Showing posts with label Munster. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Munster. Show all posts

Summer 2015 in the Colmar Pocket - then and now

Alsace 1944-2015
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. 

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

Molsheim Metzig 
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
M4 Sherman Tank with soldiers of the CC5 in the Grand'Rue - Today Rue de General de Gaulle 
La Tour de Fripons - Then and Now
Looking at the church from the place de l'Ancien-Hôtel-de-Ville
The fountain before the war and today

A M4 Sherman next to the Catholic church
US M4 Sherman tank in today's rue de la 1ere Armee
Riquewihr under the Nazis
Allied cars on Rue de la Gen de Gaulle
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 first Americans arrive in Riquewihr - December 5, 1944
The Altes Fachwerkhaus

German POWs marching along the Rue des Chevalieres in Bergheim, Jan. 1945
German PoWs in front of troops from Combat Command 6, Jan 1945

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" in both then-and-now photographs
The tank in 1950 and today

Le Bonhomme
The rue du 3eme Spahis Algeriens then and now

The bridge over the Ill, since rebuilt after the war
 Remains of an anti-tank emplacement

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
The door after the battle, still displaying a rare version of the theme in which Christ holds keys out to St. Peter (Traditio Clavium) at the same time that He holds an open book out to St. Paul (Traditio Legis). The bullet holes remain 
Rue Principale with a tank roadblock in front 
The Capuchin Monastery in ruins 
Rue Sainte Jacques
At the crossroad with the Grand Rue on the left 
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

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 residence at 7 Grand Rue further up the road that had served as the German Field Hospital.

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.

President Raymond Poincaré visiting Munster, badly damaged during the Great War, on Tuesday August 19, 1919.
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 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 Abbott (New York: New Press, 1999), pp. 7–9. 21 Manfred Messerschmidt, ‘Vorwa?rtsverteidigung: Die ‘‘Denkschrift der Genera?le’’ für den Nürnberger Gerichtshof,’ in Vernichtungskrieg: Verbrechen der Wehrmacht, 1941–1944, eds. Hannes Heer and Klaus Naumann (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1995), pp. 531–550; Rolf-Dieter Müller and Gerd Ueberscha?r, Hitler’s War in the East: A Critical Assessment, translated by Bruce D. Little (New York: Berghahn, 2002). 22 B. H. Liddell Hart, The German Generals Talk (New York: W. Morrow, 1948); Heinz Guderian, Panzer Leader, translated by Constantine Fitzgibbon (New York: Dutton, 1952); Erich von Manstein, Lost Victories, translated by Anthony G. Powell (Novato, CA: Presidio, 1982). 10 introduction typically charged defeated generals with a failure to act. As the fortunes of war turned against Germany in 1942, Hitler transferred control of captured territory from the army to the SS. Thus the SS could be blamed for the brutal exploitation of civilians in Poland and the Soviet Union, most of the callous anti-partisan operations throughout Europe, and the Final Solution. War crimes that could not be blamed on the SS were attributed to superior orders. Soldiers who shot Russian prisoners claimed that they were just obeying a Führerbefehl, and they added that an order from Hitler could not be questioned, much less disobeyed. Early accounts of the German army drew clear distinctions between the ‘good’ Wehrmacht and ‘bad’ SS. Although damaging, accusations leveled against the army did not include direct support of Nazi racial ideology.23 While interpretations of the Vichy era changed dramatically after the publication of Paxton’s Vichy France, scholarly analysis of the German army evolved slowly. The image of the ‘good’ Wehrmacht and ‘bad’ SS faded after Klaus-Jürgen Müller wrote Das Heer und Hitler in 1969. Unlike preceding historians, Müller noted that the Nazi Party and the German army shared many common goals. Both wanted to destroy the Weimar Republic, escape restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, and expand the Third Reich to, at very least, the borders of the old Kaiserreich. Although Hitler and leaders of the Wehrmacht often disagreed about the methods and tactics, they managed to work together on many occasions. In June 1934, army officers supplied the SS with weapons, helped neutralize the SA (Sturmabteilungen or storm detachments), and overlooked the death of Generals von Bredow and von Schleicher during the Night of the Long Knives. In return, Hitler assured senior officers that the Wehrmacht would be the sole bearer of arms in Nazi Germany. Officers helped the Führer eliminate dangerous political rivals and shored up their position in Hitler’s government. According to Müller’s analysis, the officer corps initially misjudged Hitler and was later seduced by foreign policy successes in the Rhineland and Austria. After the 1938 Blomberg-Fritsch affair, leading officers such as 23 Gordon Craig, The Politics of the Prussian Army, 1640–1945 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1955), pp. 496–503; John W. Wheeler-Bennett, The Nemesis of Power: The German Army in Politics, 1918–1945 (London: Macmillan, 1953), pp. 694–700. 11 after the fall General Ludwig Beck grasped the extent of Hitler’s ambitions and began to doubt his acumen. But five years of Gleichschaltung (coordination or Nazification) and a string of foreign policy successes allayed doubts and prevented dissent from blossoming into opposition. The few officers who understood the radical nature of the Nazi regime could not convince their colleagues to depose the Führer.24 Manfred Messerschmidt’s Die Wehrmacht im NS-Staat appeared in the same year as Das Heer und Hitler and reached similar conclusions. Messer- schmidt explained how National-Socialist ideas penetrated the army during the 1930s and permeated both the officer corps and enlisted ranks by the end of the war. A wave of new recruits, many of whom were imbued with Nazi ideology that they learned as members of the Hitler Youth, diluted the influence of the traditionally conservative officer corps during the 1930s. Senior officers supported Nazi propaganda to for- tify morale and prevent another outbreak of the disorder that appeared in 1918. According to Messerschmidt, commanding officers did not oppose and in some cases abetted the development of orders that vio- lated the laws of war. He implicated junior and senior officers in the execution of Russian prisoners, the extermination of Jews, and some of the most unsavory policies of the Third Reich. Like Klaus-Jürgen Müller, Messerschmidt characterized the Wehrmacht as Hitler’s junior partner.25 Christian Streit’s Keine Kameraden: Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941–1945 carried Müller and Messerschmidt’s revision a step further. While continuing to study the Wehrmacht ‘from the top down,’ Streit accused senior army officers of embarking on a war of extermination in the Soviet Union. The men in charge of OKW and OKH helped Hitler formulate and implement the Kommissarbefehl or Commissar Order that directed German troops to execute Red Army political commissars and thus violated international agreements and German military regulations. Senior German officers struck a Faustian bargain with the Führer and did not oppose racial directives to demonstrate the political reliability of the army. Furthermore, many officers believed the 24 Klaus-Jürgen Müller, Das Heer und Hitler: Armee und nationalsozialistisches Regime, 1933–1940 (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1969). 25 Manfred Messerschmidt, Die Wehrmacht im NS-Staat: Zeit der Indoktrination (Hamburg: R. v. Decker’s Verlag, 1969), pp. 396–422, 480–491. 12 introduction war against the Soviet Union would be short-lived and thus not very incriminating. Staff officers who condemned the war of extermination did so to preserve traditional military discipline and not because they truly believed in the laws of war codified in the Hague Convention. By fully implicating the German officer corps in Hitler’s war of extermination, Streit characterized the army as an equal and willing partner of the National-Socialist regime.26 Omer Bartov’s studies of the German army complemented Streit’s work by examining the German army ‘from the bottom up.’ His first book, The Eastern Front, 1941–45: German Troops and the Barbarisation of Warfare, scrutinized three army divisions and concluded: Under the circumstances described in this book it [the barbarization of warfare] can be said to have been almost inevitable. For the men who were educated in Hitler’s Germany, indoctrinated in the Wehrmacht of the Third Reich and sent into a war of unimaginable ferocity, barbarism was normality, humanism long forgotten.27 Like Streit, Bartov linked regular soldiers to crimes that preceding historians and the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg had attributed to the SS. Bartov’s second book, Hitler’s Army: Soldiers, Nazis and War in the Third Reich, provided a theoretical explanation of the ‘barbarization’ process. As casualties decimated front-line units and supplies became scarce, most soldiers turned to Nazi ideology for spiritual support. Unlike Streit, who argued that the German officer corps supported the goals of National Socialism before the invasion of the Soviet Union, Bartov believed that brutal conditions on the eastern front and military setbacks during the winter of 1941–1942 transformed the Wehrmacht into Hitler’s army.28 26 Christian Streit, Keine Kameraden: Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen, 1941–1945 (Bonn: J. W. H. Dietz, 1991), pp. 13–16, 50–61, 76–82; Jürgen Fo?rster, ‘Operation Barbarossa as a War of Conquest and Annihilation,’ in Milita?rgeschichtliches Forschungsamt (hereafter abbreviated as MGFA), eds., Germany and the Second World War, vol. IV, The Attack on the Soviet Union, translated by Dean S. McMurry, Ewald Osers, and Louise Willmont (Oxford: Oxford University Press Press, 1998), pp. 491–513; Theo Schulte, The German Army and Nazi Policies in Occupied Russia (Oxford: Berg, 1989), pp. 215–224; Michael Burleigh, The Third Reich: A New History (New York: Hill and Wang, 2000), pp. 513–529. 27 Omer Bartov, The Eastern Front, 1941–45: German Troops and the Barbarisation of Warfare (London: Macmillan Press, 1985), p. 6. 28 Omer Bartov, Hitler’s Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992). 13 after the fall With few notable exceptions,29 scholars have gradually abandoned the ‘good Wehrmacht, bad SS’ interpretation. Current orthodoxy combines the top-down analysis of Müller, Messerschmidt, and Streit with the bottom- up approach of Bartov and Hannes Heer to characterize the Wehrmacht as an institution mired in the most unsavory crimes of the Third Reich.30 Yet questions of scope and timing remain open to disagreement. When did the Wehrmacht abandon its traditional code of conduct, turn toward the principles of National Socialism, and implement Hitler’s racial agenda? Christian Streit and Hannes Heer situate the army’s turn toward National Socialism before the invasion of the Soviet Union. Bartov argues that conditions on the eastern front drove soldiers to embrace the radical tenets of National Socialism and embark on a war of extermination during the winter of 1941–1942.31 The Polish campaign provides ambiguous evidence with regard to the ideological proclivities of the German army at the start of World War Two. During the 1939 campaign, some regular soldiers tormented Jews and shot enemy civilians. Their actions displayed and personal accounts confirmed an affinity for Nazi methods that would later define military operations in the Soviet Union.32 On the other hand, a group of senior officers condemned SS and army troopers who violated the rules of war in 1939. General August von Mackensen protested so vociferously that superiors recalled an SS Einsatzgruppe (SS special action squad) operating in his jurisdiction. General Ulex, the military commander of Krakow, claimed that Einsatzgruppen had ‘dishonored the entire German people.’ Their protests forced Hitler to retroactively pardon all who were accused 29 No reputable historian denies widespread atrocities occured in the Soviet Union during World War Two, but some suggest they may have been partially justified. See Andreas Hillgruber, Zweierlei Untergang: die Zerschlagung des Deutschen Reiches und das Ende des europa?ischen Judentums (Berlin: Siedler, 1986); Ernst Nolte, Der europa?ische Bürgerkrieg, 1917–1945: Nationalsozialismus und Bolschewismus (Berlin: Propyla?n Verlag, 1987); Richard J. Evans, In Hitler’s Shadow: West German Historians and the Attempt to Escape from the Nazi Past (New York: Pantheon, 1989); and Forever in the Shadow of Hitler? Original Documents of the Historikerstreit, the Controversy Concerning the Singularity of the Holocaust, edited and translated and edited by James Knowlton and Truett Cates (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press, 1993). 30 For a range of opinions, see Heer and Naumann (eds.), Vernichtungskrieg: Verbrechen der Wehrmacht. 31 Hannes Heer, ‘Die Logik des Vernichtungskrieges: Wehrmacht und Partisanenkampf,’ in Vernichtungskrieg: Verbrechen der Wehrmacht, pp. 104–138. 32 Alexander B. Rossino, Hitler Strikes Poland: Blitzkrieg, Ideology, and Atrocity (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2003). 14 introduction of mistreating civilians and suggested that ‘the army was not a reliable supporter of the kind of ideological and racial warfare that Hitler had ordered in Poland.’33 At first glance, the ‘good army, bad SS’ model seems to describe the Ger- man army in occupied France. Before the 1940 Western campaign, OKW ordered German soldiers to obey international agreements and respect the rights of non-combatants in no uncertain terms.34 While hostilities raged, German soldiers usually treated Caucasian opponents in accordance with the rules of war. After France and Germany signed an armistice on 22 June 1940, Hitler placed a military commander (Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich or MBF) in charge of occupied France. The MBF ordered subordinates to obey the Hague Convention and insisted that ‘[t]he best propagandist for the German cause is the disciplined, correct appearance of the German soldier.’35 As an institution, the military government dis- played little enthusiasm for Hitler’s racial agenda. The MBF from October 1940 to February 1942, General Otto von Stülpnagel, resigned his com- mission to protest draconian reprisals ordered by Berlin. His cousin and successor, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, played a significant role in the 20 July 1944 plot to overthrow the Nazi regime. With substantial help from the French police, SS personnel oversaw the deportation of 75,000 French and foreign Jews who ultimately perished in Auschwitz. When viewed from this perspective, the MBF functioned as Hitler’s reluctant executioner. 33 Helmut Krausnick, ‘Hitler und die Morde in Polen: Ein Beitrag zum Konflikt zwischen Heer und SS um die Verwaltung der besetzten Gebiete,’ Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 11 (1963), 196–209; Richard Breitman, The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1991), pp. 69–72, 105–108; Raffael Scheck, Hitler’s African Victims. The German Army Massacres of Black French Soldiers in 1940 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 156. 34 U.S.NationalArchives,WashingtonD.C.,RecordGroup242(CapturedGermanRecords), Microfilm Series T-77 (Records of the German Armed Forces High Command (OKW)), Roll 1430, frames 291–297. Hereafter referred to as USNA, followed by record group number, microfilm series or entry number (if applicable), folder number (if applicable) or microfilm reel, and page or frame number. For example, USNA, RG 242/T-77/1430/291–297. When page or frame numbers are not available, author, date, title, original reference number, or identifying characteristic will be placed in parenthesis after the abbreviation nfn (no frame number). 35 Peter Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg? Kriegsführung und Partisa- nenbeka?mpfung in Frankreich 1943–44 (München: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 2007), pp. 15–20; Scheck, Hitler’s African Victims, pp. 3, 64–5; USNA, RG 242/T-501 (Records of German Field Commands: Rear Areas, Occupied Territories, and Others)/143/465. 15 after the fall Despite the relatively benign description of the military administration presented above, French prosecutors accused Otto von Stülpnagel of committing war crimes and had a strong case. Shortly after arriving in Paris, the military government issued a series of anti-Semitic decrees that cleared the way for more severe measures subsequently implemented by the SS. According to its own statistics, the German military administration shot at least 471 French hostages between August 1941 and June 1942.36 As they answered resistance activity with deadly reprisals, General Otto von Stülpnagel and his successor Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel embarked on a policy that appeared to violate article 50 of the Hague Convention.37 In addition, the military administration helped the Plenipotentiary for the Mobilization of Labor, Fritz Sauckel, impress hundreds of thousands of French workers into the German war economy. As an institution, the German military administration in France discriminated against, despoiled, and deported Jews, shot civilians, and established a system of forced labor. Some argue that policies established by the MBF in 1940 ineluctably led to the 1944 massacre of civilians in Oradour-sur-Glane.38 Evidence presented herein suggests that neither the ‘good Wehrmacht, bad SS’ nor the ‘Wehrmacht as Hitler’s willing partner’ interpretation of the German army can explain the behavior of the German military administration in France. Efforts to place the entire German army into a single moral category may be inappropriate. Burrin’s notion of accommo- dation, although intended to describe French society, may also apply to the German military administration in France. The MBF and his subordinates had to accommodate demands coming from political and military superiors in Berlin, rival institutions such as the SS, French leaders in Vichy, and 36 The number 471 comes from Bundesarchiv-Milita?rchiv, Freiburg, Bestandssignatur RW 35 (Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich und nachgeordnete Dienststellen), Archivsignatur 542, p.121. Hereafter abbreviated as BAMA, followed by Bestandssignatur, Archivsignatur, and page number. For example, BAMA, RW 35/542/121. When page numbers are not available, author, date, original reference number, and like information will be placed in parenthesis after the abbreviation nfn (no frame number). 37 Leon Friedman (ed.), The Laws of War: A Documentary History, vol. I (New York: Random House, 1972), p. 322. 38 Ahlrich Meyer, L’Occupation allemande en France 1940–1944, translated by Pascale Hervieux, Florence Lecanu, and Nicole Taubes (Toulouse: E?ditions Privat, 2002), pp. 9–13; Regina M. Delacor, Attentate und Repressionen. Ausgewa?hlte Dokumente zur zyklischen Eskalation des NS-Terrors im besetzten Frankreich 1941/42 (Stuttgart: Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 2000). 16 introduction French bureaucrats throughout the Hexagon (France, so called because of its six distinct borders). All of these considerations tempered the policy and actions of the German military administration in France during World War Two. At the start of the Occupation, only the army had the personnel, resources, and mandate to supervise France. With only vague instructions from superiors in Berlin, General Otto von Stülpnagel and the military administration made economic collaboration their top priority. They used French resources to repair military vehicles, manufacture transport aircraft, refit submarines, supply food, and manufacture goods for the German consumer market. In 1940, the MBF insisted that soldiers obey the rules of war and made no concerted attempt to enforce the infamous Nuremberg racial laws inside the Hexagon. To guard against sabotage, the military administration followed traditional military doctrine and established a reprisal policy that was designed to teach French men and women that resistance did not pay. Left to its own devices, the military administration established a standard of conduct that was undoubtedly severe but largely unadulterated by Nazi ideology. The MBF relied on assistance from Marshal Pe?tain and French bureau- crats. Under the terms of the 1940 Armistice Agreement, the military administration supervised the Vichy government and indirectly controlled France. Without technical support from French institutions, German officials would have had to collect taxes, enforce laws, regulate the econo- my, and guard against an Allied invasion by themselves. With few resources at his disposal, the MBF simply could not afford to drive Marshal Pe?tain into open resistance. He urged superiors to relax onerous provisions of the Armistice Agreement, opposed measures that disrupted economic coop- eration, and tried to accommodate some French needs in order to secure French assistance.39 The military administration also had to consider rival Nazi party institu- tions such as the SS. Eager to garner a share of the spoils of victory, leading Nazis established offices in Paris and began to pursue their respective agen- das. The ideological chief of the Nazi party, Alfred Rosenberg, confiscated property that Jews had allegedly stolen from Germany. As acts of resistance 39 Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 125–140. 17 after the fall multiplied during the fall of 1941, SS officers urged the MBF to restore order by liquidating racial enemies and solving the so-called ‘Jewish question.’ If he refused to implement the Nazi racial policy, the MBF had to consider the possibility that Hitler would view his opposition as a sign of disloyalty and place a steadfast Nazi in charge of France. The latter would dilute the authority of the military administration, impede the Wehrmacht’s ability to exploit French resources, and demonstrate the political unreliability of the army. The MBF had to consider the wishes of other Nazi institutions when formulating policy. Although initially dominant, the German military government gradually lost control of German policy because it could not reconcile a traditional definition of military security with Nazi racial ideas. Hitler considered World War Two to be a struggle between Aryans and Jews; he concluded that liquidating racial opponents would eliminate resistance activity, ensure order, and lead to victory. On the other hand, generals who served as MBF and influential figures within the military administration viewed World War Two as a struggle between traditional nation-states. In order to secure victory, they tried to maintain order, cultivate French support for the German cause, and place French resources at the disposal of the German war economy. While many senior officers who were attached to the military administration viewed Hitler’s racial agenda as a secondary mission or an outright distraction, dedicated Nazis believed it to be the fundamental point of the entire war. By characterizing the military administration as being soft on Jews, Nazi paladins won Hitler’s favor, secured influential roles in French affairs, and expanded their respective bureaucratic empires. Efforts to dethrone the military administration began shortly after France and Germany signed the 1940 Armistice Agreement. Alfred Rosenberg and subordinates on his ‘special action staff,’ the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, confiscated valuable art collections from affluent French Jews. With support from Hermann Go?ring and the German embassy in Paris, Rosenberg’s minions underlined the ideological nature of the war, argued that Jews used valuable works of art to finance resistance activity, and concluded that the military administration had an obligation to seize artwork owned by Jews.40 40 BAMA, RW 35/698/164–173. 18 introduction Using similar logic, SS officers championed aggressive anti-Semitic policies and organized the bombing of seven Parisian synagogues on the night of 2–3 October 1941. The MBF opposed confiscations because they soured Franco-German relations and did not appear to be essential to the war effort. The synagogue bombings embarrassed the MBF, who responded by banning the Black Corps from his headquarters in the Hotel Majestic. Hitler disregarded the consequences of confiscations and bombings, interpreted military complaints as signs of ideological impurity, and granted first the Einsatzstab Rosenberg and later the SS autonomy within occupied France. Assassinations carried out in the fall of 1941 once again brought the question of security to the fore and highlighted disagreements between the political leadership of the Third Reich, branches of the Nazi party, and the military administration. In accordance with contingency plans drawn up in 1940, Otto von Stülpnagel seized hostages and ordered a series of reprisals that increased as resistance activity continued. After the assassination of a German soldier, the MBF would order an investigation and then execute a number of hostages who were somehow connected to the perpetrators and had already been convicted of lesser crimes such as assault, sabotage, or even curfew violations. Of dubious legality with regard to the rules of war, collective reprisals essentially punished one person or several people for the crimes of another and were a part of American, British, French, and especially German military doctrine. Hitler rejected the MBF’s anti-partisan policy as ‘much too mild’ and ordered a very different response. The Führer believed that Jews stood behind all resistance activity and could not see the need for a protracted investigation to identify the actual perpetrators. Since he believed Aryan life to be inherently more valuable than that of another race, all reprisals had to be disproportionate. Finally, Hitler viewed reprisals as an opportunity to murder inferior races and resolve the so-called Jewish Question or Judenfrage. Regardless of the circumstances, the Führer believed immediate, disproportionate, and deadly reprisals against Jews and their alleged associates to be an appropriate response for every act of resistance. General Otto von Stülpnagel, the MBF from October 1940 to February 1942, could not reconcile the demands of the Nazi regime with the dictates of his own conscience and resigned his commission. Realizing that formal protests would accomplish nothing, his cousin and successor, 19 after the fall Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, carried out Hitler’s orders with perfunctory enthusiasm and plotted to overthrow the Nazi regime. Although they chose to employ very different tactics, both Stülpnagels opposed Hitler’s racial agenda and their actions had far-reaching consequences. Hitler diminished the authority of the MBF by transferring control of all German security troops to Himmler’s SS in the summer of 1942. Embittered by consecutive defeats at the hands of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg and the SS, the military administration made little effort to accommodate the SS agenda and played a secondary role in the Final Solution within France. In an August 1944 message sent to a subordinate, Heinrich Himmler blamed an ‘extremely difficult’ MBF for the continued survival of a large Jewish population in the Hexagon.41 The Einsatzstab Rosenberg and the SS ignored the MBF’s sensibilities, created independant satrapies, and alienated the residents of the Hotel Majestic. By deprecating the ideological fervor of the MBF and his military administration, both organizations secured influential positions within occupied France, but their respective victories came at a price. Once ensconced in power, the SS lacked the personnel to investigate sabotage, arrest spies, and deport racial enemies. Given past disagree- ments with the MBF, the Black Corps could not count on much help from the military administration. The Senior SS and Police Lead- er (Ho?herer SS- und Polizeiführer or HSSuPF) assigned to France, Carl Oberg, had to rely on French policemen to identify, arrest, and deport Jews. French enthusiasm for cooperation faded as German prospects for victory declined and anticipated concessions failed to materialize. When they worked together, French and German institutions could achieve formidable results. Hitler’s labor czar, Fritz Sauckel, cooperated with both the Vichy regime and the military administration as he recruited, coerced, and impressed approximately 850,000 French workers into German fac- tories—over ten times the number of Jews sent from France to SS death camps.42 Accommodation can explain the divergent results of labor and racial programs that various German agencies advanced during the Occupation. 