 1991, 57). When the sentences were finally passed on February 12, the court was lenient towards the malgré-nous. Boos, the lone volunteer, was condemned to death. However, the rest of the Alsatians were given sentences ranging from five to eight years in prison (Kruuse 1967, 168). While much of France was shocked by the leniency of the court, Alsace was indignant (Farmer 1999, 158). Flags in the region were lowered to half-mast, municipal officials addressed protesting crowds and a special Mass was held at the Strasbourg Cathedral in which the Bishop condemned the verdict (Kruuse 1967, 169). In an effort to placate the province and preserve national unity, the National Assembly passed a new amnesty bill two days after the verdict was read which exempted forced conscripts from prosecution under the collective responsibility laws. Four days later the Zwangsrecrutierten were on their way home to Alsace 18 (Rousso 1991, 57). Both the Bordeaux trial and the subsequent amnesty bill were part of the larger French process of coming to terms with the war and occupation. This process had far reaching implications for Alsace which involved both the integration into the French republic and the redefinition of a long history of partisan collaboration. The Alsatian post-war memory broke the pattern of invasion and collaboration in the region. Instead, Alsatians created a discourse of victimhood that paralleled the Guallist myth of resistancialisme and allowed the region to discard the history of collaboration that had haunted them for almost a century. Alsatians instead came to see themselves as the helpless victims of a powerful and criminal regime that had singled them out for assimilation. This not only helped them to come to terms with the particularly distasteful occupation of the Nazis, but also to set aside the internal conflict between French and German Alsatians. This discourse has survived the larger French controversy surrounding the experiences of the war. In 1981, 30 years of Alsatian lobbying succeeded in securing compensation from Germany for all Alsatians drafted into the Wehrmacht (Graff 1996, 89). At the same time, Alsatians accepted an unprecedented level of integration into the French Republic. Many Alsatians were now uncomfortable sharing the “language of the Nazis” and accepted a return to predominantly French education (Essig 1994, 164-67). Autonomists and German parties vanished from post war Alsatian politics, which were now dominated by conflict between the Gaullists and the MRP (Anderson 1972, 24). To some Alsatians, this represented the death of their conflicted identity. Some bemoaned the fact that German culture and cuisine was voluntarily replaced in public life by a population eager to distance itself from all things German in the decades after the war.7 Tomi Ungerer in particular saw all traces of both the German occupation and Alsatian peculiarity crushed under the steamroller of administration from Paris (Ungerer 1998, 230). Thus, as a result of this discourse of victimhood, Alsace shed its divided, partisan, identity and accepted integration into the culture and governing structure of the victorious power in a way that it had not after previous conflicts. In more recent years, Alsatians have begun to re-examine their relationship to their two powerful neighbours and question the decisions about language and culture made by their parents (Philipps 1980, 169). However, this debate has emerged in the context of a broader Europe and a cosmopolitan approach to language studies rather than a debate about the appeal of either a specifically French or German identity. In this sense, Alsace has entered the modern debate about the fate of small regions in a larger Europe rather than the power of nationality and ethnicity. Conclusion The history of Alsace provides historians with an opportunity to examine collaboration both before and after the momentous effects of the Second World War. The Alsatian experience suggests that collaboration can be both a reasonable choice and the articulation of social and political conflicts within the occupied region. The divided linguistic and cultural identity of 7 Graff in particular notes the novelty of a restaurant in Alsace serving “German” food (Graff 1996, 196-8). See also Wenz 1992, 259 and Schreiber 1988, 340. 19 Alsace provided a pool of potential collaborators for both France and Germany in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Following an invasion or attempt at integration, collaborators allowed the new regime to extend its own influence quickly into Alsace. At the same time, the event created new opportunities for the formation of an elite class of collaborators and opened up the possibility of settling old scores with groups and individuals that had dominated the region under the last regime. While collaboration with an invading power might not have been Alsatians preferred course of action, it allowed the region to chart a course between two behemoths. However, the detrimental effects of this adaptability increased with every regime change. Alsatians’ willingness to collaborate increasingly raised the suspicions of each new regime. Purges of the old elite created a fund of bitterness which led to increasingly sharp reprisals when the region changed hands again. Thus, when France regained control of Alsace in 1918, the dispossessed pre-1871 French elite zealously purged the region of German collaborators. This in turn fostered the growth of an embittered future German collaborationist elite ready to turn the tables on French collaborators once more. At the very moment that the western world was falling victim to extremism of various kinds, collaboration in Alsace was rapidly developing into a zero- sum game. However, the enormous impact of the Nazi occupation and Second World War broke the Alsatian cycle of collaboration, purge and counter-collaboration and demanded a new conception of the relationship between the region and its invaders. As a result, Alsatians took refuge in a discourse of total victimhood and turned away from Germany. This allowed Alsatians to overlook many of the implications of their own collaborationist past in the years following the Second World War. However, it also demanded that Alsatians abandon the cultural and linguistic duality that had helped facilitate collaboration in the past and define themselves within the context of the French Republic. Collaboration is a dangerous game. While it can allow a region to survive enormous political change, it also raises the stakes at home and in the minds of the occupying powers. The absence of a fixed identity that was sufficiently differentiated from either French or German culture blurred the lines between collaboration, patriotism and the normal process of making one’s way in the world. However, Alsatians demonstrated adaptability fostered a well of bitterness that could be drawn on by both France and Germany at various times. This tendency made each regime change increasingly violent. When this tendency combined with the apocalyptic violence of the Second World War, this pattern became too much to bear. Alsatians not only re-defined their own culture by minimizing the role of German language and culture, but also defined “collaboration” out of existence in Alsace. This “act of will” on the part of Alsatians seems to have drawn the curtain on more than a century of divided loyalties. To some extent, the history of Alsace reflects the problems associated with the rise of nationalism in Europe. However, it also demonstrates both the ambiguities and dangers of national identity for a people caught between two great states. 20 References Anderson, Malcolm. 1972. Regional Identity and Political Change: The Case of Alsace from the Third to the 4 introduction Pe?tain’s National Revolution as ‘another round in the virtual civil war of the 1930s.’ Rather than being victims of Nazi aggression or fascist stooges, the Vichy regime tried to rebuild France along lines developed by the political right during the interwar era.11 When they were first published in 1972, Paxton’s conclusions revived a nasty debate about France during World War II. Admiral Paul Auphan, a staunch supporter of Marshal Pe?tain, argued that Paxton’s book was ‘laced with gaps and errors’ and discussed ‘a matter better kept between Frenchmen.’ But the controversy did not last and, by the time Paxton and Michael Marrus published Vichy France and the Jews in 1981, most scholars of the Vichy era accepted his central arguments.12 Paxton’s work forced historians to abandon Pe?tain’s sword and shield theory, refine their definition of collaboration, and extend the search for collaborators into groups previously exonerated by French courts. In retrospect, Paxton’s conclusions should have come as no surprise. Eberhard Ja?ckel published a study of Franco-German diplomatic relations during the Second World War in 1966—six years before Paxton’s Vichy France. His book, Frankreich in Hitler’s Europa, also relied on German sources and argued that Germany assumed a rather passive stance toward Vichy France. In late 1940 and early 1941, Pe?tain’s lieutenants, Pierre Laval and Admiral Franc?ois Darlan, offered to collaborate actively with Germany in return for the release of French prisoners of war, a reduction in occupation costs that were paid to Germany, permission to increase French armed forces, a relaxation of various border restrictions, and other political concessions that would rally support for the Marshal’s National Revolution.13 At the time, Hitler did not believe that he needed French help in order to win the war and did not want to offer substantial concessions to Pe?tain, Laval, or Darlan. Like Paxton, Ja?ckel highlighted French initiatives, demonstrated that Vichy officials did much more than 11 Paxton, Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, pp. 374, 381–3. 12 John F. Sweets, ‘Chaque livre un e?ve?nement: Robert Paxton and the French, from briseur de glace to iconoclaste tranquille,’ in S. Fishman, L. Lee Downs, I. Sinanoglou et al. (eds.), France at War: Vichy and the Historians, translated by David Lake (New York: Berg, 2000), pp. 21–34, 303–307; Michael R. Marrus and Robert O. Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews (New York: Basic Books, 1981). 13 Eberhad Ja?ckel, France dans L’Europe de Hitler, translated by Alfred Grosser (Paris: Fayard, 1968), pp. 154–179, 226–258, 312–326. First published as Frankreich in Hitlers Europa: Die deutsche Frankreichpolitik im zweiten Weltkrieg (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1966). 5 after the fall just respond to German demands, and discounted the sword and shield theory. In the same year that Ja?ckel published Frankreich in Hitlers Europa, Paxton published his own doctoral dissertation entitled Parades and Politics at Vichy: The French Officer Corps under Marshal Pe?tain. While Vichy France analyzed Pe?tain’s general political program, Parades and Politics focused on the French army as an institution. Soldiers and sailors played an important political role throughout the Vichy era. General Maxime Weygand, the French Commander in Chief in June 1940, refused to continue fighting Nazi Germany from North Africa and demanded an armistice. Between July 1940 and November 1942, the French army supported Pe?tain’s program of domestic reform and, as an institution, made little effort to resist Nazi Germany. While few professional officers volunteered to serve in the German armed forces after the invasion of the Soviet Union, even fewer joined Charles de Gaulle in London before November 1942.14 Although Paxton’s dissertation discussed one of the most significant institutions in French society, few Europeans recognized the importance of Parades and Politics. The distinguished French historian Jean-Pierre Aze?ma claimed that specialists were familiar with Paxton’s first book, but their awareness was not reflected in contemporary scholarly journals. The Revue fran?caise de science politique published an eight-line commentary that focused on Paxton’s sources, while the prestigious Revue d’histoire de la deuxie`me guerre mondiale merely listed Paxton’s first book under works received in April 1967.15 Both Ja?ckel’s Frankreich in Hitlers Europa and Paxton’s Parades and Politics reached conclusions that flatly contradicted the established sword and shield theory articulated by Aron and others, but they passed without comment in France. Paxton’s Vichy France essentially destroyed the sword and shield theory and, in light of its detailed research, has discouraged others from writing another history of the Vichy era ‘from the top down.’ Academics have continued to focus on issues of collaboration and resistance, but most have 14 Robert O. Paxton, Parades and Politics at Vichy: The French Officer Corps under Marshal Pe?tain (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1966), pp. 62–4, 142, 93–4, 407. 15 Sweets, ‘Chaque livre un e?ve?nement: Robert Paxton and the French, from briseur de glace to iconoclaste tranquille,’ in France at War, p. 21. 6 introduction studied the question ‘from the bottom up.’ Some analyzed specific regions of France during the war and largely confirmed Paxton’s findings—albeit with variations. John Sweets scrutinized the town of Clermont-Ferrand and concluded few people actively supported Marshal Pe?tain’s regime. By the same token, few residents of Clermont-Ferrand took actions that directly threatened Vichy politicians or their German sponsors.16 Studies of women, children, the theater, religious groups, and big business have supported similar conclusions.17 Specialists of the Vichy era studied France from the bottom up and social history dominated the field. After the Liberation, prosecutors used a model of collaboration and resistance to adjudicate treason cases. Defendants either collaborated with Germany and were guilty of treason or supported the resistance and thus were innocent. Scholars employed a similar dichotomy to explain the actions of French social groups and institutions during World War II. What did a group or institution do, and did its actions advance Hitler’s cause? If the last question can be answered in the affirmative, then the subject was probably guilty of collaboration. Authors who employ the collabora- tion–resistance dichotomy can, because of the nature of the questions they are asking, concentrate on the activities of French men and women with little regard for other considerations. 16 John F. Sweets, Choices in Vichy France. The French under Nazi Occupation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994). Other regional studies include Alya Aglan, La Re?sistance sacrifie?e: Le Mouvement Libe?ration-Nord (Paris: Flammarion, 1994); Laurent Douzou, La De?sobe?issance: Histoire d’un mouvement et d’un journal clandestin: Libe?ration-Sud (1940–1944) (Paris: Odile Jacob, 1995); H. R. Kedward, In Search of the Maquis: Rural Resistance in Southern France, 1942–1944 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993); Lynn Taylor, Between Resistance and Collaboration. Popular Protest in Northern France, 1940 – 1945 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000); Robert Zaretsky, Nîmes at War: Religion, Politics and Public Opinion in the Department of the Gard, 1938–1944 (Pennsylvania, PA: Penn State Press, 1995). 17 Sarah Fishman, We will wait! The Wives of French Prisoners of War 1940–1945 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991); Ce?lia Bertin, Femmes sous l’occupation (Paris: Stock, 1993); Hanna Diamond, Women and the Second World War in France 1939–1948: Choices and Constraints (New York: Longman, 1999); Francine Muel-Dreyfus, Vichy and the Eternal Feminine: A Contribution to a Political Sociology of Gender, translated by Kathleen A. Johnson (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001); W. D. Halls, The Youth of Vichy France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981); Pierre Giolitto, Histoire de la jeunnesse sous Vichy (Paris: Perrin, 1991); Serge Added, Le The?aˆtre dans les anne?es Vichy (Paris: Ramsay, 1992); Jean-Pierre Bertin-Maghit, Le Cine?ma sous l’occupation: Le Monde du cine?ma fran?cais de 1940–1946 (Paris: Olivier Orban, 1989); Jacques Duquesne, Les Catholiques fran?cais sous l’occupation (Paris: Grasset, 1966); W. D. Halls, Politics, Society and Christianity in Vichy France (Oxford and Providence, NH: Berg, 1995); Richard Vinen, The Politics of French Business 1936–1945 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991). 7 after the fall Rejecting this binary model, Philippe Burrin has developed the notion of accommodation to explain how people adapted to changing circumstances between 1940 and 1944. I have made use of the notion of accommodation so as to direct attention beyond the commonly accepted idea of collaboration that is seen in an essentially politico-ideological perspective. That perspective may be indispensable for giving an account of the action of the Vichy leaders and the attitude of those of their compatriots—the collaborationists—who adopted a position favoring entente with the conqueror; but it is unsuitable for a satisfactory understanding of the far more numerous choices of adaptation made by French society as a whole.18 Burrin’s concept of accommodation uses broad, contextual analysis to evaluate decisions made by various social groups including the Catholic Church, captains of industry, intellectuals, and regular French men and women who struggled to survive during the Occupation. Did French men and women who served a German cliente`le, manufactured products for the German war effort, or simply learned to speak German sympathize with the ideological goals of the Nazi regime, support resistance efforts, or just try to make some easy money? Without passing judgement, Burrin suggests that many people balanced personal ideals against the necessities of life and accommodated some German demands without necessarily endorsing Nazi goals.19 Burrin’s method can also shed light on political affairs. Did the Vichy regime cooperate with various German authorities of its own accord or under duress? Using the collaboration–resistance model, Ja?ckel and Paxton conclude that Darlan and Laval both pursued a policy of collaboration with initiative and enthusiam while they served as Prime Minister and use examples of reticence and resistance to define the limits of official collaboration. Leaders of the Vichy regime served up foreign Jews but made halfhearted attempts to protect assimilated French Jews. The collab- oration–resistance model can identify Nazi sympathizers, but it struggles 18 Philippe Burrin, France under the Germans: Collaboration and Compromise, translated by Janet Lloyd (New York: New Press, 1996), p. viii. 19 Burrin, France under the Germans: Collaboration and Compromise, pp. 177–190, 250–261, 291–305. First published as La France a` l’heure allemande, 1940–1944 (Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1993); Richard Cobb, French and Germans, Germans and French. A Personal Interpretation of France under Two Occupations, 1914–1918/1940–1944 (Hanover, NH and London: University Press of New England, 1983). 8 introduction to explain ambiguous and/or contradictory actions because it neglects context. Throughout the Occupation, French leaders and state officials spoke with diplomatic, military, and political leaders of the Third Reich on a regular basis, but these talks cannot be characterized as negotiations. Hitler did not allow subordinates to offer substantial concessions in return for French cooperation. Playing upon French fears of Polonization, the Führer insisted upon total compliance and threatened unspecified but undoubtedly dire consequences in the event of open defiance. Neither Pe?tain, Laval, nor Darlan dared to call Hitler’s bluff. Formal negotiations may have been barren, but circumstantial evidence of accommodation can be found in the actions of French and German authorities. Reprisals carried out by the military government undoubtedly claimed thousands of French lives, but they fell short of genocidal policies applied throughout Eastern Europe despite contrary orders from Berlin. For its part, the Vichy regime helped German authorities impress French workers, deport foreign Jews, and exploit French industrial resources far beyond requirements of the 1940 Armistice Agreement. Limited French cooperation and Germany’s relative moderation may be signs of accommodation. Any search for Franco-German accommodation must begin with a thorough understanding of German policy. What did Germany want? This basic question raises additional lines of enquiry. Did the German Foreign Office, Wehrmacht, SS, and branches of the Nazi party share a common policy agenda? What means did they employ to secure French assistance? Furthermore, did various German institutions achieve individual and/or collective goals? Finally, can German success be attributed to French collaboration and German failure be attributed to French resistance, or may another mechanism like accommodation explain the outcome of a particular policy? Answers to these questions may explain the actions of the French state and improve our understanding of the Vichy era. Burrin’s notion of accommodation requires a nuanced understanding of German demands in order to explain French responses and the history of the Occupation. When applied to German institutions, Burrin’s concept of accommo- dation may illuminate the inner workings of the German army and Nazi regime. The German army remains a controversial topic of historical 9 after the fall inquiry. Approximately twenty million Germans served in the armed forces during World War Two, and thirteen million soldiers fought on the eastern front. Conscripts who filled the ranks represented almost every social group except the very old, the very young, and, to a lesser extent, women. Unlike most Nazi institutions, the army included most political, social, and economic groups within German society.20 If the armed forces could be associated with the criminal policies of the Nazi regime, then a large number of Germans could be characterized as Hitler’s accomplices and would bear some degree of responsibility for crimes committed during World War Two. Did the German army embrace Nazi ideology and collaborate with Adolf Hitler? Judicial proceedings shaped initial conceptions of Nazi Germany and the German army. The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg did not designate German Army High Command (Oberkommando des Heeres or OKH) or the Armed Forces High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht or OKW) as criminal institutions, but it did sentence General Alfred Jodl and Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel to death in 1946.21 Publication of Liddell Hart’s German Generals Talk inaugurated a wave of memoirs that blamed Hitler for the mistakes of Germany and credited battlefield successes to Guderian, Rommel, Manstein, and other former generals. Allied judges and German veterans usually described the army as a group of regular soldiers who served a criminal regime and indicted the SS for most war crimes committed during the Nazi era.22 Initial studies of the Wehrmacht accused senior leaders of undermining the Weimar Republic, not stopping Hitler’s rise to power, and not over- throwing what they knew to be a criminal regime after 1938. Indictments 20 Michael Geyer, ‘Foreword,’ in Hamburg Institute for Social Research (ed.), The German Army and Genocide: Crimes Against War Prisoners, Jews, and Other Civilians, 1939–1944, translated by Scott Arestaurant, and abruptly left the room. In 1943 he issued directives to combat the black market and improve air raid defenses but left day-to-day operations to military officials.45 The Reichsmarschall could influence Franco-German relations, but he chose to do so only when protecting his own authority and often behaved erratically. Often driven by self-interest, Go?ring focused on personal matters and usually allowed others to act in his stead. He exercised a haphazard influence over French affairs and infuriated the military government on several occa- sions. General Otto von Stülpnagel’s letter of resignation highlighted the Reichsmarschall’s baneful influence.46 Like Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and Ambassador Abetz, Hermann Go?ring possessed considerable powers and could not be ignored, but he did little more than disrupt military plans. While Hermann Go?ring’s star waned within the political constellation of the Third Reich, Heinrich Himmler improved his standing within the Nazi hierarchy. Born in 1900, Himmler joined the NSDAP in 1925 and worked for Gregor Strasser. A year later he moved to Munich and worked in the Nazi Party’s propaganda section. Himmler’s career as an independent leader began with his appointment to head the Schutzstaffeln, better known by the abbreviation SS, in 1929. Also known as the Black Corps, the SS protected Nazi leaders, battled political opponents, and became an elite organization loyal only to Hitler.47 Himmler established an SS intelligence branch in 1932 and an office dealing with racial matters one year later. By 1939 the Reichsführer controlled police forces throughout the Reich, ran a network of concentration camps, collected intelligence inside Germany and abroad, and had a small armed section (the Waffen SS) that was equipped with heavy weapons. Only the Waffen SS could participate in regular military operations and garner laurels, but secret decrees issued in August 1938 and May 1939 limited the size of the Waffen SS relative to the regular army. 45 Hans Speidel, Aus unserer Zeit. Erinnerungen (Berlin: Verlag Ullstein GmbH, 1977), p. 105; BAMA RW 35/826. 46 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/438; BAMA N 5/24/26–28. 47 Robert Lewis Koehl, The Black Corps. The Structure and Power Struggles of the Nazi SS (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1983), pp. 21–30; Bernd Wegner, The Waffen SS. Organization, Ideology and Function, translated by Ronald Webster (Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell Ltd, 1990), pp. 61–4. 63 after the fall In general, Himmler designed the SS to fight clandestine opponents and prevent a reprise of the 1918 Revolution.48 The Second World War focused public attention squarely on mil- itary leaders but encouraged Hitler to embrace radical solutions that only the SS could or would carry out. Using military operations as a cover, SS special action squads (Einsatzgruppen) executed political and racial opponents in Poland, and SS doctors killed handicapped Ger- mans through the life unworthy of living (lebensunwertes Leben) program.49 The conquest of western Europe created another opportunity to battle racial enemies, but a need for absolute secrecy forced the Reichsführer to proceed with caution. In order to carry out his secret mission, Himmler had to create a palatable justification for the SS in western Europe. Himmler had few allies among the upper ranks of the army hierarchy in 1939. SS critics like Generals Blaskowitz, Leeb, Küchler, and Ulex outnumbered SS proponents such as General Reichenau. The majority of the officer corps mistrusted the SS and viewed the Waffen SS as a dangerous rival. Military opposition to the SS took concrete form in protests stemming from the execution of Jews during the campaign in Poland and Himmler’s 28 October 1939 speech that urged members of the SS to father children in or out of wedlock. Himmler delivered a conciliatory speech to senior military figures in March 1940, and General Keitel minimized military opposition by listening to the complaints from subordinates but not passing on grievances to Hitler or taking concrete measures against the Reichsführer. Himmler’s conciliatory tactics and Keitel’s spineless nature tamped down open dissent but did not eliminate military opposition to SS activities. General von Brauchitsch barred Allgemeine SS units from entering France, and Waffen SS divisions remained under military control during the 1940 Western campaign. Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei or Sipo), Secret State Police (Geheime Staatspolizei or Gestapo), Order Police (Ordnungspolizei or Orpo), and SS Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst or SD) officers could only watch from a distance as soldiers enjoyed the fruits 48 Koehl, The Black Corps, pp. 141–5; Wegner, The Waffen SS, pp. 109–119; Edward B. Westermann, Hitler’s Police Battalions. Enforcing Racial War in the East (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2005), pp. 36–40, 55–7. 49 Breitman, Architect of Genocide, pp. 67–72, 85–104; Peter Padfield, Himmler: Reichsführer-SS (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1990), pp. 260–262; Robert Proctor, Nazi Doctors (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988); Rossino, Hitler Strikes Poland. 64 rivals and scavengers of victory along the Champs E?lyse?es.50 At the start of the Occupation, Himmler played an inconsequential role in France. In the chaos surrounding the fall of Paris, Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt or RSHA) covertly installed twenty SS intelligence specialists (SD) in two buildings along the Avenue Foch. Later joined by Gestapo agents who evaded travel restrictions by masquerading as military policemen, the SS accomplished almost nothing because military officers would not allow the Black Corps to talk with RSHA via the military communications network during the summer of 1940. A third detachment of criminal police (Kriminalpolizei or Kripo) arrived to provide security for Hitler’s victory parade through the Arc de Triomphe. Although the parade was canceled, all three SS groups remained in Paris.51 SS Brigadeführer Dr. Max Thomas led the entire contingent while his executive officer, Sturmbannführer Helmut Knochen, negotiated with military authorities for permission to operate in France. In his first substantial report to superiors in Berlin, MBF General Streccius asked superiors to clarify the role of civilian agencies like the SS, but his request went unanswered. The confusion helped RSHA establish a foothold in Paris.52 SS policemen arrived in Paris without permission or a raison d’être, but they were led by two ambitious officers.53 Knochen surmounted the most formidable impediment by securing official permission to operate in France. On 4 October 1940 Field Marshal von Brauchitsch authorized Sipo and SD agents to investigate anti-German activities carried out by Jews, immigrants, communists, and church groups in the occupied zone.54 SS officers could wear their black SS uniforms and ‘register’ the possessions of groups hostile to the Third Reich. Thomas had to inform the MBF of SS strength and Himmler agreed to tell OKH about any orders that had political implications. Only subordinates of the MBF, specifically the Abwehr and GFP, had executive authority or the power to make arrests 50 Breitman, Architect of Genocide, pp. 105–115; Müller, Das Heer und Hitler, pp. 458–466. 51 BAK, All. Proz. 21/Proce`s Oberg-Knochen/6–7; Steinberg and Fite`re, Les Allemands en France, 1940–1944, pp. 39–45. 52 BALW, R 70 Frankreich (Polizeidienststellen in Frankreich)/33/3–18; Helmut Knochen, ‘Reich Service VI in Paris,’ in de Chambrun, France during the German Occupation 1940–1944, vol.III, pp. 1635–1644; USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/422–423; BAK, N 1023/1/20. 53 BALW, R 70 Frankreich/33/4–5. 54 Although they were two separate organizations inside the Third Reich, the Sicherheitspolizei (Sipo) and Sicherheitsdienst (SD) acted as a single organization in France until 1942. USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/655 – 656. 65 after the fall and confiscate private property in occupied France, but the SS had some leeway. They received their orders directly from RSHA and could not be punished by military courts-martial. As a result, military authorities could not discipline SS officers who violated the Himmler–Brauchitsch agreement.55 With official permission in hand, Thomas and Knochen opened a central office in Paris and branches in Bordeaux, Dijon, and Rouen. By 1944, branches employed approximately 140 German men and 50 German women per office. Organized like RSHA in Berlin, SS offices worked alongside branches of the military government by the end of 1940. Intelligence specialists continued their prewar efforts collecting information and assessing the influence of Jews. Racial experts oversaw and tried to control the Aryanization of the French economy. Another contingent searched for evidence of an anti-German conspiracy among Synagogue and Masonic records. Others helped the Einsatzstab Rosenberg concentrate Jewish possessions in the Louvre.56 In conjunction with Ambassador Abetz, the SS dabbled in politics and championed Adrien Marquet and Euge`ne Deloncle in an attempt to enlist ardent French collaborators in Hitler’s cause. The SS also established a direct link with the French government through SS Hauptsturmführer Kurt Geissler in Vichy.57 The SS maintained an innocuous profile while building a far-reaching organization. Although Nazi ideology regarded the French Communist Party (Parti Communist Fran?cais or PCF) as a subversive organization that was under the control of ‘international Jewry,’ the SS spent little time persecuting French communists. In response to the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, the Daladier government outlawed the PCF and forced the party underground. After the Armistice, PCF representatives asked SS officers to persuade the Vichy regime to rescind the ban, but SS delegates claimed that they could not interfere in internal French affairs and assumed a neutral stance. Before negotiations could continue, French police arrested the communist agents. When it suited their interests, the SS could eschew Nazi ideology and 55 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/655–656; BAMA, RW 35/209/211–213. 56 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/655–656, 647; BAK, All. Proz. 21/Proce`s Oberg-Kno- chen/12–13; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/31/59–60; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/33/4–5, 15–17; Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg, pp. 63–73. 57 BAK, All. Proz. 21/Proce`s Oberg-Knochen/17–18, 13; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/33/ 17–18; Gordon, Collaborationism in France, pp. 57, 68, and Chapter 6 of that volume; Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, p. 18. 66 rivals and scavengers adopt a laissez faire attitude. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, the SS abandoned its neutral stance and, in conjunction with French police, attacked the PCF with gusto.58 During the first year of the Occupation, the SS office in Paris established itself as an expert on Jewish affairs and limited itself to research activities. Before the 20 January 1942 Wannsee conference, such activities caused only minor irritation among military circles in Paris. After the invasion of the Soviet Union, Stalin’s Communist International (Comintern) ordered the PCF to attack Germany and sabotage Hitler’s war effort.59 Nazi ideology assumed that Jews controlled the PCF and were implacable enemies of the Third Reich. With several years of experience studying Jewish groups, the Black Corps stood ready to lead the fight against resistance organizations. The radicalization of the German war effort favored the Black Corps in its struggle for power and influence, and unlike Ribbentrop and Go?ring, Himmler eventually seized a position of considerable influence inside occupied France. Alfred Rosenberg joined the Nazi party in 1919 and assumed control of the organization while Hitler served time in Landsberg prison, but he failed to secure an influential job after the Nazi seizure of power. Although he edited the Nazi party newspaper, he remained a step below Go?ring, Himmler, and Ribbentrop in terms of power and influence. Despite his relatively inconsequential status, Rosenberg played an important role in the occupation of France during World War Two. The organization that he led there, the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, defied military authorities, secured a degree of autonomy, and set an important precedent. Rosenberg failed to capitalize on his initial success, but Himmler used Rosenberg’s precedent to build a bureaucratic empire that operated beyond military control. The son of a successful Baltic artisan turned businessman, Rosenberg studied in Riga and Moscow before returning home to Reval in 1918 with a diploma in architecture. That same year he moved to Munich but pursued his chosen profession with little enthusiasm. Instead, the 25-year-old turned his energies toward the formulation of an all-encompassing ideology. After 58 Maurice Agulhon, The French Republic, 1879–1992, translated by Antonia Nevill (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995), pp. 290–292; Tasca, Les Communistes fran?cais pendant la droˆle de guerre, pp. 322–336. 59 Jackson, France. The Dark Years 1940–1944, pp. 423–5. 67 after the fall joining the party, he began to write full-time for the party newspaper, the Vo?lkischer Beobachter, and became the editor two years later. Crude social Darwinism, anti-Semitism, and anti-communism served as the basis for much of his early work, summed up in his 1930 book The Myth of the Twentieth Century in which Rosenberg contended that pernicious Jewish influences stood behind the decline of ancient Greece, the Fall of the Roman Empire, and the destruction of the Romanov dynasty in Russia. Turning toward the future, he argued that Germany, perhaps in an alliance with Great Britain, should invade the Soviet Union, destroy the alleged Jewish menace that supposedly controlled the Soviet government, and seize living space for the so-called Aryan race. Publication of The Myth of the Twentieth Century in 1930 cemented Rosenberg’s position as the ideological leader of the Nazi party.60 Rosenberg met Hitler in 1919 and joined the NSDAP toward the end of that year with party number 623. In the chaotic aftermath of the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, Rosenberg took charge of the Nazi party while Hitler served time in prison but failed to control party factions. The Führer sharply criticized Rosenberg’s leadership and relations between the two remained strained thereafter. After his release in late 1924, Hitler rebuilt the Nazi party and reappointed Rosenberg managing editor of the Vo?lkischer Beobachter but demoted him to ‘publisher’ after a 1937 quarrel with Goebbels. Fancying himself to be an intellectual, Rosenberg organized the Fighting League for German Culture and attended anti-Semitic congresses in 1927 and 1928. After the September 1930 elections, he served on the Reichstag foreign policy committee. Hitler later awarded Rosenberg the title of Reichsleiter, Leader of the Foreign Policy Office of the Nazi party, and ‘the Führer’s Commissioner for the supervision of all intellectual and ideological education and training in the NSDAP.’ As the ideological leader of the Nazi movement, Rosenberg occupied a tenuous position within a party that valued instinct and action over philosophy.61 Rivals such as Goebbels and Ribbentrop limited the positions available to Rosenberg. Joseph Goebbels became Minister of Propaganda after the 60 Reinhard Bollmus, ‘Alfred Rosenberg: National Socialism’s ‘‘chief ideologue’’?’ in The Nazi Elite, ed. Ronald Smelser and Rainer Zitelmann, pp. 183–193; Cecil, The Myth of the Master Race, pp. 21–31. 61 Andreas Molau, Alfred Rosenberg: Der Ideologue des Nationalsozialismus (Koblenz: Verlag Siegfried Bublies, 1993), pp. 24–30. 68 rivals and scavengers Nazi seizure of power and assumed control of the press. Hitler demoted Rosenberg from managing editor to editor in 1937 because the ideological leader of the Nazi party would not follow Goebbels’ editorial policy in the pages of the Vo?lkischer Beobachter.62 Based on his service as the Nazi delegate to the Reichstag foreign policy committee, his writings on race and foreign policy, and his experience as head of the party’s foreign policy office, Rosenberg also coveted the Foreign Ministry after the Nazi seizure of power. Neurath served as Hitler’s Foreign Minister until 1938 to placate conservative interests, and then the post passed to the more pliant Ribbentrop in order to concentrate power in the hands of the Führer. Positions of influence in the Foreign and Propaganda Ministries remained just beyond the Reichsleiter’s grasp.63 Rosenberg eventually carved out a satrapy in the field of education. Hitler signed a decree on 29 January 1940 that enabled the Reichsleiter to organize a ‘central point for National Socialist research, doctrine, and education.’ Although Hitler forbade construction until the end of the war, Rosenberg planned to establish ten branches of what can best be described as the Nazi party analog to military staff colleges. Schools, complete with libraries, would be established inside existing universities to train the next generation of party leaders.64 The Führer later authorized the formation of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, a small group under the direct control of Rosenberg, to advance behind victorious German armies and collect ‘educational’ materials from state archives, libraries, church offices, and Masonic lodges that pertained to Germany and anti-German conspiracies. The 5 July 1940 directive allowed the Einsatzstab Rosenberg to set up shop in occupied France and operate outside of military control. Although it seemed inconsequential, the order established an important precedent.65 Himmler, Ribbentrop, Go?ring, and Rosenberg all had representatives in Paris shortly after German troops entered the City of Light, but their organizations faced a comparatively better-organized military government that did not appreciate civilian interference. All four paladins searched for a 62 Bollmus, ‘Alfred Rosenberg: National Socialism’s ‘‘chief ideologue’’?,’ p. 184. 63 Petropolous, Art as Politics in the Third Reich, pp. 20, 34–5, 64–70; Willem de Vries, Sonderstab Musik: Music Confiscations by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg under the Nazi Occupation of Western Europe, translated by UvA Vertalers and Lee K. Mitzman (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1996), pp. 21–9. 64 Cecil, The Myth of the Master Race, p. 158. 65 BAMA, RW 35/698/1. 69 after the fall way to secure a share of the spoils of victory, but first they needed an appro- priate mission. Oddly enough, the brouhaha over confiscated Jewish art provided the pretext that they needed. Himmler, Ribbentrop, and Go?ring established a bureaucratic presence in France in order to help the Ein- satzstab Rosenberg collect ‘educational’ materials. Working together, they carved out a position for their respective satrapies, broke the Wehrmacht’s monopoly of power, and undermined the rational exploitation of occupied France. Although largely irrelevant to a general history of occupied France, the Einsatzstab Rosenberg set a critical precedent. 70 3 Setting the precedent Throughout World War Two, Hitler periodically issued orders that under- mined the war effort but advanced the ideological goals of National Socialism. For example, Ambassador Abetz and General von Stülpnagel advised Hitler to rescind travel and trade restrictions that divided occupied France, unoccupied France, and the two northern departments of Pas de Calais and Nord to facilitate industrial production and, by extension, France’s contribution to the German war effort. Citing security concerns, Hitler refused to lift the restrictions. While generals favored a policy of ruthless economic exploitation that would contribute to military victory, the Führer pushed an agenda driven by race and considered the fight against Jews to be a fundamental part of his strategy. Unwilling or unable to appreciate the Führer’s thinking, some German officers ignored orders that, in their opinion, did not contribute to the war effort. In France, directives calling for the confiscation of Jewish assets, particularly works of art, were often viewed as an unwelcome distraction.1 OKW issued detailed orders that governed the sort of property soldiers could seize and described how confiscations should be carried out by troops. Signed by General Keitel, the first directive complied with German law and the Hague Convention. After the conquest of France, however, Hitler ordered branches of the German government and Nazi party to seize property in a fashion that violated Keitel’s original regulations. Two ethical 1 DGFP, ser. D, vol. X, pp. 238–242, 468–470; Milward, The New Order and the French Economy, pp. 52–3; BAMA, RW 35/708/4. after the fall codes emerged during the ensuing debate over confiscations. Most army officers did not hesitate to exploit French resources, but they did so within the bounds of custom, German law, and international agreements. Personnel shortages also made the military commander in France (Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich or MBF) rather dependent on French support and sensitive to French objections. Adhering to an older tradition, Hitler, Rosenberg, Himmler, and Go?ring disregarded Gallic sensibilities and argued that the spoils of war belonged to the victor. Debate over German confiscation policy had significant political impli- cations. By opposing Hitler’s wishes, generals in France proved themselves to be, in the eyes of the Führer, dangerous reactionaries. Since they were out of step with Hitler’s new order, conservative generals had to be pushed aside. To advance the ideological goals of the Nazi regime, Hitler placed the Einsatzstab Rosenberg beyond military control and ordered the Nazi party organization to confiscate Jewish property in occupied France. In a narrow sense, the ruling had little significance: it did not dramatically alter the course of the war or lead to moral outrages characteristic of the Nazi regime in the East, but it diluted the authority of the MBF and set an important precedent that the SS used to secure its own freedom of action. Once free from military oversight and armed with executive authority, the SS could resolve the so-called Jewish Question to Hitler’s satisfaction. German confiscation policy also affected Franco-German relations. Dur- ing the summer of 1940, the Vichy regime tried to preempt German confiscations by launching an equivalent program in order to preserve the principle of French sovereignty. Once this tactic failed, French offi- cials complained to the military administration, but to no avail. The MBF could not explain Rosenberg’s confiscation program to the Vichy regime because it was classified top secret and, as a political matter, fell outside his purview. Disregarding advice from the MBF, Hitler ignored French protests, allowed the pillage to continue, and demonstrated his utter contempt for France. Debate surrounding German confiscation policy also revealed differences in the way Germans in Paris and Nazis in Berlin regarded the Vichy regime. Ambassador Abetz eventually realized that expropriations strained Franco- German relations, joined forces with the MBF, and tried to rein in the Einsatzstab Rosenberg. Both the German embassy and the military administration appreciated the value of French cooperation and acted 72 2 USNA, RG 242/T-501/166/67–70. 3 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/623–624. setting the precedent accordingly. Superiors in Berlin saw only booty and an opportunity to introduce the new Nazi order. Differences of opinion emerged on both horizontal (MBF, German embassy, SS, and Einsatzstab Rosenberg in Paris) and vertical (Paris–Berlin) axes of the German hierarchy. As the war progressed, divisions became more pronounced and culminated in the 20 July 1944 coup against the Nazi regime. Six months before the invasion of France, General Keitel issued basic orders delineating what sort of property could be confiscated and how troops should go about seizing goods. The directive cited the Hague Con- vention and allowed division, corps, and army commanders to expropriate state property. Junior officers could confiscate military equipment, but they could not strip personal possessions from prisoners of war in accordance with article six of the 1929 Geneva Convention. Private property could only be seized through German military courts unless military necessity dictated otherwise. In any event, German law and Keitel’s 9 November 1939 order required officers to consider the needs of the local population when taking items such as food and gasoline. Commanders could seize mementos ‘of slight value’ as trophies of war but were not free to pillage the countryside. In closing, Keitel threatened to punish plundering with prison or, in extreme cases, death.2 At Hitler’s behest, Keitel revised his 1939 order on 5 July 1940. Changes allowed agents of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg to search through church documents, Masonic records, public libraries, and state archives for evidence of anti-German conspiracies. The revision also required the Einsatzstab Rosenberg to work with SS police forces before the latter had official permission to enter France. On the basis of Keitel’s 5 July directive, SS Brigadeführer Thomas established offices throughout occupied France and argued that SS officers had executive authority, but Army leaders in Berlin informed the MVW that the SS could only observe, advise, and coordinate. To complete their missions, the Einsatzstab Rosenberg and the SS had to use military police officers.3 Keitel’s directive specified the sort of property that could be seized, but it did not place a single agency in charge of the entire confiscation process. The 5 July 1940 directive allowed Rosenberg to search for evidence of an anti-German conspiracy among clerical and Masonic archives. Nazi 73 after the fall demonology placed Jews in the center of this alleged plot, but the 5 July order did not explicitly mention Jews, Jewish organizations, or synagogues. The text of Keitel’s order noted that inspiration for the confiscation project came from Rosenberg but corresponded to the will of the Führer, who may have wanted to proceed with caution while the Battle of Britain remained undecided. OKW sent copies of the confiscation order to senior military commanders throughout western Europe. Rather than distributing a copy of Keitel’s secret decree to subordinates, the MBF published his own version in the official gazette of the MBF. Junior officers in charge of local and regional branches of the military administration remained unaware of Keitel’s original decree. The MBF’s 15 July 1940 directive emphasized that confiscations could only be car- ried out with explicit authorization from the MBF or members of his staff. Those who violated the directive could be fined and/or imprisoned. To carry out this ordinance, the MBF created an art group inside the government subsection of the MVW under the command of Franz Graf Wolff Metternich, a scion of the famous Austrian diplomat and a dis- tinguished art historian in his own right.4 During the last months of the war, a senior MVW official described the art group’s mission as having two parts: helping the French government store objets d’art (e.g. paint- ings and sculptures) and ensuring that collections remained away from military installations and combat operations. Metternich embodied these lofty ideals and ‘was eventually fired in 1942—reportedly on Hitler’s express orders—as a result of his intransigence.’ Metternich evinced little enthusiasm for pillage.5 Rival groups quickly joined the race for control of French art treasures. Joseph Goebbels, the dominant force in cultural politics before the war, appeared to hold an early lead. Before the war, the Minister of Propaganda had ordered two art historians to examine French archives and compile a list of ‘works of art and valuable objects which since 1500 have been transferred to foreign ownership, either without our consent or by questionable legal transactions.’ After reading the 300-page report, Dr. Otto Kümmel, the 4 Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, p. 64. The ‘art group’ (Gruppe Kunstschutz) stood subordinate to Best’s government subsection (Abteilung Verwaltung), itself a division of Schmid’s military administration staff (Milita?rverwaltungsstab), underneath the MBF. 5 BAMA, RW 35/712/71–73; Nicholas, Rape of Europa, p. 119; Petropolous, Art as Politics in the Third Reich, p. 129; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1598/folder 4/nfn (Verordnungsblatt für die franzo?sischen Gebiete, Nr. 3, 15 Juli 1940). 74 setting the precedent director of the Berlin Museum, noted that ‘it is questionable, if the entire French patrimony will suffice to replace these losses.’6 On 13 July Dr. Kümmel asked the Foreign Office to help collect unspecified materials in occupied France. Allegedly acting on direct orders from Foreign Minister Ribbentrop, Otto Abetz placed Legation Secretary Baron von Künsberg, a veteran of similar operations in Poland and Norway, in charge of a ‘repatriation’ campaign. The German embassy in Paris eagerly participated in the confiscation of cultural assets from the start.7 Throughout June and July, Künsberg and agents of the German embassy in Paris quietly gathered artwork from the Wildenstein, Seligmann, Paul Rosenberg, and Bernheim- Jeune galleries in a house next door to the ambassadorial residence on the rue de Lille.8 The military remained unaware of Künsberg’s activities during the first weeks of the Occupation. Once he discovered that Künsberg planned to move approximately 1,500 works of art from castles in the Loire valley to the Louvre on 11 August, Metternich immediately told the commander- in-chief of the German army about the illegal transfers, and Brauchitsch issued a general order forbidding such confiscations on the same day. All works of art that the French government had placed in protective custody before the Western campaign were to be cataloged and placed under strict guard. Brauchitsch’s order forbade all transfers of objets d’art and left the fate of previously seized works in the hands of the Führer. Officers attached to the MBF immediately told Abetz about Brauchitsch’s decision.9 The day after Brauchitsch issued his no-evacuation order, Kümmel, Künsberg, and the MVW art group attended a meeting chaired by Abetz. Diplomats suggested that artwork stored in French castles be transferred to the Louvre because some paintings had allegedly been improperly packed by the French government. A selection of valuable works could then be diverted to Germany, perhaps because of a shortage of space in the Louvre. This second tactic failed when experts from the Berlin Museum and MVW art group reported that artwork had been packed ‘flawlessly.’ Künsberg could not provide contradictory evidence or obtain written permission for 6 Nicholas, The Rape of Europa, pp. 121, 122. 7 BAMA, RW 35/698/4; Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, p. 64; Petropolous, Art as Politics in the Third Reich, p. 129; Abetz, Das offene Problem, p. 137. 8 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/642–643; Nicholas, Rape of Europa, p. 125. 9 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/638; Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, p. 66. 75 after the fall a transfer that Metternich demanded.10 He needed another excuse to ship valuable pieces of art back to Germany. Not to be deterred, Abetz argued that French art holdings had to be audited so that items ‘stolen’ during periods of German weakness could be identified and returned to their rightful owners. He proposed that experts from the Paris embassy and MVW be allowed to select 20 to 25 works ‘of outstanding value’ and determine if they had been obtained unfairly. Brauchitsch rejected the ambassador’s third proposal and refused to subordinate the MVW art group to the Paris embassy. OKH and Abetz agreed to share information about artwork located by their respective offices, but the exchange only revealed that artwork confiscated by the German embassy in Paris had been poorly stored and, in some cases, damaged in transit. Furthermore, many items had not been marked with the names of their owners and thus violated Keitel’s 5 July 1940 directive.11 Metternich was not alone in his fight against confiscations. Otto von Stülpnagel, the MBF from October 1940 to February 1942, set the tone when he promised to oppose confiscations that could not be justified by military necessity.12 Werner Best, a senior SS officer before the war, resisted seizures because they antagonized the Vichy regime. Responsible for overseeing the French government between 1940 and 1942, Best relied on the goodwill of French bureaucrats in order to coordinate Vichy policy with German needs. Setting aside his latent hostility toward France, he opposed confiscations that upset the French without strengthening Germany.13 Major Greiner, the head of the Secret Military Police (GFP) in Paris, condemned expropriations on principled grounds. He argued that the ‘unlawful removal’ of artwork dishonored the German army, but he agreed to subordinate GFP officers to the Paris embassy as long as confiscation operations were approved by the MVW.14 The MBF, heads of the MVW, MVW government subsection, and leaders of the art and police divisions all objected to the confiscation of French and Jewish art. Army officers obstructed confiscations by withholding logistical support and authorized personnel. Only the GFP had executive authority in occupied France. Neither the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, the SS, nor the Paris 10 BAMA, RW 35/698/14–15; Lambauer, Otto Abetz et les Fran?caise, pp. 151–160. 11 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/640–642; BAMA, RW 35/698/16. 12 Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, p. 67; Herbert, Best, p. 262. 13 BAMA, RW 35/698/12; Herbert, Best, pp. 260–262. 14 BAMA, RW 35/698/5–6. 76 setting the precedent embassy could lawfully confiscate property. Some agencies circumvented legal restrictions by bluffing their way into museums or private residences and taking whatever they wanted, but this tactic often failed when French officials mounted a determined resistance. The Paris embassy and branches of the Nazi party also suffered from a shortage of competent people. Without assistance from the army, the Paris embassy could only pillage a limited number of buildings. From the start, military officials hamstrung opponents by cutting off their access to army vehicles, translators, and police officers.15 In the face of determined military opposition, Abetz abandoned his campaign to pillage French art collections at the end of August 1940. Since their arrival in Paris, diplomats had stood at the forefront of efforts to collect and transfer French art collections, but their meager success came at a price. Verbal complaints and notes sent by the Vichy government to both the Armistice Commission and MBF in December 1940 and January 1941 suggest that confiscations upset official relations between the two governments at a time when continued British resistance increased the value of French cooperation.16 News of the confiscations leaked to the American press and tarnished the image of Germany in neutral countries. During the fall of 1940, Abetz realized that his practice of seizing art collections had damaged relations with the Vichy government, alienated the MBF, and created a propaganda disaster. He had to change course to achieve his basic goal of Franco-German collaboration.17 The Einsatzstab Rosenberg quickly stepped into the void left by the Paris embassy’s retreat. Holding press credentials from the Ministry of Propaganda, Dr. Georg Ebert arrived in Paris in mid-June, discovered a rich trove of Masonic and Jewish records, and reported his findings to Alfred Rosenberg. With support from Martin Bormann, Rosenberg asked Hitler for permission to confiscate anti-German materials, and his request culminated in Keitel’s 5 July 1940 order. The directive placed confiscations squarely in the hands of Alfred Rosenberg and the SD, but the Einsatzstab did not have the resources to carry the mission. With approximately 60 agents in Paris, the SD could provide little assistance and had its own problems with the Wehrmacht. Rosenberg cooperated with the German 15 USNA, RG 242/T-501/362/105; BAMA, RW 35/705/91; BAMA, RW 35/698/141. 16 BAMA, RW 35/712/109–110, 132; Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, p. 66. 17 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/643; de Vries, Sonderstab Musik, pp. 86–9. 77 after the fall embassy in Paris, but the MVW art group blocked diplomatic confiscations by the end of August. As Metternich struggled against Abetz and Künsberg, Rosenberg built a small but effective organization in Paris. Dr. Ebert initially ran Rosenberg’s operation in western Europe but was replaced by Gerhard Utikal in 1941. Baron Kurt von Behr took charge of the Paris office.18 By September 1940 the Einsatzstab Rosenberg stood ready to carry out the Führer’s orders. Initial conversations between the MVW and Einsatzstab Rosenberg proceeded without a hitch. Speaking for the MVW on 28 August, Werner Best emphasized that confiscations could not take place without the approval of the MVW because only the military government had executive authority. Agents of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg agreed to respect private property laws but stated their intention to ‘register’ Jewish valuables. They described the registration of art as a measure comparable to military decrees ordering Frenchmen to register arms that could be used in a future conflict. Both sides spoke past one another, but they struck an amicable tone. In a letter that began ‘Dear Party-comrade’ Rosenberg further explained his mission to Best on 5 September 1940. The Reichsleiter stated that Hitler’s order authorized him to search libraries, archives, and Masonic lodges for evidence of anti-German conspiracies, but he promised to deal ‘exclusively’ with ‘abandoned (herrenloser) Jewish property’ for the present. Furthermore, he agreed to provide the MVW with a list of all items shipped to Germany. Rosenberg argued that these items needed to be protected from ‘robbery, destruction, or damage’ and told Best that Hitler would decide the fate of confiscated goods. In a memorandum attached to Rosenberg’s letter, Best remarked that unauthorized confiscations, including the seizure of archives or libraries, would discredit the MVW and had to be prevented. He concluded that the commander of the army would have to issue new orders to avoid an incident.19 The incident that Best feared unfolded on 7 September. Without warning, Rosenberg’s agents broke into the Turgenev and Polish libraries that had been sealed by the MVW and, with assistance from Künsberg, began shipping both collections back to Germany. The Polish library in Paris held the largest collection of Polish-language works outside of 18 Hans Umbreit, Der Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich, 1940–1944 (Boppard am Rhein: Herald Boldt Verlag, 1968), pp. 184–194; de Vries, Sonderstab Musik, pp. 30–31, 85–90, 94. 19 BAMA, RW 35/689/7–8, 12; USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/635. 78 setting the precedent Poland. Founded in 1875, the Turgenev library owned a comparable collection of Russian-language books. Even though he was a Slavophobe and devout Nazi, Best followed the policy of the military administration and immediately sent policemen to both libraries, but his subordinates found only empty rooms. The seizures violated the 28 August understanding because they involved non-Jewish property and were not carried out by representatives of the MVW. Unlike the Foreign Office, the Einsatzstab Rosenberg made no attempt to collaborate with the MVW and robbed both libraries before the military could react.20 The pillage of the Polish and Turgenev libraries aggravated a subject first made sore by Abetz, embarrassed Best, and antagonized the MVW. The MVW responded without delay. Dr. Bahnke, an official in the justice division of the government subsection of the MVW, fired off a long letter to Brauchitsch on 13 September that summarized the administration’s struggle with the Paris embassy and Einsatzstab Rosenberg. Bahnke noted that only the MVW had the executive authority and asked the commander of the German army to clarify the situation. Best personally approved Bahnke’s letter, and at least six other senior members of the military government contributed to its drafting. Conflict between the MVW art group and Paris embassy played out between Metternich and Best on one side and Künsberg and Abetz on the other. Bahnke’s letter forced senior authorities in Berlin to deal with the problem and raised the stakes for all concerned.21 Bahnke’s letter came to Hitler’s attention via Field Marshal von Brau- chitsch. After discussing the matter with the Führer, Keitel issued another order on 17 September. He informed the MVW that all private property that had been transferred to the French state after 1 September 1939 would be subject to confiscation. The regulation allowed Rosenberg to transfer property back to Germany and listed the Polish library, art collections in the Palais Rothschild, and other ‘abandoned’ (herrenloser) Jewish properties as examples of items subject to seizure. Anticipating a negative reaction from the Vichy government, Keitel directed subordinates to acknowledge neither the registration, seizure, nor transport of confiscated property. Brandishing Keitel’s directive, Dr. Wilhelm Grau, an official with the Paris 20 Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, p. 68; BAMA, RW 35/712/90; USNA, RG 242/T-501/362/64. 21 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/637–643; BAMA, RW 35/698/13–19. 