41 USNA, RG 242/T-175 (Reichsführer SS and Chef der Deutschen Polizei)/155/268 5772 – 2685773. 42 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. 63–8, 85, 101, 126, 139, 144, 157. 20 introduction Army–SS strife reached its zenith on the night of 20/21 July 1944. After dissident army officers tried to assassinate the Führer, General Carl- Heinrich von Stülpnagel arrested and prepared to execute SS personnel who had committed war crimes. As the coup collapsed in Berlin, the MBF and HSSuPF reversed course, began to work together, and covered up the scope of the plot in Paris. Eager to disguise his own shortcomings, Oberg launched a very delicate enquiry in conjunction with army officers and asked questions that evoked answers which fitted an improbable cover story. Although dozens of military administration officers had participated in the coup, only three perished as a result of Oberg’s cursory investigation. Diplomats, soldiers, and Nazis often worked at cross-purposes as they vied for control of occupied France, but they could achieve astonishing results through accommodation. Notions of collaboration and resistance, terms like good and bad, and flamboyant titles like Hitler’s Willing Executioners all struggle to explain the actions of French and German authorities in occupied France.43 Influential historians who study French society during the Occupation have already recognized the shortcommings of such terms and adopted or adapted Burrin’s notion of accommodation to suit their respective purposes.44 Although designed to explain popular French reactions to the experience of occupation, Burrin’s notion of accommodation can account for the contradictory actions of the German military administration in Paris, clarify the inner workings of the Nazi regime, and shed light on Franco-German relations. Breaking with scholarly trends that favor social history from the bottom up, this manuscript applies Burrin’s notion of accommodation to the study of Occupied France from the top down. Focused primarily on the military government, After the Fall studies the issues that preoccupied the men in charge of the German military administration and the Vichy regime between 1940 and 1944. Eschewing propaganda, prostitution, and other topics that have been analyzed in the recent past,45 it examines the 43 Daniel Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners. Ordinary Germans and The Holocaust (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996). 44 Robert Gildea, Marianne in Chains: In Search of the German Occupation 1940–1945 (New York: Macmillan, 2002), pp. 1–13; Julian Jackson, France. The Dark Years 1940–1944 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 239–245; Richard Vinen, The Unfree French: Life under the Occupation (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2006). 45 Denis Peschanski, Vichy 1940–1944: Controˆle et exclusion (Brussels: Editions Complexe, 1997); Laurent Gervereau and Denis Peschanski, La Propagande sous Vichy 1940–1944 (Nanterre: 21 after the fall economic, labor, military, political, racial, and security issues that consumed the German military administration and leading figures of the Vichy regime during World War Two. Bibliothe`que de documentation internationale contemporaine, 1990); Insa Meinen, Wehrmacht et prostitution sous l’Occupation, translated by Beate Husser (Paris: E? ditions Payot and Rivages, 2006). 22 1 The shocking defeat Europeans dared not cheer the start of hostilities in September 1939. Memories of the Great War remained fresh in the public mind and most believed a future conflict, regardless of the outcome, would be long and brutal. Advances in technology threatened to extend the horrors of modern war into the very homes of average Europeans. On the first day of hostilities, residents of London, Berlin, and Paris huddled in air-raid shelters and prepared to endure World War Two.1 Trepidation pervaded military circles as well. Before the war, French generals had promised to attack Germany by the fifteenth day of mobilization. While elite units of the German army raced toward Warsaw, first-class French divisions launched a halfhearted assault along the Franco-German border. Second- class German divisions stemmed the Gallic tide with little loss of life on either side. Fearing that a hasty offensive could only produce casualties that La Patrie could ill afford, General Maurice Gamelin, the French commander-in-chief, preferred to wait for the arrival of British troops and modern equipment before launching a major offensive.2 Geography and the defensive outlook of Allied leaders limited western assistance to Poland. Obsolescent Polish airplanes and outmoded cavalry 1 Alistair Horne, To Lose a Battle: France 1940 (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1969), p. 94; R. A. C. Parker, Struggle for Survival: The History of the Second World War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 19–20. 2 Guy Chapman, Why France Fell: The Defeat of the French Army in 1940 (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968), pp. 59–61; Hans Umbreit, ‘The battle for hegemony in western Europe,’ in Germany and the Second World War, vol. II, Germany’s Initial Conquests in Europe, pp. 265–271. after the fall divisions could not stop German forces that were equipped with modern weapons. In a replay of Guernica in April 1937, German planes bombarded Warsaw for ten days and the capital surrendered on 27 September 1939. Rather than holding out until the spring of 1940 as General Gamelin expected, Poland succumbed to the German onslaught in four short weeks. The sudden defeat of Poland reinforced an image of German strength and suggested the Allies had good reason to fear the Wehrmacht.3 Despite their victory over Poland, German generals remained pessimistic. After-action studies noted serious deficiencies in the training, equipment, discipline, and personnel of German formations. But Hitler saw things differently. Citing advantageous political and military conditions, the Führer ordered Army High Command (OKH) to prepare an immediate offensive against Holland, Belgium, and northern France. The 9 October 1939 directive aimed to capture bases in the Low Countries for subsequent operations against Great Britain and protect vital German industries in the Ruhr.4 OKH quickly churned out an appropriate plan, dubbed Case Yellow or Fall Gelb, but it did not inspire confidence among field commanders. In a 24 September 1939 memorandum, the deputy chief of the Army General Staff in charge of operations, Major-General Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, argued that Germany lacked the weapons and ammunition necessary to breach fortifications in France or Belgium. The chief of the war economy staff added that the economy could not sustain the army in a prolonged war.5 After two days of discussions with senior field commanders, Generals Walter von Brauchitsch and Wilhelm Keitel, the heads of OKH and Armed Forces High Command (OKW) respectively, met with Hitler on 5 November 1939. The 58-year-old Brauchitsch argued that the 1939 German army was in many ways inferior to the Imperial Army of 1914 and 3 Jean-Baptiste Duroselle, L’Abîme, 1939–1945 (Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1982), pp. 23–26; Anna M. Cienciala, Poland and the Western Powers, 1938–1939 (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1968), pp. 224–37, 244–5, 258–9; Simon Newman, March 1939: The British Guarantee to Poland: A Study in the Continuity of British Foreign Policy (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976); Jon Kimche, The Unfought Battle (New York: Stein & Day, 1968), p. 146. 4 Williamson Murray, ‘The German response to victory in Poland: A case study in profes- sionalism,’ Armed Forces and Society, 2 (winter 1981), pp. 285–98; Documents on German Foreign Policy (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1954), ser. D., vol. VIII, pp. 248–250 (hereafter abbreviated as DGFP). 5 Umbreit, ‘The battle for hegemony in western Europe,’ pp. 238–40, 232–6. 24 the shocking defeat could not withstand the rigors of an attack in the West without further training and new equipment. Eager to attack, Hitler responded with a tantrum. The Führer could not understand why his chief military advisor worried about ‘a little indiscipline,’ accused his generals of defeatism, and stormed out of the meeting. Brauchitsch and Keitel lost on two fronts; they failed to delay the invasion of France as their subordinates had demanded, and damaged their relationship with the Führer.6 Although they shared some common goals, Hitler and many German generals did not enjoy a cordial relationship. The Führer believed that many of his foreign policy victories had been attained despite military resistance. Minister of War Werner von Blomberg had opposed the introduction of conscription and the occupation of the Rhineland. Formal and widespread disapproval of Hitler’s plans for Czechoslovakia surfaced at a 5 November 1937 conference with the Foreign Minister and the three service chiefs. After the January 1938 Blomberg–Fritsch affair, Hitler replaced skeptical generals with officers who would carry out orders without question. The Führer removed senior generals who had questioned his plans for expansion before the war, but discontent simmered just below the surface of the German officer corps. From Hitler’s perspective, opposition to his plan for the immediate invasion of France appeared to be another skirmish in his war against conservative generals.7 Opposition to the original version of Fall Gelb emerged in two forms during what General Erich von Manstein called the ‘winter of discontent.’ Educated in the tradition of the Imperial General Staff, officers like Stülpnagel lacked faith in Hitler’s political judgment and saw no military way to defeat Allied armies. Many failed to realize the potential of tanks and offensive tactics championed by General Hans von Seeckt during the Weimar era.8 The original version of Fall Gelb would not defeat France and postponed a decisive land battle until the summer of 1941 or perhaps 1942. Not by accident, the latter date coincided with Stülpnagel’s re-armament estimates. Staff officers like Stülpnagel believed that Germany 6 Walter Gorlitz (ed.), The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Keitel, translated by David Irving (New York: Stein and Day, 1966), pp. 101–102. 7 Craig, The Politics of the Prussian Army, pp. 486–495. 8 Manstein, Lost Victories, pp. 127–147; James S. Corum, The Roots of Blitzkrieg: Hans von Seeckt and German Military Reform (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1992), pp. 199 – 202. 25 after the fall was not prepared for a long war and tried to delay major offensive operations.9 Younger officers like Manstein also questioned the merits of the orig- inal version of Fall Gelb and searched for a military strategy to overcome French defenses. Manstein proposed to shift the point of attack (Schw- erpunkt) from Army Group B opposite Holland and Belgium to Army Group A in the center of German lines opposite the Ardennes for- est. General Gerd von Rundstedt would lead Army Group A across the Meuse near Sedan, threaten the rear of the Maginot line, endanger Paris, strike toward the English Channel, and cut off Allied forces in Belgium. Manstein’s new strategy had never been tried before, satisfied Hitler’s penchant for bold operations, and offered a chance to win a decisive victory. With Hitler’s support, Manstein’s ideas eventually won over some senior generals who had previously favored delay, discouraged anti-Nazi conspiracies, and provided the basis for German operations in May 1940.10 While German generals developed a bold new plan of attack, Allied leaders prepared to wage a long war of attrition. Citing a shortage of modern equipment, French and British generals did not intend to invade Germany proper in 1939 or 1940. Instead, they prepared to cut Germany off from strategic raw materials by attacking the Soviet Union in the far north and far south. After the Red Army invaded Finland on 30 November 1939, French politicians wanted to land Allied troops in the Finnish town of Petsamo, cut off Germany from vital nickel mines, and cripple German armor production.11 Another proposal called for French forces in Syria to advance toward Baku and destroy oil wells in southern Russia. In theory, 9 Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal, vol. XXVI (Nurem- berg, 1947 – 1949), pp. 327 – 36 (hereafter cited as IMT ); IMT , vol. XXXIV, pp. 266 – 9; Manstein, Lost Victories, pp. 94–101; Gerhard Weinberg, A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 108–111; Liddell Hart, The German Generals Talk, pp. 107–111. 10 Weinberg, A World at Arms, pp. 111–112; Manstein, Lost Victories, pp. 119, 120–126; F. W. von Mellenthin, Panzer Battles, translated by H. Betzler (New York: Ballantine Books, 1956), pp. 14–15; Liddell Hart, The German Generals Talk, pp. 112–117; Joachim Fest, Plotting Hitler’s Death. The Story of the German Resistance, translated by Bruce Little (New York: Metropolitan Books, 1996), pp. 139–144. 11 Martti Ha?ikio?, ‘The race for northern Europe, September 1939–June 1940,’ in Scandinavia during the Second World War, ed. Henrik S. Nissen, translated by Thomas Munch-Petersen (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1983), pp. 66–97. 26 Figure 1.1. German plans to invade France in 1914, 1939, and 1940. after the fall Stalin would be forced to break the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact and stop delivering oil to Germany. Ensuing shortages would fuel civil unrest in the Reich, hamstring the German economy, and encourage a reprise of the November 1918 Revolution. Some Allied leaders believed Nazis and Bolsheviks to be two sides of the same coin and pressed for attacks against what they believed to be the weaker enemy, but cooler heads eventually prevailed. The Supreme Allied War Council declared the Petsamo campaign impracticable on 5 February 1940 and the 10 May invasion of France precluded operations in southern Russia.12 Allied leaders had little time to formulate a practical strategy during the so-called Phony War or the period between Poland’s surrender and the invasion of France. Germany invaded Denmark and Norway on 9 April 1940. Using troops originally earmarked for operations in Finland, France and Britain landed 12,000 soldiers on either side of Trondheim in the Norwegian villages of Aandelsnes and Namsos. Without air support or heavy weapons, they faced a comparable number of German troops equipped with tanks and supported by the Luftwaffe. German forces compelled the Allies to withdraw from southern Norway by 3 May, but operations in the north fared slightly better. The Royal Navy sank ten German destroyers while land forces pushed Axis soldiers out of Narvik, but the Allies themselves retreated on 7 June and redeployed the remaining forces in France. Allied plans for an offensive came to naught during the Phony War.13 Aside from Hitler, most Europeans began the war with a similar outlook. Politicians dreaded the cost of war, citizens feared widespread destruction, and military leaders believed their troops to be unprepared and ill-equipped. But Axis and Allied leaders embarked on different paths after the outbreak of hostilities. Under pressure from Hitler, German generals trained reservists in the art of mobile warfare, rushed new equipment to the front, launched a series of offensives, and developed an innovative plan for the invasion of France. In contrast, the Allies spent most of the Phony War reacting to German maneuvers and failed to address serious shortcomings in training, equipment, or operational planning. Allied performance in the battle of 12 Jean-Pierre Aze?ma, 1940: L’Anne?e terrible (Paris: E?dition du Seuil, 1990), pp. 55–7. Franc?ois Be?darida (ed.), La Strate?gie secre`te de la droˆle de guerre (Paris: Editions du CNRS, 1979), pp. 235–243, 270 – 276. 13 Weinberg, A World at Arms, pp. 114–119. 28 Figure 1.2. The Norwegian Campaign, 1940. Map courtesy of the United States Military Academy at West Point. after the fall France suggested that Allied leaders learned little from defeats in Poland, Denmark, or Norway.14 The invasion of France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Holland on 10 May 1940 marked the beginning of the Western campaign. After learning that German troops had crossed into the Low Countries, General Gamelin, com- mander of Allied forces in France, immediately set the Dyle plan into oper- ation. Based on the assumption that the German Schwerpunkt would strike near Lie`ge and then turn southwest toward Paris, the Dyle plan called for mobile elements of the French army and British Expeditionary Force (BEF) to rush north, link up with the Belgian army near Antwerp, and defend a line running along the Dyle river, past Louvain, and ending in Belgian fortresses near Namur. Gamelin hoped the Dyle plan would keep Belgium in the war against Germany, shelter essential heavy industries in northeast France, protect the Channel ports, and provide forward bases for the Royal Air Force. The French commander ordered 30 divisions (including two of the three armored, five of the seven motorized, all three of the light mechanized French divisions, and the BEF) to advance and support Belgian troops.15 Although the Dyle plan might have countered the original version of Fall Gelb, it proved to be a fatal blunder in the spring of 1940. Allied forces advanced slowly over roads clogged by frightened refugees and faced German troops from ill-prepared positions. Poor liaison between British, French, and Belgian forces further undermined defensive efforts.16 The German army also enjoyed several psychological advantages. It assumed the offensive and launched commando operations whose success undermined Allied morale. German paratroopers’ capture of the Belgian fortress Eben Emael and seizure of vital bridges across the Maas river led many to suspect that a fifth column had aided the Nazi soldiers. English and French newspapers began to speculate about secret weapons and nuns in hobnailed shoes.17 The German juggernaut rolled slowly but surely through the Low Countries despite facing the best divisions that the Allies had to offer. 14 Umbreit, ‘The battle for hegemony in western Europe,’ p. 281; Aze?ma, 1940: L’Anne?e terrible, pp. 66–9. 15 Horne, To Lose a Battle, pp. 124–132; Chapman, Why France Fell, pp. 74–8; Umbreit, ‘The battle for hegemony in western Europe,’ pp. 265–271. 16 Jeffery A. Gunsberg, Divided and Conquered: The French High Command and the Defeat of the West, 1940 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979), pp. 140–141, 215–216, 267. 17 Louis De Jong, The German Fifth Column in the Second World War, translated by C. M. Geyl (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1956), pp. 80–81, 205–206. 30 the shocking defeat Figure 1.3. The Western Campaign, 1940. Map courtesy of the United States Military Academy at West Point. The revised version of Fall Gelb called for two major attacks in the spring of 1940. Army Group B carried out the first assault and advanced through the Low Countries toward Rotterdam and Antwerp. While the success of this drive compromised Allied positions, a second attack launched through the Ardennes forest by Army Group A delivered the coup de graˆce. French and Belgian cavalry divisions in the Ardennes fell back sooner than expected and compounded their dismal performance by not providing senior commanders with an accurate picture of the strong German formations approaching the Meuse river.18 Two German panzer corps exited the dense Ardennes forest and attacked across the Meuse at Sedan and Dinant on 13 May. Three of the initial six assaults launched by 18 Robert Allen Doughty, The Breaking Point: Sedan and the Fall of France, 1940 (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1990), pp. 46–53; Chapman, Why France Fell, pp. 112–113, 116–117. 31 after the fall one corps failed to reach the western bank of the river, but German generals adapted to changing conditions and built on success. They attacked from successful bridgeheads, dislodged remaining French defenders on 14 May, and crossed the last major geographic barrier between them and the English Channel.19 While Army Group B distracted elite French and British forces in the Low Countries, Army Group A broke through a thinly defended section of French lines. With their best divisions engaged in Belgium and few units in reserve, the Allies could not plug the hole.20 When the Western campaign began on 10 May, German and Allied forces faced each other on essentially equal ground. German airpower offset Allied advantages in both tank and infantry divisions.21 General Gamelin estimated that the French lost 17 infantry, 6 motorized, 3 armored, 1 heavy armored, and 2 cavalry divisions by the time German forces captured Dunkirk, but Germany did not suffer comparable losses and began the second phase of the Western campaign with a significant advantage.22 Although outnumbered and outclassed, French soldiers put up stiff resistance during the second phase of the Western campaign that began on 5 June. Infantry divisions arranged in a checkerboard pattern held their ground against German armored forces, but losses incurred in May limited the depth of French defenses. Once German tanks broke out of their initial bridgeheads along the Somme river, the French army could not stop the German drive south.23 The commander in chief of the French Army since 20 May, General Maxime Weygand, announced that he would defend the French capital on 4 June, but official reassurances deceived few. Clouds of smoke billowed from government offices as bureaucrats burned secret records. The French government retreated to Tours on 10 June and a wave of civilians followed their example the next day. Parisians joined Belgians and their fellow countrymen from northern de?partements on roads heading south. With only 10,000 troops and 30 tanks to defend the capital, General Weygand announced the obvious on 13 June. Speaking through the American 19 Chapman, Why France Fell, pp. 109–123; Doughty, The Breaking Point, p. 164. 20 Chapman, Why France Fell, pp. 170–174; Doughty, The Breaking Point, pp. 266–293. 21 Umbreit, ‘The battle for hegemony in western Europe,’ pp. 278–9; R. H. S. Stolfi, ‘Equipment for victory in France, 1940,’ History 55 (February 1970) 20, pp. 1–20; Ernest R. May, Strange Victory: Hitler’s Conquest of France (New York: Hill and Wang, 2000), pp. 476–480. 22 Horne, To Lose a Battle, pp. 555–6; Umbreit, ‘The battle for hegemony in western Europe,’ p.295. 23 Mellenthin, Panzer Battles, pp. 24–6; Chapman, Why France Fell, pp. 235–6. 32 the shocking defeat Charge? d’Affairs in Berne, the French government declared Paris an open city. German troops entered the City of Light early on the morning of 14 June and Paris fell with nary a shot fired.24 Three days later, the French government requested an armistice. The Franco-German armistice completed a process of rapid diplomatic change that began in the spring of 1939. Depending upon who was in power, throughout the 1920s and 1930s French foreign policy varied between Aristide Briand’s strategy of Franco-German reconciliation and Raymond Poincare?’s calls for a strict enforcement of the treaty of Versailles. This rough political balance collapsed after Hitler violated the Munich Agreement and occupied Bohemia and Moravia on 15 March 1939. Moderate right- and left-wing parties in France and Britain responded by supporting accelerated rearmament programs. The 1939 Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact transformed the French political landscape a second time. Traditionally a proponent of a ‘united front’ against fascism, the Parti Communist Fran?cais (PCF) reversed course on the eve of World War Two, extolled the virtues of ‘progressive’ Germany, and condemned corrupt Allied plutocracies. Although individual communists disobeyed Stalin’s orders and supported the French war effort in 1939, the PCF opposed France’s entry into World War Two.25 Spectacular policy shifts in March and August 1939 acclimatized some Frenchmen to dramatic change. A policy of war against Nazi Germany enjoyed support from all but the most extreme parties in the fall of 1939. Conservatives like General Weygand, the commander of French forces in the Levant during the Phony War, urged the government to bomb Soviet oil fields in Baku. Le?on Blum, the former leader of the Popular Front, beseeched the Daladier government to help Finland against the Soviet Union.26 Even if France lacked the strength to attack the Reich directly, many thought she could undermine the German war effort by attacking the Soviet Union in the 24 DGFP, ser. D, vol. IX, pp. 560–1; Aze?ma, 1940: L’Anne?e terrible, pp. 100–108; David Pryce-Jones, Paris in the Third Reich. A History of the German Occupation, 1940–1944 (London: William Collins and Sons, 1981), pp. 3–6. 25 Angelo Tasca, Les Communistes fran?cais pendant la droˆle de guerre (Paris: Les Iles d’Or, 1951); Ronald Tiersky, French Communism, 1920–1972 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1974); Ste?phane Courtois, Le PCF dans la guerre (Paris: Ramsay, 1980). 