79 after the fall branch of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, ordered Best to help the Einsatzstab seize art collections stored at fifteen specific addresses. Targets included the Librairie Lipschutz, E?cole Rabbinique, Grand Orient de France, var- ious houses owned by the Rothschild family, and the Alliance Israe?lite Universelle.22 The MVW had to comply with an order that clearly violated articles 46 and 56 of the 1907 Hague Convention which protected private property and forbade the seizure of works of art respectively. Keitel’s 17 September directive broke the military’s monopoly of power in France. The 5 July order targeted the records of anti-German groups and written materials housed in Masonic lodges, libraries, archives. It did not mention Jews, synagogues, or Jewish organizations. The 17 September regulation used similar language but included the addresses of fifteen prominent French Jews and Jewish organizations. Although the 5 July order may have applied to Jewish property, the 17 September regulation explicitly approved the expropriation of cultural goods (Kulturgüter) that were owned by Jews. Adding insult to injury, the MVW had to support the Einsatzstab Rosenberg by supplying the latter with GFP officers. Keitel’s 17 September regulation authorized Rosenberg to pillage France with impunity.23 The 17 September order also gave the SS an official mission in occupied France. It directed the Gestapo to assist the Einsatzstab Rosenberg and required the army to reach an understanding with the Black Corps. Himmler and Brauchitsch signed an agreement that outlined the mission and responsibility of SS personnel in France on 4 October. The accord denied SS agents executive authority that they needed to confiscate property, but it directed GFP to act as the executive organ of the SS. In addition, SS agents received permission to study Jews, Freemasons, and anti-German elements in France. The 4 October agreement gained significance as resistance increased in 1941.24 MVW officers continued to squabble with the Einsatzstab Rosenberg. Werner Best argued that expropriations were beneath the dignity of the Reich and should be dealt with in final peace negotiations. He direct- ed subordinates not to help other German agencies—namely the Paris embassy—seize objets d’art. The Einsatzstab Rosenberg abandoned allies in the Paris embassy, sided with Best, and gained exclusive control of 22 BAMA, RW 35/698/23; USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/647. 23 BAMA, RW 35/698/23; BAMA, RW 35/712/87, 118–119. 24 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/655–656. 80 setting the precedent the expropriation process.25 Two junior officials attached to the MVW justice division analyzed German confiscation policy and concluded that they could do little to change the situation. They understood that Kei- tel’s 17 September order gave the Einsatzstab Rosenberg autonomy and realized that further clarification would only diminish the authority of the MVW. They advised colleagues to work with the Einsatzstab and exhort its members (1) not to embark on any confiscation drives with- out agreement from the MVW, (2) to stick to their core mission, and (3) to obey proper procedure. Without support from superiors in Berlin, MVW officers tried to collaborate with and eventually tame the Einsatzstab Rosenberg.26 Comradely cooperation between the MVW and Einsatzstab Rosenberg disintegrated between September and October 1940. The MVW assigned few GFP officers to the Einsatzstab Rosenberg and limited the number of confiscations that could legally be carried out. The Commandant of Greater Paris, the fount of all supplies in the French capital, did not provide the Einsatzstab with enough trucks or gasoline. On occasion, OKH reminded subordinates that Rosenberg’s work was essential to the German war effort and ordered officers to cooperate. In response to military obstruction, the Einsatzstab Rosenberg wielded Keitel’s 17 September directive like a club and acted without regard for the legal, political, or diplomatic consequences of its actions. By 1942 the leader of the Paris branch of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg went so far as to order military commanders to report any valuable objets d’art in buildings used by the military government. MVW officials and Einsatzstab Rosenberg engaged in a nasty cold war that continued until Germany’s surrender.27 Although many army officers opposed unilateral expropriations, there were some exceptions. Dr. Hermann Bunjes, a young art historian, initially worked for the MVW art group in the Louvre and searched for paintings that had been ‘stolen’ by Jews and thus were subject to confiscation. He passed this information on to Reichsmarschall Go?ring who, in turn, frequently added the objets d’art to his own personal collection. Superiors in the military administration regarded Bunjes as a ‘black sheep’ and shunned 25 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/650–651; BAMA, RW 35/698/39; Lambauer, Otto Abetz et les Fran?cais, pp. 161–2. 26 BAMA, RW 35/698/38–41. 27 BAMA, RW 35/712/94; BAMA, RW 35/705/78–80; BAMA, RW 35/708/10–11, 17. 81 after the fall him whenever possible. In 1942, Bunjes transferred to the Luftwaffe and worked exclusively for Go?ring until the war ended.28 Leading MVW officials opposed confiscations, but a minority of subalterns like Bunjes operated as a sort of fifth column, undermined Metternich’s efforts, and provided rivals like Go?ring with invaluable information. Reichsmarschall Go?ring weighed in on the confiscation question and issued another set of regulations on 3 November. Since Keitel’s 17 Septem- ber order dictated what property could be confiscated, the Reichsmarschall’s directive focused on the division of the spoils. Hitler received first choice, followed by Go? ring. Afterwards, Reichsleiter Rosenberg could select ‘edu- cational materials’ for libraries, schools, and museums that would be built after the war. Remaining items would be sold on the open market and the proceeds disbursed to needy Frenchmen. Additional paragraphs specified that confiscated goods would be seized by the Einsatzstab Rosenberg with help from the GFP, cataloged by the Einsatzstab alone, and shipped to the Reich by the Luftwaffe. In a handwritten note at the bottom of his order, Go?ring indicated that his regulations had been discussed with Hitler and corresponded to the Führer’s wishes.29 G o? r i n g ’ s i n t e r v e n t i o n h a d b r o a d i m p l i c a t i o n s . F i r s t , b o t h K e i t e l ’ s 17 September and Go?ring’s 3 November decrees indicated that Hitler stood behind Rosenberg’s efforts. Those who continued to oppose seizures carried out by the Einsatzstab Rosenberg would be going against the will of the Führer and would receive no support from Go?ring, Keitel, or Brauchitsch. Second, the Reichsmarschall oversaw the shipment of art from France to Germany and secured a share of the spoils for himself and the Führer. Although their participation ensured that the confiscation program would continue despite military opposition, it also diluted the profits available to Rosenberg. Third, Go?ring’s order provided the French government with an incentive to participate in the operation by offering Vichy a share of the spoils. The Reichsmarschall’s decree further discouraged those who wanted to stop illegal confiscations. Dr. Hans Lammers, the head of the Reich Chancellery and a major power-broker in the German government, voiced his opinion on the confiscation debate in an 18 November 1940 letter to the MBF. Lammers 28 Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, pp. 70–71; BAMA, RW 35/705/123; Umbreit, Der Milita?r- befehlshaber in Frankreich, p. 191. 29 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1624/11; BAMA, RW 35/1/12–17. 82 setting the precedent first noted that German troops had confiscated works of art in Austria so that assets could not be ‘misused’ by enemies of the regime. He described confiscations in France as analogous to preceding events in Austria and ignored the fact that the 1940 Armistice Agreement guaranteed French sovereignty. Lammers declared that the German government did not care who actually seized objets d’art, but he argued that German directives always took precedence over French laws. He concluded by denying that Hitler had authorized any expropriations and noted that the Führer merely determined the fate of works that others had seized.30 A Nazi first and a lawyer second, Lammers disregarded legal arguments raised by field officers. His letter may have been a feeble attempt to obscure Hitler’s role in the affair, but it revealed that the MBF could not count on support from the state bureaucracy. Despite the forces arrayed against them, the MBF and subordinates in the MVW continued to gripe. They raised a series of legal objections to Go?ring when he visited Paris in November 1940. The Reichsmarschall declared himself to be the supreme legal authority in the Third Reich and summarily dismissed all objections.31 Continued opposition to the Einsatzstab Rosenberg did produce one concrete result. To silence military opposition, the Reichsmarschall issued a written order that released the military administration from tenets of the Hague Convention that protect- ed private property.32 The decree quelled arguments voiced by military officers that were based on legal grounds, but the debate did not end. Instead, it shifted to address the question of how to respond to French protests. Frenchmen had reason to condemn German seizures. Reichsmarschall Go?ring hitched two wagons full of objets d’art to his personal train when he left Paris in February 1941. By September, the Einsatzstab Rosenberg had shipped fifty-two boxcars of objets d’art that were seized from mostly Jewish residences back to Germany. Expropriations worth an estimated one billion Reichsmarks soon exhausted the supply of artistic treasures, but the Einsatzstab did not relent. Instead, it began to confiscate furniture and household goods for distribution among Germans made homeless by Allied bombing raids. By 1943, the Einsatzstab Rosenberg sent 8,642 boxcars 30 BAMA, RW 35/698/106. 31 Herbert, Best, p. 261. Go?ring declared ‘Der ho?chste Jurist im Staate bin Ich.’ 32 BAMA, RW 35/712/121–124; BAMA, RW 35/705/87–88. 83 after the fall to the Reich. Sales in Germany generated a tidy profit that was divided between the Ministry of Finance and the Einsatzstab Rosenberg.33 The Vichy regime did not stand by while the Einsatzstab Rosenberg robbed France blind. Nine days after the MBF published his 15 July con- fiscation decree, the Vichy regime passed a comparable law that allowed French officials to take control of abandoned assets as part of a general policy to assert French sovereignty throughout the Hexagon.34 On 10 September 1940 the government went a step further and allowed officials to confiscate the property of denaturalized Jews. Using the 24 July and 10 Septem- ber 1940 regulations, the French government tried to preempt German confiscations and preserve the illusion of sovereignty. In many ways, this strategy played into Germany’s hands by providing the appearance of due process. German authorities in Bordeaux reported that friction between the two governments developed as a result of competing confiscation policies. Germany ultimately prevailed, but not before generating much ill-will.35 Raphae?l Alibert, the Minister of Justice between July 1940 and February 1941, condemned German confiscations during a 21 October 1940 conver- sation with the MBF. Alibert noted that France had lost the war, deserved to pay a penalty, and believed that Germany had a right to receive a share of any profits generated by the sale of expropriated property. The Minister did not oppose the confiscation of Jewish property in principle, but he insisted that all seizures should be carried out by French authorities in accordance with French law. A second protest arrived on 18 December in the form of a verbal note. The message continued to accept the fundamen- tal legitimacy of expropriations but argued for a share of the spoils. The Vichy regime wanted to alleviate widespread shortages by selling seized Jewish property and using the proceeds to fund a winter relief program, 33 BAMA, RW 35/698/174; BAMA, RW 35/712/130; BALW, NS 8/131/88; Herbert, Best, p. 262; Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, p. 77; Commission Consultative des Dommages et des Re?parations, Dommages subis par la France et l’union fran?caise du fait de la guerre et de l’occupation ennemie, 1939–1945 (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1950), vol. I pp. 367–372; vol. VII, monograph P.F. 5, Oeuvres d’Art; Go?tz Ally, Hitler’s Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War and the Nazi Welfare State, translated by Jefferson Chase (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2005). 34 BAMA RW 35/698/61; Dominique Re?my, Les Lois de Vichy (Paris: Romillat, 1992), p. 79; Joseph Billig, Le Commissariat ge?ne?ral aux questions Juives, 1941–1944, vol. III (Paris: E?ditions du centre, 1960), pp. 74–7. 35 Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 3–8; Richard H. Weisberg, Vichy Law and the Holocaust in France (New York: New York University Press, 1996), pp. 250–252; BAMA, RW 35/698/61, 69; BAMA, RW 35/712/125–126. 84 setting the precedent the Secours National. The French delegation that was responsible for the sale of confiscated property wanted to catalog art that Rosenberg had concen- trated in the Louvre and Muse?e du Jeu de Paume. In closing, the French communique? asked Otto von Stülpnagel, the MBF since 25 October 1940, to grant French officials access to both museums and release any proceeds generated by the sale of expropriated art. When the German government failed to respond to Alibert’s 21 October comments or the 18 December 1940 verbal note, the French government delivered a third protest to the MBF on 27 January 1941. It covered much of the same ground and asked German authorities to establish a system for handling similar conflicts in the future.36 The French government assumed that the German army stood behind the seizure of French art collections and directed their complaints to the MBF and, later, the German embassy in Paris. They remained unaware of inter- agency struggles and did not negotiate with the Einsatzstab Rosenberg directly. The MBF could not answer French protests because Keitel’s 17 September regulation remained secret. The military administration shouldered the blame for the activities of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg.37 Werner Best met with members of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, the SS, and subordinates in the justice and art divisions of the military administration to decide on a course of action. Almost one month after receiving the first French verbal note, the committee advised Otto von Stülpnagel to pass the question to Berlin.38 The Einsatzstab Rosenberg viewed French complaints as evidence that the anti-German conspiracy was stronger than ever. In a 24 January 1941 analysis sent to Best, two senior Einsatzstab officials argued that Jews and Freemasons had stood behind the 1914 assassination of Franz Ferdinand, built the ‘ignominious’ World War One memorial at Compie`gne, and arranged a boycott of German goods after the Nazi seizure of power. The memorandum described Jews as implacable enemies of the German people who would fight the Reich with every available weapon. They were related by ‘blood and tactics’ to the Belgian partisans of World War One and Polish ‘bandits’ who supposedly instigated the current struggle. The Einsatzstab argued that Jews used objets d’art to finance attacks against 36 BAMA, RW 35/698/61, 83–84, 96. 37 Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, pp. 68–70; BAMA, RW 35/698/140. 38 BAMA, RW 35/698/92–95. 85 after the fall German soldiers. Valuable paintings were weapons in the hands of Jews and thus subject to confiscation. Rosenberg’s minions urged the MBF to ignore French protests and to treat the Vichy regime with suspicion. They argued that Germany should not return Jewish property unless the Vichy regime rigorously enforced anti-Semitic legislation formulated by Alibert. The memorandum adopted a hard line that matched both Hitler’s racial anti-Semitism and Dr. Lammers’ 18 November 1940 letter.39 Disdaining advice from the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, Stülpnagel followed Werner Best’s suggestion and asked Berlin for guidance. His request trav- eled up the chain of command and landed on the desk of the General Quartermaster of OKH. After considering the matter for several months, OKH issued a classic bureaucratic response and advised the MBF to tell the French government that the matter was being studied in Berlin. Field Marshal von Brauchitsch finally mentioned Stülpnagel’s case to Hitler in a letter on 18 September 1941. The commander of the German army observed that the French government assumed the army, specifically the MBF, stood behind confiscation operations. Orders from Keitel and Go?ring placed the operations squarely in the hands of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, but both directives were secret and thus could not be dis- cussed with the Vichy regime. The Field Marshal concluded that the MBF should be absolved of responsibility and the entire matter handled by the Foreign Office.40 Transfixed by battles on the eastern front, nei- ther Hitler nor Keitel replied to Brauchitsch’s missive. Leaders in Berlin ignored French objections and cared little if this tactic damaged the army’s prestige. Vichy officials took the matter very seriously. Alibert’s conversation and the two verbal notes indicate that some people in the Vichy government considered the issue important because it had turned public opinion against the regime. Admiral Darlan raised the matter with Stülpnagel on 11 August 1941 and described its resolution as a major goal of his government. When notes sent directly to the MBF failed to produce results, the Vichy government contacted General Vogl, the head of the Armistice Commission, and Hans Hemmen at the economic branch of the Armistice Commission, in 1942. Xavier Vallat, the head of the Commissariat-ge?ne?ral 39 BAMA, RW 35/698/164–173, 106–107. For Hitler’s views, see BAMA, RW 35/708/3–4. 40 BAMA, RW 35/698/94, 104–105; BAMA, RW 35/705/51. 86 setting the precedent aux questions juives (CGQJ) also tried to resolve the problem by speaking with Werner Best.41 Taken as a group, the letters indicate the Vichy government’s view of the confiscations. French protests eventually reached the ears of Abetz. The ambassador asked the MBF for a summary of correspondence that pertained to the confiscation of Jewish art in February 1941 and pondered the matter for another eight months before proposing a solution. He met with his former nemesis in the MVW art group, Count Metternich, on 17 October 1941 and suggested that a commission of French and German officials be established to catalog items seized by German authorities. The value of items confiscated by Germany, less the amount given back to Vichy for the Secours National, would then be subtracted from any reparations included in a Franco-German peace treaty signed at the end of hostilities.42 Abetz’s plan sought to place confiscations on a legal footing and thus placate the French government without costing Germany any real money or returning confiscated objects. Officers in Paris supported the plan, but military superiors in Berlin claimed that it was a political matter and thus not the responsibility of military authorities. Senior officials in Berlin once again ignored the issue, and Abetz’s proposal fell by the wayside.43 Hitler ended the confiscation debate by issuing an order to all branch- es of the party, army, and state bureaucracy on 1 March 1942. The Führer declared that attacks against Jews, Freemasons, and their allies were essential to the German war effort. He granted Reichsleiter Rosenberg the right to dispose of Jewish property, goods of uncertain ownership, and abandoned possessions. The Führer ordered OKW to cooperate with Rosenberg against Jews and other ideological opponents of the regime. Hitler signed the Führerbefehl and no longer bothered to conceal his role in the seizures.44 His personal intervention, in conjunction with the advent of armed resistance movements in France and fighting on the Eastern Front, pressed confiscations into the background. Resistance, reprisals, and hostage executions overshadowed expropriations in the fall of 1941. Before the 1940 Western campaign, Hitler and Keitel expected to fight a long war and proceeded with a degree of caution. After defeating France, 41 BAMA, RW 35/705/45–48, 104–109, 114–115, 21–27. 42 BAMA, RW 35/698/176; BAMA, RW 35/705/55–68. 43 BAMA, RW 35/705/122; BAMA, RW 35/712/132, 133. 44 BAMA, RW 35/708/3–4. 87 after the fall the military administration in Paris planned to obey the laws of war, cultivate French support, and foster economic collaboration, but Hitler had other ideas. At the Führer’s behest, Keitel revised directives governing the confiscation of property and unleashed a wave of pillage. With support from Brauchitsch, officers in Paris eventually stopped diplomatic expropriations, but the Einsatzstab Rosenberg took over the operation and embarked on a campaign of organized robbery that far surpassed depredations carried out by Napoleon. Confident of victory, Hitler eventually acknowledged his role as the architect of the entire operation. Generals Streccius and Stülpnagel had no intention of treating France with kid gloves, but they tried to follow articles of the Armistice Agreement and obey rules of war. When faced with orders that violated their own sensibilities and could not be justified by military necessity, the MBF complained to superiors in Berlin. Nazi sympathizers and sycophants dominated the highest echelons of OKW and OKH after the Blomberg – Fritsch affair, but pockets of dissent survived in the middle ranks of the army. Complaints raised by members of the military administration suggest that some officers in Paris did not embrace every point of the Nazi agenda. 88 4 First measures Disagreement over the confiscation of Jewish art anticipated debates about anti-partisan policy in France. Just as they sparred for control of Jewish property in the latter half of 1940, several German agencies fought for the right to regulate anti-partisan policy. At the start of the Occupation, resistance activity amounted to little more than occasional sabotage and helping British soldiers evade capture. Even though he faced only minor security threats, the MBF issued regulations that outlined German anti- partisan policy on 12 September 1940. After resistance groups began to assassinate German soldiers in the fall of 1941, the MBF followed long-standing guidelines and answered resistance activity with gradually increasing reprisals that included the execution of hostages who were somehow related to the suspected perpetrators. Speaking through Field Marshal Keitel, Hitler condemned the response as ‘much too mild’ and ordered the MBF to execute at least fifty hostages immediately after every lethal attack. Military intransigence led Hitler to place the confiscation of Jewish property in Alfred Rosenberg’s hands: the Führer faced a similar problem with regard to ‘security’ and imposed a comparable solution. After the MBF balked at mass executions, the Führer placed the SS in charge of German anti-partisan policy, which meant that the issue of anti-partisan policy enhanced the power of Himmler’s Black Corps in France. Nazis in Berlin and the military administration in Paris proposed disparate anti-partisan policies. Speaking through Keitel, Hitler ordered the MBF to after the fall carry out immediate, deadly, and disproportionate reprisals that targeted Jews. Hitler’s policy used resistance to justify genocide and enmesh the army in the Final Solution. Although he too supported harsh security measures that included hostage executions in principle and practice, the MBF preferred to investigate attacks and focus German retribution on actual partisans or criminals who could be linked with suspected perpetrators. The military administration encouraged Franco-German collaboration, tried not to alienate neutral Frenchmen, and used gradually increasing reprisals to teach partisans that resistance did not pay. When compared to historical precedents, the practices of other European armies, and common interpretations of the rules of war, the MBF’s reprisal policy stands just beyond or at the very edge of ‘normal’ military behavior in a modern guerrilla war. Hitler’s anti-partisan policy amounted to little more than a thinly veiled attempt to exterminate an alleged race and, when placed in the context of the laws of war and historical precedents, stands far beyond the pale of traditional military conduct. In theory, the laws of war (jus in bello) govern the behavior of soldiers in an armed conflict. They consist of specific international agreements negotiated by sovereign states and an amorphous group of historical precedents established over an indeterminate period of time. In the modern era, belligerent and neutral governments alike recognized that wounded soldiers suffered needlessly during the Crimean War (1854–1856). To resolve the problem, diplomats from twelve European countries signed the Red Cross Convention, alternatively known as the first Geneva Convention, in 1864. The ten articles of the treaty bound signators to treat all medical personnel and civilians engaged in helping the wounded as neutral.1 Efforts to render military customs into written treaties continued throughout the nineteenth century. In the 1868 St. Petersburg Declaration, representatives of sixteen states agreed That the only legitimate object which states should endeavor to accomplish during war is to weaken the military force of the enemy; That for this purpose, it is sufficient to disable the greatest possible number of men; That this object would be exceeded by the employment of arms which uselessly aggravate the sufferings of disabled men, or render their death inevitable; 1 Friedman (ed.), The Laws of War, vol. I, pp. 151, 187–191; Geoffrey Best, Humanity in Warfare (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980), p. 151. 90 first measures That the employment of such arms would, therefore be contrary to the laws of humanity.2 Attempts to recast vague military traditions did not always succeed. Diplo- mats, lawyers, and soldiers from fifteen countries failed to reach an agreement during the 1874 Brussels conference, but the desire to co- dify the ‘laws and customs of war’ remained popular among the European public.3 In 1898, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs proposed another meeting to consider ‘a possible reduction of the excessive armaments which weigh upon all nations.’ At the conference, Colonel Gross von Schwarzhoff, a member of the German delegation and informal spokesman for all opponents of arms control agreements, replied that the German people were ‘not crushed beneath the weight of armament expenditures’ and, with the support of American and British officers, blocked further attempts to restrict military spending. Yet the meeting did not end in total failure. Participants signed treaties concerning belligerency, prisoners of war, and military authority over hostile territory. They also prohibited the use of expanding (‘dum-dum’) bullets and banned ‘the use of projectiles the object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gases.’ Twenty-six nations eventually ratified what eventually became known as the 1899 Hague Convention.4 With support from American President Theodore Roosevelt, Tsar Nicholas II convened another major international conference at The Hague in 1906. Forty-four states revised the 1899 accords and passed a total of fourteen conventions but broke little new ground. Section III of the Laws and Customs of War on Land provoked considerable debate.5 Some participants argued that local inhabitants had a right to resist an invading army, while others believed that such resistance ‘merely prolonged the war and confused otherwise clear distinctions between soldiers and civilians.’ 2 Friedman (ed.), The Laws of War, vol. I, pp. 192–3. 3 Friedman (ed.), The Laws of War, vol. I, pp. 149–155. 4 James Brown Scott (ed.), The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1915), pp. xiv–xv; Friedman (ed.), The Laws of War, vol. I, pp. 153, 204–250; Calvin DeArmond Davis, The United States and the First Hague Peace Conference (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1962), pp. 121–4, 289–302; Alfred Vagts, A History of Militarism (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981), pp. 399–403. 5 Scott (ed.), The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907, pp. vi–vii; Calvin DeArmond Davis, The United States and the Second Hague Peace Conference: American Diplomacy and International Organization, 1899–1914 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1975), pp. 200–207. 91 after the fall Diplomats surmounted the disagreement by retaining ambiguous language used in the 1899 treaty and made few substantive changes to the sections dealing with occupied territory.6 In order to limit the carnage of war, the Hague Convention tried to distinguish civilians from soldiers, militiamen, and lawful combatants. Articles of the 1907 Hague Convention specified that soldiers had to (1) be ‘commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates,’ (2) wear ‘a fixed distinctive emblem recognizable at a distance,’ (3) openly bear arms, and (4) conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. As a hostile army approached, civilians could defend their homes and still be considered legitimate belligerents as long as they carried their weapons openly, tried to wear some sort of uniform, and obeyed the rules of war. Once invading troops seized control of enemy territory, civilians lost their right to revolt and owed a degree of loyalty to the occupying army.7 Unlike soldiers and militiamen, the inhabitants of an occupied territory existed in a grey area of international law. According to section III of the 1907 Hague Convention (Military Authority over the Territory of the Hostile State), an occupying power could not force civilians to swear allegiance to the occupying power (article 45) nor compel them to furnish information about another state’s army (article 44). An occupying army had to respect the family honor, family rights, religious convictions, and the private property of local residents (article 46). Article 47 simply stated that ‘(p)illage is formally forbidden.’ But inhabitants of an occupied territory could not embark on a guerrilla campaign against their conquerors. According to the Hague Convention, those who did could be considered war criminals because they did not wear a uniform or bear their arms openly. If found guilty of ‘war treason,’ ‘war rebellion,’ or similar war crimes, civilians could be punished as war criminals.8 The remaining eleven articles of section III protected civilians who lived in occupied territory, but they contained ambiguous phrases. Article 43 6 Adam Roberts, ‘Land warfare: from Hague to Nuremberg,’ in Michael Howard, George J. Andreopolos, and Mark R. Schulman (eds.), The Laws of War: Constraints on Warfare in the Western World (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994), pp. 121–3. 7 Friedman (ed.), The Laws of War, vol. I, pp. 308–323; Manual of Military Law (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1914), chapter XIV; BAK, All. Proz. 21/208/35–43; Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg, pp. 233–258. 8 USNA, RG 153 (Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General—Army)/entry 135/91/folder L-512/28–126. 92 first measures recognized that ‘legitimate power’ passed into the hands of an occupying army when the latter assumed control of enemy territory. While grant- ing an occupying army what amounted to sovereignty, the same article bound a military governor to ‘take all measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.’ Article 48 allowed an occupying army to collect taxes, but only ‘as far as possible, in accordance with the rules of assessment and incidence in force.’ Article 49 permitted an occupying army to levy additional funds from an occupied territory, but only ‘for the needs of the army or of the administration of the territory in question.’ The phrases ‘as far as possible’ and ‘unless abso- lutely prevented’ crippled article 43 and injected ambiguity into successive provisions.9 At first glance, article 50 appeared to outlaw collective punishments: No general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, shall be inflicted upon the population on account of the acts of individuals for which they cannot be regarded as jointly or severally responsible. According to the letter or the law, article 50 outlawed punishments for which the population could not be regarded as jointly responsible. The legality of collective reprisals depended on the perspective of the person doing the ‘regarding.’ Comparable linguistic flaws in articles 48 and 49 implicitly sanctioned extraordinary taxes and fines levied for alleged crimes supposedly carried out by an entire community. During World War Two, Nazis used ambiguous phrases in the Hague Convention to justify collective punishments.10 Articles 4 through 20 of the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions estab- lished rough guidelines for the treatment of prisoners of war, but the experience of World War One proved them to be inadequate. To rem- edy these shortcomings, diplomats expanded the Hague rules in the 1929 Geneva Convention. Sections with titles like ‘Prisoners-of-War Camps, Food and Clothing of Prisoners of War, and Labor of Prisoners of War’ fleshed out standards alluded to in the 1907 Hague Convention. Specif- ic articles of the 1929 agreement outlawed collective punishments and established arrest for a duration of thirty days as the most severe penalty 9 Friedman (ed.), The Laws of War, vol. I, p. 322. 10 BAMA, RW 35/312/15–19, 21–59. 93 after the fall that could be applied to prisoners of war.11 The 1929 Geneva Convention protected prisoners of war from collective reprisals, but it did not apply to civilians. Agreements negotiated between 1864 and 1929 codified the unwrit- ten rules of war, but many provisions were riddled with vague terms. Contentious provisions employed equivocal language to overcome dis- agreements between large and small nations. Public opinion compelled governments to participate in the talks, and no government wanted to appear to be responsible for their failure, but diplomatic and military nego- tiators refused to accept precise wording that might limit their actions during an armed conflict. In order to secure widespread acceptance, international agreements had to be ambiguous. In an attempt to overcome the limited scope of the Hague Convention, diplomats inserted the Martens clause into the preamble of both the 1899 and 1907 Hague agreements: Until a more complete code of the laws of war has been issued, the High Contracting Parties deem it expedient to declare that, in cases not included in the Regulations adopted by them, the inhabitants and belligerents remain under the protection and the rule of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and the dictates of the public conscience.12 Named in honor of the jurist who advised the Tsar during the 1899 and 1907 conferences, the Martens clause admonished participants to adhere to the unwritten traditions of warfare and let historical precedent shape military conduct. In so doing, it opened up a Pandora’s box of both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ historical precedents that belligerents could use to support almost any policy. European soldiers had developed an elaborate code of conduct during the early modern era. Detailed but largely unwritten rules governing the capitulation of fortresses supplemented the earlier code of chivalry. Townsmen who refused to surrender might be put to the sword, but citizens who capitulated before a breach in the defenses had been effected could expect to pay a fine and escape with their lives. Similar traditions facilitated the exchange of prisoners and protected field hospitals in the 11 Friedman (ed.), The Laws of War, vol. I, pp. 488–522. 12 Friedman (ed.), The Laws of War, vol. I, p. 309. 94 first measures early modern era. Although often honored in breach, custom encouraged belligerents to distinguish soldiers from civilians and usually exempted the latter from bloody retribution.13 The French Revolution introduced a new set of military customs. The Convention renounced wars of aggression in the constitution of 3 Septem- ber 1791 and expected French armies to be welcomed as liberators when they invaded neighboring states.14 Initially French troops tried to persuade opposing soldiers to abandon corrupt monarchs and join the French cause. When their efforts proved fruitless, war of liberation became a ‘terrorist war’ against ‘slaves of despots’ who ‘deserved no pity.’ Fanatical French soldiers established an unsavory precedent as they massacred captured e?migre?s.15 Soldiers recruited during the leve?e en masse eventually honored many traditional standards of conduct, but circumstances often impeded this process. While deployed in France, French armies enjoyed relatively short lines of communication and requisitioned supplies without resorting to violence. As armies advanced beyond the Hexagon, successive French governments failed to supply troops with adequate food and money. Out of necessity, French troops often resorted to pillage. General Custine, the commander of the Army of Moselle, initially punished soldiers for despoiling the Palatinate, but he eventually bowed to military necessity and instituted a system of organized pillage to feed his army. As they swept across Europe, French armies often resorted to pillage and set another dangerous example.16 During the Spanish campaign, French armies established a third precedent that haunted resistance groups during World War Two. In March 1808, 13 B. H. Liddell Hart, Revolution in Warfare (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1947), pp. 38 – 95; Geoffrey Parker, ‘Early modern Europe’ in Howard et al., The Laws of War: Constraints on Warfare in the Western World, pp. 40–58. Stephen C. Neff, War and the Law of Nations: A General History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005). 14 Sydney Seymour Biro, The German Policy of Revolutionary France: A Study in French Diplomacy during the War of the First Coalition, 1792–1797 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1957), pp. 24–5, 94. 15 Jean-Paul Bertaud, The Army of the French Revolution: From Citizen-Soldiers to Instrument of Power, translated by R. R. Palmer (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988), pp. 153–6, 85–6; Alan Forest, ‘The nation in arms I: the French wars,’ in Charles Townsend (ed.), The Oxford History of Modern War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 59–66. 16 Best, Humanity in Warfare, pp. 80, 115–118; Bertaud, The Army of the French Revolution, pp. 144–5, 286–291; Gunther E. Rothenberg, The Art of Warfare in the Age of Napoleon (London: B. T. Batsford, 1977), pp. 85–7. 95 after the fall approximately 100,000 French troops invaded Spain and defeated the regular Spanish army in short order, but their system of supply—organized pillage—fomented unrest. French troops suppressed a bloody uprising in Madrid, but they failed to stop the insurrection from spreading to the countryside. Spanish guerrillas attacked small bands of French soldiers and often killed prisoners but dispersed when they encountered large groups of regulars. French soldiers responded by burning villages and seizing hostages. When French troopers continued to disappear, Napoleon’s marshals embarked on a campaign of collective reprisals and hostage executions. Spanish guerrillas, British regulars, and French conscripts all committed atrocities that harkened back to the Religious Wars of the sixteenth century.17 In addition to introducing organized pillage as a common military practice, the French Revolution established bloody collective reprisals as an acceptable military strategy. Wars of national unification in the latter half of the nineteenth century confirmed Napoleonic practices. During the early stages of the Franco- Prussian War, professional soldiers obeyed terms of the 1864 Geneva Convention. After the fall of the Second Empire in October 1870, the Government of National Defense ordered patriots to adopt guerrilla tactics and ignited a brutal war. ‘Irregular’ French soldiers or franc-tireurs attacked German troops and sabotaged vital supply lines. Following Napoleon’s precedent, German soldiers responded by burning villages and seizing hostages. Many of the latter spent the duration of the war in Germany as prisoners, but a fraction perished before German firing squads. German and French leaders called for revision of existing international agreements after the Franco-Prussian War, but their appeals produced only the cryptic language of the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions. The experiences of the Franco-Prussian War only confirmed practices developed during the French Revolution.18 Although it claimed an unprecedented number of lives, World War One did not transform standards of acceptable military conduct. Citing military necessity, both sides breached international agreements during the course 17 Geoffrey Best, War and Society in Revolutionary Europe, 1770–1870, (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1982), pp. 168–183; Jan Read, War in the Peninsula (London: Faber and Faber, 1977), pp. 169–181. 18 Michael Howard, The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France, 1870–1871 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1962), pp. 250–256, 377–381; Franc?ois Roth, La Guerre de 1870 (Paris: Fayard, 1990), pp. 372–410; BAMA, RW 35/231. 96 first measures of hostilities. Germany violated Belgian neutrality at the outset, and the British Admiralty infringed on the rights of neutral shipping shortly thereafter. The Kaiser’s troops used the slightest pretext to justify the burning of villages and executed approximately 6,500 civilians in Belgium and northern France.19 The 1899 Hague Convention banned ‘the use of projectiles the object of which is the diffusion of asphyxiating or deleterious gases,’ but it did not stop French soldiers from employing noxious (as opposed to poisonous) gas grenades in 1914. Less than a year later, Germany complied with the letter of the law and released poison gas from cylinders. Allied forces shot gas-filled artillery shells at German trenches six months later, but they described their response as a reprisal justified by Germany’s previous transgression.20 War-crimes trials championed by David Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau proceeded in Leipzig after the Armistice, but they adjudicated few cases, acquitted most defendants, and underlined the defects of international agreements.21 During World War One, both sides preyed upon the ambiguous terms of the Hague Convention. Nazi leaders routinely ignored portions of the Martens clause that referred to ‘the laws of humanity,’ ‘the dictates of the public conscience,’ and ‘usages established among civilized peoples.’ Adolf Hitler consistently championed brutal methods that have ‘always been used in the history of the expansion of the power of great nations’ to eliminate racial opponents and restore ‘tranquility.’22 Driven by the concept of military necessity and a shortage of manpower, German commanders used exemplary violence to intimidate and exploit Russian civilians. Taking refuge in the fact that the Soviet Union had not acceded to the 1929 Geneva Convention, men like Field Marshal von Manstein followed orders from Berlin and carried out Hitler’s war of annihilation. With an almost savage glee, Nazi lawyers and 19 Helen McPhail, The Long Silence: Civilian Life under the German Occupation of Northern France, 1914 – 1918 (New York: I. B. Tauris & Co, 2001); John Horne and Alan Kramer, German Atrocities, 1914: A History of Denial (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001), p. 74; Alan Kramer, Dynamic of Destruction. Culture and Mass Killing in the First World War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 6–68. 20 Robert A. Doughty, Pyrrhic Victory: French Strategy and Operations in the Great War (Cam- bridge, MA: The Belknap Press, 2005), pp. 148–150. 21 Roberts, ‘Land warfare, from Hague to Nuremberg,’ pp. 123–6; James F. Willis, Prologue to Nuremberg: The Politics and Diplomacy of Punishing War Criminals of the First World War (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982). 22 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XII, p. 542. 97 after the fall ambitious generals used loopholes in the Hague laws to salve their own consciences and gain an advantage.23 The first article of the 1907 Hague Convention bound signators to ‘issue instructions to their armed land forces which shall be in conformity with the regulations respecting the laws and customs of war on land.’ Instructions embodied in the manuals of military law of Britain, France, Germany, and the United States, explain how each country planned to honor treaty obligations and reveal a common interpretation of international law. In many ways, the 1929 British Manual of Military Law is representative. British regulations made a clear distinction between non-combatant civilians and belligerent soldiers, and they depended upon this distinction in order to function properly. The Hague definition of a lawful combatant, repeated verbatim in the British manual, protected volunteers and militias in addition to professional soldiers. Once an area fell under enemy occupation, civilians owed a degree of loyalty to an occupying army. Citizens who disobeyed the army of occupation could be found guilty of ‘war rebellion’ or ‘war treason’ and punished accordingly.24 While they did not have to swear an oath of loyalty or provide information, residents could not revolt and expect to be treated as lawful combatants. The 1929 edition of the British Manual of Military Law expected the inhabitants of an occupied territory to behave in an absolutely peaceful manner, . . . to in no way take part in the hostilities, to refrain from every injury to the troops of the occupant, and from any act prejudicial to their operations, and to render obedience to the officials of the occupant. Any violation of this duty is punishable by the occupant. (Chapter XIV, article 384) Subsequent paragraphs restated article 50 of the Hague rules. If inhabitants committed hostile acts, a belligerent was ‘justified in requiring the aid of the population to prevent their recurrence and, in serious and urgent cases, in resorting to reprisals’ (article 386). Later sections labeled as war crimes 23 WolframWette,TheWehrmacht:History,Myth,Reality,translatedbyDeborahLucasSchnei- der (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006), pp. 129–130; Manfred Messerschmidt, ‘Forward defence: the ‘‘Memorandum of the Generals’’ for the Nuremberg Court’ in Hannes Heer and Klaus Naumann (eds.), War of Extermination (New York: Berghahn Books, 2000), pp. 389–396. 24 Friedman (ed.), The Laws of War, vol. I, pp. 308–323; Manual of Military Law, chapter XIV; BAK/All. Proz 21/208/35–43. 98 first measures (1) violations of recognized rules of warfare by members of the armed forces, (2) illegitimate hostilities in arms committed by individuals who are not members of the armed forces, (3) espionage and war treason, and (4) marauding (article 441). Once a population resisted the legitimate authority of an occupying army, it could be ruled guilty of committing a war crime (usually ‘war treason’ or ‘war rebellion’) and could be subject to reprisals. Articles 461 through 464 explicitly sanctioned the seizure of hostages in the event of ‘perfidy’ on behalf of the enemy. British regud Beaune-la-Rolande in June, followed by eight in July, thirteen in both August and September, and four in November. Dannecker paid for the operation by charging the French government 700 reichsmarks per prisoner. June departures relieved prison overcrowding and literally cleared the way for more arrests. The installation of Oberg as HSSuPF further encouraged the Final Solution. Beginning on 1 June 1942, SS policemen could arrest people on their own, negotiate with the Vichy government, issue orders to French police in Occupied France, and circumvent the military administration.31 Dannecker needed more Jews to stock Kohl’s trains and fulfill Eichmann’s schedule. On 25 June 1942, he met with Jean Leguay, who oversaw police affairs in the occupied zone and worked for Rene? Bousquet, the 29 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 59–63, 196–9; Monneray (ed.), La Perse?cution des juifs en France, pp. 124–5; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/23/14–17. 30 BAK, All. Proz. 21/212/131–133; ADAP, ser. E, vol. III, pp. 43–4. 31 Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. I, p. 205; BAK, All. Proz. 21/212/131–133, 149; USNA, RG 242/T-501/172/441. 230 racial deportations Secretary-General of Police. Dannecker demanded that French police arrest of a total of 32,000 Jews: 22,000 Jews living in metropolitan Paris and 10,000 from unoccupied France. He insisted that 40 per cent of the Parisian Jews be either French or denaturalized French citizens but allowed Vichy to select the categories (age, gender, citizenship, etc.) of Jews to be arrested in unoccupied France. The SS captain characterized deportations as security measures and disregarded Leguay’s objections.32 Laval heard about Dannecker’s demands from Bousquet, and the French Prime Minister announced his opposition to Dannecker’s proposals during a cabinet meeting on 26 June that Marshal Pe?tain attended. With support from Laval and Bousquet, Leguay refused Dannecker’s order.33 By directing French police to arrest French Jews, a mere SS captain brought the SS and Vichy government to an impasse. Dannecker’s order coincided with the negotiation of the Oberg–Bous- quet accords. The latter defined the rights and responsibilities of both SS and French police forces throughout France. With few SS personnel at his disposal, Oberg needed French help. For their part, Laval and Bousquet wanted to secure a place in Hitler’s new order and elicit German concessions by cooperating with the Reich, but they did not want French police to become Nazi stooges. Demands made by Dannecker to Leguay seemed to confirm fears that the SS would simply take over the French police. As a junior official working in a specialized office, Dannecker may not have been able to appreciate the big picture, but by embroiling Oberg and Knochen in a diplomatic confrontation, he earned the enmity of his superiors.34 Vichy officials balked at Dannecker’s high-handed methods and objected to the deportation of assimilated French Jews, but they did not oppose deportations in principle. In a February 1942 memo to Zeitschel, the German Consul-General in Vichy, Roland Krug von Nidda, reported that Vichy leaders would support the deportation of 1,000–5,000 Jews per month if the deportations were carried out discreetly. During the 26 June cabinet meeting, Laval refined Vichy’s position and protected French Jews by serving up foreign Jews. Following Pe?tain’s lead, the Prime Minister opposed Dannecker’s plan because it did not distinguish assimilated French 32 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 215–216. 33 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 74–5, 221. 34 Steur, Theodor Dannecker, pp. 85–91. 231 after the fall from foreign or naturalized Jews. Oberg, Knochen, Lischka, and Hagen discussed Dannecker’s plan for 32,000 deportations with Bousquet on 2 July 1942. The Secretary-General of Police characterized the arrest of French Jews by French police as ‘troublesome’ (gênant) but offered 10,000 foreign Jews from the unoccupied zone and did not object to German police arresting French Jews in occupied territory.35 Knochen replied on behalf of the SS. Hitler, the BdS explained, had always emphasized the necessity of a decisive solution to the Jewish Ques- tion. According to Knochen, the Führer would not understand why the French government objected to the arrest of French Jews. The BdS implied that French obstruction might have political repercussions. Bousquet coun- tered with an offer to have French police arrest foreign Jews throughout France but continued to insist that French Jews not be detained. Oberg, Knochen, and Hagen repudiated Dannecker’s plan and accepted Bousquet’s compromise because the latter included vital assistance from the French police. As a reward for his tact, Dannecker received a transfer to Bulgaria.36 Talks between Bousquet and the SS led to the so-called Ve`l d’Hiv round-up. In order to demonstrate France’s commitment to Hitler’s new order, French police began to arrest German, Austrian, Polish, Czech, Russian, and stateless Jews between the ages of 16 and 50 on 16 July 1942 throughout metropolitan Paris. Dannecker expected to catch approximately 22,000 victims and planned transportation schedules accordingly. Unable to fill their original quotas, French and German policemen began to disregard age and arrested entire families. After two days, French police had detained 12,884 foreign Jews, including 3,031 men, 5,802 women, and 4,051 children. They incarcerated Jewish prisoners in a local sports arena, the Ve?lodrome d’Hiver, before moving prisoners to concentration camps in Drancy, Pithiviers, and Beaune-la-Rolande.37 While French police arrested Jews throughout Paris, Dannecker searched for new sources of victims during an eight-day tour of the unoccupied zone. He discovered that French officials had already interned a large number of non-French Jews in southern France. Upon his return to Paris, 35 Jean-Paul Cointet, Pierre Laval (Paris: Fayard, 1993), pp. 398–400; Klarsfeld, Vichy–Ausch- witz, 1942, pp. 196, 221, 227–232. 36 Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. II, pp. 445–451, 593. 37 BAK,All.Proz.21/212/149–153,139–141;Klarsfeld,Vichy–Auschwitz,1942,pp.238–240; Monneray (ed.), La Perse?cution des juifs en France, pp. 148–151. 232 racial deportations Figure 9.2. Pithiviers internment camp c.1941. Photograph courtesy the Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-S69238. the SS captain reported his findings to superiors and, in light of the paltry results of the Ve?l d’Hiv round-up, began to press for the deportation of foreign Jews in unoccupied France.38 Dannecker asked Knochen to discuss the matter with Bousquet, and SS Lieutenant (Obersturmführer) Heinz Ro?thke, Dannecker’s eventual successor, made the same request to Leguay during a conference on 27 July. Leguay may have anticipated Ro?thke’s appeal, because he immediately agreed to turn over foreign Jews interned by the French government in southern France. The next morning, Leguay ordered four transports to Drancy that would begin on 7 August 1942.39 Leguay’s transports moved 3,429 Jewish prisoners from various camps in southern France to Drancy between 7 and 14 August. After a short stay in Drancy, most continued to Auschwitz, and most perished shortly after they 38 Monneray (ed.), La Perse?cution des juifs en France, pp. 158–164. 39 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 279, 292–4. 233 after the fall arrived in the death camp. Transports exhausted the supply of incarcerated Jews in unoccupied France and necessitated more arrests. Planning ahead, Knochen asked Bousquet to arrest more foreign Jews and strip recently naturalized Jews of their French citizenship during a meeting on 29 July. The Secretary-General of Police promised to discuss the matter with Laval.40 With the Prime Minister’s approval, French police prepared to arrest 15,000 foreign Jews in unoccupied France between 26 and 29 August 1942, but the ensuing round-ups yielded only 6,584 Jews who were eligible for deportation. Between 25 August and 15 September, nine trains carried 7,095 foreigners and Jews from camps in southern France to Drancy.41 French and German police captured 8,722 Jews during three round- ups carried out in 1941, and the Ve`l d’Hiv raids yielded another 12,884 Jews eligible for deportation. By 15 September 1942, French and German authorities incarcerated a total of 21,606 Jews in occupied France. French officials supplied another 10,524 Jews from southern to occupied France by September and brought the number of Jews who were eligible for deportation to 32,130. Between 27 March and 15 September 1942, a total of 32 trains carried 32,085 prisoners from occupied France to Auschwitz. Although round-ups caught far fewer prisoners than expected, arrests managed to keep pace with scheduled deportations. Dannecker and Ro? thke certainly understood the consequences of failure. A shortage of Jewish prisoners in Bordeaux forced Ro?thke to cancel a deportation train on 15 July. The very next day, Eichmann called Paris, claimed that the stoppage undermined his credibility with German railroad officials and, more ominously, threatened to take the matter up with the head of the Gestapo.42 Neither Dannecker nor Ro?thke canceled another train. Deportations to Auschwitz followed a precise schedule and had to be coordinated with arrests carried out by French police throughout the Hexagon. To keep pace, Oberg, Knochen, and Dannecker regularly pressed the Vichy regime to turn over more Jews. On 28 August, Eichmann decided to accelerate the pace of deportations from three to six transports per week. The man in charge of logistical 40 Klarsfeld,Vichy–Auschwitz,1942,pp.146–7;Klarsfeld,LaShoahenFrance,vol.II,pp.595–8, 602–3. 41 Monneray (ed.), La Perse?cution des juifs en France, pp. 151–3; Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 158–9, 337–8, 373–4, 377; Kaspi, Les Juifs pendant l’occupation, pp. 135–7. 42 BAK, All. Proz. 21/212/189–191; Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, pp. 506–507. 234 racial deportations support for the Final Solution anticipated a transportation shortage in October and ordered subordinates to ‘evacuate’ as many Jews as possible before military exigencies consumed all available rolling stock. In keeping with his new schedule of daily transports during October, Eichmann asked Knochen, Lischka, and Hagen to collect guards for the trains and persuade the Vichy government to arrest more Jews. He allowed Dannecker’s successor, Ro?thke, to concentrate on foreign Jews and promised to discuss the deportation of Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swiss Jews who were in France with the Reich Foreign Ministry.43 Initial transports had already evacuated most of the unwanted foreign Jews incarcerated in various French and German camps. As summer turned to fall, Eichmann and company began to search for new categories of Jews who could be arrested. SS Lieutenant Ro?thke responded to Eichmann’s directive by urging Knochen, Lischka, and Hagen to adopt a more militant stance toward Vichy. In a series of reports and memoranda, he implored his superiors to press the French government for more arrests in occupied France. Starting around 16 September, he began to organize another round-up in the occupied zone that would be comparable in scope to the Ve?l d’Hiv operation. Ro?thke wanted French police to arrest Jewish writers, doctors, professors, lawyers, and businessmen who lived in and around Paris. The SS lieutenant planned to arrest entire families and expected to seize approximately 23,000 prominent French Jews.44 Although it had targeted foreign Jews and unpopular Jewish refugees, the Ve?l d’Hiv round- up had aroused some public dissent. Arrests planned for late September targeted assimilated French Jews and promised to elicit a stronger response from a wider segment of French society. While Eichmann and Ro?thke planned more arrests and deportations, French leaders moved in the opposite direction. According to a German diplomat, the Vichy government supported discreet deportations. Arrests made by French policemen preserved the illusion of French sovereignty, sat- isfied German demands, and eliminated unwanted foreigners who allegedly took jobs from native Frenchmen.45 Much to Vichy’s dismay, round-ups carried out in July and August had aroused protest from Catholics, foreign 43 BAK, All. Proz. 21/212/227–229; Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 392–3. 44 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 400–402, 419–420, 427–9, 178, 443–5. 45 Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. II, pp. 333–4; Caron, Uneasy Asylum, pp. 338–340. 235 after the fall diplomats, the general public in neutral countries, and even some Axis allies. Furthermore, cooperation yielded no appreciable concessions from the Reich. During a meeting with Hagen on 25 August 1942, Bousquet argued that he had to proceed with caution because of protests from Cardinal Gerlier and the Archbishop of Toulouse.46 Religious, popular, and international condemnation of the deportation of foreign Jews and especially Jewish children forced Vichy to reconsider cooperation with regard to deportations. Laval expressed a new-found reluctance at a dinner hosted by Ambassador de Brinon on 2 September. The Prime Minister told Oberg and Abetz that opposition from Cardinal Gerlier made further deportations difficult. He offered to deliver German, Austrian, Czech, Polish, and Hungarian Jews to the SS and insinuated that Belgian, Dutch, and some naturalized French Jews could be added to the list, but only after initial categories of deportees had been exhausted. Mindful of public opinion, Laval tried to proceed with caution. One week later, Leguay reiterated why French police could not make additional arrests and asked Ro?thke to suspend deportations until the middle of October.47 Opposition from the Catholic Church made Laval, Bousquet, and Leguay reluctant to proceed with further arrests and deportations. Eichmann and Ro?thke pressed for a substantial increase in the deporta- tion rate that would necessitate further arrests. The Vichy regime feared the political consequences of another major round-up. Oberg and Knochen stood in the middle with the power to set German policy in the Hexagon. SS Major-General (Brigadeführer) Oberg answered to Himmler and did not have to follow orders from RSHA or Eichmann. The HSSuPF dis- cussed accelerated deportations with his boss, and the two agreed not to arrest French Jews. SS Colonel (Standartenführer) Knochen outranked SS Lieutenant-Colonel (Obersturmbannführer) Eichmann and could, with some risk, defy RSHA staff officers. To protect himself from recrimina- tion, Knochen informed Eichmann that the arrest of French Jews would disrupt the general political situation and threaten Prime Minister Laval. 46 Kaspi, Les Juifs pendant l’occupation, pp. 241–4; Cohen, Perse?cutions et sauvetages, pp. 300–316; ADAP, ser. E, vol. III, pp. 419–420, 425; Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. II, pp. 863–4. 47 Cointet, Pierre Laval, pp. 398–403, 425–7; Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 407–409, 419 – 420. 236 racial deportations With Himmler’s approval and support from Oberg, Knochen quashed Eichmann’s plans for another large-scale round-up.48 Knochen’s policy did not preclude further arrests or deportations. French police continued to seize foreign Jews and, under German pressure, increased the list of eligible nationalities. Raids launched on 14 September caught approximately 200 Dutch, Lithuanian, Estonian, Bulgarian, and Yugoslav Jews in metropolitan Paris. Ro?thke reported the seizure of 1,594 Rumanian Jews on 24 September. Knochen arranged the arrest of Belgian Jews on 6 October, and the Foreign Ministry allowed the police to imprison Greek Jews one week later.49 Arrests allowed Vichy to send 483 foreign Jews from unoccupied France to Drancy between 25 September and 22 October 1942. In turn, Ro?thke scheduled seven trains from Drancy to Auschwitz during the latter half of September, and four more trains followed in November. Oberg and Knochen followed a policy that can be characterized as moderate only when juxtaposed against more ambitious plans proposed by Eichmann and Ro?thke.50 Frustrated by restrictions imposed from above, Ro?thke’s staff launched their own personal round-up on the night of 22/23 September 1942. The wildcat operation captured only 76 Jews and underlined the central importance of cooperation.51 Without French assistance, the SS had reason to believe that future German round-ups would yield unsatisfactory results. The SS could not expect substantial assistance from the MBF because personnel transfers had already reduced the forces under Stülpnagel’s control. Furthermore, the legacy of 1940 art confiscations and October 1941 synagogue bombing made cordial cooperation with the MBF unlikely. Oberg and Knochen had to accommodate the Vichy government if they wanted to deport more than a handful of Jews. With Himmler’s approval, the first round of deportations wound down in November 1942. During the entire year, 43 trains carried 41,951 people to Germany. Only 805 deportees returned to France after the war. Aside from the December 1941 round-ups that were organized by the MBF under the guise of reprisals, SS officers played a major role in every sweep that targeted Jews. Dannecker and Ro?thke planned the raids and ordered 48 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 181–2, 454. 49 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 429–430, 177, 452, 472–3, 185–6. 50 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 159, 191. 51 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, p. 477. 