26 Franc?ois Be?darida, ‘Huit mois d’attente et d’illusion: la droˆle de guerre,’ in La France des anne?es noires, ed. Jean-Pierre Aze?ma and Franc?ois Be?darida (Paris: E?ditions du Seuil, 1993), vol. I, pp. 37–67. 33 after the fall north or south.27 Both proposals assumed that the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were allied in a war against Britain and France. In retaliation for not pursuing an aggressive military strategy and aiding Finland, Blum’s Socialist Party declined to support the Daladier government in a vote of confidence on 20 March 1940. The following day, Edouard Daladier tendered his resignation and Paul Reynaud became the French Prime Minister.28 The Reynaud government fared little better as the scope of France’s defeat became apparent. While French and British troops retreated toward Dunkirk, Reynaud invited Marshal Henri Pe?tain to join his government and fortify ministerial resolve. By 12 June, the French Commander in Chief said that it was ‘impossible to continue a coordinated defense of French territory.’29 Weygand’s appraisal left the government, for the moment in Tours, with two choices: reach an agreement with Germany or abandon metropolitan France and continue to fight from North Africa. Following the strategy that brought him to power in March, Reynaud favored an aggressive policy of continued resistance.30 Political considerations drove others to favor an armistice with Germany. On 13 June General Weygand told the cabinet that ‘serious disturbances have broken out in Paris and that (PCF leader Maurice) Thorez has installed himself in the E?lyse?e.’ The report proved to be false, but it conjured memories of the 1870 Paris Commune and terrified conservatives. With support from General Weygand, Pe?tain urged the government to accept responsibility for defeat on behalf of the entire nation, called for negotiations with Nazi Germany, and betrayed Prime Minister Reynaud.31 Unable to settle on a common policy, the cabinet retreated from Tours to Bordeaux on 14 June. Once ensconced in Bordeaux, the French cabinet split into factions. Pe?tain, Weygand, Baudouin, Chautemps, and Ybarnegaray pressed for an 27 Bernd Stegemann, ‘Politics and warfare in the first phase of the German offensive,’ in Germany and the Second World War, vol. II, Germany’s Initial Conquests in Europe, pp. 13–15; Be?darida (ed.), La Strate?gie secre`te de la droˆle de guerre, pp. 235–243, 289–293, 296–301. 28 Aze?ma, 1940: L’Anne?e terrible, pp. 56–9; Be?darida (ed.), La Strate?gie secre`te de la droˆle de guerre, pp. 282–6. 29 Aze?ma,1940:L’Anne?eterrible,pp.140–141.PaulReynaud,IntheThickoftheFight,1930–1945, translated by James D. Lambert (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955), pp. 379–380. 30 Reynaud, In the Thick of The Fight, pp. 484–491. 31 Horne, To Lose a Battle, pp. 568–9; Proce`s du Mare?chal Pe?tain, pp. 20–23; Philippe Simonnot, Le Secret de l’armistice 1940 (Paris: Plon, 1990), pp. 22–36. 34 the shocking defeat Figure 1.4. Adolf Hitler being greeted in the Compie`gne forest. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress. agreement with Germany while Mandel, Campinchi, Marin, and de Gaulle vowed to fight on. The divided cabinet never considered Churchill’s hasty proposal for a political union with Great Britain or fighting Germany from North Africa. Unable to build a consensus, Reynaud submitted his resignation to President Lebrun on 16 June. As a member of the Reynaud government and Marshal of France, Pe?tain appeared to be the obvious successor. Two hours after Reynaud tendered his resignation, President Lebrun asked the aged Marshal to form a government. Without missing a beat, Pe?tain handed a list of ministers to the President. Obviously the Victor of Verdun had planned ahead.32 The new government of sixteen ministers (including eleven holdovers from the Reynaud cabinet) wasted little time debating policy. On the same day that he assumed power, 17 June, Pe?tain asked Hitler for an armistice through the Spanish ambassador, Sen?or de Leque?rica. Three days later, a 32 Horne, To Lose a Battle, pp. 568–577; Henri Michel, Vichy anne?e 40 (Paris: Robert Lafont, 1966), pp. 31–6; Charles de Gaulle, The Complete War Memoirs of Charles de Gaulle, translated by Jonathan Griffin and Richard Howard (New York: Carroll and Graff Publishers, 1998), pp. 64–80; Jean Lacouture, De Gaulle: The Rebel 1890–1944, translated by Patrick O’Brian (London: Collins Harvill, 1990), pp. 201–207. 35 after the fall French delegation crossed into occupied France during a local ceasefire, arrived in Compie`gne, and boarded the same railroad car in which Marshal Foch and General Weygand had received a German armistice delegation a generation earlier. The leader of the French delegation, General Charles- Le?on Huntziger, relayed Germany’s terms back to the French government in Bordeaux on the evening of 21 June. The French delegation signed the Armistice Agreement on 22 June, but the twenty-four articles did not come into force until France reached a comparable agreement with Italy. Fighting ceased at 1:35 a.m., 25 June 1940.33 Eight days later, the French government moved to the eponymous town of Vichy and the era began in earnest. The March 1939 occupation of Bohemia and Moravia discredited appeasement and created support for rearmament in France and Britain. The August 1939 Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact pushed obedient French communists into an alliance with reactionaries who refused to ‘die for Danzig,’ undermined the Union Sacre?e, and destroyed another foreign poli- cy shibboleth. Defeat on the field of battle seemed to vindicate opponents of the war and simply overwhelmed many French men and women. Disori- ented by a long period of dramatic change and exhausted by defeat, many Frenchmen adopted a ‘wait and see’ or attentiste attitude. They accepted terms of the 1940 Armistice Agreement by default. The Armistice Agreement shaped Franco-German relations for the next four years. General articles required French troops to lay down their arms, defined the zone of occupation, and obliged French officials to obey German orders in the occupied zone. Specific clauses ordered the French high command to surrender fortifications (article 7), compelled the French merchant marine to return to port (article 11), and grounded French aircraft (article 12). Drafts called for the demobilization of all French soldiers, but revisions allowed the French government to keep 100,000 men under arms, albeit without heavy weapons, modern airplanes, or tanks. By winning the right to maintain a small army, Marshal Pe?tain preserved the regime’s ability to suppress a communist insurrection and thus accomplished an initial goal of the Vichy regime. In return, France agreed to help Germany maintain order. German authorities could reduce the number of troops stationed in the Hexagon because they could count 33 DGFP, ser. D, vol. IX, pp. 590, 643–654, 662–671. 36 the shocking defeat on French support. Clauses pertaining to the French army benefited both governments.34 Without a large surface navy of his own, Hitler could not destroy the French fleet by force. If fighting between Germany and France dragged on, Admiral Jean Franc?ois Darlan, the long-time commander-in-chief of the French navy, could transfer his beloved fleet to French colonial or British bases and provide the Royal Navy with valuable reinforcements.35 Article eight called for units of the French fleet to return to their peace-time ports for demobilization and disarmament. From a German perspective, the agreement neutralized the French navy at no cost to the Reich. In later paragraphs of article eight, the German government promised not to use the French fleet for the duration of the war.36 Marshal Pe?tain and Admiral Darlan saw article eight as an important diplomatic victory. Although some ships had to return to France and be disarmed, other vessels remained in colonial waters and could either be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Germany or deployed to protect French colonies from foreign depredation. If the German occupation became too oppressive, Marshal Pe?tain could extract concessions from Hitler by threatening to send French vessels to British or American ports. During the Occupation, Pe?tain, Laval, and Darlan never brandished this stick and preferred to curry German favor with concessions. When German forces crossed the demarcation line in response to the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942, few French naval officers joined the Allied cause and chose instead to scuttle the fleet. Attitudes of naval officers and the Vichy government, not the language of article eight, neutralized the French fleet as a factor in World War II.37 The Armistice Agreement also shaped Franco-German economic rela- tions. The Vichy government agreed to allow the trans-shipment of goods across metropolitan France (article 15), prevent ‘economic assets’ from leaving the country (article 17), and bear the cost of maintaining Ger- man troops on French territory (article 18). Article 22 created a joint 34 A copy of the Armistice Agreement appears in DGFP, ser. D, vol. IX, pp. 671–9. 35 Paxton, Parades and Politics at Vichy, pp. 7–8, 121; George E. Melton, Darlan: Admiral and Statesman of France, 1881–1942 (Westport, CT: Prager, 1998), pp. 74–7, 82–6. 36 Paul Auphin and Jacques Mordal, La Marine fran?caise dans la seconde guerre mondiale (Paris: Empire-France, 1967), pp. 23–5, 38–40; Paxton, Vichy France, pp. 110–111; Joachim Fest Hitler, translated by Richard and Clara Winston (New York: Vintage, 1975), pp. 634–6. 37 Duroselle, L’Abîme, pp. 390–391. 37 after the fall Franco-German commission that would turn principles outlined in the Armistice Agreement into specific regulations. Although usually inconse- quential, the Armistice Commission did enhance German economic power by establishing a favorable rate of exchange. Using an inflated reichsmark, some German companies bought French industrial concerns outright or purchased stock at a very reasonable price and exercised indirect control over French businesses. As the war dragged on, German industrialists and Nazi bureaucrats used articles 15, 17, and 18 to first influence, later regulate, and finally control strategic French industries. Working behind the facade of a liberal economy, Nazi leaders exploited ambiguities of the Armistice Agreement and integrated large chunks of the French economy into the German war effort.38 Articles that discussed political relations worked in much the same way. Article 3 granted German authorities ‘all the rights of an occupying power’ in territory occupied by the German army. In an unsigned note attached to the agreement, Hitler agreed that ‘the requirements of the conduct of the war against England’ and ‘everything . . . that was militarily necessary’ would define Germany’s rights as an occupying power. Later sections declared ‘that it [Germany] did not intend to burden itself with civil administration and with caring for the population. In that respect the French authorities were to continue to carry on the administration.’39 Terms of the Armistice Agreement and associated memoranda could be interpreted in several different ways. The phrase ‘rights of an occupying power’ connected the Armistice Agreement with the Hague Convention on the Rules of Land Warfare. The Convention, particularly articles 42 through 54, established what an army could and could not do in occupied territory. For example, rules of the Hague Convention allowed an occupying army to collect taxes necessary for the maintenance of the army of occupation and take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of occupying soldiers, but they did not allow conquerors to seize private property without compensation or tamper with the religious customs of local inhabitants.40 Language of the 38 Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 107–108, 110; Alan S. Milward, The New Order and the French Economy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970), pp. 42–58; Norman Rich, Hitler’s War Aims, vol. II (New York: W. W. Norton, 1974), pp. 205–207. 39 DGFP, ser. D, vol. IX, pp. 676–7. 40 USNA, RG 153 (Records of the Office of the Judge Advocate General, U. S. Army)/135 (JAG Law Library, 1944–49)/21/31–35. 38 the shocking defeat Armistice Agreement suggested that Germany intended to obey the Hague agreement.41 Although noble in design, the Hague Convention anticipated neither the scope of modern economic warfare nor the twentieth-century concept of total war. Terms of the Hague Convention established one set of rules for private property and non-combatants while a second set of regulations governed the treatment of soldiers and property of belligerent governments. During the First and particularly Second World Wars, political and military leaders alike understood that modern warfare blurred distinctions central to the Hague Convention. Axis and Allied powers both hoped to turn the rules of war to their own advantage.42 The Armistice Agreement proved to be a flexible document. Germany’s promise not to seize the French fleet, permission to retain a 100,000 man French army, and assurances that the Reich would not tamper with the internal administration of France induced Marshal Pe?tain to sign an accord with the Third Reich. But qualifications tempered many of the assurances that Pe?tain found so attractive. Hitler designed the treaty to appear benign while reserving the option to exploit France through an intrusive occupation if necessary. As the war turned against Germany, the Führer ordered subordinates to take advantage of ambiguities within the Armistice Agreement. Neither French nor German leaders intended the Armistice Agreement to serve as a lasting settlement. Marshal Pe?tain’s Foreign Minister, Paul Baudouin, initially asked for an armistice but expected to negotiate a peace treaty in short order.43 Acting on orders from the Führer, German diplomats ignored French peace proposals. Hitler informed members of his entourage, many of whom were dismayed by the lenient terms of the Armistice Agreement, that a final agreement with France would be inspired by the Treaty of Versailles and include territorial annexations.44 He promised to undo 400 years of ‘robbery’ and ‘oppression’ by restoring Flanders, Alsace, Lorraine, the Ardennes, and the Argonne regions to the Reich.45 The Führer viewed France as an implacable enemy of Germany 41 USNA, RG 242/T-501/101/11–13. 42 BAMA, RW 35/246/5–13. 43 DGFP, ser. D, vol. IX, pp. 590, 680–681; Michel, Vichy anne?e 40, pp. 40–45. 44 Walter Warlimont, Inside Hitler’s Headquarters, translated by R. H. Barry (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1964), pp. 102–103. 45 Wolfgang Schumann and Ludwig Nestler (eds.), Die faschistische Okkupationspolitik in Frankreich, 1940–1944 (Berlin: VEB Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1990), pp. 111–113; 39 after the fall and wanted to eliminate France as a great power.46 Although his plans for France were less extreme than those being prepared for Poland or later the Soviet Union, Hitler could not afford to reveal his intentions before a total German victory. Disclosure would only encourage resistance. The Vichy and Nazi regimes benefited from the Armistice Agreement. The Vichy regime avoided the total occupation and won several apparent concessions like the right to retain a small military organization. The shock of defeat, domestic political considerations, German concessions, and bleak prospects for an Allied victory made the Armistice Agreement seem palatable to many Frenchmen. For his part, Hitler nullified the French fleet as a military force and turned an active belligerent into a helpful neutral that later contributed to the German war effort. In return for vague promises of benevolent treatment, Hitler won a substantial diplomatic victory that complemented battlefield successes.47 If ‘defeat struck France as lightning strikes a tree,’ then many Germans were startled by the thunder. Neither staff officers nor field commanders had much faith in the original version of Fall Gelb, and everyone except Hitler viewed the revised plan as a desperate gamble.48 As a result, civil and military leaders did not plan an elaborate occupation. Hitler issued a two-page directive in November 1939 that placed the commander-in-chief of the army in charge of all occupied territories in the West. He instructed General von Brauchitsch to establish a military government, suppress talk of territorial annexations, obey the Hague conventions, and place captive economies at the disposal of the Reich. Political work-stoppages, passive resistance, sabotage, and guerrilla warfare were to be suppressed with the ‘utmost severity.’ Finally, the Führerbefehl denied civilian and Nazi party agencies access to conquered lands without explicit permission from senior military authorities.49 IMT, vol. XXXVII, pp. 218–223; IMT vol. VI, pp. 427–430; Bundesarchiv, Abteilung Reich und DDR, Lichterfelde-West, Berlin; Bestandssignatur R 43 II (Reichskanzlei), Archivsignatur 675, pp. 18–20. Hereafter abbreviated as BALW (Bundesarchiv Lichterfeld-West), followed by Bestandssignatur, Archivsignatur, and page number. For example, BALW R 43 II/675/18–20. 46 Rich,Hitler’sWarAims,vol.II,pp.197–198.AdolfHitler,MeinKampf,translatedbyRalph Manheim (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1971), pp. 619–620, 653, 674. 47 DGFP, ser. D, vol. IX, pp. 676–7; Umbreit, ‘The battle for hegemony in western Europe,’ pp. 313–316. 48 Burrin, France Under the Germans, p. 5; May, Strange Victory, pp. 267–8. 49 Lucien Steinberg and Jean-Marie Fite`re, Les Allemands en France, 1940–1944 (Paris: Albin Michel, 1980), p. 21; IMT vol. XXX, pp. 211–220, 232–6; Hans Umbreit, ‘Towards continental 40 the shocking defeat OKW and OKH intended to establish a traditional military government and present a benign appearance. Generals in Berlin ordered field com- manders to obey international agreements and care for needy residents. Civil authorities would be allowed to continue about their business once the fighting ceased. General Keitel instructed field commanders to respect private property, cited specific articles of the Hague agreement, and threat- ened to punish plundering with death. Initial military regulations called for a modest, three-tiered military government and appear to be unadulterated by Nazi ideology.50 Initial plans unraveled as troops encountered ‘catastrophic success’ and captured far more land than their original military government could absorb. Six days after the start of the Western campaign, OKH placed General Alexander von Falkenhausen in charge of the Netherlands. On 21 May, Hitler replaced Falkenhausen’s military government in Holland with a civil government led by Reichskommissar Arthur Seyss-Inquart. Ten days later, OKH installed Falkenhausen’s military government in Belgium and the French de ?partements of Nord and Pas-de-Calais. Falkenhausen became the Military Commander in Belgium and northwest France (Milita?rbefehlshaber in Belgien und nordwest Frankreich or MBB) and supervised local, district, and senior (regional) commanders.51 Brauchitsch eventually installed a similar government in occupied France. Designated the Military Commander in France (Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich or MBF) on 17 June, General Johannes Blaskowitz controlled a four-tiered military government that included regional commanders (Bezirkchefs) who typically governed several de?partements, field comman- ders (Feldkommandanten) in charge of individual de?partements, and town commanders (Ortskommandanten) who oversaw French authorities in sig- nificant urban areas. The MBB and MBF both had the authority of an army commander, answered directly to Brauchitsch, and served as the dominion,’ in Germany and the Second World War, vol. V, Organization and Mobilization of the German Sphere of Power, part 1, Wartime Administration, Economy, and Manpower Resources 1939–1941, pp. 11–21; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1430/296–297. 50 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1430/291 – 295; USNA, RG 242/T-501/166/67 – 70; USNA, RG 338 (Records of the United States Army Commands, 1942)/Foreign Military Studies/P-033 (German Military Government, Volume I)/fiche 155/31; Steinberg and Fite`re, Les Allemands en France, pp. 21–3. 51 USNA,RG242/T-501/93/7–8,19–22,37–39;Umbreit,‘Towardscontinentaldominion,’ pp. 72–8. 41 after the fall Figure 1.5. The German chain of command. ultimate legal authority within their respective domains. By the end of 1940, the MBF controlled 4 regional commanders, the commandant of greater Paris (who was equivalent to a regional commander), 47 field com- manders, and 144 town commanders.52 It was a far cry from the original system of two senior-, two field-, and six local commanders envisioned in 1939. Brauchitsch placed dubious men in charge of improvised military gov- ernments. Known as an opponent of the Nazi regime before the war, General Blaskowitz lost his command in eastern Poland after criticizing Himmler’s Einsatzgruppen in two reports that eventually reached Hitler. His denunciations united anti-SS army officers and probably contributed to irregular SS formations being excluded from the German order of battle 52 USNA, RG 242/T-501/93/73, 78–79; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1587/folder 7/nfn. (Ob d H, Gen St d H, Generalquartermeister, Nr. 15645/40 dated 13.7.40); USNA, RG 242/ T-501/143/621; BALW, R 43 II/675/76–86. 42 the shocking defeat in France.53 To cover up the scandal, Hitler had to pardon everybody accused of shooting prisoners, illegally seizing property, and mistreating civilians in Poland. Given Hitler’s racial agenda and Blaskowitz’s recent behavior, Blaskowitz’s appointment as the Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich seems impolitic; it lasted just 13 days.54 General Alfred Streccius succeeded Blaskowitz as MBF on 30 June 1940. Commissioned in 1894, Streccius served in China during the Weimar era and earned a reputation for a lack of ethical restraint stemming from ‘Eastern influences.’ As an admirer of Taoism, Streccius often quoted Lao-Tzu and preferred the status quo.55 General Otto von Stülpnagel succeeded Streccius on 25 October 1940 and governed France for almost 16 months. Although he appeared to be the stereotypical Prussian officer with a monocle, narrow moustache, and humorless demeanor, Stülpnagel also took an interest in airplanes before World War One and loved to speed through the streets of Paris in a red convertible during the Occupation. During World War One, he served in a variety of staff positions on the western front and received three nominations for Germany’s highest military decoration, the Pour le Me?rite. Once hostilities ceased, Stülpnagel angrily defended the army against charges of war crimes and, together with Kurt von Schleicher and Freiherr von Bussche, played an integral role in the Reichswehr until he fell from grace before the Nazi seizure of power. After the Anschluss, Stülpnagel returned to active duty and assumed command of German forces in Austria.56 53 Christopher Clark, ‘Johannes Blaskowitz—Der christliche General,’ in Ronald Smelser and Enrico Syring, eds., Die Milita?relite des Dritten Reiches (Berlin: Ullstein Buchverlage, 1997), pp. 28 – 50; Richard Giziowski, The Enigma of General Blaskowitz (New York: Hippocrene, 1997), pp. 483–504; Breitman, The Architect of Genocide, pp. 105–115; de Chambrun, France during the German Occupation, vol. III, p. 1774. 54 Helmut Krausnick, ‘Hitler und die Morde in Polen,’ Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 11 (1963), pp 196–209; BAMA, RW 35/209/87–88; Giziowski, The Enigma of General Blaskowitz, pp. 117, 130, 143–8, 222–9. 55 Steinberg and Fite`re, Les Allemands en France, p. 23; Rich, Hitler’s War Aims, vol II, p. 201; Bundesarchiv Koblenz, Bestandssignatur N 1023 (Nachlaß Best), Archivsignatur 1, p. 4. Hereafter abbreviated as BAK, followed by Bestandssignatur, Archivsignatur, and page number. For example, BAK, N 1023/1/4. 56 BAMA, N 5 (Depot Stülpnagel)/26/11, 26–29; BAMA, RW 35/1/100–105; Martin Kitchen, A Military History of Germany (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1975), p. 267. Otto von Stülpnagel, Die Wahrheit über die deutschen Kriegsverbrechen (Berlin: Staatspolitischer Verlag, 1921); USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/442; Walter Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic: Ein Deutscher im besetzten Frankreich (Freiburg: Verlag Herder, 1987), pp. 52–3. 43 after the fall The man in charge of occupied Belgium, General Alexander von Falken- hausen, enjoyed an even more suspicious reputation. After holding a variety of diplomatic and military posts during World War One, Falkenhausen served as chief of the infantry training school during the Weimar era. When his brother perished during the Night of the Long Knives in 1934, Falken- hausen left the German army, advised Chiang Kai Shek, and designed the strategy that obliged Mao to begin his Long March. Falkenhausen returned to Germany after the Nazi regime, acting under pressure from the Japanese government, ‘made it clear that the welfare of his family was in danger.’57 The men in charge of Belgium and France all served with distinction in World War One, viewed the collapse of the Kaiserreich with dismay, and displayed enough talent to avoid retirement in 1919. They had little sympathy for the Weimar Republic and shared Hitler’s desire to redraw the map of Europe but disdained the ‘Bohemian corporal.’58 Because of their traditional background, these soldiers were not well suited to rule France or Belgium in a manner that would please Hitler. All four appointments highlight Brauchitsch’s political ineptitude. The MBF divided his staff into two separate parts: a command staff (Kommandostab) and a military administration staff (Milita?rverwaltungsstab or MVW). The command staff directed reserve battalions (Landesschützen) stationed in their respective domains and supervised the secret military police (Geheime Feldpolizei or GFP). Men serving in reserve battalions were past their prime as fighting soldiers, but they could carry out missions that did not involve heavy combat.59 Secret military police units searched for enemy agents and investigated crimes committed by or against German soldiers. Regional, field, and local commanders copied the MBF and divided their respective staffs into command and military administration sections.60 The military administration staff included two subsections. The govern- ment subsection (Milita?rverwaltung Abteilung Verwaltung) oversaw the regular 57 Richard Cavell Fattig, ‘Reprisal: The German Army and the execution of hostages during the Second World War’ (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, San Diego, 1980), pp. 33–35; John A. Nagl, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2005), p. 21. 58 Craig,ThePoliticsofthePrussianArmy,pp.482–4.Klaus-JurgenMüller,TheArmy,Politicsand Society in Germany, 1933–1945: Studies in the Army’s Relation to Nazism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987). 59 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/434, 442, 470. 60 BAMA, RW 35/245/14. 44 the shocking defeat operations of the Vichy government, ensured that French bureaucrats took German interests into account, supervised the local police, approved French legislation, assisted refugees, distributed propaganda, protected French artistic treasures, and supervised highway and railroad construction.61 The economic subsection of the military administration (Milita?rverwaltung Abteilung Wirtschaft) usurped economic controls established by the French government after the start of World War Two. In conjunction with the Vichy government, the economic subsection of the MVW allocated raw materials, installed price regulations, issued export and import licenses, confiscated Jewish businesses, and generally exploited French economic resources to the benefit of the German war economy.62 MVW officers had little or no military experience, wore unique military uniforms, and held officer status based on their civil service rank. Some veterans of the MVW reported friction between regular military officers serving on the Kommandostab and newcomers seconded to the military administration. Regular officers who slowly worked their way up through the ranks resented interlopers granted the rank and pay of a captain, major, or colonel.63 The number of men (excluding clerks, drivers, secretaries, and translators) assigned to the MVW reached 1,600 in the winter of 1941/42 but usually hovered around 1,200.64 The average age of MVW officers increased during the war as younger officials were sent to the Eastern front. By 1943, 80 per cent of the officers serving with the MVW were over 37 years old.65 Those who remained were typically too young to have served in World War One but too old for front-line duty in World War Two. Go?ring’s Office of the Four-Year Plan, the Ministry of the Interior, Himmler’s SS, and other government offices all seconded officials to serve with the military administration.66 Some ministries probably used the opportunity to get rid of unwanted administrators. The case of Werner Best may not have been unusual. After losing a power struggle with Reinhard Heydrich, Best left the Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt 61 BAMA, RH 3 (OKH Generalquartermeister)/198/7–18. 62 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1587/nfn (Ob d H, Gen St d H, Gen Qu, Nr. 15530/40, dated 26.6.40). 63 BAMA, RH 3/198/10–12; BAMA, RW 35/245/3–4; Umbreit, ‘Towards continental dominion,’ p. 74 (note 174), p. 136. 64 BAMA, RH 3/198/52–53; USNA, RG 252/T-78/32/706119–706154. 65 BAMA, RH 3/164. 66 BAMA, RW 35/244/5–6. 45 after the fall Figure 1.6. The German Military Government in France or RSHA) and volunteered for military service after the Polish campaign. At 37 years of age, he was too old for front-line service, but his legal training and experience in RSHA qualified him to serve as the head of the government subsection of the military administration.67 Active soldiers assigned to the military government came from a similar background. Falkenhausen and Streccius had been cashiered before the war and were recalled to active duty after the invasion of Poland. Political disagreements with the Nazi regime ensured that Hitler would never promote either Blaskowitz or Otto von Stülpnagel. The head of the economic subsection noted that personnel were carefully selected for important positions within the military administration, but another official remarked that ‘unfit administrators,’ particularly at the 67 Ulrich Herbert, Best. Biographische Studien über Radikalismus, Weltanschauung und Vernunft 1903–1989 (Bonn: J. H. W. Dietz, 1996), pp. 230–237, 255–6. 46 the shocking defeat lower levels, often caused trouble.68 Some people assigned to the military government had marginal prewar careers. The military administration identified refugees as a serious problem in need of immediate attention. Military kitchens and the relief train Bavaria served 42.6 million meals between 6 June and 20 August, and army hospitals treated 93,000 French patients. A few supply officers allowed refugees to use military transportation while others doled out scarce gasoline to French civilians.69 German troops restored essential public services and conjured an illusion of benevolence by helping peasants bring in the harvest.70 Under orders from Berlin, German soldiers helped French refugees return home, but other measures exacerbated the refugee problem. To keep plans for the invasion of England secret, field commanders expelled enemy citizens (Belgians, British citizens, etc.), people without citizenship (e.g. Czechs and Poles), and racial enemies (gypsies and Jews) from nine French de?partements along the Atlantic coast.71 To make matters worse, Hitler placed Alsace and Lorraine in the hands of Robert Wagner and Joseph Bürckel on 2 August 1940. As they integrated both provinces back into the Reich, the two district leaders (Gauleiters) dumped approximately 105,000 Jews and French nationalists in unoccupied France by the end of 1940.72 Large numbers of French and British prisoners of war created another security problem. During the 1940 Western campaign, advancing German soldiers frequently disarmed white prisoners and ordered them to march toward the rear without escort. Although many obediently marched into captivity, others simply melted into the countryside. The military govern- ment spent considerable time rounding up French and particularly British prisoners of war because they constituted a potential asset during peace 68 BAMA, RW 35/244/5; BAMA, RW 35/245/14; Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, pp. 45–6. 69 Jackson, France. The Dark Years, pp. 118–121; Vinen, The Unfree French, pp. 29–44; Pierre Miquel, L’Exode, 10 mai–20 juin 1940 (Paris: Plon, 2003); Aze?ma, 1940: L’Anne?e terrible, pp. 119–128; USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/362. 70 Charles W. Sydnor, Soldiers of Destruction (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990), pp. 120–127; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1587/folder 7/nfn (Chef des MVW Bezirkes Swfr., ‘Anzug aus den Besprechungen beim Chef der MVW Frankreich am 31 July 1940,’ Tgb. Nr. Qu 173/40, dated 7.8.40). 71 BAMA, RW 35/353/nfn (MBF Kdostab Abt Ia/Org 2/Ic, Tgb. Nr. Ia 127/40, dated 11.7.40). 72 DGFP, ser. D, vol. X, pp. 498–9; DGFP, ser. D, vol. XI, pp. 448–9; 456, 570–571, 578–581, 885; Rich, Hitler’s War Aims, vol. II, pp. 231–9; Aze?ma, 1940: L’Anne?e terrible, pp. 285–8. 47 after the fall negotiations. Once collected, prisoners had to be identified, sorted, and transported to the Reich for service on German farms and in factories.73 Members of the military administration also prepared for the occupation of Great Britain. The MBF built 7 concentration camps to accommodate 10,000 prisoners of war that OKH expected to capture during the invasion. Officers assigned to the military administration prepared a rudimentary military government for the British Isles.74 Army divisions trained for contingencies including the invasion of unoccupied France and later the Soviet Union.75 Neither the MBF nor regular army units had time to remodel France in accordance with Nazi ideology. Refugees, Allied prisoners of war, and military contingency plans repre- sented only three of the most immediate problems that faced the military government. The MBF had to establish a regular system of occupation, protect German forces scattered across France, and monitor every level of the French government. Translators, prisoner of war guards, and capable administrative personnel remained in short supply. Pragmatic concerns like the procurement of food and housing also took up valuable time. With twenty-three million French civilians in thirty-seven fully and twelve partially occupied departments, the MBF had his hands full. Keitel, Brau- chitsch, and other leading generals in Berlin spent most of their time planning for the invasion of Great Britain, Yugoslavia, Greece, and the Soviet Union between the fall of 1940 and spring of 1941; they wasted little time worrying about administrative details in France. Hitler’s long-term plans remained opaque to even his closest associates in the summer of 1940. Passages of Mein Kampf and remarks delivered to his entourage later in the war suggest that Hitler had little love for the French. He certainly wanted to weaken France so that it could never threaten his thousand-year Reich, but how he would do so remained an open question. Hitler preferred to leave terms of a final Franco-German peace settlement uncertain until military operations defeated Great Britain and later the Soviet Union. With minimal guidance from Berlin, the MBF remained free to govern France as he saw fit. 73 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/350–353. 74 BAMA, RW 35/243/7–59; USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/525. 75 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/339–340. 48 2 Rivals and scavengers After becoming the Chancellor of Germany, Hitler shared power with con- servative and independent politicians. Within his first cabinet, the Führer could only rely on support from Hermann Go?ring (Minister without Port- folio) and Wilhelm Frick (Minister of the Interior). While the departure of Alfred Hugenberg (Minister of Agriculture and Economics) and Franz von Papen (Vice-Chancellor) limited conservative influence, Nazis did not gain unfettered command of the government until Joachim Ribbentrop replaced Konstantin Freiherr von Neurath as Foreign Minister and Hitler assumed personal control of the Wehrmacht in 1938.1 Between 1933 and 1939, leading Nazis like Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Go?ring outma- neuvered political rivals, seized the levers of power, developed extensive bureaucratic empires, and occupied all available political Lebensraum or living space. By 1939, Nazi paladins could only expand their respective bailiwicks within Germany at the expense of other influential Nazis. Military victories gave ambitious Nazis another opportunity to expand their bureaucratic satrapies. To capture a share of the spoils, Go?ring, Himmler, and Ribbentrop had to play a part in the war effort and find a raison d’être in newly occupied territories. Conquests also offered people like Alfred Rosenberg another chance to secure an influential position. The leader of the Nazi Party while Hitler languished in prison, Rosenberg did not obtain a ministerial position after the Nazi seizure of power. Regarded as an expert on race and foreign policy, he had reason to expect that a 1 Martin Broszat, The Hitler State: The Foundation and Development of the Internal Structure of the Third Reich, translated by John W. Hiden (New York: Longman, 1981), pp. 262–3, 270–280. after the fall position of influence would come his way as German armies conquered Lebensraum. With an industrialized economy, skilled workforce, and a wide range of assets, France was indeed a rich prize for an ambitious Nazi. Hitler’s October 1939 directive and the terms of the Armistice Agreement placed occupied France squarely in the hands of the army. As the sole organization with executive authority (Exekutivbefugnisse), only the MBF could make arrests and confiscate property. Immediately after the Armistice, the German army secured a dominant role in occupied France by citing military necessity and emphasizing the need for security. However, most soldiers lacked the legal, technical, and administrative expertise to supervise the entire French government. OKH overcame this limitation by placing civilian bureaucrats in uniform and integrating administrators into the military government. After serving together for several months, most regular officers and bureaucrats seconded to the Milita?rverwaltungsstab (military administration staff or MVW) worked as a team and developed an esprit de corps, but some former civilians never overcame their parochial background. On occasion, bureaucrats continued to advance the interests of their former agencies and operated as a ‘fifth column’ inside the MVW.2 By exploiting the loyalty of some former bureaucrats, civil ministries in Berlin gained a toehold inside the MBF’s headquarters in the Hotel Majestic. Conservative French leaders feared a reprise of the 1870 Paris Commune and signed the Armistice Agreement in part to prevent a communist insur- rection. Sharing similar concerns, OKH stationed one Waffen SS division and four army divisions around Paris in the fall of 1940.3 Throughout the Occupation, the MBF worried about security and vigorously pursued cases of anti-German propaganda, espionage, and sabotage. Hitler shared many of their concerns but employed an expansive definition of security. In keeping with his radical views of race and anti-Semitism, the Führer ordered subordinates to first study and later attack racial opponents in order to prevent any potential resistance. Some officers educated in the tradition of the Imperial Army ignored directives that fell outside their traditional conception of security. Eager to expand their respective empires, Himmler, Go?ring, Ribbentrop, and Rosenberg stepped into the breach and carried 2 BAMA, RW 35/245/3–4. 3 BALW, R 19 (Ordnungspolizei)/401/81–82; BAMA, RW 5 (Auslander Amt/Abwehr)/ 318/50. 50 rivals and scavengers Figure 2.1. Go?ring, Ribbentrop, Rosenberg, Goebbels, and other leading Nazis listen as Hitler declares War on the United States, 11 December 1941. Photograph courtesy of the Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1987-0703-507. out racial ‘security’ missions that were beneath the Wehrmacht’s dignity. By underestimating the importance of Hitler’s radical ‘security’ directives, officers imbued with traditional military values allowed civilian rivals to establish a substantial presence in occupied France. In theory, the French government remained sovereign under terms of the 1940 Armistice Agreement. Germany could exercise ‘all the rights of the occupying power’ but ‘did not intend to burden itself with the civilian administration’ of France. Go?ring’s failure to crush Britain during the fall of 1940 ensured that hostilities would continue for some time, and Hitler refused to negotiate a peace agreement with France alone.4 Orders dated 3 August and 20 November 1940 placed the Foreign Office in charge of political discussions with the French government and left 4 DGFP, ser. D, vol. IX, pp. 672, 677; Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 77–80. 51 after the fall military affairs in the hands of the army.5 Directives from Berlin gave Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and his representative in Paris, Ambassador Abetz, permission to to manage diplomatic relations between France and Germany. Joachim von Ribbentrop joined the party in May 1932 and operated as Hitler’s personal diplomat after the Nazi seizure of power. He later served as the Ambassador to the Court of St. James but failed to negotiate a political agreement with Great Britain. In the aftermath of the Blomberg–Fritsch affair, Hitler placed Ribbentrop in charge of the Foreign Ministry to limit conservative influence.6 After negotiating the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact on 24 August 1939, the Foreign Minister assured Hitler that Britain would not support Poland. When the latter proved false, Ribbentrop’s rep- utation declined precipitously. Throughout the Phony War, the Foreign Minister bickered with Joseph Goebbels and smoothed feathers that had been ruffled by the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact.7 During the Nor- wegian campaign, Ribbentrop bungled talks with King Haakon VII and backed the unpopular Vidkun Quisling over other potential collaborators who were more acceptable to the Norwegian public. In the aftermath of the debacle, Hitler literally distanced himself from his Foreign Minister; Ribbentrop observed the Western campaign several miles away from his beloved Führer. The first nine months of the war did not treat the former spirits salesman well.8 On the same day that German troops occupied Paris, Ribbentrop selected Otto Abetz to represent the interests of the Foreign Office in France. Born in 1903, Abetz was too young to serve in World War One. During the Weimar era, he played a significant role in youth organizations that promoted better relations between France and Germany. Although commonly described as a Francophile, Abetz had a love–hate relationship with France. On the one hand, he raged against French pilots who killed civilians during World War One bombing raids over Karlsruhe 5 DGFP, ser. D, vol. X, pp. 407–8; DGFP, ser. D, vol. XI, pp. 638–9. 6 Michael Bloch, Ribbentrop (New York: Crown Publishers, 1992), pp. 23–6; John Weitz, Hitler’s Diplomat (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1992), pp. 140–146; Gerhard L. Weinberg, The Foreign Policy of Hitler’s Germany: Starting World War II, 1937–1939 (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1980), pp. 45–7. 7 Bloch, Ribbentrop, pp. 251–276; Gerhard Schreiber, ‘Political and military developments in the Mediterranean area, 1939–1940,’ in MGFA, ed., Germany and the Second World War, vol. III, The Mediterranean, South-east Europe, and North Africa, 1939–1941, pp. 9–25. 8 DGFP, ser. D, vol. IX, pp. 142–4, 159–164, 195–7, 263–8; Bloch, Ribbentrop, pp. 278–281. 52 rivals and scavengers and fulminated against black soldiers sent to occupy the Rhineland. Yet Abetz also supported the policies of rapprochement favored by Briand and Stresemann during the Weimar era and appreciated European international culture as expressed by Stefan George and Rainer Maria Rilke. He may have resolved his contradictory attitude by blaming anti-German sentiments on Jews and Freemasons. After the Nazi seizure of power, Abetz set aside doubts about the Nazi regime and promoted amicable relations between the two nations. He allayed French fears by arranging cultural exchanges between French and German veterans’ associations and expanding contacts with diverse intellectuals like Bertand de Jouvenel, Jean Luchaire, and Jules Romains. Although not yet a member of the Nazi party, Otto Abetz proved to be a useful tool and advanced the Nazi agenda.9 Service as Hitler’s translator and modest success in fostering Franco- German reconciliation brought Abetz to the attention of senior Nazi leaders including Joachim von Ribbentrop. The latter asked Abetz to join the Dienststelle Ribbentrop, a Nazi party organization that rivaled the official Foreign Office, and eventually placed him with the Deutsch-Franzo?sische Gesellschaft, an organization that arranged cultural exchanges, promoted international understanding, and distributed propaganda. Expelled from France shortly before the invasion of Poland, Abetz received a promotion and supervised the distribution of propaganda in western Europe during the Phony War. Ribbentrop appointed Abetz to serve as Representative of the Foreign Ministry with the Military Commander in France on 15 June 1940, and he acted as Germany’s chief diplomat in France throughout the Occupation.10 Following instructions from Hitler and Ribbentrop, Abetz pursued a general strategy of collaboration along three specific avenues. First, he met with potential collaborators from across the political spectrum. On 15 July he sent the military government a list of ‘politicians and political movements that are accessible to us.’ Old contacts from the Deutsch-Franzo?sische Gesellschaft and new-found friends placed Abetz in 9 Otto Abetz, Das offene Problem: Ein Rückblich auf zwei Jahrzehnte deutscher Frankreichpolitik (Ko?ln: Greven Verlag, 1951), pp. 15–34; Barbara Lambauer, Otto Abetz et le Fran?cais ou l’envers de la collaboration (Paris: Fayard, 2001), pp. 22, 59–63. 10 Lambauer,OttoAbetzetleFran?cais,pp.82–3,92–5,127;Abetz,DasoffeneProblem,pp.41–3, 108, 132–5. 53 after the fall touch with the Vichy regime and all major political parties of the Third Republic. Second, the Paris embassy assumed direct control over the newspaper L’Illustration and placed sympathizers in charge of La France au Travail, La Gerbe, and La Vie Nationale. The four papers each courted a different segment of the political spectrum and operat- ed as points around which public opinion could coalesce in favor of the Reich. Abetz’s propaganda efforts continued along the lines of the old Deutsch-Franzo?sische Gesellschaft and tried to foster Franco-German reconciliation.11 Attacks on racial opponents formed the third component of Abetz’s policy. On 5 July 1940, Hitler ordered the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, a small Nazi party organization with interests in foreign affairs, ideological education, and Aryan culture, to search through state libraries, archives, churches, and masonic lodges for evidence of anti-German conspiracies. On his own initiative, Abetz supported the Einsatzstab Rosenberg as part of his campaign to eliminate anti-German influences.12 He expanded his mission beyond the written materials targeted in Hitler’s 5 July order and pursued tapestries, sculptures, paintings, and other objets d’art owned by Jews. At various times, Abetz described seizures as a bargaining chip that could be used during final peace negotiations, an attempt to impoverish French Jews, and an effort to protect cultural assets from the ravages of war. Seizures of Jewish property, particularly objets d’art, played a major part in Abetz’s campaign against anti-German elements within French society.13 After six weeks in France, Abetz discussed German policy with Hitler in early August 1940. In hopes of fostering French support for the Vichy regime and encouraging pro-German sentiments, Abetz asked the Führer to liberate French prisoners of war and rescind travel restrictions between occupied and unoccupied France. Angered by stories that French police had mistreated German prisoners during the Western campaign, Hitler refused both requests and ruled that ‘[t]he treatment of the demarcation line between the occupied and unoccupied parts of France must correspond to the requirements of Germany’s conduct of the war. The security of 11 DGFP, ser. D, vol. X, pp. 215–217; Abetz, Das offene Problem, pp. 60–74, 89–97. 12 BAMA, RW 35/698/1; USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/627; see also Chapter 3 this volume. 13 Abetz, Das offene Problem, p. 137; Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, pp. 65–7. 54 rivals and scavengers military operations takes first place.’ Hitler insisted that the French first prove themselves to be loyal allies before he would grant any concessions.14 Hitler’s refusal undermined Abetz’s attempts to expand Franco-German collaboration, but it did not apply to the military administration. If the Vichy government allowed Germany to influence the administration and economy of France and the French empire beyond limits set forth in the Armistice Agreement, then the MBF could relax the enforcement of exist- ing travel and trade restrictions. The process also worked in reverse. After Pe?tain fired Pierre Laval on 13 December 1940, the military administration did not allow French civil servants to cross the demarcation line. Because soldiers manned checkpoints and physically regulated traffic, the military could exert influence without making a firm commitment. Although vested with comparable authority, the Foreign Office had less real power than the MBF because the latter implemented German policy.15 Abetz left his 3 August meeting with Hitler under the impression that the Führer mistrusted the French but had not yet decided on a specific course of action. He returned to Paris and carried out duties that included representing the Nazi government, advising military authorities on political questions, censoring the press and radio, and securing ‘public artistic properties . . . especially Jewish artistic properties in accordance with special directives issued on that subject.’16 The last mission alienated sympathetic Frenchmen because Germany appeared to be robbing France’s ‘artistic patrimony.’ Citing changed circumstances, the ambassador eventually abandoned efforts to seize objets d’art from racial enemies to protect his fundamental goal of Franco-German collaboration.17 When forced to make a choice, Abetz favored collaboration over robbery. Other diplomats supported Abetz’s policy of Franco-German collabor- ation. An official in Ribbentrop’s entourage drafted a protocol that guar- anteed France her ‘rightful place in a reorganized Europe’ if the French government helped Germany defeat Great Britain. A member of the 14 Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 100–102; DGFP, ser. D, vol. X, pp. 251, 468–470; Abetz, Das offene Problem, pp. 141–4. 15 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1587/folder 20030/nfn (Der Chef der Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frank- reich, Kommandostab Ia, Paris 11.8.40, Betr. Zusammenarbeit im Dienste der Milita?r- verwaltung); Jackson, France. The Dark Years 1940–1944, pp. 174–5. 16 Abetz, Das offene Problem, pp. 141–4; DGFP, ser. D, vol. X, pp. 407–408. 17 Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, p. 66; BAMA, RW 35/705/27–28; BAMA, RW 35/712/131– 133. 55 after the fall Franco-German Armistice Commission outlined a series of concessions including a reduction in occupation costs that France paid the Reich.18 But Hitler did not discuss either proposal with Laval and Marshal Pe?tain in Montoire on 22 and 24 October 1940. Both French leaders repudiated France’s declaration of war on Germany, urged the Führer to avoid the mistakes of 1918, and pleaded for a generous settlement. Hitler observed that somebody would have to pay for the war and implied that Britain would bear the majority of the bill if France furnished substantial aid to Germany.19 Eager to score a diplomatic coup, Abetz pursued vague calls for full-blown collaboration that Hitler expressed in Montoire with reck- less enthusiasm. Subsequent discussions between Abetz and the French government produced the Protocols of Paris that allowed Germany to purchase supplies for the Africa Korps and use French bases in Syria, Iraq, Bizerte, and Dakar. In return, France would receive the release of approximately 80,000 prisoners of war, a reduction in occupation costs charged to the French government, relaxed trade and travel rules, and permission to expand French military forces. Initialed on 27 and 28 May 1941, the Protocols offered concessions that Nazis in Berlin were not prepared to deliver. With Hitler’s approval, Ribbentrop condemned ‘these naïve French attempts at blackmail’ and consigned Abetz’s policy to oblivion.20 The Protocols of Paris established the limits of Abetz’s influence. After the invasion of the Soviet Union, Hitler refused to discuss political concessions or a final peace settlement before France declared war on Great Britain and the United States. The Vichy regime wanted political and military concessions before formally declaring war on the Allies.21 Both parties tried to get the other side to deliver benefits before giving anything in return. Abetz could not convince either party to take the first step. Unable to negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement, Abetz expanded links with ultra-fascists like Jacques Doriot, Marcel De?at, and Euge`ne 18 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XI, pp. 346–351; Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 163–7. 