237 after the fall the UGIF to provide food for prisoners and shelter for children orphaned by the deportation process. Eichmann supplied transportation. Oberg and Knochen delivered French cooperation. The SS oversaw every stage of the deportation process and drove the entire operation forward. Convoys to Auschwitz ceased between 11 November 1942 and 8 Febru- ary 1943. During the pause, Germany responded to the Allied invasion of North Africa by occupying southern France in November 1942. Himmler extended the HSSuPF’s brief to include the newly occupied zone, and addi- tional anti-Semitic measures followed in the wake of Germany’s advance. Expansion into southern France spread SS resources over a wider area, and neither OKW nor RSHA could provide substantial reinforcements. With approximately 2,200 SS policemen at their disposal, SS leaders had to rely on French support that would only be forthcoming if the Black Corps accommodated some French concerns.52 SS officials viewed the ‘stateless’ Jews in newly occupied France as both a security threat and a pool of potential deportees who could fill trains bound for Auschwitz. The new year brought the SS both opportunities for more arrests and risks stemming from their dependence on French support. Despite increasing French lassitude and a dearth of reliable security forces, Heinrich Himmler outlined an ambitious plan for France. In his 18 December 1942 letter to Martin Bormann, the Reichsführer called for a ‘radical fight against communists and all of their helpers’ and the ‘evacuation’ of Jews.53 After Himmler learned about four bombings in Marseille, the Reichsführer decided to make an example of France’s second largest city. On the night of 22/23 January, French and German police spread through the streets of Marseille and began to check identity cards. Under the direct supervision of Oberg and Bousquet, French and German police arrested 5,956 people, including about 800 Jews. The two-day round-up culminated in the physical destruction of the old-port quarter of Marseille, which some regarded as an insalubrious den of ‘criminals.’54 52 USNA, RG 242/T-77/788/5517241–5517243; Serge Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz: Le Roˆle de Vichy dans la solution finale de la question juive en France—1943–1944 (Paris: Fayard, 1985), pp. 12–13; Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 302–306; BALW, R 58/642/fiche 1/1–9. 53 BALW, NS 19/1929/fiche 2/61–64. 54 Jacques Delarue, Trafic et crimes sous l’occupation (Paris: Fayard, 1968), pp. 242–250; Donna Ryan, The Holocaust and the Jews of Marseille (Urbana and Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1996), pp. 176–193; Froment, Rene? Bousquet, pp. 362–399. 238 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 racial deportations Figure 9.3. Racial deportations, 1943–1944. Described as a security measure, the destruction of part of Marseille both advertised German power and supplied Auschwitz with Jews. Smaller round-ups in Rouen, Paris, and Lyon complemented the Mar- seille operation. In response to an assassination on 12 January 1943, German police demanded the arrest of both French and foreign Jews in Rouen. With French support, SS agents arrested 222 Jews who were immediately sent to Drancy. On the night of 11 February 1943, French police arrested 1,569 of the 7,313 registered foreign Jews who remained in Paris. The operation captured just over 20 per cent of the Jews who were eligible for deportation. Two nights later, an unknown assailant killed two Luftwaffe officers in the heart of Paris. Following German orders, French police dutifully seized 2,000 Jews in southern France. Under the direction of Klaus Barbie, SS agents in Lyon targeted the leadership of the UGIF on 9 February and caught 84 Jews without assistance from the French police. Trains immediately carried the unfortunate prisoners to Drancy.55 French police continued to support German round-ups as long as they target- ed foreign Jews or could be characterized as security measures, but they became less effective as the prospect of a German victory faded. Arrests in Rouen, Marseille, Paris, and Lyon captured enough prisoners to necessitate further deportations. On 21 January, Knochen informed RSHA that 1,200 Jews in Drancy qualified for deportation and requested 55 Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. III, pp. 1311, 1359–1360, 1363–4, 1374–5; Kaspi, Les Juifs pendant l’occupation, p. 248. 239 Jan-43 Feb March April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan-44 Feb March April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec after the fall two trains. Five days later, regional and local SD commanders received orders to send all Jews in their custody to Drancy. SS Lieutenant Ro?thke added a third train and scheduled deportations from Drancy to Auschwitz on 9, 11, and 13 February.56 Speaking through a subordinate, Bousquet warned Ro?thke that French police would not guard trains carrying French Jews to Auschwitz. Despite these threats, French gendarmes escorted the 13 February 1943 convoy and subsequent transports that carried some French Jews to the German border without incident. Beginning in February, trains left Drancy on a more or less regular basis. Seventeen trains carried 17,069 Jews to Auschwitz and Sobibor during 1943, but only 466 of the Jewish passengers returned to France after the war.57 Modest round-ups failed to satisfy RSHA. During an 11 February 1943 visit to Paris, Eichmann pressed for a ‘maximalist evacuation program’ that would include French Jews. Knochen immediately discounted Eichmann’s scheme in a letter to Heinrich Müller (of the Gestapo), but Ro?thke began to prepare for 8–10,000 deportations per week. In order to obtain the necessary victims, Ro?thke understood that he would need to negotiate with the French and Italian governments. Throughout the spring and summer of 1943, German officials lobbied the Vichy regime to strip French citizenship from Jews naturalized since 1927, but the plan ultimately collapsed when Prime Minister Laval refused to promulgate the necessary legislation in August of 1943.58 In order to facilitate the identification of potential victims, SS officials also tried to persuade the French government to pass legislation that forced Jews to wear the Star of David. Marshal Pe?tain blocked the appropriate French legislation and forced the MBF to impose the ‘Jewish Star’ by decree: this regulation only applied to occupied France.59 The highest levels of the Vichy regime balked at new anti-Semitic measures that would feed the deportation process. Ro?thke’s second source of Jews lived under the protection of the Italian government in southern France.60 Following the Allied invasion of North Africa, Italian forces seized control of seven French de?partements east of the 56 BALW, R 70 Frankreich/23/25; Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1943–1944, pp. 200, 216–217. 57 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1943–1944, pp. 216–217, 220–221, 247–9, 255, 393. 58 Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. III, pp. 1368, 1412–1414, 1610; see above pp. 202–203. 59 Poznanski, Jews in France during World War II, pp. 237–250; Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol II, pp. 353–4, 376, 379–381, vol. III, pp. 1368–1371. 60 Susan Zuccotti, The Holocaust, the French, and the Jews (New York: Basic Books, 1993); and Daniel Capri, Between Mussolini and Hitler: The Jews and the Italian Authorities in France and Tunisia 240 racial deportations Rhoˆne river and protected the 25,000 Jews within their jurisdiction.61 The Italian Consul General in Nice, Alberto Calisse, blocked French efforts to mark the identity papers of French or foreign Jews on 27 December 1942, and the Italian Foreign Office supported the consul’s stance two days later. Knochen detailed Italian obstruction in two reports sent to RSHA on 13 January and 2 February 1943. Schleier described similar problems to the Foreign Office in Berlin and concluded that the Final Solution could only be carried out in the Italian zone after Germany and Italy resolved their differing views on the so-called ‘Jewish Question.’62 Himmler raised the matter with Ribbentrop during a meeting on 29 January, and the Nazi Foreign Minister directed the German Ambassador in Rome, Hans Georg von Mackenson, to personally discuss the problem with Mussolini.63 On 7 April, Knochen informed RSHA that Italian officials continued to block French and German anti-Semitic measures. The BdS informed his superiors that the Italian commandant in Valence (Droˆ me) would not allow Vichy officials to deport twenty-nine foreign Jews. Citing several examples of obstruction, Knochen claimed Italian officials made the Final Solution ‘impossible’ in the Italian zone. Ribbentrop’s diplomatic intervention and lower-level contacts in Paris and southern France all failed to produce results. The Italian example encouraged French resistance and limited deportations throughout southern France. Knochen argued that Jews in the Coˆte d’Azur posed a ‘serious danger’ to the security of German forces and begged RSHA to do something.64 Mussolini’s arrest on the morning of 25 July 1943 further discouraged Italian cooperation. Italian officers who controlled the southeastern corner of France had little incentive to cooperate with the SS while a new government under Marshal Pietro Badoglio negotiated a surrender with the Allies. Jews gathered in the Italian zone to escape persecution at the hands of French and German police.65 Because of Italian obstruction, (Hanover, NH: Brandeis University Press, 1994); Jonathan Steinberg, All or Nothing: The Axis and the Holocaust, 1941–1943 (New York: Routledge, 1990), pp. 105–130, 157–164. 61 BALW, R 70 Frankreich/23/26–30; BALW, NS 19/3402/fiche 2/76–77. 62 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1943–1944, pp. 196–7, 202–203; Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. III, pp. 1312–13, 1337–1347; ADAP, ser. E, vol. V, pp. 98, 132–3. 63 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1943–1944, pp. 225–7; BALW, NS 19/3402/fiche 2/76–77; ADAP, ser. E, vol V, 368–373. 64 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1943–1944, p. 264. 65 Denis Mack Smith, Mussolini: A Biography (New York: Vintage Books, 1983), pp. 294–9; Weinberg, A World at Arms, pp. 595–601; ADAP, ser. E, vol. 6, pp. 255–6. 241 after the fall neither French nor German police forces could arrest Jews in provinces east of the Rhoˆne river before Italian troops left. Failed diplomacy precluded the large scale round-ups imagined by Eichmann and Ro?thke at the start of 1943. German pressure could not force Laval to change French denaturalization laws or elicit Italian support in southern France. A substantial report written by the Germany embassy in Paris and dated 27 July 1943 described the impotence of French authorities in that city. Supply shortages, Allied advances, and German setbacks helped many Frenchmen to recover from the shock of the 1940 defeat and begin to question an inevitable German victory. Although Laval continued to serve German interests, he could not impose his will upon the entire French bureaucracy. Junior French policemen began to prepare for an Allied invasion and a possible change in government. An intelligence brief dated July 1943 claimed that French policemen in Toulouse would arrest fanatical supporters of the Vichy regime in the event of an Allied invasion, and similar reports from Orleans, Lyon, and Marseille followed in subsequent months. Regulations formulated in 1943 and refined in 1944 allowed French bureaucrats to prepare for the end of the Vichy regime.66 A determined but pragmatic anti-Semite, Knochen adapted this policy to suit new political circumstances. According to a report forwarded to Berlin by the BdS, French police continued to make an essential contribution in the fight against communism but would not expose themselves to advance German interests. The SS expected French police to remain neutral during the initial stages of an Allied landing; as soon as Axis or Allied forces gained an advantage, Knochen assumed French police would support the likely victor. Knochen advised superiors to limit the weapons available to French policemen and promised to monitor the situation with care.67 The BdS continued to appreciate the value of Vichy’s cooperation, but he acknowledged the limited scope and declining value of French support. Specific round-ups carried out in 1943 followed the course predicted by the BdS; massive raids gave way to routine police work and small- scale arrests. French police checked the papers of 130,000 people every 66 ADAP, ser. E, vol. VI, pp. 308–325; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/17/1–11. 67 BALW, R 70 Frankreich/13/110–131. 242 racial deportations two weeks, and their efforts yielded enough prisoners to maintain the concentration camp population and fulfill regular deportations. Between 28 April and 6 May, German police combed trains in southwest France and arrested all who qualified as Jews.68 Once Italian troops finally abandoned their zone of occupation in southeastern France, German troops and an SS commando under the command of Alois Brunner began to arrest French and foreign Jews around Nice. Aided by a small number of Jewish informants, Brunner’s small commando caught 1,819 Jews between 10 and 14 September. By the end of 1943, they had seized less than 10 per cent of the estimated 25,000 Jews in the area. The legacy of Italian resistance degraded subsequent German round-ups.69 A shortage of reliable SS agents, uncooperative French authorities, and a sympathetic local population helped many Jews evade the Nice round- up and set the pattern for 1944. French police seized 48 per cent of the registered Jews in Bordeaux and Dijon during 10–11 January and 24 February 1944 raids. The SS commander in Poitiers launched a surprise round-up on 30 January and reported the arrest of 76 per cent of registered Jews in the region. German and joint Franco-German roundups in the occupied zone could be successful as late as February 1944, but sweeps carried out in southern France often yielded meager results.70 German police found their French counterparts to be most accommodat- ing in the occupied zone. Under strong German pressure, Vichy authorities had purged Jews, Freemasons, communists, and other ‘unreliable elements’ from the French police force during the first two years of the Occupation, and their efforts yielded a dividend of continued cooperation in its final months. The presence of German troops and/or a strong communist threat also encouraged effective accommodation in coastal and industrialized dis- tricts. French authorities proved less amenable as the threat of an Allied invasion increased and when German threats could not backed up by force. During the final year of the Occupation, French police cooperation ranged from cordial if unenthusiastic in the occupied zone to non-existent in the newly occupied zone.71 68 Poznanski, Jews in France during World War Two, pp. 327, 374–7. 69 Rayski, The Choice of the Jews under Vichy, pp. 201–203; Cohen, Perse?cutions et sauvetages, pp. 449–462. 70 Poznanski, Jews in France during World War II, pp. 390–393; Kasten, Gute Franzosen, pp. 172–5. 71 USNA, RG 242/T-501/184/1061; USNA, RG 242/T-501/184/1061. 243 after the fall On 14 April 1944, Knochen eschewed official French collaboration and ordered SS forces to arrest all people who qualified as Jews without regard for age or citizenship. Subalterns detained entire Jewish households including children, in-laws, and parents. The BdS sanctioned the arrest of Aryans married to Jews and Jews holding an American or British passport, but he ruled that the latter should be placed in labor camps. Knochen ordered his minions to lock up the houses or apartments and turn the keys over to Rosenberg’s Dienststelle Westen des Reichsministeriums für die besetzten Ostgebiete. In turn, Rosenberg shipped much of the booty to the Reich for distribution to Germans made homeless by the Allied bombing campaign. During the last months of 1943 and the first months of 1944, French police carried out indiscriminate round-ups with little enthusiasm. Knochen recognized the declining value of Vichy’s cooperation and abandoned efforts to accommodate Vichy concerns. To compensate for the loss of effective French assistance, the BdS gradually embraced the Milice, a French paramilitary organization founded in January 1943, and appealed to French greed by offering a bounty for information leading to capture of Jews.72 Knochen’s last-ditch policy failed to increase the number of deportations during the final months of the Occupation. The number fell far short of the 41,951 Jews sent to their death in 1942 and failed to keep pace with 1943 deportations. The BdS could not overcome French indifference by using SS forces, unleashing determined collaborators, or offering bounties to greedy opportunists. Eight days before the liberation of Paris, the last deportation train left Drancy with 51 unfortunate Jews. Between 20 January and 17 August 1944, SS functionaries sent 17 trains filled with 14,833 Jews to death camps in the east.73 SS personnel championed an aggressive anti-Semitic policy through- out the Occupation. Bereft of power in 1940, members of the Black Corps consistently described Jews as a dire security threat. While senior SS officers demonstrated their enthusiasm for radical racial measures by bombing Parisian synagogues, Theodor Dannecker developed and tested his deportation apparatus. Building upon the MBF’s anti-partisan policy, the SS characterized deportations as security measures and began to carry 72 Vries, Sonderstab Musik, pp. 85–101; Ally, Hitler’s Beneficiaries, pp. 144–152, 280–293; ADAP, ser. E, vol. VI, p. 484; BAK, All. Proz. 21/212/263–275; Jacques Delperrie? de Bayac, Histoire de la Milice, 1918–1945 (Paris: Fayard, 1994). 73 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1943–1944, p. 393. 244 racial deportations out the Final Solution but had to rely on French assistance because of personnel shortages. Acting on its own accord, the French government defamed, discriminated against, and despoiled Jews. The Darlan and Laval administrations extended anti-immigrant measures initiated by the Daladier government and furnished Germany with policemen to round up foreign Jews. Laval sanctioned the incarceration of French Jews when arrests could be characterized as reprisals, but he refused to expand the deportation process to include assimilated French Jews because it alienated segments of the French populace and did not yield diplomatic concessions. The Prime Minister did not object to deportations on principled grounds. Once enmeshed in petty discrimination, despoliation, and the deporta- tion of foreign Jews, Laval and the Vichy government could not reverse course and expect to survive. In for a penny, in for a pound. During a monologue on 5 January 1942, Hitler explained the crux of his strategy to his entourage. ‘The French who have compromised themselves with us will find it to their own interest that we should remain in Paris as long as possible.’74 Almost a year later, the Führer repeated the same point to General Jodl: The [French] police are hated more than anything else in the country and seek support from a stronger authority than their own government; that’s us. It will come to a point where the police will beg us not to leave the country.75 The 24 December 1942 assassination of Admiral Darlan highlighted the perils of trying to reverse course; Laval cooperated with Germany until the end of the Occupation. Hitler may have exaggerated French enthusiasm for collaboration, but his statements encapsulate Vichy’s dilemma during the final months of the Occupation. A veteran of the military administration used different words to express a similar idea: They (the MBF and SS) managed to steer the French government’s own impulses and those of the French police in the same direction. That way they not only saved effort. They also spared French self-respect and thereby brought even nationalist circles closer to the German positions. That reduced the odium of the use of force, since it was French force, or left it at French doors.76 74 Trevor-Roper (ed.), Hitler’s Table Talk, 1941–1944, p. 265. 75 Felix Gilbert (ed.), Hitler Directs His War (New York: Octagon Books, 1982), p. 4. 76 BALW, R 70 Frankreich/13/170. 245 after the fall French support allowed the SS to deport approximately 75,000 Jews from France during World War Two. By the same token, SS reliance on French assistance limited SS deportation efforts. Approximately three-quarters of Jews living in France before the 1940 Armistice managed to survive World War Two. 246 10 Labor deportations and resistance Labor shortages plagued the German economy long before the onslaught of World War Two. Armaments spending and massive public works projects reduced the number of unemployed workers from approximately 6 million in 1933 to 1 million in 1936, and the latter included unemployed seasonal laborers, people unable to work because of raw material shortages, and Jews barred from practicing various professions. Toward the end of the decade, employers raised wages to attract workers, and skilled workers gradually improved their standard of living. Mobilization subtracted millions of soldiers from the workforce, aggravated labor shortages, and forced wages upward, but Hitler refused to curtail the manufacture of consumer goods, shift workers into the defense economy, and risk popular discontent stemming from the ensuing shortages. With some difficulty, the German economy managed to produce both guns and butter during brief military campaigns in 1939 and 1940.1 The rapid defeat of France allowed Hitler to postpone difficult economic choices. Because it lasted only six weeks, the 1940 Western campaign did not consume a great deal of war material or produce a large number of casualties that could only be replaced by drafting additional workers into the armed forces. Late in the summer, Hitler scaled back military production and released a limited number of soldiers from military service. Army officials set French prisoners of war to work on German farms and factories 1 Rolf-Dieter Müller, ‘The Mobilization of the German Economy for Hitler’s War Aims,’ in MGFA (ed.), Germany and the Second World War, vol. V/1, Organization and Mobilization of the German Sphere of Power, pp. 407–563. after the fall to alleviate labor shortages.2 OKW established a purchasing office in Paris, negotiated contracts with French businesses, and acquired scarce raw materials from French suppliers. The military administration requisitioned raw materials and encouraged unemployed French civilians to seek work in the Reich. Private German companies subcontracted work to French manufacturers and used French resources to support the production of both military and civilian goods.3 By employing French prisoners, confiscating raw materials, and subcontracting with French businesses, German leaders resolved some of the pressing economic issues that faced the Reich in 1940 and early 1941. Unlike previous campaigns, Operation Barbarossa failed to produce a decisive victory and cost Germany dearly in terms of men and material. During the first 6 months of fighting on the eastern front, the army sustained approximately 750,000 casualties. By the first anniversary of Operation Barbarossa, almost 1,300,000 soldiers had been killed or wounded.4 To replace losses, OKW drafted additional German workers into the armed services and shifted some French prisoners of war from the agricultural sector into munitions factories to maintain military production.5 As the war dragged on, the Wehrmacht made contradictory demands on German society by asking it to produce more weapons and more soldiers. The more Germans pressed into military service, the fewer Germans available to produce armaments and ammunition. The Allies overcame this dilemma by curtailing civilian consumption and encouraging women to join the workforce. Hitler refused to accept the social consequences of either option and searched for another solution. To resolve economic problems that stemmed from an unexpectedly long and costly campaign in the Soviet Union, Hitler placed new men in charge of the German war economy. After the 8 February 1942 death 2 Milward, The New Order and the French Economy, pp. 46–51, 67; Herbert, Hitler’s Foreign Workers, pp. 95–7; Hans Umbreit, ‘Exploitation of the occupied lands,’ in MGFA (ed.), Germany and the Second World War, vol. V/1, pp. 265–284; USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/461–462, 806. 3 Milward, The New Order and the French Economy, pp. 65–9; Thomas, Geschichte der deutschen Wehr- und Rüstungswirtschaft, pp. 274–6; BALW, R 43 II/675/14–16. 4 Bartov, Hitler’s Army, pp. 37–45. 5 Rolf-Dieter Müller, ‘The failure of the economic ‘‘blitzkrieg strategy’’ ,’ in MGFA (ed.), Germany and the Second World War, vol. IV, The Attack on the Soviet Union, pp. 1081, 1097; Bernhard R. Kroener, ‘The manpower resources of the Third Reich in the area of conflict between Wehrmacht, bureaucracy, and war economy, 1939–1942,’ in MGFA (ed.), Germany and the Second World War, vol. V/1, pp. 868–886, 1009–1028. 248 labor deportations and resistance of Fritz Todt, Hitler appointed Albert Speer to serve as the Minister of Armaments and Munitions. In his new post, the young architect allocated scarce raw materials, organized the production of war material, supervised the construction of fortifications along the Atlantic coast, and directed the construction industry through Go?ring’s Office of the Four- Year Plan. A broad mandate allowed Speer to control French factories that produced military supplies for the Reich. By using his control over the supply and distribution of scarce raw materials, Speer could also influence segments of the French economy that remained beyond his direct purview.6 In keeping with his general strategy of divide and conquer, Hitler gave Speer control over the production of war material but appointed Fritz Sauckel to serve as the Plenipotentiary for the Mobilization of Labor. Born in 1894, Sauckel left high school at the age of fifteen and embarked on a career in the merchant marine. After a stint in a French prisoner of war camp during World War One, he found work as a lathe operator in Schweinfurt. Sauckel joined the Nazi party in 1923 and, because of his ability to win new recruits, became district leader (Gauleiter) of Thuringia in 1927. Denied permission to serve in the navy at the beginning of World War Two, he secured a position as Germany’s labor tsar on 21 March 1942. Hitler’s mandate allowed Sauckel to recruit and distribute [a]ll available labor, including hired foreigners and prisoners of war, as well as the mobilization of all unused labor still in the Greater German Reich, the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the Government General in Poland, and other occupied territories.7 The Führer’s sweeping edict gave Sauckel control of French workers who were employed in Speer’s industrial network and created another Nazi paladin who could tamper with German policy in the Hexagon. The military administration recruited French labor during the first twenty months of the Occupation. Sauckel took over the military administration’s operation and, after negotiating an agreement with Pierre Laval, established the Rele`ve program which furloughed one French prisoner of war in 6 Jost Dülffer, ‘Albert Speer: cultural and economic management,’ in Smelser and Zitelmann (eds.), The Nazi Elite, pp. 212–223; Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich (New York: Collier Books, 1970), pp. 191–8. 7 Peter W. Becker, ‘Fritz Sauckel Plenipotentiary for the Mobilisation of Labour,’ in Smelser and Zitelmann (eds.), The Nazi Elite, pp. 194–201; IMT, vol. V, pp. 440–1. 249 after the fall exchange for every three skilled laborers that went to work in Germany. When his initial efforts failed to satisfy Germany’s escalating needs, the Plenipotentiary for the Mobilization of Labor persuaded Vichy to establish a system of forced labor. Known as the Service du Travail Obligatoire (STO), the coercive program supplied French workers to German factories in early 1943, but it alienated French workers. Recalcitrant laborers known as re?fractaires formed marauding bands that wandered through the French countryside in search of food and shelter, and some eventually joined resistance groups. Wags began to talk about the Arme?e Sauckel, an ironic reference to the Arme?e Secre`te. Sauckel’s labor programs created thousands of potential resistance fighters during the final year of the Occupation. Heinrich Himmler adopted a preemptive strategy against re?fractaires and Jews. Although the incidence of resistance remained constant and labor deportations increased during the first three months of 1943, the Reichsführer SS used exemplary violence to solve racial, labor, and security problems in one fell swoop. Beginning in January 1943, thousands of French and German policemen and SS troops began to arrest all who looked askance at the officers, sent Jews to concentration camps, dispatched eligible French workers to factories in Germany, and intimidated neutral Frenchmen. The fight against Jews and alleged terrorists eventually subsumed the deportation of French labor. The military administration could only watch as Sauckel’s labor program and indiscriminate SS security measures alienated French society. Repression fostered resistance, which begot reprisals, which in turn inspired more resistance. German economic policy toward France amounted to little more than loosely organized pillage during the summer of 1940. In early August, the military administration curtailed requisitions in favor of indirect exploita- tion. Under military supervision, the French government established comite?s d’organisation that controlled the distribution of raw materials. Committees supplied French factories that were working for Germany with scarce com- modities and allowed non-essential businesses to wither away because of raw material shortages. Using funds that the French government had paid to Germany in accordance with the Armistice Agreement, the German gov- ernment bought whatever they needed from French suppliers.8 Although 8 Milward, The New Order and the French Economy, pp. 46–50, 67–8; USNA, RG 242/T- 501/166/61 – 66. 250 labor deportations and resistance not necessarily rational or well organized, the system exploited French resources with little oversight. Still confident of a quick victory, the military administration did not block legislation that forbade Frenchmen ‘from working in the production of war material in foreign countries.’ French regulations enacted in October 1940 barred Frenchmen from working for or otherwise supporting the British war effort, but they also hindered German plans to recruit French labor.9 The military administration simply ignored these restrictions and recruited French workers for employment in Germany. Once it realized that the invasion of the Soviet Union would not end in a quick victory, the military administration established recruiting offices in major French cities and promised prospective workers high wages and health insurance benefits. In return for permission to enlist French laborers, the military administration agreed not to hire workers already employed in agriculture, mining, or other strategic sectors of the French economy.10 Between October 1940 and June 1942, the MVW recruited approxi- mately 153,000 French workers for service in Germany. At the same time, the MBF employed 45,000 people as domestic servants, cooks, mechan- ics, and office workers.11 By the spring of 1942, 275,000 French laborers were building airfields and fortifications along the Atlantic coast. Another 400,000 worked in French armaments factories, and the fruits of their labor went directly to the Reich.12 During the first two years of the Occupa- tion, the economic branch of the military administration (Verwaltungsstab Wirtschaftsabteilung) enlisted a substantial number of French workers in the 9 Burrin, France under the Germans, p. 138; Jacques Evrard, La De?portation des travailleurs fran?cais dans le IIIe Reich (Paris: Fayard, 1972), p. 25. 10 BAMA, RW 35/1150/nfn (Der MBF, Verwaltungsstab–Wirtschaftsabteilung, Wi VII/741 a/41, Paris, 30.10.41, Richtlinien für den Einsatz von unter deutscher Leitung stehenden Gefolg- schaften oder Gruppen von Arbeitskra?ften aus Frankreich nach Deutschland); ‘Monographie D. P. 1: Exploitation de la main d’œuvre franc?aise par l’Allemagne,’ in Commission Consultative des Dommages et des Re?parations, Dommages subis par la France et l’union fran?caise du fait de la guerre et de l’occupation ennemie, 1939–1945, vol. IX (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1950), pp. 63–6. Hereafter abbreviated as ‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France. 11 Monographie D.P.1, in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, p. 68; Burrin, France Under the Germans, pp. 283–4. 12 Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, p. 320. Figures in the paragraph and chart below can be found in Monographie D.P.1, in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, p. 68; J. Quellien, ‘Les Travailleurs force?s en Allemagne. Essai d’approche statistique,’ in Bernard Garnier and Jean Quellien (eds.), La Main d’oeuvre fran?caise exploite?e par le IIIe Reich (Caen: Centre de recherche d’histoire quantitative 2003), pp. 67–84. 251 after the fall 16,000 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 Figure 10.1. French volunteers leaving for Germany, 1940–1942. German war effort, but it could not satiate Germany’s appetite for labor. After Fritz Todt’s death, the military administration’s recruiting program fell under Fritz Sauckel’s control. Sauckel discussed the labor situation with the Führer and Field Marshal Keitel shortly before becoming the Plenipotentiary of the Mobilization of Labor. Keitel observed that the French armaments industry was fulfilling contracts that were worth 3 billion reichsmarks but suspected that the French textile industry included many underemployed workers. Hitler and Sauckel agreed that France could afford to send 350,000 laborers to Germany and military authorities in Berlin promised to transport 10,000 workers per day from France to Germany. To secure French support for German labor drives, the MBF and German embassy in Paris asked Hitler to adjust the status of French prisoners and offer benefits to former prisoners of war who enlisted as volunteer laborers, but Hitler refused to grant concessions while prospects for victory remained bright.13 Laval may have learned about Sauckel’s plans through unofficial channels. By chance or design, the French Prime Minister sent a letter to Foreign Minister Ribbentrop on 12 May 1942 that promised to support Germany’s fight against Bolshevism. In detailed negotiations with Hans Hemmen, 13 ADAP, ser. E, vol. II, pp. 330–331, 198, 289–290. 252 Oct40 Nov40 Dec40 Jan41 Feb41 Mar41 Apr41 May41 Jun41 Jul41 Aug41 Sep41 Oct41 Nov41 Dec41 Jan42 Feb42 Mar42 Apr42 May42 labor deportations and resistance Figure 10.2. Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel. Photograph courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. the German representative on the economic branch of the Armistice Commission, Laval offered to send 36,000 workers to Germany over the next 5 months, but his proposal fell far short of German expectations. Hemmen characterized Laval as ‘receptive’ to German demands but implied that the Prime Minister needed something from Germany in return for French support.14 Sauckel discussed the recruitment of French workers with Laval three times between 15 May and 15 June 1942. Abetz and MVW officials participated in the first meeting, but they only talked about general economic issues. Laval agreed to encourage French women to join the workforce, support the consolidation of French businesses to free up additional workers, and help Germany recruit more volunteers for labor in the Reich. At a meeting on 6 June 1942, the Plenipotentiary for the Mobilization of Labor offered to release 50,000 French agricultural workers 14 ADAP, ser. E, vol. II, pp. 341–5, 415–16. 253 after the fall being held as prisoners of war after France sent 150,000 skilled workers to work in Germany. Laval thanked Sauckel for the ‘generous’ offer and tried to transform talks into a general discussion of Franco-German relations. Sauckel parried Laval’s proposal by stating that he could only discuss technical matters and advised the French Prime Minister to raise political issues with the Foreign Minister.15 During their second talk, Sauckel and Laval outlined their respective bargaining positions but failed to agree on specific terms. Negotiations came to a head during a meeting on 15 June. Laval tried to link the delivery of French workers with the release of French prisoners of war. Sauckel countered with threats to requisition French labor and implied that Germany would stop delivering coal and lubricants to France if the Vichy government did not satisfy German demands. Stunned by Sauckel’s hard line, Laval described German proposals as contrary to the Armistice Agreement and threatened to resign. During a break in negotiations, Sauckel spoke with Hitler over the telephone and received permission to furlough (not release or liberate) 50,000 French prisoners of war if France sent 150,000 skilled workers to Germany. They agreed to exchange one French prisoner of war for every three skilled workers that arrived in Germany.16 Laval announced the so-called Rele`ve program on 22 June 1942 and told Frenchmen that they ‘had the key to the [POW] camps.’ Hoping to enlist at least 250,000 skilled workers for service in Germany, the Vichy government described the voluntary program as a patriotic duty.17 In return for accepting the one POW for three skilled workers ratio, Vichy shielded some French laborers from a few of the more coercive aspects of Sauckel’s first labor drive and preserved Vichy’s sovereign image. Laval hoped the Rele`ve would demonstrate French loyalty for Germany’s cause and win over the French public by securing the release of French POWs.18 From both the French and German perspectives, the Rele`ve turned out to be a failure. On 11 August 1942, Laval greeted the first train of returning POWs released under the exchange agreement, but the return 15 ADAP, ser. E, vol. II, pp. 393–4; ADAP, ser. E, vol. III, pp. 3–6. 16 ADAP, ser. E, vol. III, pp. 33–7; Edward L. Homze, Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967), pp. 180–182; IMT, vol. XV, pp. 49–50. 17 IMT, vol. XV, pp. 47–51; Kupferman, Laval, pp. 333–4; ‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, pp. 68–75. 18 Homze, Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany, pp. 182–4; Paxton, Vichy France, pp. 367–8. 254 90,000 80,000 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 labor deportations and resistance June July August September October November December Figure 10.3. French workers departing for Germany, June–December 1942. of some POWs did not translate into increased support for Vichy or Laval. Resistance propaganda proclaimed that ‘the workers do not march’ and condemned the Prime Minister as a ‘slave merchant.’19 German authorities were not satisfied with the number of volunteers in June (12,000) or July (23,000). At that initial rate of enlistment, German demands for 250,000 workers would not be satisfied until the middle of 1943. To make matters worse, volunteers recruited by the military administration in late 1940 and early 1941 began to return home as their employment contracts expired. By July 1942, over 80,000 volunteers had returned to France and spread reports of dismal working conditions in the Reich. Two months after Laval announced the Rele`ve, Sauckel began to reconsider voluntary recruiting programs.20 Viewed in its entirety, Sauckel’s first recruiting campaign, which ended in July 1942, turned out to be very successful. The Plenipotentiary for the Mobilization of Labor surpassed his quota of 1.6 million recruits by 39,794 workers. The vast majority of laborers had been recruited from eastern Europe and POW camps that held Soviet prisoners. Western Europe yielded far fewer recruits, but many of the latter were skilled laborers that German authorities considered more valuable. In France, the Rele`ve failed 19 Kupferman, Laval, pp. 336–7. 20 Figures used in the paragraph above can be found in Monographie D.P.1, in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, pp. 68, 85. Using German sources, Homze lists 5,500 French workers departing in June and 11,800 in July. German sources may include only skilled workers participating in the Rele`ve. 255 after the fall to meet Sauckel’s expectations.21 German and French authorities realized that the system would have to be modified before the next labor campaign. After Sauckel announced the success of his first drive, Hitler discussed labor shortages with senior economic and military advisors. During an August 1942 conference, the Plenipotentiary for the Mobilization of Labor boasted that he could bring another million foreign workers to Germany. Hitler ordered him to dragoon labor throughout the Nazi empire, and he authorized the use of force when necessary. Immediately after Sauckel fulfilled his initial goals, Hitler ordered his labor tsar to inaugurate a second campaign.22 Acting in conjunction with Sauckel, the military administration and Paris embassy laid the foundations for a second campaign that would last until 1943. In letters sent on 26 and 29 August 1942, Elmar Michel, the head of the military administration’s economic staff, asked the Vichy regime to pass legislation that would establish a reliable supply of workers. Michel wanted a law that would freeze workers in their current jobs and make the hiring of new workers conditional upon the approval of French authorities. He advised Vichy to take a comprehensive census of available labor resources and count the number of unemployed and part- time workers. Furthermore, the head of the MVW’s economic staff asked Vichy to institute a compulsory labor law for all men between 18 and 55 years of age and suggested the establishment of mandatory job training to produce skilled workers that were in short supply.23 The Paris embassy pursued similar goals through diplomatic channels.24 In response to German demands, the French government issued three decrees in September 1942 that met almost all of Germany’s needs. Laws required Frenchmen between 18 and 50 years of age and unmarried women between 21 and 35 years old to work at least 30 hours per week. Vichy’s Ministry of Labor could force unemployed or part-time workers to take jobs in another part of France or Germany. Regulations supplemented previous economic controls that governed the distribution of raw materials and combed excess labor from existing factories. Working 21 Homze, Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany, pp. 135–9, 178–182. The figures used to construct Figure 10.3 appear in ‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, pp. 68, 85. 22 Homze, Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany, pp. 139–141. 23 Homze, Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany, pp. 182–3; IMT, vol. V, pp. 484–5. 24 ADAP, ser. E, vol. III, pp. 386–391, 402–403, 455–6. 256 labor deportations and resistance through the French government, MVW officers used Vichy industrial and labor ordinances to manage the French economy. Although less stringent than regulations imposed by the military government in Belgium, French laws established what amounted to a system of forced labor. The September decrees produced immediate results but only applied to laborers in occupied France. The number of workers departing for Germany jumped from 15,279 in September to 51,341 in October and peaked at 79,980 in November 1942.25 Although the number of workers departing for Germany began to increase, Sauckel remained suspicious of French efforts. In a meeting of German officials on 15 October, the Plenipotentiary for the Mobilization of Labor accused Laval of playing a clever waiting game and threatened to seize French workers with German police forces in areas that did not supply the requisite number of ‘volunteers.’ He did not believe that the French Prime Minister would resign if Germany began to unilaterally conscript French labor. Citing the limited forces under his command, Helmut Knochen advised Sauckel to proceed with caution. The BdS recognized that direct labor conscription could stir up trouble and inspire popular resistance. When responsible for law and order, Knochen favored moderation and accommodation.26 The German embassy in Paris also took Laval’s threat to resign seriously. Abetz recognized that Vichy provided invaluable assistance and did not believe that German agencies could recruit or dragoon more French workers on their own. The MBF played a passive role in negotiations with Vichy. Military administration officials participated in meetings with French labor experts, and local branches of the military administration supported French efforts to ‘recruit’ labor, but neither Stülpnagel nor his chief lieutenants played a vocal part in discussions. Unlike his predecessor, Carl-Heinrich did not complain about dangerous policies advanced by Nazi fanatics like Fritz Sauckel.27 The voluntary program created by the military administration sent 52,500 laborers to the Reich between 1 January 1942 and 1 June 1942. During the first Sauckel Action, another 53,000 went to Germany through the Rele`ve 25 Homze, Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany, pp. 182–3; ‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, pp. 77–80, 85; ADAP, ser. E, vol. IV, p. 36. 26 ADAP, ser. E, vol. IV, pp. 101–103; ADAP, ser. E, vol. III, pp. 455–6. 27 ADAP, ser. E, vol. IV, pp. 35–7. 257 after the fall between the beginning of June and the end of August 1942; another 186,000 French laborers went to work in Germany between 1 September 1942 and 1 January 1943. Based on statistics collected by the French government immediately after the war, a total of 292,000 French laborers joined millions of French prisoners of war working in German farms and factories during 1942.28 Prisoners of war furloughed under the Rele`ve could be re-interned whenever necessary. Coercive labor decrees issued by the Vichy regime on 4 September 1942 applied only to the occupied zone, but they were extended throughout the Hexagon in November. The French government cooperated with Sauckel and supplied the Reich with a substantial number of workers but received almost nothing in return. German defeats triggered additional austerity measures in 1943. Allied invasions of North Africa and the Italian peninsula forced German com- manders to occupy southern France and disperse the remaining troops over a wider area. The surrender of German forces in Russia and North Africa subtracted more divisions from the German order of battle. Hitler authorized radical measures to raise additional manpower, and the German embassy in Paris passed along new labor demands to Prime Minister Laval in December 1942. The Reich expected France to supply Germany with another 250,000 French workers by 1 May 1943. The number included 37,000 skilled workers who would depart for Germany by 25 January. In order to fulfill German demands, Sauckel’s representative in Paris, Julius Ritter, suggested the mobilization of all 20–23-year-old men. Laval agreed to the measure in principle and promised to support the fight against Bolshevism as best he could, but in order to sell the program to the French nation, he asked Ritter for political concessions including the release of two French prisoners for every three workers sent to Germany.29 Sauckel arrived in Paris on 10 January 1943 and negotiated with Laval in person. Hitler had already granted Sauckel the power to recruit both skilled and unskilled labor ‘with pressure and more severe measures’ if talks collapsed. For his part, Laval had to agree to German demands or risk severe measures comparable to those imposed in Belgium. After ‘difficult discussions’ that Laval tried to drag out by introducing political demands, Sauckel got his way. Laval agreed to send an additional 150,000 skilled 28 ‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, pp. 68, 85, 157. 29 Kershaw, Hitler, 1936–1945: Nemesis, pp. 567–8; Speer, Inside the Third Reich, pp. 252–264; ADAP, ser. E, vol. IV, pp. 604–605; ADAP, ser. E, vol. V, p. 6. 258 labor deportations and resistance and 100,000 unskilled workers to Germany by the middle of March and Sauckel promised to furlough one French POW for every three skilled workers sent to the Reich.30 To meet German demands, Laval ordered prefects to count and clas- sify all men born between 1 January 1912 and 31 December 1921. A 16 February 1943 decree established a compulsory labor program known as the Service du Travail Obligatoire (Obligatory Labor Service or STO). The statute allowed French bureaucrats to place workers in jobs deemed essential to the needs of the French economy. Only those born between 1920 and 1922 were subject to service in Germany, and the government exempted farmers, miners, and policemen from the program. Service lasted two years and replaced traditional military conscription.31 After Laval agreed to Germany’s demands and the Council of Min- isters issued the necessary legislation, supplying workers became a law enforcement question. Before November 1942, some workers had escaped September 1942 regulations by fleeing to southern France. After the Allied invasion of North Africa, German forces crossed the demarcation line and, in conjunction with their Italian allies, occupied the remainder of the Hexagon. The unoccupied zone became the newly occupied zone. Although Vichy retained nominal sovereignty over southern France, troops under the command of OB West and SS security forces held the reins of power. In conjunction with French bureaucrats, German officials applied labor ordinances throughout metropolitan France. From Germany’s perspective, the 1943 Sauckel Action started off well. During January meetings with Laval, Sauckel demanded that 250,000 French workers be turned over to Germany by 15 March. Two weeks after Sauckel’s deadline, a total of 250,259 French workers arrived in the Reich.32 Even though France had fulfilled its obligation, Hitler required another one million French workers and would not consider any incentives or rewards. When he met with Laval on 5 March, Sauckel thanked the French Prime Minister for meeting the goals of his 1943 labor drive and informed Vichy that, after a ‘short pause,’ Germany would need an additional 100,000 30 ‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, pp. 89 – 92; IMT vol. V, pp. 486–7; Homze, Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany, p. 186; ADAP, ser. E, vol. V, pp. 67–70. 31 ‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, pp. 92–5. 32 ADAP, ser. E, vol. V, pp. 67–70; ‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, pp. 101, 126. 259 after the fall 12,0000 10,0000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0 workers each month. Laval welcomed the proposed respite but neither endorsed nor rejected German plans. He emphasized the need to build popular support for the German labor program and suggested negotiations to discuss potential concessions.33 Although both the MBF and Paris embassy supported concessions, neither a pause nor high-level negotiations followed the 5 March 1943 meeting. Hitler recalled Abetz in response to the invasion of North Africa and serious political negotiations could not proceed until Abetz returned to France almost a year later.34 Sauckel’s lieutenants scaled back but did not suspend recruiting efforts. When Sauckel met with Laval on 9 April, he demanded 120,000 workers by the end of May and another 100,000 before July 1943. Sauckel told Laval that German troops were protecting Europe from the ‘Bolshevik menace’ and brushed aside all complaints. The Reich needed another 220,000 workers.35 To meet Sauckel’s demands, Laval expanded the STO to cover the entire 1942 draft class and eliminated exemptions for agricultural workers and students. Renewal of the Oberg–Bousquet agreement on 16 April 1943 ensured cooperation between French and German police forces.36 The Vichy government issued a decree on 12 June 1943 that punished re?fractaires 33 ADAP,ser.E,vol.V,pp.66–7,348–352.Figure10.4isbasedonstatitisticsin‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, pp. 101, 126. 34 Abetz, Das offene Problem, pp. 283–285, 292. 35 ADAP, ser. E, vol. VI, pp. 557–564. 36 BALW, R 70 Frankreich/1/25–26; Froment, Rene? Bousquet, pp. 223–4. Figure 10.4. French workers departing for Germany, 1943. 260 January February March April May June July August September October November December labor deportations and resistance with heavy fines and ‘internment.’37 French and German police cracked down on re?fractaires during the summer and sent more workers to the Reich in June and July, but the increase proved temporary. With sup- port from much of the French public, thousands of youths fled to the countryside and the number of labor deportations plummeted as fall approached.38 On 14 August 1943, Sauckel tried to circumvent resistance among the French bureaucracy by placing Nazi district leaders (Gauleit- ers) in charge of French departments. Labor officials from each German Gau would supervise the allocation of labor in the departments that they controlled. Gau officials extracted additional manpower, but they often used French workers to satisfy local needs and neglected the German war effort.39 Sauckel claimed that the last third of his 1943 recruiting plan had been ‘wrecked’ by uncooperative French bureaucrats and businessmen. Neither French nor German rhetoric could overcome the fundamental unpopularity of the Service du Travail Obligatoire and increase the number of people being sent to Germany. As the prospects of German victory began to fade, few French workers wanted to endure Allied bombing attacks in a German factory. With the majority of German troops tied down on the eastern front, the Reich could not enforce compliance. As the fortunes of war turned against the Reich, the risks of service in Germany began to outweigh the dangers of life underground.40 Sauckel compensated for the shortfall by transforming French POWs into ‘voluntary’ workers. At the end of 1942, Germany held over 1 million French soldiers in prison camps throughout the Reich. The majority worked on farms and—contrary to the Geneva Convention—in armaments factories. In exchange for a brief furlough in France, improved wages, and the same rights as voluntary French workers, POWs could renounce their status of prisoners and forsake the security of international agreements that protected the rights of POWs. In 1943, 197,000 French POWs accepted Sauckel’s deal and became ‘voluntary’ laborers. Despite a sharp decline in the numbers of volunteers and draftees, the 1943 37 ‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, pp. 115–117. 38 Homze, Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany, pp. 189–190; ADAP, ser. E, vol. VI, pp. 76–7. 39 ‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, p. 116; IMT, vol. XV, 77–80; IMT, vol. XXVII, p. 114. 40 IMT, vol. V, pp. 492–3; ADAP, ser. E, vol. VII, pp. 264–7; BAMA, RH 36/146. 261 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 after the fall January February March April May June July August Figure 10.5. Labor deportations, 1944. Sauckel Action injected 638,000 French laborers into the German economy. His labor program proved to be, in the words of one historian, ‘highly successful.’41 Because of his success in transforming French POWs into ‘voluntary’ workers, Sauckel did not press the French government to fulfill the last third of the 1943 labor drive. Hitler approved of Sauckel’s restraint in October but planned to resume massive labor deportations in the opening months of 1944.42 At a conference on 4 January 1944, military and economic planners estimated that Germany would need to dragoon between 2.5 and 3 million foreign workers during the new year. Albert Speer thought that his office would require an additional 1.3 million foreign workers to meet his production schedule in occupied territories. The group, which included Hitler, Himmler, Speer, Sauckel, Keitel, Milch, and Lammers, expected France to supply 1 million workers in 1944. To meet their quota, Vichy and German authorities in France would have to send 91,000 Frenchmen to the Reich each and every month.43 Sauckel told Himmler that his 1944 program ‘would depend on the number of German police put at his disposal. If he had to rely on the indigenous police his project could not be carried out.’ In response, 41 ‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, pp. 105–110; Homze, Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany, pp. 193–4. 42 ADAP, ser. E, vol. VII, p. 74. 43 IMT, vol. V, pp. 493–4; IMT, vol. III, pp. 478–480; IMT, vol. XI, pp. 130–1. The statistics in Figure 10.5 can be found in ‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, pp. 144, 157. 262 labor deportations and resistance Himmler stated ‘that the executive agents put at his disposal are extremely few,’ but he promised to exhort his subordinates in France to work harder. The Reichsführer SS offered Sauckel cold comfort and focused his limited resources on the Final Solution.44 In response, the Plenipotentiary for the Mobilization of Labor created his own paramilitary force to catch re?fractaires and dragoon ‘idle’ workers. Sauckel’s minions offered bounties to people who delivered French workers. For its part, Vichy issued decrees that closed superfluous businesses and expanded eligibility requirements for the STO. Laval acknowledged the unreliability of French police forces during negotiations with Germany, but he eventually acceded to Sauckel’s wishes and imposed the death penalty on those who impeded or avoided Germany’s labor program.45 Despite French acquiescence, the 1944 Sauckel Action proved to be a dismal failure. French and German police dragooned a total of 31,610 workers during the final 7 months of the Occupation.46 In light of the imminent Allied invasion and the absence of German concessions, the failure of French and German ‘recruiting’ efforts in 1944 should come as no surprise. Labor drives carried out by the military administration, French govern- ment, and Sauckel’s organization supplied the Reich with at least 850,000 French workers desperately needed by the German economy. By way of comparison, the SS could only deport 75,000 Jews from the Hexagon. Although a majority of Frenchmen disliked both labor and racial depor- tations, Sauckel dragooned ten times more workers than Himmler could Jews. How can we explain this disparity? Sauckel’s agents cooperated with German diplomats and military counterparts. The MBF and MVW officials understood that French labor contributed to the war effort and helped Sauckel whenever possible. The German embassy in Paris supported Sauckel through diplomatic channels. Second, the Plenipotentiary for the Mobilization of Labor negotiated with the French government and mixed ominous threats with token concessions. He accommodated some French concerns by returning a few POWs and excluding select groups like farmers and policemen from his programs. Labor deportations may have been as or 44 IMT, vol. V, p. 503; IMT, vol. III, p. 480. 45 BAK, All. Proz. 21/216/43–45; ADAP, ser. E, vol. VII, pp. 323–6; IMT, vol. V, p. 504. 46 BAMA, RW 35/331/nfn (MBF, Nr A 2/5552/1087/44g., Paris 21.6.44, Betr. Einführung des nationalen Jugendienstes in Frankreich und Aufruf des Jahrgangs 1924); ‘Monographie D.P.1,’ in CCDR, Dommages subis par la France, vol. IX, pp. 139, 144, and 157. 263 after the fall even more unpopular than racial deportations, but they succeeded because Sauckel tried to accommodate the concerns of other French and German institutions. With a brief limited to security, the SS could offer nothing in return for cooperation with racial deportations. The military administration and Sauckel pressed the Vichy regime to supply Germany with additional workers, and the pressure increased as the need became desperate. Coercive labor laws that were enacted at Germany’s behest discredited the Vichy regime, created re?fractaires, and eventually encouraged resistance. The last development did not catch senior Nazis by surprise. The acting head of RSHA’s Foreign Intelligence Service (Amt VI), Walter Schellenberg, reported that pro-Allied circles around Marshal Pe?tain negated pro-German influences surrounding Prime Minister Laval on 15 November 1942. Discouraged by the STO, most Frenchmen no longer cooperated with enthusiasm.47 Acting in part on analysis from RSHA, Himmler discussed the situation with Hitler in December 1942. After meeting with the Führer, Himmler told Martin Bormann about a scheme that would counter French attentisme, supply Sauckel’s organization with additional labor, catch Jews, and destroy French resistance all at the same time. The Reichsführer planned to counter attentisme by purging unreli- able elements from the French police and rewarding French policemen who carried out their duties to Germany’s satisfaction. Second, Himm- ler planned to deliver 5–600,000 Italian anti-fascists and 3–400,000 ‘Red Spaniards’ who sought refuge in France before World War Two to Sauckel. Arrests would reduce the pool of potential opponents and solve Vichy’s nagging refugee problem. Himmler also planned to incarcerate British and American citizens, Jews, and former leaders of the Third Republic who were part of the alleged anti-German conspiracy. Last but not least, Himmler anticipated a ‘radical fight against the communists’ that would include large-scale round-ups in cities and anti-partisan sweeps through rural areas.48 The Reichsführer SS translated his plan into action by ordering HSSuPF to carry out a ‘radical crackdown’ in Marseille. After criticizing Oberg for not taking charge of the operation in person, Himmler told his HSSuPF 47 USNA, RG 242, T-175/454/2970452–2970454. 48 USNA, RG 242/T-175/129/2654856; USNA, RG 242/T-175/454/2970672–2970675. 264 labor deportations and resistance to meet with Kurt Daluege, the head of the Ordnungspolizei, in Marseille on 6 January. Unwilling to trust even his most senior lieutenants with an important operation, Himmler sent another directive that outlined specific goals of the Marseille operation on 8 January. His ‘guidelines’ anticipated the arrest of 100,000 people who would be deported to Germany. To reduce casualties, the Reichsführer SS supported the use of French policemen and ordered a ‘radical blasting of criminal quarters’ to eliminate the need for house-to-house inspections. He believed that the French would eventually thank Germany for cleaning out the ‘pigsty of Marseille, the pigsty of France,’ and underlined the importance of the Marseille operation by requesting daily progress reports from Oberg.49 In an attempt to solicit French cooperation, Oberg met with Bousquet on 7 and 13 January 1943. Playing upon French fears that ‘Operation Tiger’ would mimic reprisals carried out in Prague, the HSSuPF threatened to employ only SS personnel in the Marseille operation. Desperate to preserve Vichy’s sovereign image shortly after the occupation of southern France, Bousquet agreed to order French police to arrest French Jews in an attempt to steer repression toward mutually undesirable groups. On 16 January, 9,100 French policemen from the Sûrete? Nationale, Gendarmerie, Gardes mobiles, and Groupes Mobiles de Reserve (GMR) prepared to ‘cleanse’ France’s second largest city.50 With Himmler’s backing, the HSSuPF sent 2,000 SS troops armed with heavy weapons and tanks to ‘the criminal center of Europe that is full of strange races and hostile political elements’ during the third week in January.51 On the night of 22 January 1943, French and German policemen began to arrest Jews, anti-Fascist Italians, German deserters, French re?fractaires, wanted criminals, suspected prostitutes, and anyone without proper identification. The next morning, police evacuated everyone located in the Old Port quarter of the city. By Sunday morning, French and German policemen had checked 40,000 identity cards and detained 5,956 people, but they released 3,977 after further investigation. Prisoners went to Baumettes 49 Meyer, L’Occupation allemande en France, pp. 155–7; BALW, NS 19/120/2; BALW, NS 19/3402/fiche 2/68; BALW, NS 19/2799/1–2; USNA, RG 242/T-175/65/2980607. 50 BALW, NS 19/3402/fiche 2/76; Froment, Rene? Bousquet, pp. 364–375; Rajsfus, La Police de Vichy, pp. 209–216. 51 USNA, RG 242/T-175/3/2503396; Paul Jankowski, Communism and Collaboration: Simon Sabiani and Politics in Marseille, 1919–1944 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989), pp. 71–120; Meinen, Wehrmacht et prostitution sous l’Occupation, pp. 75–7. 265 after the fall prison camp for sorting. Jews were sent to Compie`gne while the remainder traveled to a French military camp in Fre?jus (in the Var de?partement). The total number of prisoners fell far short of the 100,000 expected by Himmler and did not fill the thirty trains that had been commandeered by Oberg. In a final display of raw power, German engineers began to systematically destroy the old quarter of Marseille on 1 February. By the time ‘Operation Tiger’ ended, they had reduced forty hectares of Marseille to rubble.52 The Marseille operation marked the advent of large-scale sweeps that detained all who looked askance. German intelligence sources identified three resistance groups, the largest of which had an estimated 600–1,000 members, operating in Corre`ze, Puy-de-Doˆme, and Rhoˆne. In conjunction with the SD, French police launched a sweep through south-central France on 8 May 1943. Rudolf Schleier, the Minister of the Paris embassy, detected an ominous degree of cooperation among partisans and reported that one resistance group had warned other bands about the impending operation. During initial sweeps through rural areas, army, SS, and French police forces usually seized prisoners and did not resort to burning villages or shooting women and children.53 The SS office in Limoges launched a major operation in Corre`ze near the village of Donzenac in November 1943. After a three-hour fight, the SS Police regiment Todt seized one machine gun, twenty-four automatic pistols, a few hand grenades, and some ammunition. They killed seventeen ‘terrorists’ and took four prisoners but could not prevent the escape of another fifteen or twenty partisans. Sweeps carried out in southern France tried to destroy resistance groups, round up Jews, and collect re?fractaires for Sauckel’s labor organization. During the last quarter of 1943, police actions seized approximately 15,000 prisoners, many of whom eventually wound up in Sauckel’s hands. Manpower shortages limited the utility of German operations and allowed resistance groups to flourish in remote portions of southern France that did not have a strong, enduring German presence. Some SS commanders wanted to eschew 52 Ryan, The Holocaust and the Jews of Marseille, pp. 181–7; Froment, Rene? Bousquet, pp. 376–391, 397; BALW, NS 19/3402/fiche 2/76. 