19 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XI, pp. 354–361, 385–392; Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 163–7, 169–176; Lambauer, Otto Abetz et les Fran?cais, pp. 204–209. 20 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XII, pp. 892–900; DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 142–3; Lambauer, Otto Abetz et les Fran?cais, pp. 329–350; Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 242–251; Paxton, Vichy France, pp. 116–120. 21 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 143–9, 930–934; ADAP, ser. E, vol. I, p. 173. 56 rivals and scavengers Deloncle who would support the Nazi cause without asking for any substantial concessions in return but had minimal support among the French public.22 Acting with Hitler’s approval, Ribbentrop scotched the Protocols of Paris on 16 July 1941. Two months later, Hitler once again met with Abetz and characterized the French as ‘a decent people’ who could find a place in his new order if they contributed to the German war effort ‘without reservation.’ While speaking with his ambassador, the Führer claimed that his territorial ambitions were limited to Alsace, Lorraine, and a special security arrangement for Calais.23 Limited annexations discussed with Abetz contradict passages of Mein Kampf that describe France as the ‘mortal enemy.’ In a conversation on 31 January 1942, Hitler echoed passages of his first book and assumed a hard line against France. ‘France remains hostile to us. She contains, in addition to her Nordic blood, a blood that will always be foreign to us.’ One month later, Hitler reconciled the ‘soft’ policy described to Abetz and the ‘hard’ line set forth in Mein Kampf : Abetz is too exclusively keen on collaboration, to my taste. Unfortunately, I can’t tell him precisely what my objects are, for he has a wife. The fact is, I know of a man who talks in his sleep, and I sometimes wonder whether Abetz doesn’t do the same. But he’s intelligent at organizing resistance in Paris against Vichy, and in this respect his wife is useful to him. Thus things take on a more innocent character. The Führer mistrusted France and his ambassador for similar reasons. Abetz married a French woman and could not be trusted because he might talk in his sleep. Frenchmen carried non-Aryan blood and might sabotage Hitler’s war against Jews.24 Neither could be trusted. While the war lasted, the Führer used Abetz to pacify France with seductive words. Hitler’s long-term intentions toward France would resemble ideas in the Stuckart Memoranda and Mein Kampf . Once victorious, Hitler probably planned to 22 Bertram M. Gordon, Collaborationism in France during the Second World War (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1980), pp. 27–41, 61–2; Lambauer, Otto Abetz et les Fran?cais, pp. 229–231. 23 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 518–520. 24 Hitler, Mein Kampf , pp. 619, 624, 671, 674; H. R. Trevor-Roper (ed.), Hitler’s Table Talk, 1941–1944, translated by Norman Cameron and R. H. Stevens (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1953), pp. 264–5, 344–5. 57 after the fall strip France of all territory lying north of a line that ran from Lake Geneva in Switzerland to the Somme estuary on the Atlantic coast.25 Events surrounding the end of World War One inspired Hitler’s basic policy toward France. The 1940 Armistice Agreement mimicked Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Both ended hostilities and appeared benign but exercised little influence on subsequent events. Just as French troops seized control of Alsace and Lorraine before either France or Germany had ratified the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler ordered the same provinces reintegrated into the Reich shortly after signing the 1940 Armistice Agreement.26 The Führer signed the 1940 Armistice in Marshal Foch’s railroad coach to humiliate France, and the ceremony indicated the heading that Hitler would follow after Germany won the war—a course that included territorial annexations and the destruction of France as a great power. Hitler pursued a schizophrenic policy toward France throughout the Occupation. During the October 1940 Montoire conference, he assured Laval that ‘Germany was not seeking a peace inspired by arrogance or vengeance’ and suggested that France could avoid ‘the suffering which she herself had inflicted on Germany in 1918.’ The Führer satiated French opinion by making vague promises and returning the remains of Napoleon’s son to Paris, but he refused to offer substantial concessions or limit his postwar plans.27 After the war turned against Germany, Hitler would not negotiate from a position of weakness. Passages from Mein Kampf and conversations with trusted cronies suggest that Hitler had ominous long- term plans for France. The Führer used Abetz as a pawn when collaboration suited his interests but relied upon brute force to determine Franco- German relations. Ambassador Abetz distracted the Vichy regime with promises of benign treatment, but his words carried no weight. Without Hitler’s trust or the means to act independently, neither Ambassador Abetz nor Foreign Minister Ribbentrop could determine German policy in France.28 25 Umbreit, ‘The battle for hegemony in western Europe,’ pp. 321–4; Lambauer, Otto Abetz et les Fran?cais, pp. 175–7. 26 Joseph Goebbels, The Goebbels Diaries, 1939–1941, translated by Fred Taylor (New York: G. P. Putnam and Sons, 1983), p. 123; BALW, R 43 II/675/18–20. 27 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XI, pp. 356, 359; Abetz, Das offene Problem, pp. 174–6; DGFP, ser. D, vol. XI, p. 866 note 2, 891–8, 951–2. 28 Trevor-Roper (ed.), Hitler’s Table Talk, p. 265; Gordon, Collaborationism in France during the Second World War, pp. 27–41, 61–2. 58 rivals and scavengers As the ‘Second Man’ in the Third Reich, Reichsmarschall Hermann Go?ring expected to play a significant role in occupied France. A year after he joined the Nazi party, Go?ring participated in the November 1923 Beer Hall Putsch and served as National Commissar for the Prussian Ministry of the Interior, National Commissioner for Air Traffic, and Minister without Portfolio in Hitler’s first government. He eventually stepped down as Minister President of Prussia and relinquished control of the Gestapo in exchange for appointments as Minister of Economic Affairs and Leader of the Four-Year Plan. The latter placed large sections of the German economy under his control and secured his position near the top of the Nazi hierarchy.29 In addition to his economic responsibilities, Go?ring advised Hitler on diplomatic questions in Italy and Eastern Europe. The Führer used Ribbentrop to execute routine diplomatic business but consulted his ‘most loyal paladin’ before annexing Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia.30 Go?ring backed away from the Führer’s bellicose foreign policy in 1939 and maintained contact with the British government through the Swedish industrialist Birger Dahlerus in a halfhearted attempt to prevent war with Great Britain. Not to be thwarted, the Führer used the ever-pliant Joachim von Ribbentrop to ignite World War Two.31 After France requested an armistice, the Foreign Office asked ministers to submit a list of ‘wishes and suggestions’ within their respective areas of expertise that could be used during the negotiation of a final peace agreement. Go?ring curtly replied that he, not the Foreign Minister, would negotiate economic tenets of a general settlement.32 The dispute proved to be academic because Germany never signed a treaty with France, but it guaranteed the Reichsmarschall a degree of influence in the Hexagon. Terms of the Armistice Agreement created two avenues for influencing the French economy. Article 22 established an Armistice Commission to hammer out details of the accord. General Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel 29 Richard Overy, Go?ring: ‘The Iron Man’ (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984); Alfred Kube, ‘Hermann Goering: second man in the Third Reich,’ in Ronald Smelser and Rainer Zitelmann, eds., The Nazi Elite (New York: New York University Press, 1993), p. 65. 30 Overy, Goering: The ‘Iron Man’, pp. 76–80; Kube, ‘Hermann Goering: second man in the Third Reich,’ p. 67; Broszat, The Hitler State, pp. 300–306. 31 Leonard Mosley, The Reich Marshal: A Biography of Hermann Goering (New York: Doubleday & Company, 1974), pp. 236–245. 32 DGFP, ser. D, vol. X, pp. 24, 93, 115, 170–173, 213–215. 59 after the fall led the entire commission while Hans Hemmen, a veteran diplomat, took charge of the economic subsection. Go?ring won the right to approve Hemmen’s appointment and formulate his instructions in conjunction with the Foreign Office, but the victory proved hollow because the Armistice Commission accrued little real power. With advance knowledge of French bargaining positions, Hemmen ran his delegation with equanimity. Using diplomatic means, Hemmen transferred the economic prerogatives of the French state to OKW.33 Go?ring could influence the French economy via Hemmen and the economic subsection of the Armistice Commission. A central purchasing office (Zentralauftragsstelle) under the joint control of OKW and the Economic Affairs Ministry carried out most of the detailed exploitation of the French economy. Headquartered in Paris, the office drew personnel from all three branches of the armed services, Go?ring’s economic empire, and Fritz Todt’s Armaments and Munitions Ministry.34 It approved all large German government contracts placed with French concerns and distributed scarce raw materials. The Reichsmarschall placed Major-General Bührmann in charge of the office, but his influence proved to be short-lived as Bührmann died shortly after arriving in France. After a desultory exchange of letters, the Reichsmarschall allowed General Georg Thomas, an officer currently in charge of the OKW Economy and Armaments office (Wirtschafts- und Rüstungsamt or OKW Wi. Ru. Amt), to take over the central purchasing office.35 The military administration economic section (Milita?rverwaltung Abteilung Wirtschaft) ensured compliance with the Armistice Agreement and wielded considerable influence over economic planning and resource allocation in occupied France. Dr. Elmar Michel, a veteran of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, ran the MVW economic section and cooperated with the OKW’s central purchasing office because he and many of his subordinates held positions in both organizations. Their dual service allowed officers to don mufti and travel through unoccupied France as arms control inspectors, agents of the Economics Ministry, or representatives of the Four-Year Plan. In conjunction with OKW, the economic section of the MVW 33 Milward, The New Order and the French Economy, pp. 48–9, 56; DGFP, ser. D, vol. X, pp. 213–215; Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 107–110. 34 BALW, R 43 II/675/14–16; Milward, The New Order and the French Economy, pp. 65–9. 35 BALW, R 43 II/609/9, 12, 47; Georg Thomas, Geschichte der deutschen Wehr- und Rüstungswirtschaft (Boppard am Rhein: Harald Boldt Verlag, 1966), pp. 221–6. 60 rivals and scavengers first restored French industrial capacity and then used French factories to augment the German war effort. German agencies in command of the French economy were able to coordinate their activities because leading officials held multiple posts. Personal relations between influential bureaucrats and officers dictated relations between the MVW economic section, OKW, the Ministry of Economics, and the Office of the Four Year Plan.36 Hitler granted the Reichsmarschall authority to settle all economic disputes between civil and military agencies during the spring of 1941, but Go?ring used that power sparingly.37 As the economic tsar of the Third Reich, Go?ring could have played a leading part in removing Jewish influences from the French economy—a process Nazis called ‘Arisierung,’ or ‘Aryanization.’ Just as he let OKW and the military administration allocate raw materials and negotiate contracts, the Reichsmarschall allowed the Foreign Office and Einsatzstab Rosenberg to identify, confiscate, and redistribute firms owned or controlled by Jews.38 He let others act in his stead and played an indirect role in the so-called Aryanization process, but he fought scrupulously for the right to enforce his will.39 The Reichsmarschall played an active role in the confiscation of works of art owned by wealthy Jews—a task that Nazis regarded as a subsection of economic Aryanization. Before her death, Go?ring’s first wife Carin had taught her husband to appreciate Renaissance painters and the Dutch school. Throughout his tenure in power, he followed the art market and ordered staff members to search for bargains. Unlike Hitler, Go?ring spent time enjoying collections displayed in his four mansions and a hunting lodge outside Berlin. The conquest of western Europe created new opportunities for the Reichsmarschall to expand his holdings by creating a group of motivated sellers—wealthy Jews trapped in conquered territories. The Reichsmarschall instructed a subordinate on his staff to ‘forget about the racial background of the [art] dealers with whom you come in contact’ and did not hesitate to exploit the misfortunes of others. On occasion, Go?ring helped obliging Jewish art dealers escape 36 BAK, N 1023/1/19; BALW, R 43 II/623a/3; Milward, The New Order and the French Economy, pp. 269–297. 37 BAMA, RH 3/202/10–18. 38 BAMA, RW 35/2/nfn (Abschrift, Der Reichsmarschall des Grossdeutschen Reiches, Beauftragter für den Vierjahresplan, Der zweite Staatsekreta?r; VP 19 002/5; Berlin 4.12.40). 39 BAMA, RW 35/712/83. 61 after the fall Nazi territory. With breathtaking cynicism, he played upon Jewish fears, created a group of motivated sellers, and expanded his own personal art collection.40 Go?ring worked with private art dealers in the Low Countries but turned to the Einsatzstab Rosenberg for help in obtaining works of art owned by French Jews. In conjunction with officials from the Paris embassy, the Einsatzstab Rosenberg located several large collections of artwork that were owned by French Jews such as the Rothschilds and discovered others that had been transferred to state institutions like the Louvre.41 The MBF vehemently opposed plans to transfer public or private property back to the Reich for ‘safe keeping’ and later forced Go?ring to absolve the military of all responsibility for any criminal charges stemming from confiscations. Hitler, who regarded Jewish property as ownerless, overruled military opposition to confiscations and allowed agents of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg to seize Jewish assets.42 On 3 November 1940, Go?ring issued a decree that placed the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in charge of discovering, cataloging, collecting, and packing art that would in turn be shipped back to the Reich by the Luftwaffe.43 Preoccupied by the Battle of Britain and discredited by his inability to stop the British escape from Dunkirk, Go?ring allowed the Einsatzstab Rosenberg to fight military figures who opposed the confiscation of Jewish property but secured a share of the spoils for himself. The Reichsmarschall also dabbled in Franco-German diplomacy. He met Laval at Marshal Pilsudski’s funeral in 1935 and spoke with Prime Minister Daladier during the 1938 Munich conference. At a meeting on 1 December 1941 with Marshal Pe?tain in Saint Florentin, Go?ring repeated Hitler’s basic policy toward France and failed to persuade Pe?tain to move toward Berlin.44 Hans Speidel, the MBF’s Chief of Staff between 1940 and 1942, reported that Go?ring stood up in the middle of an important 40 Mosley, The Reich Marshal, pp. 263–5; Jonathan Petropoulos, Art as Politics in the Third Reich (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), pp. 187–195; Lynn H. Nicholas, The Rape of Europa. The Fate of Europe’s Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War (New York: Vintage Books, 1995), pp. 35, 107. 41 BAMA, RW 35/698/22–23, 143. 42 BAMA,RW35/1/4–7;BAMA,RW35/712/109–110;USNA,RG242/T-77/1624/8–10; Robert Cecil, The Myth of the Master Race: Alfred Rosenberg and Nazi Ideology (London: B. T. Batsford, 1972), pp. 159–160; USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/649–651. 43 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/347–348. 44 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 914–927; BAMA, RW 35/542/73–76. 62 rivals and scavengers meeting concerning food distribution and abruptly declared ‘now I will go to Maxim’s,’ Paris’s premier restaurant, 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 regulations did not comment on the possible fate of imprisoned hostages but stated that ‘in modern times it is deemed preferable to resort to territorial guarantees instead of taking hostages.’25 French military doctrine treated collective reprisals as a matter of course. Cavalry regulations of 1924 advised commanders to ‘methodically disarm the local population and take hostages’ after seizing hostile territory. Infantry regulations of 1940 adopted a similar tone and suggested that officers ‘take hostages if the population is hostile.’26 During the 1923 occupation of the Ruhr, French officers put these ideas into practice and seized hostages as part of a larger campaign to crush German resistance.27 French jurists agreed with their military compatriots and used the concept of war treason—a crime committed by non-combatants who secretly aided enemy forces—to justify collective reprisals. Like their British counterpart, French regulations agreed that non-combatants could be punished for disobeying orders from a military government.28 Regulations published by the Judge Advocate General of the United States Army discussed the occupation of enemy territory in great detail. American military doctrine reflected previous experiences in the Civil and Spanish-American Wars and explicitly recognized the ambiguous nature of international agreements. Sections of Rules of Land Warfare that reviewed collective punishment and reprisals began with relevant quotes from the Hague agreements and then noted how prominent scholars interpreted the conventions. In essence, the Judge Advocate General provided field commanders with enough legal theory to justify either a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ 25 Manual of Military Law, pp. 292–3, 302–307; BAK, All. Proz. 21/208/35–43. 26 BAMA, RW 35/542/24–25; BAK, All. Proz. 21/218/45. 27 Stanislas Jeannesson, Poincare? et la Ruhr, 1922–1924: Histoire d’une occupation (Strasbourg: Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, 1997), pp. 168–171, 187 note 58, 194, 201–205. 28 J. M. Spaight, War Rights on Land (London: Macmillan and Co., 1911), pp. 333–4; Robert Jacomet, Les Lois de la guerre continental (Paris: L. Fournier, 1913), chapter 3, article 93. 99 after the fall occupation policy. Field regulations of the United States Army embraced an expansive definition of war treason, branded civilians who rebelled against a military government as war rebels, and recognized that the latter could be sentenced to death. Although they described both collective punishments and reprisals as a ‘last resort,’ American guidelines did not prohibit collective punishments. They employed a unique tone but expressed views that ran parallel to French and British regulations.29 German military regulations defined the jurisdiction of military courts, procedures that judges had to follow, and penalties that tribunals could impose. Unlike French, American, or British rules, German military law could be applied both inside and outside of the Reich, and German courts did not distinguish German citizens from the inhabitants of an occupied territory. All civilians had to obey military regulations in areas under martial law. Anybody who disobeyed could be found guilty of war treason (Kriegsverrat) and executed by a military court.30 The German government curbed the jurisdiction of military courts during the Weimar era, but Hitler restored their powers by signing a new law on 12 May 1933. A revised version of the military penal code, issued 29 September 1936, included procedural practices, rules of evidence, and an appeal process that were integral parts of the Imperial Army’s military justice system.31 The Führer issued two decrees on 17 August 1938 that swept away many of the liberal guarantees central to the Imperial code of military justice, but neither law came into force until war became imminent on 26 August 1939. The first of those regulations, the Decree concerning Military Jurisdiction during War and Special Operations (Kriegsstrafverfahrensordnung or KStVO), established a streamlined judicial procedure that distilled earlier regulations down to five basic principles: 1. a trial had to be held before three judges; 2. the accused had to be heard if present; 29 Edward H. Young, ‘Law of belligerent Occupation,’ Text No. 11 (Ann Arbor, 1944), pp. 111–126. Appears in USNA, RG 153/135/91/folder L-512; Basic Field Manual FM 27–10, Rules of Land Warfare (Washington, DC: United States Printing Office, 1940), pp. 85–9. 30 James Garner, International Law and the World War, vol. II (London: Longmans, Green, 1920), pp. 92–5; BAK, All. Proz. 21/40/nfn (Abschrift, Dr. Victor Knipp, ‘Deportation als Kriegsverbrechen’). 31 USNA, RG 153/135/6/116/2–3 (Office of Strategic Services, Research and Analysis Branch, R & A number 2500.18, ‘German Military Government Over Europe: Military and Police Tribunals in Occupied Europe,’ dated 22 December 1944). 100 first measures 3. decisions had to be set down in writing and accompanied by a written opinion; 4. a conviction had to rest upon the agreement of a majority of judges; and 5. sentences had to be confirmed by a competent commander. Commanders could observe the traditional Military Penal Code described by the Milita?rgesetzbuch or follow new procedures outlined in the KSt- VO at their own discretion, and the rules applied to all civilian and military personnel of any nationality operating within an area that fell under martial law.32 In essence, the KStVO allowed military comman- ders to abbreviate the judicial process and thus undermined the rule of law.33 While the KStVO truncated judicial procedures, the Decree concern- ing Special Military Crimes during War (Kriegssonderstrafrechtsverordnung or KSSVO) defined criminal activity and established sentencing guidelines. Articles two through five defined espionage, hostile acts committed by civilians (Freischa?rlerei), violations of German military regulations, and the undermining of German military power (Zersetzung der Wehrkraft) respec- tively. All four could be punished with death. Subsequent regulations established a particularly abbreviated judicial procedure for the crime of guerrilla activity. Other articles established sentencing guidelines for crimes such as treason in wartime and pillage.34 The KSSVO increased the num- ber of capital crimes and the KStVO eliminated many of the safeguards inherent in traditional military law developed during the Kaiserreich. Instead of rewriting military law to match the Nazi concept of justice, Hitler attacked the foundations of the Rechtsstaat or rule of law and granted military judges autonomy in judicial affairs. Once inculcated with Nazi values, field commanders could administer justice in keeping with Hitler’s new order. The execution of 13,000–15,000 German soldiers during 32  after the fall World War Two — as compared with 48 during World War One — suggests that many did.35 Regulations issued by OKW in 1938 allowed military commanders to seize hostages if they faced a hostile population that threatened German troops. If they used the abbreviated procedures set forth in the KStVO to prove the crime of Freischa?rlerei defined in the KSSVO, field commanders could carry out reprisals without worrying about red tape, due process, and other bureaucratic impediments. To clarify abstruse legal theory, OKW included a list of 24 practical examples: In an area occupied by German troops, soldiers marching through are repeatedly shot at by guerrillas from a convenient hiding place. For the security of the troops, the division commander arrests five respected citizens as hostages. The population is told that the hostages will be shot if soldiers are again fired upon. The division commander has the authority to order the execution of the hostages. Solution: Hostage seizures and hostage executions are not forbidden by interna- tional law. However, the existence of military necessity always forms the basis for hostage seizures. The unhindered march of the troops could only be secured by taking of hostages. With this kind of hostage case, only the senior troop commander whose safety the hostages guarantee can decide the fate of the hostages. Legal regulations formulated by OKW allowed senior field commanders to do anything that was not explicitly forbidden by existing international agreements. Because such freedom carried an element of political risk, OKW forced junior officers to operate under more restrictive rules. In the realm of judicial affairs, German field commanders possessed tremendous autonomy.36 American, British, French, and German military regulations allowed field commanders to seize hostages, but they endorsed the strategy with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Several features distinguish the German code from its allied counterparts. First, German regulations established detailed procedures for hostage seizures and downplayed non-lethal alternatives. Second, only German regulations outlined a process that could be used to execute hostages. Third, Hitler eliminated traditional liberal guarantees that ensured a fair judicial process. American, British, French, and German regulations understood the ambiguous nature of the Hague rules. They 35 BAMA, RW 35/209/211, 259; BAMA, RW 35/551/18–23; Bartov, Hitler’s Army, pp. 95–96. 36 BAMA, RW 35/209/19–21, 28–38. 102 first measures all accepted collective reprisals and hostage seizures in principle, but only German regulations translated this principle into practice. Hitler encouraged subordinates to put Nazi legal doctrines into practice. On the eve of the 1940 Western Campaign, the Führer directed military forces to obey provisions of the Hague Convention but he added that ‘(h)ostile acts by the population will be suppressed with the utmost severity.’ He employed an expansive definition of ‘hostile acts’ that included passive resistance and ‘stopping work as a political demonstration.’37 In accordance with Hitler’s wishes, General Alfred Streccius, the MBF between 30 June and 25 October 1940, issued anti-sabotage regulations on 12 September. Entitled ‘Measures to Prevent Sabotage,’ Streccius’s regulation described four methods that could be used to suppress dangerous resistance activity.38 First, local commanders could force local residents to guard railroad tracks, factories, bridges, telegraph cables, and military installations. People who failed to fulfill their responsibilities could face prison, hard labor, or even death. Second, local German authorities could impose curfews, enact sumptuary laws like the prohibition of alcohol, and close restaurants, theaters, and public markets. Third, the MBF allowed regional commanders to collect a ‘security deposit’ from a community that could be confiscated in the event of unsatisfactory behavior. To circumvent Hague rules that forbade extraordinary taxes and maintain the appearance of legality, the MBF ordered subordinates to call the collected funds ‘forced contributions’ (Zwangsauflagen). All of Streccius’s ‘Measures’ rested on the concept of collective responsibility but did not create a reign of arbitrary punishment and terror. With ‘the greatest reserve,’ the MBF allowed regional commanders to arrest hostages: Hostages are local residents who will pay with their lives if the public does not behave flawlessly. Therefore the responsibility for their fate lies in the hands of their fellow countrymen. The population must be publicly warned that hostages will be liable for the hostile acts of individuals. Streccius recognized that seizing hostages carried grave risks and limited the autonomy of his subordinates. Only regional commanders (Bezirkchefs) could arrest hostages, and they could do so only after careful consideration of the circumstances, in response to ‘serious acts of violence’ (schweren 37 DGFP, ser. D, vol. IX, p. 301. 38 BAMA, RW 35/45/1–4. 103 after the fall Gewalttaten), and when other ‘suitable’ measures were unavailable. Fur- thermore, only the MBF could order the execution of hostages. The MBF understood that indiscriminate use of his hostage policy could damage Germany’s political standing. If anti-German groups attacked Wehrmacht personnel after a Bezirkchef had seized hostages, the MBF would have to execute hostages and endure the subsequent public outrage or pardon hostages and risk the appearance of weakness. The MBF admitted that some ‘criminals and fanatics’ might not be deterred by the seizure of hostages. He realized that such measures might encourage communists and anarchists to attack the German army if their efforts would then force the Germans to execute bourgeois politicians, rich industrialists, or other class enemies.39 Otto von Stülpnagel replaced General Streccius as MBF on 25 October 1940, but the latter’s ‘Measures to Prevent Sabotage’ remained in force for several months after his departure. General von Stülpnagel issued new regulations on 26 March 1941, but they followed Streccius’s policy and embraced the principle of collective responsibility: Individuals and the population are to be treated as jointly responsible if they support hostile acts against German forces through passive resistance, inhibit investigations of earlier sabotage acts by general conduct, encourage misdeeds, or create an atmosphere for insubordinate and anti-German attitudes.40 Although he employed a broad definition of activity that could trigger collective reprisals, General von Stülpnagel warned his subordinates to apply sanctions with care. 1) All measures must be realistic and designed to be carried out. Unrealistic threats or threats alone do not work well. 2) One must always consider the full set of circumstances when examining a situation, including motivation and the existence of malicious intent . . . 3) Measures perceived as unjust undermine respect for German authorities, hurt the loyal population, and must be revoked. 39 Gary Gordon describes how the process unfolded on the eastern front in ‘Soviet partisan warfare, 1941–1944: the German perspective’ (Ph.D. diss., Iowa University, 1972), pp. 30–31: ‘Several German or other Axis soldiers would be captured, mutilated, and killed. Their bodies would then be left in a place where the Germans would surely find them, often next to villages sympathetic to the invaders or neutral in their political sympathies. When the bodies were found, German security troops would take revenge on all the villages in the area by killing everyone they saw, by confiscating all cattle and crops, and by devastating entire sections of land. The survivors fled to the forests where they would be met by partisans who would sympathize with them and offer help.’ 40 USNA, T-501/166/71–82. 104 first measures With regard to seizing hostages, the MBF offered the following advice: Hostages should only be taken with great restraint (Zurückhaltung). At the moment of the arrest, it can never be foreseen whether the later execution of the hostages is undesirable and should remain undone for political reasons. However, respect for the military government will be shaken and the taking of hostages made pointless if executions are not carried out once new hostile acts have been committed. The efficacy of the taking of hostages for the prevention of hostile acts is questionable if an especially close bond does not exist between the perpetrator and the hostages. Fanatics and criminals have no regard for the lives of hostages. Thus hostages are to be arrested only if serious crimes have been committed and there are no other suitable means available. Like his predecessor, General von Stülpnagel conceived of hostage seizures as a last resort. Leaders of the military administration supported Stülpnagel’s policy. The head of the justice division, Rudolf Ba?lz, analyzed the legal basis of German security measures in a memo that circulated within the government subsection of the military administration. He believed that the Hague agreements did not prohibit the seizure or execution of hostages and added that other belligerents had adopted the practice in recent wars. Based on his analysis of law and historical precedent, Ba?lz concluded that seizing hostages conformed with German laws and international agreements.41 Ba?lz thought that the military administration had to follow several specific guidelines before carrying out hostage executions. First, the hostage policy had to be announced so that members of the public understood the consequences of anti-German activity. Second, ‘hostages could only be liable for acts that have been committed after their arrest and after the MBF had announced his hostage policy.’ Third, only French citizens could serve as hostages. Using the Nazi concept of Sippenhaft and contrary to western legal tradition, Ba?lz argued that hostages had to be connected with or related to resistance groups that had carried out an attack in order to serve as an effective deterrent. The head of the justice division concluded that fines might be more effective because they contributed to the German war effort while deterring resistance. Others went a step further and suggested that the MBF proscribe hostage executions for political reasons. Although they believed that hostages could be executed in accordance with 41 BAMA, RW 35/308/12. Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, pp. 47–9. 105 after the fall existing international agreements, members of the military administration questioned the wisdom of such a policy.42 Despite developing a deadly anti-partisan policy, Generals Streccius and Otto von Stülpnagel exercised a degree of restraint while in charge of occupied France. Cases of assault that involved a German victim and French perpetrator did not always trigger collective reprisals or hostage seizures, but they could result in a death sentence. The MBF insisted that ‘[t]he best propagandist for the German cause is the disciplined, correct appearance of the German soldier’ and administered a stern brand of justice to both French and German perpetrators.43 The vast majority of the French populace assumed a passive stance that favored the Reich. News of the October 1940 meetings between Hitler, Laval, and Pe?tain generated enthusiasm for the Vichy regime, but favorable sentiments evaporated after talks failed to produce an agreement. The advent of rationing, de facto annexation of Alsace and Lorraine, and expulsion of French nationalists and Jews from the Moselle, Bas-Rhin, and Haut- Rhin de?partements all dampened popular enthusiasm for Laval’s policy of collaboration. Public attitudes remained sour throughout the winter of 1940–1941, though sullen moods did not translate into deadly resistance activity. Resistance groups limited their efforts to sabotage and distributing anti-German leaflets.44 During the first year of the Occupation, German policemen focused on mundane transgressions. Between October and December 1940, the number of so-called crimes reported to and investigated by the military administration per month jumped from 8,000 to 17,000. As more German policemen arrived in France, the MVW consolidated its hold on the occupied zone and pursued more alleged perpetrators. New German policies also played a part in the increase. A January 1941 report described traffic accidents as the leading cause of death among German soldiers, and military policemen began to enforce German traffic regulations. Together with blackout and price control violations, traffic infractions accounted 42 BAMA, RW 35/308/1–8, 12–19; Ulrich Herbert, ‘The German military command in Paris’, in Ulrich Herbert (ed.), National Socialist Extermination Policies: Contemporary German Perspectives and Controversies (New York: Berghahn Books, 2000), pp. 128–162. 43 Serge Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, volume II, Le calendrier de la perse?cution des Juifs de France, juillet 1940–août 1942 (Paris: Fayard, 2001), p. 20; USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/465. 44 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/365 – 366, 425 – 427, 459, 491 – 492; USNA, RG 242/ T-501/184/1074. 106 20,000 first measures Serious crimes Administrative arrest 18,000 Traffic infraction Blackout violation Curfew violation 16,000 Venereal disease 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 Traffic accident Slandering or disdaining the German army Larceny (minor robbery) Unauthorized possession of a firearm Figure 4.1. Crimes prosecuted by the MBF, 1940–1942. for most of the increase in the crime rate during the early months of the Occupation.45 The total number of offenses investigated by the MVW began to drop in January 1941 and continued to decline until the MBF lost control of police forces in May 1942. German policemen may have overlooked minor transgressions and allowed some to perpetrators to escape with a warning. For their part, Frenchmen may have learned to hide their contempt for le boche because flagrant defiance could lead to charges of slandering the German army.46 Statistical data do not explain why the incidence of traffic infractions, price control violations, and other petty crimes decreased in 1941, but the drop suggests an increase in law and order, a decline in enforcement, and a degree of Franco-German accommodation after the fall 1,400 Murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, and attacking military personnel 1,200 1,000 Lost property Drunkenness Illegal association Price control violation Fraud Sabotage Espionage Desertion, AWOL Suicide Assault Sexual offenses 800 Plundering, looting 600 400 200 0 Arson Robbery Figure 4.2. Serious crimes prosecuted by the MBF, 1940–1942. The invasion of the Soviet Union coincided with a temporary increase in the incidence of unauthorized possession of a firearm and slander- ing the German army. Both peaked in the fall of 1941 and suggested a wave of discontent and/or a German crackdown. The military administra- tion often punished such offenses with prison sentences and/or fines, but people caught with military weapons or communist propaganda could receive a death sentence. German police examined an average of 258 cases of unauthorized possession of a gun each month with a peak of 435 cases in October and November 1941. By the summer of 1942 this number dropped to 178. The incidence of slander also followed a bell curve that peaked at 343 cases between August and September 1941. On average, police investigated 200 slander cases each month with a low of 116 recorded in May 1942. The zenith of illegal firearms possession and slander cases may reflect a ripple of public dis- sent or an increased German sensitivity to both offenses in the fall of 1941. 108 Oct1940 Nov1940 Dec1940 Jan1941 Feb1941 Mar1941 Apr1941 May1941 Jun1941 Jul1941 Aug1941 Sep1941 Oct1941 Nov1941 Dec1941 Jan1942 Feb1942 Mar1942 Apr1942 May1942 first measures The MBF regarded sabotage, espionage, and assault as very serious crimes that could result in death sentences or trigger hostage executions. The invasion of the Soviet Union corresponded with several attacks against German soldiers, but data collected by the MVW does not reveal a widespread pattern of sabotage, espionage, or assault. The MVW inves- tigated an average of 60 acts of sabotage each month. The incidence of sabotage peaked at 86 cases in November 1940 and fell to an all-time low of 34 incidents by May 1942. Espionage followed a similar pattern. Between October 1940 and May 1942, the military government investigated 458 cases of spying or just under 23 incidents per month. Espionage peaked during the first month of the reporting period at 45 and fell to 7 cases by May 1942. Attacks against German military personnel followed a slightly different pattern. They peaked in June and July 1941 with 20 incidents per month, averaged just under twelve attacks for the entire reporting period, and fell to an anemic six attacks by May 1942. Statistics collected by the MVW suggest that sabotage and espionage followed a downward trend during the first 16 months of the Occupation. Despite a temporary increase in the summer of 1941, assault followed a similar pattern. Assassinations that followed in the wake of Operation Barbarossa were largely symbolic. Although the incidence of serious crimes usually declined between October 1940 and May 1942, punishments meted out to French offenders did not. German military courts sentenced a total of 581 French citizens to death during the first 23 months of the Occupation. Of these, 434 executions (75 per cent) were actually carried out.47 Legal authorities reduced the remaining 147 cases to prison terms or hard labor, and many of these involved women or children under 18. Eighty-one per cent of the executions carried out by the MBF occurred after the invasion of the Soviet Union. The number of Frenchmen sentenced to long terms in prison matched the increase in executions until January 1942, after which it declined precipitously. As German forces bogged down on the eastern front, military courts handed out fewer prison sentences and executed a larger number of Frenchmen convicted of crimes against the German army. 47 Figures do not include some Frenchmen executed as hostages between September 1941 and January 1942. Prisoners convicted of non-political crimes and sentenced to prison could later be executed as hostages and counted as reprisals. Numbers cited above are not comprehensive, but they do suggest that executions, both criminal and hostage, increased after the invasion of the Soviet Union. BAMA, RW 35/542; BAMA, RW 35/543. 109 after the fall Figure 4.3. Daily life in Occupied France. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress. The invasion of the Soviet Union may not have signaled the start of (what Germany regarded as) a new ‘crime’ wave, but it did mark the beginning of harsh repression based on an increase in the number of executions. Taken as a whole, crime statistics and subjective security reports suggest that German police did not encounter dangerous resistance activity while they remained in charge of German security policy. The incidence of murder, espionage, and sabotage all followed a downward trend through the spring of 1942. German policemen had enough time to pursue traffic scofflaws and confiscate shortwave radios. Resistance activity did not force the MBF to adopt bloody reprisals. International agreements in force during World War Two provided scant protection for civilians in occupied territories, and European armies exploit- ed this weakness throughout the modern era. British soldiers employed collective reprisals during the Boer War and French troops seized German hostages during the 1923 occupation of the Ruhr. During the Franco- Prussian War, German forces had employed tactics that were comparable 110 first measures to Streccius’s 1940 Measures. One historian has described the occupation of Belgium between 1914 and 1918 as ‘a sinister pre-run for the occupations of World War Two.’48 While resistance activity remained limited to cut- ting telegraph cables and breaking curfew regulations, Otto von Stülpnagel resisted the trend toward brutality and did not resort to hostage executions. Fanning an ingrained fear of partisans, Hitler revised the military regula- tions, eliminated traditional safeguards, and used unsavory precedents to justify immediate and disproportionate reprisals against civilians.49 Abet- ted by criminal orders from Berlin, many German officers succumbed to guerillaphobia, shot all who looked askance, and advanced the racial goals of the Nazi regime by focusing reprisals on Jews. 48 Best, Humanity in Warfare, p. 227. 49 Ben Shepherd, War in the Wild East: The German Army and Soviet Partisans (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004), pp. 41–6, 52–7; Herbert, Best, pp. 69–82; Mark Mazower, Hitler’s Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe (New York: Penguin, 2008), pp. 349–353. 111 5 Resistance and reprisals The 1939 Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact cast the French Communist Party (PCF) and Nazi Germany into an uneasy alliance. In conjunction with British and French liberals, the PCF had supported a united front against fascism during the Spanish Civil War. Once Hitler and Stalin signed the Non-Aggression Pact, the PCF condemned the Daladier and Chamberlain governments as ‘capitalist plutocrats’ and leading French communists like Maurice Thorez refused to serve in the French army. In response, the Daladier government banned the PCF on 27 August 1939 and forced the party underground.1 Otto Abetz, the German ambassador in Paris, met with representatives of the PCF central committee after France and Germany signed the 1940 Armistice Agreement, but French police arrested the communist delegates before negotiations could bear fruit and the German military administration (Milita?rverwaltungsstab or MVW) refused to intervene on their behalf.2 During the first year of the Occupation, branches of the German government remained neutral while the Vichy regime and the PCF fought for the hearts and minds of French workers. After German forces invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, the tacit ceasefire between the PCF and the MVW unraveled. Stalin ordered communists throughout Europe to disrupt the Nazi war effort and German authorities noticed a sharp increase in anti-German propaganda. Leaflets 1 Duroselle, L’Abîme, pp. 32–4, 38–43; Journal officiel, number 11770, dated 27 September 1939. 2 BAMA, RW 36 (Kommandanturen der Milita?rverwaltung)/97/1–24; Lambauer, Otto Abetz et le Fran?cais, pp. 143–4. resistance and reprisals that vilified Nazi Germany and celebrated the Soviet Union began to appear in markets throughout Paris. Taking an optimistic tone, some began to compare the current situation with that of 1812.3 The military administration suspected that the propaganda came from Britain, but the production of leaflets dropped from 12,000 to 400 sheets per week after French police seized covert printing presses in September 1941. Despite the increase in anti-German propaganda during the summer, the military commander in France (Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich or MBF) believed that French opinion showed faint sympathy for Great Britain, the Soviet Union, or Nazi Germany.4 Eight days after the invasion of the Soviet Union, Keitel allowed the MBF to punish sabotage and guerrilla activity with the death penalty if necessary, but he did not order a new terror campaign. His note of 30 June 1941 told the MBF to inform Berlin of incidents that might influence Franco-German relations so that Hitler, OKW, and the Foreign Office could review sensitive cases and, if necessary, adjust the response. Keitel’s relatively mild decree ‘corresponded to the will of the Führer’ and granted Stülpnagel a free hand with regard to French resistance activity.5 General von Stülpnagel continued to follow his own policy. Jonathan Schmid, the head of the entire military administration, encouraged the Vichy regime to redouble its efforts against the PCF and directed SS police and intelligence agencies to assist French efforts. The MBF supervised the arrest of suspected communists and anarchists, but the entire campaign was carried out by French gendarmes. Stülpnagel warned subordinates not to create martyrs and preferred to let the Vichy government act in his stead. For the moment, the military government operated in the background.6 The MBF abandoned his pretense of neutrality and outlawed the PCF on 14 August. Publicized through radio announcements, newspaper articles, and posters, his decree threatened to punish communist activity with death and the distribution of anti-German leaflets with fifteen years in a German prison. Although the Daladier government had outlawed the PCF in 1939 and subsequent French administrations had pursued communist militants 3 USNA, RG 242/T-501/166/776–791; Ste?phane Courtois, Denis Peschanski, and Adam Rayski, Le Sang de l’e?tranger: Les immigre?s de la MOI dans la Re?sistance (Paris: Fayard, 1989), p. 119. 4 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/970 – 974; USNA, RG 242/T-501/144/44 – 48; Laborie, L’Opinion fran?caise sous Vichy, pp. 253–260. 5 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/353. 6 BALW, R 70 Frankreich/16/21–24. 113 after the fall throughout France, the MBF’s 14 August 1941 decree allowed German military courts to prosecute suspected communists. If caught by German police forces, alleged communists had to face a German court martial and could wind up in a German concentration camp. The PCF gained a ruthless enemy on 14 August.7 Germany’s announcement spurred the French government to redouble its efforts against communism. The Ministry of Justice began to design a new branch of the judiciary that would prosecute suspected communists and anarchists on 16 August. The so-called Sections spe?ciales could try defendants in absentia and decisions issued by the court could not be appealed.8 Convict- ed communists or anarchists could be executed under existing sabotage and treason statutes or through special powers vested in the new court. In addi- tion, the military administration promised to review all cases of communist activity that were investigated by French police or prosecuted by French courts. If not satisfied with the results, the MVW threatened to retry cases before a German court to achieve the desired outcome. The military admin- istration allowed the French courts to handle cases of illegal association and communist activity, but the threat of German intervention hovered over Vichy officials who did not pursue communists with sufficient enthusiasm.9 On the morning of 21 August 1941, a pair of young men entered the Barbe`s-Rochechouart station of the Paris Metro and fired two shots at Alfons Moser, a German naval cadet. Both shots struck home, and the 30-year-old sailor died of his wounds a few hours later. That evening, an unknown assailant attacked a German soldier in the Bastille Metro station, but the corporal eventually recovered from his injuries.10 Although it was not the first murder case that involved a German victim and French perpetrator, the Moser affair immediately attracted the attention of senior German authorities in Paris. German military courts had handled previous murder cases with little fanfare because they fell under the rubric of property crimes or crimes of 7 USNA, RG 242/T-501/166/600–608, 629–630. 8 USNA, RG 242/T-501/166/610–611; Weisberg, Vichy Law and the Holocaust in France, pp. 375–380. Published on 25 August 1941 in the Journal officiel, the law that created the Sections spe?ciales was dated 14 August. 9 USNA, RG 242/T-501/166/615–618, 623–625. 10 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/1038–1141; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1624/folder 12/nfn (GFP report dated 21.8.41); Henri Nogue`res, Histoire de la Re?sistance en France de 1940 a` 1945, vol. II (Paris: Robert Laffont, 1969), pp. 69–84; Louis Oury, Rue du Roi-Albert: les otages de Nantes, Chaˆteaubriant et Bordeaux (Pantin: Le Temps des cerrises, 1997), pp. 66–7. 114 resistance and reprisals passion.11 However, Moser, having arrived in Paris on 4 August, had not been around long enough to make friends or enemies, and the assailants had not stolen his wallet or identity papers. Officials from SS Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst or SD), German navy, and the Commandant of greater Paris discussed the assassination in the office of State Secretary Schmid six hours after the attack. They concluded that communists had probably carried out the attack to stir up anti-German resistance. General-Admiral Saalwa?chter and Admiral Lietzmann, the head of Naval Group Command West and his Chief of Staff respectively, referred to precedents set by the army in the Soviet Union and demanded immediate reprisals in response to the apparent political attack, but General von Stülpnagel chose to deliver one final warning.12 On 22 August, he declared that all French prisoners held in German jails and prisoners detained in French jails at the request of German authorities would be counted as hostages. The MBF threatened to execute hostages in the event of further resistance activity and explained that the gravity of the offense would determine the number of hostages executed. Newspapers and posters carried a description of the MBF’s threat that same evening while radio stations broadcast the news over the airwaves.13 One day after the Moser attack, the French government sent the German military administration a note that expressed regret for the assassination, blamed the attack on communists, and hoped that German authorities would not punish all Frenchmen for the actions of a few communist miscreants. As per a tentative agreement reached on 20 August, the Vichy government promised to create the Sections spe?ciales and use the new court to try six leading communists who were already interned by the French police.14 In another meeting held on the same day, Fernand de Brinon (Vichy’s ambassador in Paris) and State Secretary Jean Ingrand (the Delegate 11 Jackson, France. The Dark Years 1940–1944, p. 275; Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. II, p. 20; and USNA, RG 242/T-501/143. The suspected intent of the alleged assailants determined the German response. BAMA, RW 35/308/110–111 and BAMA, RW 35/542/6–8. 