53 Nestler and Schulz (eds.), Die faschistische Okkupationspolitik in Frankreich, 1940–1944, pp. 264–5; ADAP, ser. E, vol. VI, pp. 51; Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg, pp. 303–307. 266 labor deportations and resistance French cooperation, but Oberg and Knochen insisted on joint operations both to compensate for manpower shortages and spread political liability.54 The incidence of murder increased from 254 cases in December 1943 to 339 in January 1944 and suggests an increase in resistance activity, but exemplary violence may have shaped resistance behavior. Eighty per cent of the murders claimed the lives of French collaborators. Neither large operations like Marseille nor smaller sweeps through Corre`ze elim- inated resistance activity. By the end of the year, the German embassy claimed that five de?partements in south-central France (Savoie, Haute Savoie, Ise`re, Corre`ze, and Creuse) teetered on the brink of open dis- sidence.55 Established to command regular and reserve troops stationed on the western front, OB West (Oberbefehlshaber West or Supreme Command in the West) joined the fight against partisans in 1944. Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt commanded forces that guarded the coastal regions against an Allied invasion and regulated the newly occupied zone after November 1942. Unlike the MBF or HSSuPF, OB West possessed some first-class units equipped with modern weapons. Draft orders written by OB West in October 1942 resembled comparable regulations released by General Streccius during the first months of the Occupation, but they allowed junior (regimental and battalion) officers to seize hostages, contained few words of caution, and did not characterize hostage executions as a last resort.56 Increasing resistance activity compelled OB West to join the fight against partisans and revise regulations in the final year of the Occupation. Using Hitler’s broad definition of resistance as a point of departure, OB West issued revised anti-partisan regulations on 3 February 1944. While Field Marshal von Rundstedt, the commander of German forces on the western front, was on vacation, his deputy, Luftwaffe Field Marshal Hugo Sperrle, issued his own ‘Order for Fighting Terrorists.’ The regulation directed all German soldiers to start shooting right after an incident and explained that ‘[i]t is regrettable if innocent civilians get caught up [in 54 BAMA, RW 35/551/11; Kasten, Gute Franzosen, pp. 158–165, 170. 55 ADAP, ser. E, vol. VII, pp. 435–7; Schumann and Nestler (eds.), Die faschistische Okkupa- tionspolitik in Frankreich, 1940–1944, pp. 282–3. 56 USNA, RG 242/T-77/788/5517241–5517243; Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltan- schauungskrieg, pp. 259–261; Umbreit, Der Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich, 1940–1944, pp. 98–106; BAMA, RH 3 (Generalquartiermeister, Heeresfeldpostmeister)/204/49–50. 267 after the fall the crossfire], but that is exclusively the fault of the terrorists.’ Once the shooting stopped, Sperrle directed soldiers to arrest everybody in the area and burn down nearby houses. After those initial countermeasures had been carried out, the Field Marshal ordered soldiers to contact the MBF and SD for further instructions. Sperrle threatened to prosecute ‘weak and irresolute’ commanders who did not carry out instructions and assured subordinates that nobody would be punished for over-zealousness.57 Although he had no experience on the eastern front, Sperrle issued orders that fulfilled the spirit of Hitler’s anti-partisan policy. Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel distributed Sperrle’s ‘Order for Fighting Partisans’ to subordinates on 12 February 1944 and augmented the regu- lation with classic Nazi rhetoric. According to the MBF, ‘respect for the German armed forces must be preserved and insubordination fought from the start.’ His language echoed Hitler’s 16 September 1941 order to ‘nip resistance in the bud’ by using the ‘sharpest means.’58 As he conspired to overthrow the Nazi regime, von Stülpnagel adorned his orders with Nazi terminology and played a double game. A top-secret order from Keitel confirmed Sperrle’s directive. Released on 4 March 1944 and entitled ‘Fighting Terrorism,’ the OKW regulation characterized resistance as an ‘increasing nuisance’ and identified guerilla activity and railroad sabotage as especially dangerous threats. Hitler’s chief military advisor ordered troops to ‘finish off’ (erledigen) partisans in the field. According to OKW, commanders did not need to convene a trial as described in the military penal code (Milita?rgesetzbuch) or employ truncated legal procedures outlined in the Decree concerning Military Jurisdiction during War and Special Operations (Kriegsstrafverfahrensordnung or KStVO). Keitel’s directive underlined the Third Reich’s disdain for the rule of law, allowed subordinates to liquidate opponents in the field, and completed a process that began in 1938.59 The MBF did not wholeheartedly accept anti-partisan policies released by superiors in OKW and OB West. Colonel von Linstow, a member of Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel’s staff, tried to soften OB West’s reprisal 57 Luther, Der franzo?sische Widerstand, p. 239; BAK, All. Proz. 21/213/77–81; Lieb, Konven- tioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg, pp. 261–6. 58 BAK, All. Proz. 21/209/175; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/12/46–49; USNA, RG 242/T- 501/97/368 – 370. 59 Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg, p. 268; BAMA, RW 35/551/19. See also Chapter 4, p. 100. 268 labor deportations and resistance policy. A regulation of 19 June 1944 ordered security forces attached to the military administration to consider the following questions when dealing with ‘terrorists’: 1. Do adversaries wear distinguishing marks (armbands, hats, or parts of a uniform)? 2. Do adversaries bear arms openly or carry concealed weapons (pistol in pocket or hidden under clothes)? 3. Is the group led by a recognized leader, or is it a collection of disparate elements? 4. Does the group obey the laws of war (take prisoners and spare Red Cross personnel)? Linstow raised questions that echoed terms of the Hague Convention. His memo encouraged commanders to consider the laws of war as they decided how to handle irregular combatants. It undermined directives from OKW and OB West that demanded a ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ policy and provided a degree of protection for those who opposed Hitler’s murderous approach.60 Soldiers and policemen had a degree of flexibility as they battled partisans and impressed French workers in 1944. They could choose draconian methods championed by OKW and OB West or follow the moderate policy advanced by dissidents within the military administration. Stationed in a hotbed of resistance activity southwest of the Swiss border in Ain, the 157th Reserve Division launched a series of ‘cleansing operations’ while training recruits and preparing for the invasion of France. Carried out by French and German police forces between 5 and 13 February, Operation Korporal killed 40 alleged partisans (most likely civilians), turned up 460 Frenchmen eligible for labor in Germany, confiscated food stores, and burned down houses. Soldiers cooperated with SS officers who led the operation, and senior army commanders considered the project to be a success.61 Subsequent operations in neighboring areas followed a similar pattern. Launched on 26 March, ‘Operation Haute-Savoie’ lasted four days and involved the 157th Reserve Division, SS and French police units, German border police, and the French Milice. While small guerilla detachments 60 BALW, R 70 Frankreich/12/51. 61 Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg, pp. 309–321; Meyer, L’Occupation allemande en France, pp. 159–160, 163–7. 269 after the fall Figure 10.6. A German atrocity. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress. retarded the Franco-German advance, approximately 450 partisans melted into the sparsely populated countryside. German forces sustained ten casualties and killed around twenty partisans while clearing the area. Local civilians escaped deadly German reprisals but were forced to leave the area. Following orders from OB West, soldiers turned prisoners over to the SS, and many were shot in the following weeks. Mounted in the departments of Ain and Jura between 7 and 18 April, Operation Frühling (Spring) killed 148 alleged partisans and captured 869 partisan sympathizers. Disgusted by the widespread brutality, the commander of the 157th Reserve Division considered the sweep to be a failure that pushed local inhabitants into the arms of resistance groups. In response, army authorities no longer subordinated military units to the SS during anti-partisan operations.62 62 Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg, pp. 321–8; Meyer, L’Occupation allemande en France, pp. 163–5; Kedward, In Search of the Maquis, pp. 132–8. 270 labor deportations and resistance Operations carried out in the Dordogne followed the pattern established by the 157th Reserve Division in the Glie`res plateau. In conjunction with French police and paramilitary forces, German soldiers and policemen under the command of General Walter Brehmer swept through Corre`ze and the Dordogne between 30 March and 4 April 1944. Regular and reserve army divisions destroyed 3 resistance camps, burned 62 houses, shot 55 ‘terrorists,’ and arrested 388 ‘suspected terrorists,’ re?fractaires, and otherwise suspicious characters. In April, troops assigned to OB West carried out 3 other major and 138 minor anti-partisan sweeps in which 569 ‘terrorists’ were shot, 4,463 arrested, and 528 sent to Sauckel’s labor service.63 Although OB West mounted several large-scale sweeps in southern France, other portions of the Hexagon remained quiet. Stationed along the Atlantic coast in Normandy and Brittany, the Seventh Army attributed one death to resistance activity in February 1944. One month later, a German corps noted no instances of sabotage around Le Havre. The regional branch of the military government in northwest France recorded only eleven instances of assault and four German casualties in May 1944. Rundstedt let Sperrle’s order for bloody reprisals stand, but he refused to fuel the MBF’s anti-partisan and labor campaigns by releasing supplies of gasoline. Aside from calls for bloody reprisals, OB West paid little attention to re?fractaires and resistance groups.64 Anti-partisan sweeps in southeastern and southwestern France reveal subtle but important distinctions in the behavior of army, SS, and French units. While locked in combat, troops subordinate to OB West employed ruthless tactics and did not distinguish irregular combatants from civilians. They burned down houses and turned over ‘all who looked askance’ to police colleagues. SS policemen and members of the French Milice displayed an even greater brutality that lasted long after the shooting stopped. SS forces and their French auxiliaries employed torture and shot prisoners who may or may not have been involved in anti-German activity. Yet although they were brutal and bloody, German tactics did 63 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1430/798 – 836. Luther, Der franzo?sische Widerstand, pp. 235, 244. 64 Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg, p. 265; BAK, All. Proz. 21/209/251–255; USNA, RG 338/Foreign Military Studies/C–032/3–39. 271 after the fall not involve widespread use of ‘dead zones’—the complete devastation of an entire region—that were common in Russia.65 Large-scale sweeps spread terror through the French countryside, destroyed any remaining support for Franco-German collaboration, and leavened expectations of liberation. From Germany’s perspective, they supplied Sauckel with slave labor and advanced the racial goals of the Nazi regime. Neither arson, deportation, nor summary executions persuaded resistance groups to abandon their fight. As the probability of liberation waxed, the efficacy of draconian reprisals and labor deportations waned. 65 BALW, NS 19/2175; BALW, R 19/318/31–51; Shepherd, War in the Wild East, pp. 166–187. 272 11 Invasion and retreat The Allied invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944 posed new dilemmas to Nazi leaders. During the 1940 Western campaign, Army High Command insisted that uniformed German paratroopers who were deployed behind enemy lines qualified as lawful combatants as defined by the Hague Convention. Hermann Go?ring threatened to shoot ten Allied pilots for every German paratrooper who was mistreated by Allied authorities. D-Day promised to reverse the roles played by Allied and Axis leaders regarding airborne troops. With vulnerable rear areas and few security troops on hand, German leaders worried about sabotage as the threat of invasion loomed large. In 1944, Allied leaders planned to disrupt German movements with a combination of airborne troops and indigenous resistance forces.1 Now that the shoe was on the other foot, Hitler ordered subordinates to treat all commandos as unlawful combatants who could be summarily executed. Released in October 1942, Hitler’s Commando Order fitted within a larger pattern of gradually increasing and finally unrestrained violence. Both right- and left-wing radicals had shot hostages as they vied for power during the 1919 Revolution in Germany. While he led the nascent Nazi party, Hitler seized left-wing hostages to ensure safe passage back from a rally in Coburg. Influenced by a long history of guerillaphobia in the German army, the MBF released comprehensive anti-partisan regulations that included 1 BAMA, RW 35/209/175; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1428/797; Weinberg, A World at Arms, pp. 679–683, 686–8. after the fall hostage seizures in September 1940.2 Building upon a concept that had deep roots in German political and military culture, Hitler expanded the scale and scope of traditional hostage policies employed in the Franco- Prussian War and World War One. Keitel’s 16 September 1941 regulation described 50 or 100 hostage executions as appropriate, and the Nacht und Nebel Erlass exchanged hundreds of hostage executions for thousands of deportations. In response to the August 1942 Dieppe raid, the Führer ordered subordinates to treat commandos as unlawful combatants. Eager to ‘fight fire with fire,’ the Führer employed increasingly ruthless tactics against an expanding list of enemies that started with Jews and communists, incorporated commandos and re?fractaires, and, by the end of the war, included Allied ‘terror pilots.’ In 1945, Hitler considered abrogating the Hague Convention altogether in an attempt to gain an advantage.3 Hitler’s increasing propensity for violence, the prospects of impending defeat, and the threat of war crimes trials eventually convinced a minor- ity of German officers to overthrow the Nazi regime. On the night of 20 July 1944, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel and a number of his subor- dinates told colleagues that the SS had killed Hitler and launched a coup d’e?tat in Berlin. In order to prevent unrest, the MBF ordered army security forces to arrest the SS. Stülpnagel successfully carried out his part of the plot to overthrow the Nazi regime, but news of Hitler’s survival eventually reached Paris. Although the coup failed, a scheme to cover up the scope of anti-Nazi conspiracy in France succeeded. By working together, Carl- Heinrich von Stülpnagel, Otto Abetz, Helmut Knochen, and Carl Oberg concealed widespread participation in the plot and, except for Stülpnagel, managed to save their own skins. When they worked together, German agencies could achieve surprising results. British troops did not completely abandon continental Europe after the Dunkirk evacuation. Small groups of Allied commandos periodically attacked military installations situated along the French coast. One hundred British soldiers destroyed a radar station in Bruneval (Seine-Infe?rieure) on the night of 27/28 February 1942. One month later, a larger force blew 2 Burleigh, The Third Reich, pp. 40, 55; Hitler, Mein Kampf , Chapter 9, Section 2, ‘The expedition to Coburg in October 1922;’ Isabel V. Hull, Absolute Destruction. Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2005), pp. 324–333. 3 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1430/168 – 170, 176 – 182; Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS- Weltanschauungskrieg, pp. 31–4; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1429/245–257. 274 invasion and retreat up the only French dry dock that could repair large German warships and limited the battleship Tirpitz to Norwegian waters. Designed in part to test the feasibility of a large-scale invasion, the 19 August 1942 Dieppe raid involved approximately 6,000 uniformed soldiers but proved to be a fiasco. Commando operations alarmed German commanders and provoked Hitler to release the so-called Commando Order on 18 October 1942. The directive ordered all German troops to refuse the surrender of commandos and hand over mistakenly captured commandos to the SD. Armed or unarmed, dressed in mufti or military uniform, whether encountered in combat, in flight, or while trying to surrender, all commandos were to be ‘annihilated’ (niederzumachen). Since they were inserted behind enemy lines, the 3 divisions of Allied paratroopers, 2,000 British commandos from the Special Air Service, and American Jedburgh teams deployed during the 1944 invasion could all be described as commandos and thus subject to Hitler’s Commando Order.4 OKW insisted that the Commando Order remain in force after the Allied invasion of France. On 26 June 1944, Keitel informed senior commanders in western Europe that ‘all troops inserted outside the Normandy combat zone must be destroyed as hostile terrorist troops’ or turned over to the SD for execution after interrogation. Toward the end of July, Hitler reiterated his basic anti-partisan strategy and directed German troops to execute all non-Germans suspected of ‘terrorism.’5 With unflagging support from OKW, Hitler championed the immediate execution of commandos and alleged terrorists; leaders of the Nazi regime did not flinch as the prospect of defeat loomed large. Five days after D-Day, Ob West directed subordinate commanders to treat all French civilians who resisted German authority as guerrillas. Wounded resistance fighters and French partisans who wore a uniform or other distinguishing mark (beret, armband, etc.) would be treated as terrorists and shot out of hand. American and British paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines might also qualify as guerrillas and be eligible for ‘special treatment’ if found beyond the ill-defined Normandy combat zone.6 Even General Johannes Blaskowitz, a vocal critic of German atrocities in Poland 4 Weinberg, A World at Arms, pp. 360, 367; Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschau- ungskrieg, pp. 31–7, 141–7; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1430/168–170. 5 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1428/794–795; BAK, All. Proz. 21/213/277. 6 BAMA, RW 35/551/24. 275 after the fall and commander of Army Group G in southwest France, approved of Ob West’s ‘sharp’ countermeasures. He argued that terrorists and commandos could only operate with the help of local Frenchmen and therefore presumed the local French population to be complicit in sabotage and resistance. Accordingly, he endorsed Ob West’s reprisal policy and cited the indiscriminate bombing of German cities as further justification for German methods. The argument advanced by General Blaskowitz suggests that some non-Nazi officers succumbed to guerillaphobia and voluntarily carried out bloody reprisals in 1944.7 Subordinate to Ob West, the commander of the LXVI Reserve Corps condemned troops who disgraced the ‘good reputation of the clean- fighting German soldier’ and vowed to prosecute the mistreatment of enemy civilians and unauthorized reprisals. An intelligence officer on the MBF’s staff tried to support the LXVI Reserve Corps commander in a memo on 19 July 1944. He paid lip-service to Hitler’s anti-partisan policy by saying that ‘softness against an adversary who fights mostly from ambush and disregards the laws of war is misplaced,’ but added that ‘(n)o German soldier assaults helpless women and children!’ Some German officers believed that soldiers had a duty to protect civilians even if guerrilla operations made it difficult to distinguish friend from foe.8 Walter Bargatzky, a senior official in the military administration legal office, advised subordinates to treat prisoners according to regulations set forth in the Milita?rgesetzbuch. Opponents who carried their weapons openly and could be identified as enemies from a distance would be treated as prisoners of war according to the Hague Convention. Combatants who did not meet these criteria would be treated as guerrillas and turned over to the SD. Bargatzky advised military judges to consult the arresting officers before deciding how to treat suspected guerillas.9 His legal opinion violated the spirit of Hitler’s Commando Order, Keitel’s subsequent explanation, and Ob West directives. Immediately after the Allied invasion of France, the MBF also offered an amnesty to partisans who surrendered to German police forces. Ob West quashed the MBF’s program because it violated 7 BAK, All. Proz. 21/213/167–171. 8 BAMA, RW 35/551/54, 57; Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg, pp. 273–4, 283–5. 9 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1626/folder 75486/nfn (Der MBF, Verwaltungsstab Abteilung Justiz; Paris 14.10.43; Az Vju 257.43g.820; Betreff Vo?lkerrechtliche Stellung der Angeho?rigen der frz. Geheimarmee; Sachbearbeiter: KVR Bargatzky). 276 invasion and retreat Hitler’s guidelines and ordered all subordinate commands, including the MBF, to shoot guerillas and commandos.10 In theory, Ob West embraced Nazi methods. In practice, soldiers attached to Ob West displayed a range of behaviors with regard to Hitler’s Commando Order. Troops assigned to Ob West shot British commandos near Bordeaux in December 1942 but incarcerated other paratroopers in army POW camps. Provisions of the Commando Order allowed paratroopers caught in a combat zone to be treated as law- ful combatants and protected most commandos deployed in Normandy on D-Day, but Free French paratroopers who fought in British uni- form could face a summary execution. As usual, Waffen-SS formations assigned to Ob West treated partisans, paratroopers, and commandos with characteristic brutality. In response to a military administration report of atrocities carried out by the 2nd SS Panzer Division ‘Das Reich’ near Toulouse, the commander of the LVIII Corps accused French authorities of exaggeration. He believed that the ‘terrorist nuisance’ could only be answered with the ‘sharpest measures’ and added that divisional comman- ders understood the relevant orders from Ob West. The commander of the LVIII corps believed that investigations were ‘absolutely unnecessary’ and quashed further proceedings.11 Like many other smaller atrocities, the notorious massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane went unpunished by German authorities. In keeping with the 1943 Moscow Declaration, General Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered a small group of captains and lieutenants to fan out across France and collect evidence of German war crimes. Advancing behind combat troops during the fall of 1944, the team collected data with varying degrees of precision. After they arrived in a particular region, some officers asked local resistance leaders about atrocities committed by German troops and recounted findings in summary reports. More diligent counterparts avoided hearsay evidence, interviewed eyewitnesses, studied police records, and tried to distinguish legitimate war crimes 10 BALW, R 70 Frankreich/12/54. 11 Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg, pp. 144 – 154; BAMA, RW 35/551/55–56; Max Hastings, Das Reich. The March of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Through France (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1981), Chapters 4–6, 8–10; Sarah Farmer, Martyred Village: Commemorating the 1944 Massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999); Robin Mackness, Oradour: Massacre & Aftermath (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 1988). 277 Figure 11.1. Forty-four French hostages shot in Premilhat, near Montlucon, on 14 August 1944. Photograph courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. invasion and retreat from ambiguous reprisals. The thirteen volumes of evidence suggests that Wehrmacht and SS units often shot nearby civilians and burned houses after taking enemy fire during the August 1944 retreat. German and French police often tortured suspects and executed prisoners as they fled toward Germany.12 One investigator concluded that [t]he troops when in flight feared the maquis so much that they killed anyone they suspected of being in the resistance. When soldiers of the German Army were wounded or killed the others immediately took reprisal measures against the first person they found. In the cases involving the SS and Gestapo, whenever a person was arrested, he was usually beaten and tortured until he revealed the names of other persons engaged in resistance, and then killed. In this never ending process many persons were the victims of relentless beatings and death. The uncivilized actions of the Germans were not restricted to special troops, rather they were prevalent in all organizations, particularly after the landing of the Allies in France. The Gestapo specialized in torture, the SS in mass executions and torture, and the German line troops in reprisal actions.13 A second investigator, Captain Perry Miller, recognized that Germans used resistance activity to justify brutal reprisals. He believed that the German argument gained ‘increasing plausibility’ as resistance activity increased, and the officer in charge of the Allied investigation in Brittany concurred. After recounting a typical story of reprisals carried out in August 1944, he described the reaction of the local population. If they [partisans] had been merely shot and decently buried, there would have been, as even the local French admit, no complaint, as they realize that the Germans might have some legal grounds for treating them as ‘franc-tireurs’ in spite of the fact that they were covered by the declaration of General de Gaulle and wore the FFI brassard. But the state of these bodies proved without a shadow of a doubt that these men had been tortured and beaten with inhumane ferocity before being killed. No international law can justify such brutality and sadism. Some Frenchmen recognized the dubious legality of armed resistance but contended that many German reprisals surpassed the limits of humanity.14 12 USNA, RG 153/145/100/folder 109-5/1–6; USNA, RG 153/135/boxes 67–70. 13 USNA, RG 153/135/70/folder 15/1–2. 14 USNA, RG 153/135/69/folder 13/10; Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungs- krieg, pp. 253–8. 279 after the fall Investigators also identified a pattern of behavior and degree of organi- zation in German actions. [I]t is evident that most of the atrocities listed were organized or ordered by responsible German officers, and formed part of a plan and were not, merely, the brutal excesses of individuals or groups of individuals. The natural sadistic nature of the Germans facilitated the execution of such orders, and, in some cases, the men concerned probably gave free rein to their imagination in this respect. Allied investigators concluded that some German forces carried out Hitler’s orders with considerable enthusiasm. Regular Wehrmacht troops comprised the bulk of German forces in France, and they probably carried out many reprisals or, in German parlance, ‘sabotage countermeasures.’ Although one Allied investigator detected some reluctance to carry out atrocities, it was probably the rapid Allied advance rather than any special regard for the rules of war that limited the scope of reprisals. Cautionary orders from the military administration in Paris did not influence the behavior of many German soldiers.15 Advancing Allied soldiers eventually obtained a copy of Hitler’s Com- mando Order, which General Eisenhower pointedly referred to in a ‘solemn warning’ that he transmitted to OKW. The Supreme Commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces promised to prosecute Wehrmacht and SS officers who shot Allied paratroopers. Designed to protect Allied soldiers, Eisen- hower’s warning did not cover French resistance groups, innocent civilians, and other alleged ‘terrorists.’ Unlike their German counterparts, Allied lead- ers favored deliberate prosecution over immediate reprisals carried out in the field. Eisenhower’s reaction suggests that Hitler’s Commando Order posed a real danger to Allied personnel that had to be countered with threat of prosecution.16 After the war, the French government estimated that 29,660 French citizens had been shot during the Occupation.17 Anecdotal evidence col- lected by Allied investigators indicates that calls for moderation expressed by dissidents within the military administration had little influence. As they retreated toward Germany, soldiers followed a ‘shoot first, ask questions 15 USNA, RG 153/135/67/folder 5/130–131; USNA, RG 153/135/68/folder 8/3–4. 16 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1428/748–750. 17 IMT, vol. XXXVII, p. 212; Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS Weltanschauungskrieg, pp. 412–415. 280 invasion and retreat later’ policy that killed thousands of French civilians. Rooted in an institu- tional fear of guerillas and accelerated by criminal directives from OKW and Ob West, German soldiers shot everybody who impeded the retreat toward Germany. Responsible commanders in Ob West declined to investigate, much less prosecute, war-crimes accusations. By 1944, calls for moderation fell upon deaf ears. While they served as the MBF, both Otto and Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel became acquainted with the goals and methods of the Nazi regime. Otto von Stülpnagel worked within the chain of command to ameliorate unwise and unlawful policies. Unable to reconcile ideological directives from superiors in Berlin with the dictates of his conscience, he retired from military service. Carl-Heinrich learned from Otto’s mistakes and chose a different course. As MBF, he did not bicker with the SS, try to curb the destructive behavior of Nazi potentates like Fritz Sauckel, nor condemn Hitler’s Commando Order. Rejecting the entire Nazi system, he conspired against the regime. As a junior officer, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel had forged bonds with future leaders of the anti-Nazi movement. He worked with General Ludwig Beck during the final years of the Weimar Republic and denounced Nazi policies in letters to the General in 1936 and 1937. During the Munich Crisis and Phony War, Stülpnagel discussed Hitler’s overthrow with, among others, Franz Halder, Erich Hoeppner, and Helmuth Groscurth.18 He curtailed his conspiratorial activity while serving as the head of the Franco- German Armistice Commission and during his term as the commander of the Seventeenth Army but resumed contact with anti-Nazis upon his return from the Russian front. Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, Graf Yorck von Wartenburg, Eugen Gerstenmaier, Alfred Delp, and Adam von Trott zu Solz tried to recruit the MBF while visiting Paris, and their efforts eventually paid off. In December 1943, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel agreed to play an active role in Stauffenberg’s plot against Hitler.19 Carl-Heinrich conspired against the Nazi regime with other officers linked to the Stauffenberg family. Colonel Eberhard Finckh had studied 18 Bücheler,Carl-HeinrichvonStülpnagel,pp.108–114,135–7;BAMA,N5/24/25;PeterHoff- mann, The History of the German Resistance, 1933–1945, translated by Richard Barry (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1977), pp. 128–144. 19 Bücheler, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, pp. 244–5, 275–287; Gerd van Roon, German Resistance to Hitler: Count von Moltke and the Kreisau Circle, translated by Peter Ludlow (London: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1971), pp. 167–175, 211. 