12 BAMA, RW 35/308/122; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (‘Fernmündlich von Kapt. Lt. Lang,’ 22.8.41, Betr. Erschiessung Moser); USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (Der MBF, Kommandostab Abt VOVF, An den Herrn Chef des Generalstabes, Betr. Moser, Paris 1.9.41, Vortrag bei Komm. Adm. am 1.9 11 Uhr); BAMA, RW 35/542/16–17. 13 USNA, RG 242/T-77/165/371–374. 14 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (De? le? gation Ge? ne? rale du Gouvernement Franc?ais dans les Territoires Occupe?s, ‘Attentat contre un officier de Marine Allemand: Position du gouvernement Francais,’ 22 August). 115 after the fall for the Minister of the Interior in the Occupied Territories) assured Major Walter Beumelburg (the MVW’s liaison with the French government in Paris) that all six communists would be found guilty and sentenced to death. Furthermore, Brinon and Ingrand promised to bring the guillotine out of retirement and execute all six prisoners in public to demonstrate Vichy’s resolve with a gruesome flourish.15 The German government answered the French message on 22 August. The reply expressed satisfaction with the French measures but insisted upon several changes. First, the Germans wanted the Sections spe?ciales to meet behind closed doors. Second, they asked for some influence over suspects brought before the court. In a rare show of decorum, the German reply requested that executions not be held in public, but it demanded that all sentences be carried out by 28 August, or one week after the murder of Cadet Moser. Finally, the German communique? observed that the French actions did not release Vichy from her obligation to aggressively investigate, prosecute, and punish future attacks.16 Brinon and Ingrand summed up the French position during a 23 August meeting with Major Beumelburg. Brinon informed his German counter- part that the Vichy government had formally created the Sections spe?ciales as promised and would begin to prosecute the Moser case on 26 August. Ingrand had already met with prosecutors and made sure that they appre- ciated the political importance of the cases. He told Beumelburg that the Sections spe?ciales would follow Vichy’s ‘revolutionary legal reasoning’ and fulfill official responsibilities to Germany’s satisfaction.17 Adhering to Germany’s schedule, the Sections spe?ciales convened on 26 August and adjudicated eleven cases in three days. The court sentenced three accused communists to death, six to terms of forced labor, and two to short prison sentences and a fine. The Vichy government carried out the death sentences immediately. Beumelburg concluded that the Vichy 15 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (Der MBF, Kdo Stab Abt VOVF, 22.8.41, Betr. Attentat gegen einen deutschen Marineoffizier, Bezug: Mündliche Besprechung am 22.8 zwischen Botschafter de Brinon, Staatsrat Ingrand, Handelsrat Wilhelm, Mj. Beumelburg, und Lt. Dr. Roesch); Joseph Barthe?lemy, Ministre de la Justice, Vichy 1941–1943: Me?moires (Paris: E?ditions Pygmalion/Ge?rard Watelet, 1989), p. 574ff. 16 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (VOVF, 22.8.41, Betr. Attentat gegen den deutschen Wehrmachtsangeho?rigen Moser am 21.8.41, ‘Erkla?rung des VOVF gegenüber dem Generalbevollma?chtigten der franz. Regierung’). 17 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (MBF, Kdo. Stab. Abt. VOVF, 23 August 1941, Betr. Attentat am 21.8 und Ausnahmegesetz vom 23.8). 116 resistance and reprisals government wanted to preempt German intervention by carrying out its own reprisals.18 The French government initially expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the Moser affair. When he learned that Stülpnagel had not demanded massive fines or reprisals, Marshal Pe?tain told his Chief of Staff that he was ‘absolutely satisfied.’ On 25 August he added that ‘it could not have turned out better.’ The French public did not appear to support the attack or oppose Vichy’s response. Major Beumelburg thought that the MBF’s moderate reaction had enhanced Germany’s standing both among the general public and in official circles.19 The death of Cadet Moser had not provoked the military administration, stirred up widespread support for resistance groups, nor driven a wedge between the Vichy government and German military administration as the attackers had hoped.20 The verdicts did not appease every German agency. The SD received only a summary of evidence that was collected by the French police. To fulfill its ‘study’ of the PCF, the SD demanded complete interrogation transcripts and a comprehensive list of evidence seized during the course of the French investigation. When more detailed information arrived a few days later, the head of the SD in France, Helmut Knochen, complained that the first contingent appearing before the court only contained a single Jew and no foreigners.21 Without much influence inside the military administration, complaints from even the most senior SS leaders typically fell upon deaf ears during the first months of the Occupation. The Commanding Admiral of the German navy in France, Admiral Saalwa?chter, also felt short-changed. Speaking through his liaison officer, Saalwa?chter noted that the French government had promised to execute six leading communists in the wake of Moser’s death. As of 30 August, Vichy had only carried out three death sentences. Saalwa?chter asked the military 18 USNA, RG 242/T-501/166/657; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (MBF, Kdo. Stab Abt. VOVF, 23 August 1941, Aufzeichnung, Betr. Ausnahmegesetz vom 23.8 Meldverfahren). 19 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (MBF Kdo. Stab Abt. VOVF, 23 August 1941, Betr. Attentat am 21.8 und Ausnahmegesetz vom 23.8); USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (MBF Kdo. Stab Abt. VOVF, 25 August 1941, Betr. Gespra?ch mit Benoist Me?chin am 25 August 1941). 20 Albert Ouzoulias, Les Fils de la nuit (Paris: Grasset, 1975), pp. 104–110, 113–118. 21 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (MBF Kdo. Stab Abt. VOVF, 27 August 1941, Betr. Sonderverfahren gegen Kommunisten (Fall Moser)). 117 after the fall administration to hold the Vichy government to its word and pressed for three more executions.22 The Chief of the MBF command staff, Colonel Hans Speidel, passed along the navy’s complaint to ambassador de Brinon in a 3 September letter. He expressed his ‘deep disappointment’ that the French government had not honored verbal assurances to execute six communists and added that it was in the ‘interests of the French people and Vichy government to fully redeem such assurances in the shortest amount of time.’23 Secretary Ingrand gave the Ministry of Interior’s preliminary response to Major Beumelburg. He told the liaison officer that Germany could wait until the French government fulfilled its promises or seize and execute communists on its own. An hour after their first meeting, Ingrand returned to Beumelburg’s office with a rather different message. He apologized for the delay, remarked that the original promise to execute six communists was an oral agreement, and observed that the Vichy government had to preserve the appearance of judicial independence.24 Paris courts condemned another three communists to death on 20 September, and the sentences were executed immediately. The MBF informed the Kriegesmarine of the additional reprisals and laid the Moser affair to rest in late September.25 While the military administration, Vichy government, and German navy argued over how to handle the Moser assassination, the resistance struck again. On 3 September, two young men shot Sergeant Ernst Hoffmann as he entered the Terminus Hotel near the Gare de l’Est in Paris. After a brief investigation, police somehow concluded that communists had carried out the attack.26 In accordance with his 22 August announcement, General von Stülpnagel ordered three hostage executions or, in the language of the military administration, sabotage countermeasures. Acting upon advice from Lieutenant-General Schaumburg and SS Brigadeführer Dr. Thomas, 22 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (30 August 1941, ‘Betr. Sühnemassnahmen für Mord an dem deutschen Wehrmachtangeho?rigen, Marinehilfsassistent Moser’). 23 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (Der MBF, Der Chef des Kommandostabes, und Chef des Verwaltungsstabes, 3 September 1941, letter to Ambassador de Brinon). 24 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (Der MBF Verwaltungsstab Abteilung Ver- waltung, 11.9.1941, Betreff: Sühnemassnahmen anla?sslich der Ermordnung eines Wehrmacht- sangeho?rigen, Sachbearbeiter: KVR Dr. Grohmann). 25 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1614/folder 12/nfn (MBF Verwaltungsstab Abteilung Verwaltung, 9.41, Aktenzeichen Vju 821.1598.41, Betreff Anschlag auf den Wehrmachtangeho?rigen Moser, Schreiben an den Kommand. Admiral Frankreich). 26 BAMA, RW 35/542/42–43; Nogue`res, Histoires de la Re?sistance en France, vol. II, pp. 128–9. 118 resistance and reprisals the Commandant of greater Paris and the head of the SS/SD in France respectively, the MBF selected three Jewish communists who had already been convicted of non-capital crimes by German military courts. The executions took place on 6 September—three days after the Hoffmann attack.27 Although he followed contingency plans laid out in 1940, Stülpnagel’s anti-partisan strategy came under fire once again. This time, the trouble came from Berlin. General Eduard Wagner, the quartermaster of the army (OKH Generalquartiermeister), forwarded Hitler’s view of the Hoffmann affair to General von Stülpnagel on 7 September. The Führer complained that ‘a German soldier is worth more than three communists,’ believed the MBF’s response was ‘much too mild,’ and considered the three executions to only be ‘a preliminary measure.’ If the authorities did not capture the perpetrators in the immediate future, Hitler advised his field commander to execute another fifty communists, and he added that they had to be leading communists because Frenchmen, particularly French communists, were worth much less than a single Aryan. The Führer urged Stülpnagel to arrest another 300 hostages and execute 100 of them immediately after the next assassination. In closing, Hitler demanded a telegraphic report on the entire matter.28 Strategic questions may have forestalled Hitler’s intervention during the Moser affair in the latter half of August.29 As General von Stülpnagel responded to the Moser assassination, the Führer refereed a squabble between his leading generals on the eastern front. The argument came to a head during a 23 August 1941 meeting between General Guderian, the leading proponent of a direct attack on Moscow, and more cautious generals who favored an advance into the Ukraine.30 During the relative calm of early September, Hitler had time to learn about and comment on the Hoffmann case. Pressing events in the Soviet Union again diverted Hitler’s attention in the latter half of September and allowed Stülpnagel to delay his reply to the 7 September Hitler/Wagner message. Although often distracted by events on the eastern front, Hitler could exercise a decisive 27 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/375; BAMA, RW 35/542/18–19, 120. 28 BAMA, RW 35/543/18. 29 Abetz, Das offene Problem, p. 197. 30 David M. Glantz and Jonathan M. House, When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1995), pp. 74–8; Ian Kershaw, Hitler 1936–45: Nemesis (New York: Norton, 2000), pp. 411–419. 119 31 BAMA, RW 35/542/43–45. 33 BAMA, RW 35/542/46–47. 32 BAMA, RW 35/1/41–45. after the fall influence over French affairs when a bit of news caught his interest and fitted his agenda. Complaints about the handling of the Hoffmann attack lost their salience as new problems overshadowed previous concerns. Before General von Stülpnagel replied to the 7 September Wagner note, resistance groups launched three more attacks. On 6 September, unidentified cyclists shot at but missed a German corporal. Four days later, partisans shot a German sailor in the leg. Finally, on 12 September, someone hit a German paymaster over the head with a blackjack. None of the assaults proved to be fatal, but General von Stülpnagel chose to respond to all three attacks by executing ten hostages. While Hitler’s 7 September comments did not change Germany’s response to the Hoffmann attack, they may have pushed the MBF toward a more strident response to subsequent assaults.31 The Commandant of greater Paris went even further than General von Stülpnagel. In a 19 September announcement, Lieutenant-General Schaumburg complained that Frenchmen had not helped the police catch perpetrators who had carried out the September attacks. To punish the population, Schaumburg imposed a curfew for the entire Seine region between 20 and 23 September. All restaurants, theaters, and bars had to close by eight o’clock, and the public had to be off the streets one hour later. Those who violated the curfew, the message warned, would be arrested by German police and could serve as hostages in the event of another assassination.32 Simple mistakes could lead to a prison sentence, and all prisoners could, in turn, serve as hostages. Even the most apolitical Frenchman could not afford to ignore German regulations. Although much less common, acts of resistance were not limited to Paris. On 18 September, partisans sabotaged the Courbon–Montigny –Veauxhaulles railroad line in northeastern France. Both the MBF and generals in Berlin regarded railroad sabotage as a very serious threat that directly undermined the German war effort. In this case, they responded by executing two hostages on 23 September. The MBF approved ‘an extremely slight number’ of hostage executions because a French railroad worker had spotted the sabotage before any real damage had occurred.33 120 34 BAMA, RW 35/542/45–46. 35 BAMA, RW 35/542/43–47. resistance and reprisals General von Stülpnagel used reprisals to teach Frenchmen that resistance did not pay. After the Moser attack, the French government executed six prominent French communists to head off a direct German intervention. General von Stülpnagel sent three Jewish communists before a German firing squad after the attack on Sergeant Hoffmann. A series of non-fatal attacks that were carried out between 6 and 12 September resulted in the execution of ten hostages. Fatal attacks generally evoked a stronger response than non-fatal assaults, and the rank of the victim may have also influenced the German response. After unknown individuals killed Captain Scheben—a transport officer who worked in northern Paris—on 15 September, the MBF ordered the execution of twelve hostages on 19 September.34 Slowly but surely, the MBF increased the number of reprisal executions to drive his point home. The military administration used prisoners who had already been con- victed by a German military court as hostages. Of the ten people who were shot after the Hoffmann attack, four had been convicted of illegally possessing a firearm and six had been found guilty of communist activity but had not received the death penalty. In the Scheben case, six of the victims had been convicted of sabotage or other serious crimes, three had been sentenced to short prison terms for comparatively minor crimes, and three had been placed under administrative arrest by the secret German military police (Geheime Feldpolizei or GFP). Two convicted communists paid for the 18 September railroad sabotage in northeastern France.35 The military administration tried not to execute completely innocent people, but a large number of reprisal executions sometimes made that difficult. When the supply of ‘dangerous’ convicts ran short (as in the Scheben case), Frenchmen convicted of price control violations or speaking against the German army could get drawn into the hostage process. General von Stülpnagel suspected that communists stood behind most resistance activity in France, but he did not dismiss the possibility that French chauvinists and Anglophiles had carried out some attacks. He ordered French and German wardens to send him a list of prisoners along with biographical information and a summary of the evidence against each prisoner. With a detailed list of potential hostages that could be sorted by region, criminal history, or political association, the MBF could aim 121 after the fall reprisals at people somehow connected to or associated with the suspected perpetrators.36 Based on a careful study of reports from his regional and district commanders, the MBF concluded that resistance activity remained largely uncoordinated and the act of isolated, anti-German people who had somehow escaped the clutches of the French and German policemen.37 Throughout the fall of 1941, General von Stülpnagel and the military administration followed Streccius’s ‘Measures to Prevent Sabotage’ and focused reprisals on anti-German groups. They favored a nuanced response that mixed prohibitions, fines, and hostage executions. The MBF answered serious anti-German activity with gradually increasing executions in an attempt to show Frenchmen that resistance did not pay. Stülpnagel tried to select victims in a way that would minimize anti-German sentiments and not upset allies in Vichy. His methods followed traditional German doctrine and did not stray far from comparable rules governing the actions of Allied armies during World War Two. Analysis of guidelines issued by the military administration and actual reprisals carried out by the MBF suggests that they both favored a ruthless but logical anti-partisan policy. Leaders in Berlin favored a different course. Shortly after the invasion of the Soviet Union, Keitel allowed General von Stülpnagel to execute people for sabotage, espionage, or atrocities against German soldiers if the reprisals would enhance the security of German troops. His memo neither encouraged nor discouraged reprisals; he left the MBF with a free hand. Hitler did not comment on specific reprisals until he learned about the 3 September attack on Sergeant Hoffmann. Speaking through General Wagner, the Führer criticized Stülpnagel for being ‘much too mild’ and advised him to execute at least fifty leading communists after each attack.38 Unlike his Chief of Staff, Hitler demanded severe reprisals from the start. Keitel slavishly adjusted his own views to match Hitler’s approach. In a top-secret order written at the Führer’s behest, Keitel informed military leaders throughout Europe that [s]ince the start of the campaign against Soviet Russia, communist insurrections have broken out everywhere in areas occupied by Germany . . . [H]ere is a 36 USNA, RG 242/T-501/166/89–98; Fattig, ‘Reprisal,’ pp. 78–9; Ernst Roskothen, Gross- Paris, Place de la Concorde: Ein Wehrmachtsrichter erinnert sich (Bad Dürrheim: Kuhn, 1977), pp. 119–120; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1625/folder 75479/nfn (Der MBF, 28.9.1941, Betr. Geisel- nahme, Bezug. Erlass vom 26 Ma?rz 1941). 37 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/973. 38 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/353; BAMA, RW 35/543/18. 122 resistance and reprisals mass movement, uniformly directed by Moscow which must be charged with the responsibility even for separate incidents of seemingly minor importance in areas heretofore quiet . . . One must also expect nationalistic and other circles to exploit this opportunity in order to create difficulties for the German occupying power by joining the communist uprising . . . In every case of rebellion against the German occupying power, no matter what the individual circumstances may be, communist origins must be assumed to be present.39 Unlike General von Stülpnagel, Hitler assumed that communists carried out or coordinated all attacks against Germany. Resistance had to be treated with the same methods in each area under German control because it emanated from the same source: Moscow. These fundamental assumptions precluded the need to tailor German tactics to particular local conditions. In the same 16 September 1941 directive quoted above, the Führer denounced Stülpnagel’s policy of ‘relatively mild punishments’ and outlined an appropriate response to resistance activity: In order to nip agitation in the bud the harshest measures must be employed immediately at the first occasion, so as to make the authority of the occupying power prevail and prevent any further spread [of resistance activity] . . . [H]uman life is often considered to be of no value in the countries concerned, and a deterrent effect can be attained only through unusual severity. In these cases in general the death penalty for 50 to 100 communists must be considered an appropriate atonement for the life of a single German soldier . . . The only real deterrent here is the death penalty. In particular, acts of sabotage, acts of espionage and attempts to enter foreign armed forces must be punished with death as a matter of principle. Hitler and Keitel broke with traditional conceptions of law and justice by placing no value on human life and establishing punishments that were not proportional to the original crime. In doing so, the National Socialist regime entered legal territory that had not been explored for hundreds of years. To further complicate matters, Nazi legal theory demanded a swift and immediate response to each and every crime. A memo sent to all regimental commanders in France summed up the principle with the phrase ‘swift justice is good justice.’40 All sentences had to be immediate and harsh 39 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 541–3; Fattig, ‘Reprisal,’ pp. 61–6; Philip W. Blood, Hitler’s Bandit Hunters: The SS and the Nazi Occupation of Europe (Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2008), pp. 63–5. 40 BAMA, RW 35/209/211, 259–260. 123 after the fall because hesitation or mercy could be interpreted as signs of weakness by opponents.41 After receiving repeated instructions from judicial authorities in Berlin, the MBF eventually told subordinate military judges that ‘[t]he safety and respect of the occupation forces requires the swift, hard, and uniform administration of justice.’ Reprisals had to be carried within days of the original attack. The need for speed gave local policemen scant opportunity to collect evidence or arrest actual perpetrators.42 With only sketchy information collected immediately after an attack, the military administration could only arrest and execute the usual suspects: Jews and communists. Arbitrary reprisals often terrified the public but, particularly if they missed their intended target, usually failed to deter further resistance activity. Once again, regulations from Berlin undermined the general strategy of the MBF. Several nuances linked Hitler’s anti-partisan policy with the Final Solu- tion. First, the Führer considered the resistance to be under the control of the international Jewish conspiracy. Both Judaism and communism could only be defeated by the strongest measures. Subsequent paragraphs of the 16 September directive explained that ‘[o]nly in this manner [employ- ing harsh reprisals], which has always been used by great nations as they expand, can tranquility be restored.’ In other words, precedent allowed Germany to liquidate enemies, expand her borders, and secure living space or Lebensraum for the German people. Third, the number of executions (50–100) reflected Hitler’s concept of race. In his mind, a single Aryan was inherently more valuable than a Slav or other racial group.43 Terminology and theory linked anti-partisan measures to the Final Solution.44 41 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1626/folder 01/nfn (Der MBF Kommandostab Abt. III, Tgb Nr. 164/41 geh., Paris 28 September 1941, Zu allen Gerichten im Bereich des MBF). 42 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1626/folder 01/nfn (Der MBF Kommandostab Abt. III, Tgb Nr. 164/41 geh., Paris 28 September 1941, Zu allen Gerichten im Bereich des MBF). Emphasis in the original. 43 Rab Bennett, Under the Shadow of the Swastika: The Moral Dilemmas of Resistance and Collaboration in Hitler’s Europe (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999), pp. 99–103, argues that military governments and the SS carried out reprisals according to predetermined quotas: 10 Frenchmen, 100 Poles, or 500 Slavs would be executed for each German soldier killed. Bennett cites Fattig, ‘Reprisal,’ p. 159; Fattig makes no such claim. Orders from Keitel and Hitler give no indication that they wanted French resistance groups to be treated differently from their counterparts in Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union. 44 For Hitler’s ideas on the relationship between anti-Semitism and Marxism, see Ian Kershaw, Hitler, 1889–1936: Hubris (New York: Norton, 1998), pp. 243–250; and Philippe Burrin, Hitler and the Jews: The Genesis of the Holocaust, translated by Patsy Southgate (London: Edward Arnold, 1994), pp. 24–39. 124 resistance and reprisals Anti-partisan strategy played an important role in Hitler’s general strategy and worldview or Weltanschauung. He viewed partisan warfare as a mixed blessing that could be turned to Germany’s advantage. During a 16 July 1941 conference, the Führer informed Lammers, Rosenberg, Go?ring, and Bormann that [t]he Russians have now given an order for partisan warfare behind our front. This partisan war again has some advantages for us; it enables us to exterminate everyone who opposes us . . . [T]he best solution (to partisan activity) was to shoot anybody who looked askance.45 The same concept appeared in Himmler’s appointment book. An entry dated 18 December 1941 stated: ‘Jewish Question/to be exterminated as partisans.’ Hitler’s anti-partisan policy was much more than a mere question of tactics; it literally connected military strategy to Nazi racial policy and enmeshed the army in the Final Solution.46 As subsequent orders made clear, Hitler and Keitel tried to terror- ize the French population into submission. Reich Propaganda Minister Dr. Goebbels made this intention explicit in a message sent to Stülpnagel on 19 September. Rather than keeping the hostage policy or hostage execu- tions secret to avoid popular unrest, the Minister of Propaganda advised the MBF to explain the hostage policy to the French nation and publish a list of hostages. Goebbels suggested that, after each resistance attack, the military administration should simply execute hostages whose names appeared at the top of the published list. He thought that this would force all hostages and their allies to do everything in their power to squelch resistance activ- ity.47 Goebbels’ plan sacrificed the appearance of a benign occupation in exchange for a ruthless and invincible reputation. At the very least, the letter told the MBF that Goebbels would not support a moderate anti-partisan policy. Obviously, Goebbels preferred sticks over carrots and assumed an unusual policy stance in light of his position as Propaganda Minister. While outlining Hitler’s strategy against partisans, the 16 September decree clearly articulated several tenets of National Socialism. It intimidated all Frenchmen, blamed resistance activity on communists, and called for bloody reprisals. In most respects, Hitler’s anti-partisan policy had little 45 DGFP, ser. D, vol XIII, pp. 150, 154. 