281 after the fall with Claus von Stauffenberg before the war and served as Ob West’s Deputy Chief of Staff in 1944. Stauffenberg’s cousin, Ca?ser von Hofacker, served on the MBF’s staff and played an active role in the anti-Nazi conspiracy.20 Finckh, Hofacker, and Stülpnagel developed plans to arrest supporters of the Nazi regime in Paris, brought additional officers into the conspiracy, and coordinated their efforts with confederates in Berlin. When Stauffenberg launched his assassination attempt, the three main conspirators in Paris could rely on assistance from, among others, Colonel Hans Otfried von Linstow, Stülpnagel’s Chief of Staff; Elmar Michel, the head of the MVW; Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Bargatzky, an MVW legal advisor; Lieutenant-Colonel Friedrich Freiherr von Teuchert, an MVW official in the government subsection; Lieutenant-General Freiherr Hans von Boineburg-Lengsfeld, Commandant of Greater Paris; Major-General Brehmer, Deputy Governor of Paris; Colonel Karl von Unger, Boineburg- Lengsfeld’s Chief of Staff; and Lieutenant-Colonel Kurt von Kraewel, the commander of the garrison regiment in Paris. Stülpnagel, Finckh, and Hofacker developed a substantial network and made contact with dissidents in Ob West.21 On the night of 19 July 1944, Hofacker told some of his fellow conspirators that a coup was imminent. The next morning, Colonel Finckh heard similar news from confidants in Berlin. There had already been two false alarms during the previous fortnight, so many plotters remained apprehensive. On 20 July, Stülpnagel followed his normal routine and lunched in the Hotel Raphae?l with Ernst Jünger, but the conversation seemed constrained. At a neighboring table, Bargatzky discussed plans to prosecute SS officers while other patrons greeted one another with ‘Heil Hitler.’22 Sometime after 2:00 p.m., Finckh received a second telephone call from Berlin and learned that the ‘exercise’ was ‘finished.’ He immediately traveled to Ob West and told General Blumentritt that the Gestapo had assassinated Hitler and launched a putsch. Around three or four in 20 Robert B. Kane, Disobedience and Conspiracy in the German Army, 1918–1945 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2002), pp. 207–211; Gerd R. Ueberscha?r, ‘Ca?sar von Hofacker und der deutsche Widerstand gegen Hitler in Paris,’ in Martens and Vaïsse (eds.), Frankreich und Deutschland im Krieg, pp. 621–631. 21 Schramm, Conspiracy Among Generals, pp. 210–211; Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 473–4. 22 Hoffman, The History of the German Resistance, 1933–1945, pp. 470–471; Bücheler, Carl- Heinrich von Stülpnagel, p. 302; Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, p. 132. 282 invasion and retreat the afternoon, Stauffenberg told Hofacker that Hitler had perished in an explosion.23 Hofacker immediately passed the news to Stülpnagel. Throughout the afternoon, Stülpnagel, Linstow, Michel, and Boineburg-Lengsfeld pre- pared to arrest the SS. In addition to his duties as military governor, Boineburg-Lengsfeld commanded 25,000 soldiers assigned to the 325th Security Division stationed in Paris. Earlier in the war, he had commanded the 23rd Panzer division and survived being run over by a Russian tank before being relieved of his command on charges that had sent others to prison. Stülpnagel told the resilient general that the Gestapo had made an attempt on Hitler’s life and had launched a coup in Berlin, gave him a map of SS barracks, and ordered him to arrest the SS after the 11:00 p.m. curfew. The MBF authorized Boineburg-Lengsfeld to use deadly force if members of the Black Corps resisted arrest. Around 6:00 p.m., Stülpnagel spoke with General Beck over the telephone. Beck told Stülpnagel that he did not yet have details about the explosion at Hitler’s headquarters and asked the MBF to enlist the commander of Ob West, Field Marshal Hans Kluge, in the plot.24 Around 6:15, Stülpnagel received an invitation to dine with Kluge in La Roche-Guyon. Leaving Linstow to manage events in Paris, Stülpnagel took Hofacker to the critical meeting with his superior. As Stülpnagel and Hofacker drove to dinner, Kluge received contradictory news from Berlin. Radio reports and a telephone conversation with Major-General Stieff in Berlin indicated that Hitler was alive; Beck, Stauffenberg, Hoeppner, and General Fromm all claimed that Hitler was dead. Although sympathetic to the anti-Nazi resistance, Kluge hesitated. Shortly before Stülpnagel arrived at his headquarters, the Field Marshal guessed the truth and told staff officers that ‘it’s just a bungled assassination attempt.’25 Stülpnagel and Hofacker reached La Roche-Guyon around 7:30 p.m. and met with Kluge, Günther Blumentritt, and Hans Speidel. All three officers from Ob West had had some contact with the anti-Nazi conspiracy, but none had foreknowledge of Stauffenberg’s plot. After listening to 23 Schramm, Conspiracy Among Generals, pp. 23–7, 38; Liddell-Hart, German Generals Talk, pp. 261–3. 24 Hoffmann,TheHistoryoftheGermanResistance,1933–1945,p.471;Mitcham,Hitler’sLegions, p. 222; Schramm, Conspiracy Among Generals, p. 40. 25 Hoffmann, The History of the German Resistance, 1933–1945, pp. 472–3. 283 after the fall Hofacker’s description of events in Berlin, Kluge concluded that his guests had inside information and suspected that the coup had indeed failed, but he still asked everybody to join him for dinner. After an awkward meal by candle light, Stülpnagel told Kluge about the impending arrest of SS personnel in an attempt to force the Field Marshal’s hand. Kluge refused to support the coup, told Stülpnagel to consider himself suspended from duty, and advised the MBF to hide out in Paris. Unlike ‘Clever Hans,’ Carl-Heinrich realized that he had already crossed the Rubicon and was compromised beyond the point of return. Without shaking hands with Kluge, Stülpnagel left La Roche-Guyon around 11:00 p.m. on the night of 20 July.26 As Stülpnagel left Ob West, Boineburg-Lengsfeld and Major-General Brehmer assembled their troops in the Bois de Boulogne. Neither Brehmer, a member of the Nazi party ‘Blood Order,’ nor his subordinates expressed surprise when they learned about the purported SS coup. One soldier told Boineburg-Lengsfeld that he looked forward to locking up the SS. ‘At last we’re going to finish with the black bastards. Then we’ll soon have peace.’ As Brehmer arrested Oberg in person, the HSSuPF expressed surprise and added that ‘it was all a misunderstanding.’ Soldiers incarcerated Oberg and Knochen with a bottle of brandy in the Hotel Continental. By the time Stülpnagel arrived back in Paris shortly after midnight, army authorities had detained the other 1,200 members of the Black Corps in the Fort de l’Est and Fresne military prison.27 While the coup unfolded on the streets of Paris, conspirators gathered in the Hotel Raphae?l, which served as the barracks for senior military administration personnel. Around 10:30 p.m., Linstow told Bargatzky, Teuchert, and others that, according to Stauffenberg, the coup was col- lapsing in Berlin. Boineburg-Lengsfeld reported the successful arrest of the SS around midnight, and the party retired to the hotel bar for refresh- ment. Upon his return, Stülpnagel dropped by the Raphae?l, spoke with his fellow conspirators, and passed along news of Kluge’s refusal to join the conspiracy. Other patrons had nary an inkling of the attempted coup in Berlin or the recent arrests in Paris, but they all listened to Hitler’s triumphant 1:00 a.m. broadcast that confirmed the failure of Stauffenberg’s 26 Liddell-Hart, German Generals Talk, pp. 261–4; Hoffmann, The History of the German Resistance, 1933–1945, pp. 474–5; Schramm, Conspiracy Among Generals, pp. 44–65. 27 Schramm, Conspiracy Among Generals, pp. 66–70. 284 invasion and retreat plot.28 To make matters worse, Go?ring ordered Luftwaffe personnel to go on alert, and the chief of Naval Group West, Admiral Theodor Krancke, threatened to march 1,000 marines into Paris if the MBF did not release SS personnel. As news of the failed coup spread, pressure mounted on the mil- itary administration in general and General Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel in particular.29 Sometime after 1:00 a.m. on the morning of 21 July, the conspirators began to cover their tracks. While Hofacker burned evidence in the Hotel Majestic, Stülpnagel retired to the Raphae?l’s Salon Bleu and ordered Boineburg-Lengsfeld to release the SS. The Commandant of greater Paris drove to the Hotel Continental and found Oberg and Knochen sitting with a bottle of brandy and a radio. After the obligatory Heil Hitler salute, Boineburg-Lengsfeld returned Oberg’s sidearm, invited both men to the Hotel Raphae ?l, and initiated a reconciliation.30 Oberg found Stülpnagel, Hofacker, and Linstow drinking wine with Abetz and greeted the MBF with a sneer. After listening to a plea for unity from Abetz, Oberg gradually calmed down, listened to the ambassador’s advice, and began to forge a common front with the conspirators. The HSSuPF could be found liable if the full extent of the Paris conspiracy leaked out, and Stülpnagel had an obvious interest in hushing things up to protect his staff. Under the guidance of Abetz, Oberg and Stülpnagel agreed that the arrests had been a big mistake carried out under false orders from Berlin. Junior officers, soldiers, and SS personnel would be told that the arrests had been an ‘exercise.’31 Back in La Roche-Guyon, Kluge began to worry about his own neck. Shortly after Stülpnagel left for Paris, Admiral Krancke told Kluge that the SS had been arrested in Paris and demanded an explanation. Kluge sent Blumentritt to Paris with orders to straighten out the mess, formally notified Berlin of Stülpnagel’s dismissal, and thereby doomed Carl-Heinrich. Blumentritt picked up Admiral Krancke and Knochen on his way to the Hotel Raphae?l, and the group arrived sometime after 2:00 a.m. They found a bizarre celebration in full swing. As the champagne flowed, army and SS personnel agreed to treat the entire affair as an 28 Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, pp. 133–5; Schramm, Conspiracy Among Generals, pp. 93–6. 29 Hoffmann, The History of the German Resistance, 1933–1945, pp. 476–7. 30 Fest, Plotting Hitler’s Death, pp. 284–7; Schramm, Conspiracy Among Generals, pp. 100–101. 31 Abetz,DasoffeneProbleme,p.290;Hoffmann,TheHistoryoftheGermanResistance,1933–1945, p. 478. 285 after the fall ‘exercise’ carried out under false orders from Berlin and let bygones by bygones.32 The preposterous tale proved to be too much for Admiral Krancke. The commander of German naval forces in the West ‘erupted in a tirade about ‘‘Stülpnagel, treason, and perfidy’’’ before storming out of the room. With Krancke out of the way, Blumentritt followed Abetz’s lead and began to talk about ‘mistakes’ and ‘false alarms.’ Under the influence of champagne, Oberg, Knochen, Abetz, and the military administration agreed to work in unison for the first and last time.33 They conjured up an implausible explanation of the evening’s events and doggedly adhered to the ‘party line’ of an exercise ordered by Berlin. Oberg and sympathetic army officers controlled the inquiry and allowed the cover-up to succeed beyond reasonable expectations. The ensuing investigation revealed only a handful of conspirators in Paris. Acting on Kluge’s account of events in Paris, Keitel ordered Stülpnagel to report to Berlin on the morning of 21 July. After a brief round of goodbyes, Carl-Heinrich left Paris and traveled by car toward Germany. Along the way, he stopped by an old battlefield near Verdun and attempted suicide. After hearing a shot, Stülpnagel’s driver found the General lying in a canal with a single wound to the head. Unaware of the MBF’s role in the previous day’s events, the driver assumed that partisans had attacked Stülpnagel and drove his commanding officer to a hospital in Verdun. Oberg visited his former regimental comrade while he recovered, but the contents of their conversation remain unknown.34 Stülpnagel made no attempt to escape punishment but did not turn in comrades. Blinded by his suicide attempt, Stülpnagel eventually returned to Berlin, faced a summary trial before the People’s Court, and was executed in Plotzensee prison on 30 August 1944. Back in Paris, Oberg conducted a lackadaisical investigation. The HSSuPF usually questioned suspects in the presence of a senior army officer (often Blumentritt) and never resorted to the third degree. Oberg’s lackluster attitude could not obscure the activities of Linstow, Hofacker, 32 Liddell-Hart, German Generals Talk, p. 264; Schramm, Conspiracy Among Generals, pp. 101–105; Hoffmann, The History of the German Resistance, 1933–1945, p. 478. 33 Fest, Plotting Hitler’s Death, p. 285; Schramm, Conspiracy Among Generals, pp. 109–111; Abetz, Das offene Probleme, p. 136. 34 Schramm, Conspiracy Among Generals, pp. 120–121, 126–7, 169–170; BAMA, N 5/24/26. 286 invasion and retreat or Finckh. All three died in prison. Boineburg-Lengsfeld and General Brehmer received reprimands and transfers for their part in the coup, but Michel, Bargatzky, Teuchert, and several other conspirators continued as if nothing had happened. The commander of the regiment that actually arrested the SS, Lieutenant-Colonel Kraewel, remained at his post and hindered the demolition of Paris during the final days of the Occupation. Oberg followed Abetz’s ‘formula,’ wrapped up his investigation quickly, and may have intervened in favor of Stülpnagel’s family who, unlike most of the Stauffenberg clan, survived the war.35 Why did Oberg help Abetz and Stülpnagel cover up the 20 July coup in Paris? First, the HSSuPF and Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel had served together during World War One. Second, the HSSuPF had developed an effective working relationship with the MBF and shared a common view of France with the military administration. While in charge of security, Oberg expressed little enthusiasm for draconian reprisals. Like the MBF, the HSSuPF favored labor deportations that contributed to the German war effort. For his part, Stülpnagel did not tamper with SS affairs. Oberg followed a pragmatic course, carried out orders to the best of his modest abilities, and rarely seized the initiative.36 With Allied armies approaching Paris and the war all but lost, blind loyalty to a dying regime made little sense to the pragmatic Oberg. Allied soldiers, not the 20 July conspirators, liberated Paris and ended the Occupation by force of arms. Paris teetered on the brink of revolution and approximately 100,000 Frenchmen participated in demonstrations on Bastille Day: 14 July 1944. Hitler replaced Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel with General Dietrich von Choltitz, a veteran of the attack on Rotterdam and the siege of Sevastopol. After meeting with Hitler and receiving orders to not surrender without explicit permission, Choltitz assumed command of German forces in Paris on 9 August 1944.37 French railway workers walked off the job the day after Choltitz arrived, and Ob West ordered 35 Schramm, Conspiracy Among Generals, pp. 172–5; Hoffmann, The History of the German Resistance, 1933–1945, pp. 517–518, 529; Liddell-Hart, German Generals Talk, pp. 266–7; BAMA, N 5/24/11–13. 36 Birn, Die Ho?heren SS- und Polizeiführer, pp. 255–9, 341; Lappenküper, ‘Der ‘‘Schla?chter von Paris’’.’ 37 USNA, RG 242/T-175/65/2580562–2580563; Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, Is Paris Burning? (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1965), pp. 33–6, 46–8. 287 after the fall the MBF to disarm French policemen on 12 August. Unfettered by orders to fight to the last man, SS policemen began to flee on 10 August. The last MBF would have to hold Paris without help from Ob West, French collaborators, or the Black Corps.38 Communist partisans called for a general strike and mobilized their forces on 18 August, and non-Communist leaders quickly followed suit. General von Choltitz threatened to answer resistance with ‘the sharpest means,’ but his threats proved hollow. Skirmishes broke out across Paris and, despite local ceasefire agreements, continued until 24 August. General Eisenhower would have preferred to bypass the French capital, but General de Gaulle forced his hand. Elements of General Leclerc’s Free French forces entered Paris on 24 August and accepted the surrender of General von Choltitz the following day.39 Given the forces at his disposal, Choltitz had no other realistic choice. Despite contrary orders from Hitler, Paris escaped total destruction. Approximately 60 per cent of the military administration survived the retreat to Germany by joining regular military units. Survivors eventually gathered in Potsdam during the winter of 1944–1945 and, in an attempt to avoid combat, began to write a history of occupied France. Veterans of the military administration did not escape the malevolent attention of Heinrich Himmler. The Reichsführer SS asked Keitel to reassign MVW officials to combat units immediately after they finished writing their reports. Oddly enough, the process lasted until 7 May 1945—the day Jodl agreed to an unconditional surrender.40 Final reports written by the military administration contain a wealth of information pertaining to the occupation of France during World War Two.41 Although rich in detail, many were written by people who feared prosecution for war crimes after the end of hostilities. Veterans of the military administration excused their own actions by crediting war crimes to the SS, the German embassy in Paris, Sauckel’s labor organization, senior military leaders in Berlin, and orders from Hitler. 38 Jackson, France. The Dark Years 1940–1944, p. 561; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/33/7; BAK All. Proz. 21/209/39–41. 39 BAMA, RH 19 IV/141/fiche 2/94; Jackson, France. The Dark Years, 1940–1944, pp. 561–9. 40 BAMA, RH 3/206/30, 57–59, 66, 95, 99; Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 508, 520. 41 BAMA, RW 35/244–247. 288 invasion and retreat Although interspersed with references to the Hague Convention and leading scholars of international law, arguments amounted to little more than ‘somebody else did it’ or ‘you did it too.’ Every parent can appreciate the value of such rhetoric. Often portrayed as an absolute dictator in scholarly discourse and popular imagination, Hitler recognized the limits of his power. An anti-Semite to the core, Hitler understood that German society did not share all of his opinions regarding Jews and proceeded with caution. As Nazi electoral prospects improved in the 1930s, the Führer toned down anti- Semitic rhetoric in favor of the need for living space and the iniquity of parliamentary politics.42 After assuming control of the German state in 1933, Hitler implemented his anti-Semitic agenda in stages that began with defamation and discrimination before proceeding to despoliation and concluding with extermination during the war. After defeating the French on the field of battle, Hitler followed the same pattern and pursued French Jews in stages but proceeded without any regard for French sensibilities. Ignoring legal arguments raised by military administration officials, the Führer approved the confiscation of Jewish property and antagonized the Vichy government in short order. The advent of deadly resistance activity allowed Hitler to up the ante in 1941. Speaking through Keitel, Hitler outlined a reprisal policy of 50 to 100 executions for each and every German casualty. The Führer’s brutal strategy liquidated racial opponents, intimidated neutral Frenchmen, and shocked the French public. Confident of victory, Hitler refused to accommodate French concerns and pushed his anti-Semitic agenda forward. The Vichy regime went to extraordinary lengths to accommodate German needs. After the Moser assassination, French courts executed six communists to satisfy Germany’s thirst for vengeance. Darlan allowed French firms to work for the German war machine even when such contracts made France vulnerable to Allied bombing raids. Neither Darlan or Laval displayed a preference for anti-Semitism during the interwar era, but both supported the defamation, discrimination, and despoliation of French Jews and the deportation of foreign Jews of their own accord. Until the very last weeks of the Occupation, many French police cooperated with their German counterparts in an effort to seize Jews, round up re?fractaires, 42 Kershaw, Hitler, 1889–1936: Hubris, pp. 288, 330. 289 after the fall and maintain order. The French government accommodated Nazi goals and persecuted Jews in an attempt to vanquish common enemies and secure a place in Hitler’s new order. During his tenure as MBF, Otto von Stülpnagel indulged some French concerns in order to expand economic collaboration. For example, he opposed travel restrictions that divided occupied and unoccupied France because they impeded commerce. In a 1940 letter, the MBF asked General Jodl to send vital raw materials to France because ‘one must give a cow fodder in order to get milk.’43 During the hostage debate, Otto von Stülpnagel condemned ‘Polish Methods’ that made ‘future rapprochement more difficult.’44 Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel followed the policies of his cousin and minimized the number of hostage executions while he remained in charge of German security policy. Both MBFs placed economic cooperation above racial considerations and tried to accommodate French sensibilities while they supported the military war effort. Oberg certainly understood Nazi racial goals based on his SS background, first-hand experience in Poland, and talks with Heydrich during the latter’s May 1942 visit to Paris. Personnel shortages drove Oberg to negotiate with French counterparts and accommodate some French concerns in order to secure indigenous support. To mitigate the number of unpopular reprisals, he did not report every incident to higher authorities in Berlin. In exchange for accelerated labor deportations in the first half of 1943, the HSSuPF quashed plans for accelerated deportations that were championed by Eichmann, Dannecker, and Ro?thke. Neither Oberg nor Knochen threatened dire repercussions after Laval failed to publish denaturalization legislation that would facilitate the deportation of more Jews. Under Oberg’s command, SS police forces focused on re?fractaires and resistance groups that endangered order. Oberg’s support for the cover-up of the 20 July coup can be characterized as another act in a series of modest accommodations. Pragmatic considerations may have informed Oberg’s decision to accom- modate the Vichy regime. The HSSuPF could not fulfill his entire mission with the 3,000 German policemen at his disposal. Unilateral German round- ups alienated the French populace and drove people toward resistance 43 BAMA, RW 35/244/32–35; Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, p. 139. 44 USNA, RG 242/T-501/122/711–712. 290 invasion and retreat groups. Assassinations had discredited Otto von Stülpnagel in late 1941. Burgeoning resistance activity and widespread participation in the coup against Hitler threatened to do the same to the HSSuPF in 1944. Once in charge of ‘security,’ Oberg had an interest in securing French cooperation through accommodation. Oberg’s predecessor, SS Brigadeführer Thomas, had helped the Einsatzstab Rosenberg confiscate Jewish property, bombed synagogues, antagonized the military administration, and upset the leaders of the Vichy regime. Relative to Thomas, Oberg acted with some dis- cretion and accomplished some of Himmler’s goals while accommodating some concerns of his French and German colleagues. The logic of accommodation also shaped racial and labor deportations. Fritz Sauckel furloughed one French POW for every three workers sent to Germany through the Rele`ve program. Subsequent drives exempted policemen, agricultural laborers, and other key Vichy supporters in return for French assistance. Labor campaigns mounted in the final months of the Occupation failed in part because they included few exemptions and incurred widespread hostility. Racial deportations followed a similar course. Initial round-ups exempted assimilated French Jews, focused on unpopular refugees, and were backed by the Vichy regime and French policemen. Once the supply of foreign Jews ran short, SS officials pressed for the deportation of recently naturalized and later assimilated French Jews, but they could offer nothing in return for French cooperation. With a brief limited to security, the SS could not offer political or economic concessions that Laval craved. Finally, the military administration helped Sauckel collect French workers but played a junior role in racial deportations after 1 June 1942. As long as they could accommodate the concerns of other German agencies and the Vichy regime, both Sauckel and Oberg enjoyed a degree of success, but with more to offer, Sauckel enjoyed the greater success. The balance of Franco-German accommodation inevitably favored the Reich. At the beginning of the Occupation, French leaders expected to pay a price for France’s defeat and accepted German measures with a degree of resignation. The annexation of Alsace and Lorraine surprised few observers. French policemen turned over common enemies and undesirable refugees to Himmler’s SS. Laval passed legislation that sent hundreds of thousands of French workers to Germany in exchange for a few prisoners of war and short-lived exemptions for select Vichy supporters. Eager to 291 after the fall preserve French sovereignty, the Vichy regime surpassed terms of the 1940 Armistice Agreement in an attempt to curry German favor, demonstrate French loyalty, and secure a place in Hitler’s new order. In return, the Führer gave France the ashes of Napoleon Bonaparte’s son and four long years of cold, hunger, and oppression. The Vichy regime and, by extension, the French public, may not have had any other realistic choice. Foreign communists associated with the Main-d’œuvre immigre?e answered Stalin’s call for resistance and carried out a series of dramatic assassinations in 1941, but most French communists stuck to propaganda and sabotage. Deadly German reprisals forced Charles de Gaulle to back down in 1941 and underscored the folly of armed resistance while German soldiers stood at the gates of Moscow. With few weapons at their disposal, resistance forces could not attack Germany directly and focused their ire on French collaborators in 1943 and 1944. Resistance groups and the French public had to accommodate overwhelming German firepower. Hitler’s strategy succeeded in so far as it ran parallel to traditional goals, long-standing prejudices, and popular stereotypes. Eager to avenge the Versailles Agreement, many German officers overlooked unpalatable facets of the Nazi regime, supported rearmament in the 1930s, and acquiesced in aggressive foreign policy initiatives that culminated in World War Two. Playing upon an institutional fear of partisans who operated behind German lines, Hitler secured military support for an expanded definition of reprisals that included racial opponents of the Nazi regime. Although the scale and scope of cooperation between the Nazi party and German army remains a controversial topic of historical inquiry, both Hitler and the army shared some common goals. Despite the occasional pinch, Hitler’s Nazi glove usually fit the Wehrmacht’s iron fist quite well. Officers may have complained about and bristled under Hitler’s leadership on occasion, but they endured five long years of war before mounting a serious attempt to overthrow the Nazi regime. By satisfying the army’s desire for revenge and manipulating a widespread fear of partisans, Hitler maintained control over most of the Wehrmacht until the bitter end. The French and Nazi governments, as well as the German military administration, all accepted the fundamental legitimacy of the so-called Jewish Question but could not agree upon a common answer to the alleged problem. In a plebeian attempt to satisfy latent French anti-Semitism and 292 invasion and retreat curry favor with the Nazi regime, the Vichy government inaugurated a campaign against Jews in the press, stripped Jewish immigrants of their French citizenship, and allowed prefects to imprison foreign Jews. Prime Minister Laval created a temporary administration agency (SCAP) to take over ‘Jewish’ businesses and ‘Aryanize’ the French economy. Admiral Darlan created the General Commissariat for Jewish Affairs (CGQJ) to coordinate French anti-Semitic initiatives. Aggravating traditional anti- Semitic prejudices that survived throughout Europe, Hitler enlisted French support in comprehensive defamation, discrimination, and despoliation campaigns. Perceiving Jews as a security threat, the military administration deported Jews from coastal provinces and ordered Jews to register with local police. Playing upon widespread guerillaphobia within the German army, Hitler also tried to enlist the MBF in the Final Solution via hostage executions. Characterizing Otto von Stülpnagel’s response to resistance as much too mild, the Führer directed the MBF to execute 50 to 100 hostages after every resistance attack. Upping the ante in December 1941, Hitler allowed military commanders to exchange hundreds of hostage executions for thousands of deportations by way of the Nacht und Nebel Erlass, and ancillary documents reveal deportation as equivalent to death. In any case, both hostages and deportees would be drawn from anti-German groups that were, in Hitler’s mind, invariably led by Jews and Jewish stooges.45 By demanding immediate reprisals, Hitler guaranteed that investigators would not have time to catch bona fide perpetrators and ensured that reprisals would fall squarely on the usual suspects: Jews. Otto von Stülpnagel protested against Hitler’s reprisal policy, resigned his command, and proved that neither he nor the military administration could be relied upon to wage Hitler’s deadly war against the so-called international Jewish conspiracy under the guise of reprisals. Opposition to the Einsatzstab Rosenberg and a lack of enthusiasm for deadly reprisals discredited the MBF in the Führer’s eyes. In response, Hitler placed French and German police forces in the hands of a man who accepted his broad definition of security. Oberg’s appointment signaled another major defeat for the military administration and provides further 45 GerhardWeinberg(ed.),Hitler’sSecondBook,translatedbyKristaSmith(NewYork:Enigma Books, 2003), pp. 229–234. 293 after the fall evidence that neither Stülpnagel served as Hitler’s willing executioner. As HSSuPF, Oberg had the authority to address the so-called Jewish Question to Hitler’s satisfaction, but he lacked the resources to carry out the Führer’s will on his own. Dependent upon French police and German military assistance, Oberg concentrated on common enemies in an attempt to carry out part of his mission. Although willing, he was not able to fulfill the racial goals of the Nazi regime. During their tenure as Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich, Otto and Carl- Heinrich von Stülpnagel gained first-hand knowledge of the methods and goals of the Nazi regime. Otto von Stülpnagel worked within the chain of command and condemned Nazi policies in a series of letters, memoranda, and official reports. After resigning his command and retiring to Berlin, he survived the war only to be arrested by Allied authorities. Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel also rejected the Nazi regime but followed a different course. Rather than condemning specific policies, Carl-Heinrich turned against the entire Nazi regime. Conspirators in Paris arrested the SS in an attempt to change the political balance of power within the Reich and eliminate a baneful influence within German society. Despite pursuing very different courses, both Stülpnagels ultimately paid a high price for their conduct. Carl-Heinrich met his fate before a Nazi court in Berlin, and Otto committed suicide while awaiting trial for war crimes in a French prison. Tainted by their association with the Nazi regime and anti-Nazi resistance, neither man could escape the hangman’s noose. On the whole, members of the military administration may have behaved in a more humane fashion than some of their civilian and SS counter- parts. But the military administration can be characterized as humane or ‘proper’ only when juxtaposed with the SS. The military administration ruthlessly exploited French industrial resources to support the German war effort. Senior officers used ambiguous language in the Hague and Geneva Conventions to justify harsh reprisals that stopped short of genocide but still resulted in mass murder. Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel and his con- federates may have detested Hitler, but they made no overt preparations to end the Occupation or rescind criminal regulations from OKW.46 Guer- rilla tactics employed by resistance groups may not have been completely ‘legal,’ but they cannot excuse the transgressions of the MBF or his military 46 Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, p. 475. 294 invasion and retreat administration. American and British officials followed a very different course as they governed western Germany after the war. American, British, and French jurists operated under the same ambiguous rules of war set forth in the Hague Convention, but they made veterans of the German occupation stand trial after hostilities ceased. Carl Oberg, Helmut Knochen, Otto Abetz, Werner Best, and Elmar Michel all managed to survive the Allied occupation. 295 This page intentionally left blank Bibliography ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS Bundesarchiv, Abteilung Koblenz (BAK). Allgemeine Prozess 21 (All. Proz. 21): Prozesse gegen Deutsche in europa?ischen Ausland. N 1023: Nachlaß Best. Bundesarchiv, Abteilung Reich und DDR, Lichterfelde West, Berlin (BALW). NS 19: Reichsführer SS Perso?nalischer Stab.