46 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 149–156; Blood, Hitler’s Bandit Hunters, pp. 64–5. 47 USNA,RG242/T-501/97/407–408;BAMA,RH3(OKHGeneralquartiermeister)/204/7. 125 after the fall in common with military tradition, international law, or customs that correlated punishments with the gravity of the original crime. As such, it contradicted the strategy and tactics designed by the MBF and military administration between July 1940 and September 1941. In light of the 7 September Hitler/Wagner telegram, the MBF had reason to believe that he and his policies did not enjoy Hitler’s favor. Shortly after the Hitler/Keitel directive arrived on 16 September, General von Stülpnagel discussed his situation with Field Marshal von Brauchitsch. The commander of the German army did not think the 16 September order had to be taken literally. He believed that the number of hostage executions could be ‘adjusted’ to suit circumstances in France and advised Stülpnagel to treat the document as a policy guideline. Although he understood the ‘difficulties’ that the MBF faced, Brauchitsch thought that Stülpnagel had Spielraum—room to maneuver.48 Figure 5.1. General Otto von Stülpnagel (right) consults Field Marshal Walter von Brauchitsch in Paris, 21 May 1941. Photograph courtesy of Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H29377. 48 BAMA, RW 35/46/66. 126 resistance and reprisals Both Generals Warlimont (OKW Operations, planning staff) and Wagner (OKH General Quartermaster) heard of the MBF’s conversation with Field Marshal von Brauchitsch and tried to set General von Stülpnagel straight in separate messages. On 18 September 1941, Warlimont told the MBF that ‘[p]lots against the occupying army’ must be crushed ‘with all sharpness, regardless of the state in which they occurred.’ He explained that Hitler continued to blame Moscow for all resistance activity and believed that Vichy would not object if Germany liquidated undesirable people. According to Warlimont, the 16 September order could not be adjusted to suit local circumstances.49 General Wagner spoke with Major Crome, the intelligence officer of the MBF’s command staff (Kommandostab) on 19 September. Without mincing words, Wagner told Crome that Brauchitsch misunderstood his superiors in Berlin. The major allowed the matter to drop and turned his attention toward other problems. Curfews imposed by the Commandant of greater Paris, Crome asserted, forced French workers to arrive late and leave early. As a result, military production suffered. The quartermaster refused to intervene but suggested that curfews be imposed over holidays or the weekends. Like Warlimont, Wagner did not help the military administration moderate reprisals that damaged the German war effort. General von Stülpnagel received no support from superiors in Berlin.50 Wagner passed along Hitler’s first critique of the MBF’s ‘mild’ policy on 7 September 1941. Nine days later, Keitel sent orders that explicitly denounced gradual methods. A few days after that, Warlimont and Wag- ner told the military administration that Hitler meant business with the 16 September decree. Although the 7 September Wagner/Hitler telegram demanded an immediate response, the MBF held his tongue. A full month after he received Hitler’s original critique from Wagner, General von Stülpnagel finally answered Hitler’s charges one by one. Stülpnagel began by pointing out that the military administration had reported the Hoffmann attack to the supreme commander of German forces on the western front (Oberbefehlshaber West or Ob West) but, because of the Moser affair and other pressing matters, did not think the incident worthy of a special report to Berlin. In the future, he promised to report 49 BAMA, RW 35/536/13. 50 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/1069; Fattig, ‘Reprisal,’ pp. 61–8. 127 after the fall similar attacks to Berlin immediately. The MBF also reported that over 4,000 Frenchmen who came from every walk of life and shade of the political spectrum were being held in German prison camps and had been designated as hostages. He saw no need to arrest additional hostages and implied that Hitler did not really understand the situation in France.51 Without mincing words, Stülpnagel then argued that three hostage executions were indeed an appropriate response to the Hoffmann attack. He lauded French anti-terrorist efforts and insisted that bloody reprisals would undermine German allies throughout the Hexagon. The MBF wanted to gradually increase his response to resistance activity and specifically rejected a ‘schematic’ or predetermined solution to any particular attack. Mass executions, Stülpnagel explained, might encourage passive resistance among French workers and endanger German troops who depended on French supplies. More than his colleagues in Berlin, the MBF understood the scope and value of French collaboration. To further strengthen his case, Stülpnagel pointed out that Ambas- sador Abetz shared the MBF’s interpretation of events. Apparently Hitler did not discuss the question of reprisals during a 16 September 1941 meeting with the ambassador, but Abetz did oppose reprisals that were carried out toward the end of October because they turned the French public against Germany.52 The Paris embassy often criticized Stülpnagel and coveted the authority of the military administration. During the fall of 1941, the ambassador tried to control the selection of hostages, but he was rebuffed by military leaders in Berlin.53 With regard to reprisals, Abetz set his ambition aside and tried to help the MBF moderate Hitler’s reprisal policy in order to advance his policy of Franco-German collaboration. The final paragraph of Stülpnagel’s 11 October letter to OKH described the current situation as ‘unbearable.’ The MBF believed that mass execu- tions ran counter to the basic political guidelines issued before and after the Armistice Agreement. He requested a new statement of Germany’s objectives and asked for an immediate recall if compelled to obey the 7 and 16 September orders. The MBF demanded some room to maneuver and backed it up with an offer to resign. Stülpnagel’s de?marche arrived during 51 BAMA, RW 35/543/23–25. 52 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 518–520, 682–5; Lambauer, Otto Abetz et les Fran?cais, p. 429. 53 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/354. 128 resistance and reprisals the climax of one of the great encirclement battles of World War Two: Operation Typhoon. His vitriolic reply must have seemed insignificant when compared to news that German troops had surrounded over 660,000 Soviet soldiers near Vyazma.54 Favorable news from the eastern front probably took the sting out of Stülpnagel’s protest, but the fundamental disagreement remained. Assassinations carried out by resistance groups in August and September 1941 reveal a difference of opinion within the German military hierarchy. As he responded to the Moser, Hoffman, and Scheben attacks, the MBF tried to focus reprisals on bona fide opponents and followed traditional Ger- man military doctrine, but his response did not satisfy Nazis in Berlin. Hitler rejected Stülpnagel’s reprisals because they did not reflect Nazi racial ideas. Although he initially allowed the MBF to act as he saw fit, Keitel lived up to his nickname Lakaitel (an amalgamation of his surname and the German word Lakai, meaning lackey), embraced Hitler’s point of view, abandoned his subordinate, and ordered the execution of 50–100 Frenchmen for each German killed by resistance groups. Senior generals in Berlin quickly followed suit, repeated Hitler’s formula, and denounced Stülpnagel’s meth- ods. Critiques advanced by Keitel, Warlimont, and Wagner reveal Hitler’s influence over his military coterie. Pressure generated by French resistance activity divided political generals in Berlin from field commanders in Paris. While the MBF bickered with superiors in Berlin, the Paris branch of the SS/SD chose to act. In the fall of 1941, Eugene Deloncle, a veteran of the Cagoule and founder of the ultra-fascist Mouvement Social Re?volutionnaire, asked his SS/SD patrons to help him avenge assassination attempts against Pierre Laval and Marcel De?at that were carried out on 27 August.55 With Heydrich and Knochen’s approval, SS Major (Sturmbannführer) Sommer procured explosives from Berlin and, on the afternoon of 2 October, distributed twelve bombs to four of Deloncle’s followers. Later that night, the men drove around Paris and bombed seven synagogues. One of the explosives proved to be a dud, but the remaining eleven damaged six temples, shattered nearby windows, and wounded two soldiers who were guarding an adjacent German dormitory.56 54 Glantz and House, When Titans Clashed, pp. 78–81. 55 Gordon, Collaborationism in France during the Second World War, p. 68; Nogue`res, Histoire de la Re?sistance en France, vol. II, pp. 105–108. 56 BAMA, RH 3/142/258–261. 129 after the fall Since the early days of the Occupation, SS agents stationed in France had stood far from the nexus of power. Only the military administration and their subordinates in the GFP had executive authority or the ability to make arrests. Unable to do serious police work, the SS studied anti- German groups, helped the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, and advised the Paris embassy. In keeping with their ‘academic’ mission, SS agents confiscated artwork and pillaged the archives of various Jewish institutions. They also purged the French economy of Jewish influences by determining the racial background of business owners.57 Unaware of Major Sommer’s involvement in the synagogue bombings, the MBF asked the resident expert on Jewish affairs—the SS—for additional information about the attacks. The task of answering Stülpnagel’s questions fell to SS Lieutenant- Colonel (Obersturmbannführer) Helmut Knochen. The SS deputy comman- der faced a very dangerous political situation because two German soldiers had been wounded in the bombings. To reduce his liability, Knochen limited his response to passing along rumors, newspaper accounts, and French police reports. He told the MBF that most Frenchmen attributed the attacks to Jews who were trying to elicit public sympathy. Pointing to the organized nature of the attacks, French gendarmes suspected that Deloncle stood behind the bombings. Knochen also observed that Germans may have carried out the attacks because anyone else on the streets between two and four in the morning would have been arrested for violating the curfew. Some press reports, he added, suggested that Englishmen may have carried out the attacks. Submitted on 4 October, Knochen’s report did not reveal SS involvement.58 Knochen and Sommer nearly covered up the SS’s role in the synagogue bombings. On the night of the attacks, Sommer had been out drinking with a German naval officer and had a solid alibi, but the naval officer later informed the military administration that Sommer had met with men who were associated with Deloncle very early in the morning of 3 October, declared ‘that has gone very well,’ and mentioned something about explosive charges. After conducting additional inquiries, officials assigned to the Commandant of greater Paris traced the truck used in 57 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/655–656; BAMA, RW 35/2/1–46. 58 BAMA, RH 3/142/263–264. 130 resistance and reprisals Figure 5.2. Helmut Knochen. Photograph courtesy of the Bundesarchiv, Bild 101III-Alber-096–11. the attacks back to the SS. When questioned by military police, Sommer accused the naval officer of being drunk and denied any part in the seven bombings, but only six attacks had been reported in the press because one of the charges had not detonated. Sommer’s mistake incriminated the SS, and his subsequent denial linked Knochen to the affair.59 59 BAMA, RH 3/142/257–261; Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, p. 104. 131 after the fall Acting on orders from Heydrich, Sommer and Knochen fled to Berlin as the cover-up fell apart. With damaging evidence in hand, General von Stülpnagel reported the matter to the commander of the army (Oberbe- fehlshaber des Heeres) on 8 October. He demanded the recall of Sommer, accused Knochen of submitting a false report, and complained that both had placed the military administration in a difficult situation vis-a`-vis the French government. After the Moser assassination, Stülpnagel had promised to shoot hostages if more German soldiers were attacked. Although two German sentries were wounded in the synagogue bombings, the MBF could not carry out reprisals because the SS had organized the campaign. He could either admit German complicity and seem inept or do nothing and appear inconsistent. Either way, Stülpnagel’s prestige suffered. General Wagner passed Stülpnagel’s complaint to Heydrich and asked for the recall of Dr. Max Thomas, the head of the entire SS contingent, because a leader should be held accountable for the actions of his subordinates.60 Although he had immense power, Heydrich had to reply with great care in light of the grave charges leveled against the SS. In his 6 November response to OKH, Himmler’s right-hand man argued that Jews had to be punished for the wave of sabotage and assassination. By encouraging Deloncle’s followers to attack synagogues, Heydrich tried to show that Germany had allies in the war against ‘international Judaism.’ The fact that Nazi Germany had allies, he explained, far outweighed any damage to the MBF’s prestige. Heydrich had attacked ‘the responsible arsonist in Europe, which must finally disappear,’ with the approval of ‘a higher office.’ He claimed that General von Stülpnagel did not really understand the ideological war that the Nazis were fighting and told Wagner that ‘I was fully conscious of the political implications of measures (against the Paris synagogues), since I have been authorized for many years to prepare the final solution to the Jewish question in Europe.’ Without admitting any malfeasance, Heydrich recalled Thomas and Sommer but left Knochen in Paris. With the Final Solution looming on the immediate horizon, Heydrich needed ruthless anti-Semites on the eastern front.61 OKH and the MBF both rejected Heydrich’s explanation. They accused the SS of violating agreements that outlined the responsibilities of the Black 60 BAMA, RH 3/142/252–256, 271–272. 61 BAMA, RH 3/142/293–296. Burrin, Hitler and the Jews, pp. 124–5. 132 resistance and reprisals Corps in France. Unless compelled by an emergency situation, the SS did not have the power to act without the approval of the MBF, and the bombing of synagogues did not qualify as an emergency. Furthermore, Himmler had promised to tell OKW about any new orders that might affect the political situation in France. But the MBF could not force the SS to keep its promises. When it allowed the Black Corps into France in 1940, the army conceded the right to prosecute wayward SS men in a military court martial. Without the power to prosecute SS offenders, neither the MBF nor OKH could hold the SS to its word.62 Concessions that had appeared insignificant in 1940 began to haunt the army in 1941. Disagreements over the confiscation of Jewish art had strained army–SS relations in 1940. After the October 1941 synagogue bombings, Stülpnagel ordered his subordinates not to speak with SS officers in public or private and banned the Black Corps from his headquarters in the Hotel Majestic. The twin legacies of art confiscations and the synagogue bombings ensured that army–SS relations would never be cordial in France. In light of Hitler’s Weltanschauung, his criticism of the MBF, and the 16 September directive, the Black Corps stood to gain a great deal by championing radical measures against the racial enemies of the Reich. The synagogue bombings distinguished the SS from the traditional Wehrmacht and placed the former in an ideal position to succeed the latter when Hitler launched the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. Without any political or economic responsibilities in France, the SS had nothing to lose.63 62 BAMA,RH3/142/297–300;BAMA,RW35/698/27–28;BAMA,RW35/209/211–212. 63 Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, pp. 103 – 106; BAK, N 1023/8/11 – 12; BAK, All. Proz. 21/217/129. 133 6 The end of ambiguity Like their German opponents, French resistance groups suffered from internal divisions. After the 1940 Armistice, French nationalists could, among other things, support a Vichy regime that collaborated with France’s traditional enemy, join a rather unknown General de Gaulle in London, take independent action against Germany, or do nothing and watch events unfold. Charles de Gaulle led a diverse group of expatriates in London but had little influence inside metropolitan France before 1942. Discredited by defeat, moderate political parties remained in disarray throughout the Vichy era and could not lead potential dissidents. French Communists rebuilt an organization that had been ravaged by arrests ordered by the Reynaud, Daladier, and Pe?tain governments. The French Communist Party (PCF) discussed policies of resistance and collaboration but generally followed an attentiste or wait-and-see strategy before the invasion of the Soviet Union. Regardless of their political orientation, anti-German individuals enjoyed little support from traditional political parties before June 1941.1 The invasion of the Soviet Union forced the PCF to embrace a policy of resistance and raised a series of tactical questions. Should the PCF join forces with Charles de Gaulle in London? How should it attack Nazi Germany? The bulk of the communist party adopted a policy of resistance limited to sabotage, propaganda, and passive resistance. While dangerous and heroic, 1 E?ric Roussel, Charles de Gaulle (Paris: Gallimard, 2002), pp. 232–4; Laborie, L’Opinion fran?caise sous Vichy, pp. 266–274. the end of ambiguity none of these actions could defeat Nazi Germany on their own. Some factions within left-wing resistance groups chose to go one step further. Based on their first-hand experiences with Nazi methods, some immigrants from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and other eastern European nations joined a faction of the PCF known as the Main-d’œuvre immigre?e (MOI) and pushed for more direct action. Veterans of the Spanish Civil War and a number of young left-wing zealots rejected the PCF’s temperate approach and chose to attack Germany directly. In Paris, MOI militants coalesced around Albert Ouzoulias and Pierre Georges (aka Fredo and later Colonel Fabien). Together, they formed what later became known as the bataillons de la jeunesse and embarked on a campaign of sabotage and assassination.2 During August and September, the bataillons de la jeunesse confined their activities to the Paris region. Their efforts resulted in the Moser, Hoffmann, and Scheben assassinations. Around 15 October, Ouzoulias and Georges dispatched three incendiary groups (groupes de brûlots) to provincial centers. Maurice Le Berre and Jacques d’Andurain traveled to Rouen and, with help from a local resistance group, destroyed a section of the Rouen–Le Havre railroad line on 19 October. Gilbert Brustlein and Guisco Spartaco assassinated a German officer in Nantes on the very next day. Pierre Rebie`re met French and Spanish resistance fighters in Bordeaux and killed a German official on 21 October.3 Although the railroad sabotage in Rouen did not pass unnoticed, assassinations in Nantes and Bordeaux provoked massive German reprisals and accelerated the spiral of violence that had begun in August with the Moser assassination. Assassinations carried out by the groupes de brûlots transformed three critical relationships in France during World War Two. First, they strained Franco-German relations. Subsequent German reprisals dispelled the neutral or, in some cases, positive image of the German occupiers and pushed some Frenchmen toward resistance. Cordial collaboration devolved into begrudging acquiescence. Second, assassinations and reprisals divided the military administration in Paris from superiors in Berlin. While Stülpnagel 2 Taylor, Between Resistance and Collaboration, pp. 61–2; Albert Ouzoulias, Les Bataillons de la jeunesse (Paris: E?ditions sociales, 1967); Courtois et al., Le Sang de l’e?tranger, pp. 123–4; Oury, Rue du Roi-Albert, pp. 61–5. 3 Ouzoulias, Les Fils de la Nuit, pp. 177–185; Nogue`res, Histoire de la Re?sistance en France, vol. II, pp. 147–152. 135 after the fall viewed resistance as a political and military phenomenon, Hitler believed it to be the result of a Judeo-Bolshevik conspiracy and focused his policy accordingly. Rather than carry out a policy that he thought to be unwise, Otto von Stülpnagel first protested through official channels and later resigned his command. Third, bitter argument over German reprisal policy strained relations between German agencies that operated in Paris. As they struggled to control reprisal policy, the army, Foreign Office, and SS fought with each other. Debate aggravated latent antagonisms and undermined any spirit of cooperation. Franco-German and German inter- agency cooperation determined the success or failure of policy initiatives during the final two years of the Occupation. Around 7:45 on the morning of Monday, 20 October 1941, Gilbert Brustlein and Guisco Spartaco walked across Nantes’s Place de la Cathe?drale toward a pair of German officers who were on their way to work. After selecting their prey, both men drew pistols and opened fire. Spartaco’s pistol jammed and his quarry escaped unscathed, but three of the shots fired by Brustlein struck the second German officer in the back. According to Brustlein’s account, the mortally wounded German ‘fell down howling like a slaughtered pig’ as the two guerrillas made their escape. Although he did not know it at the time, Brustlein had just killed Lieutenant-Colonel Karl Friedrich Hotz, the Feldkommandant of Nantes.4 News of the assassination traveled up the German chain of command. First Lieutenant Kalbhenn, the local intelligence officer in Nantes, told his superior in Angers, Captain Dr. Schrader, about the attack around eight in the morning, and Schrader immediately passed the news along to Major Crome, the intelligence officer for the MBF Kommandostab in Paris.5 Schrader and representatives from the GFP and SD then drove from Angers to Nantes so they could direct the German response. When the three officers arrived in Nantes, they spoke with two officials who were attached to the local military administration. The five officers sealed off the center of the city and arrested the French prefect, his cabinet chiefs, and other local notables for ‘anti-German activity.’6 4 Gildea, Marianne in Chains, pp. 243–6; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1588/01/nfn (MVW Bezirk B, Abt Ic Nr 1002/41, Lagebericht der Abt Ic für die Zeit vom 16.9 bis 15.11.41); Oury, Rue du Roi-Albert, pp. 92–3. 5 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1624/49; USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/416–422. 6 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/423–424. 136 the end of ambiguity Although they had followed established procedures, events overtook the junior officers in Nantes. Hitler learned of the attack around 10:30 a.m. and discussed the matter with Field Marshal Keitel in Berlin. The latter called General von Stülpnagel and passed along the Führer’s view of the matter. According to Keitel, Hitler saw the attack as ‘momentous proof’ of English activity in occupied France and wanted to set an example. Speaking through Keitel, the Führer advised the MBF to execute 100–150 hostages, impose a curfew throughout southwest France, and offer a 1 million gold-franc reward (to be paid by the Vichy government, naturally) for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators. Hitler believed that countermea- sures would intimidate neutral Frenchmen and force anti-German guerrillas to suspend resistance activity. Without indigenous support, English agents would not be able to operate in France and resistance activity would even- tually collapse. In Hitler’s opinion, mild countermeasures that had been suggested by the MBF would not paralyze opponents with fear and were thus ‘inexpedient.’7 Early in the afternoon, Stülpnagel discussed possible German reprisals with Eduard Wagner, the General Quartermaster of the Army. After learning that Field Marshal von Brauchitsch, the commander of OKH, had approved Hitler’s measures, Stülpnagel asked Wagner to delay the executions for at least three days so police could gather evidence and interrogate suspects. Preoccupied by his primary job of supplying the eastern front, Wagner viewed the assassinations as a ‘great big filthy mess’ (eine gro?ßere Schweinerei) and was not eager to execute hostages, but he passed Stülpnagel’s suggestion along to Berlin, where it was discussed by both OKW and OKH.8 Unable to reach a consensus among themselves, the generals submitted Stülpnagel’s request for a delay to the Führer for a final decision. Although he had previously described the assassination as ‘momentous proof of English activity,’ Hitler blamed young communists, perhaps under the influence of Gaullists, for the attack during an afternoon conference. He told Stülpnagel to work with the French police, impose a 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew, arrest suspects from every criminal circle around Nantes, and offer a reward. Furthermore, the Führer ruled that fifty hostages should be executed right away, and he ordered another fifty 7 BAMA, RW 35/542/48–49. 8 Elisabeth Wagner (ed.), Der Generalquartiermeister: Briefe und Tagebuchaufzeichnungen des Generalquartiermeisters des Heeres (München and Wien: Günter Olzog Verlag, 1963), pp. 208–211. 137 after the fall hostages be executed on 23 October unless the men who killed Hotz were brought to justice.9 Hitler casually shifted blame from British agents to communist youths, demanded immediate reprisals without regard for the actual perpetrators, and used assassinations to justify the execution of Jews and communists. Major Crome, the MBF’s chief intelligence officer, ordered Captain Schrader, the head of military intelligence for the southwest region, to prepare a list of hostages. After consulting with the local military administration in Nantes, the SD in Rennes, and the Abwehr in Brest, Schrader worked throughout the night of 20/21 October to assemble a tally. He placed anti-German militants, ‘enemies of French civilization,’ and other convicts from the Nantes area at the top of his roster, but this approach yielded only sixty-eight names. Since he could not find 100 people who had been convicted by local German courts, Schrader searched for another source of hostages. He found his answer in the town of Chaˆteaubriant (Loire-Infe?rieur), where the military government oversaw a French prison that was filled with communists who had been arrested by the Vichy government. Although many of the prisoners had played a role in the PCF before World War Two, others, like 17-year-old Guy Moˆquet, had been imprisoned simply because his father had been a communist deputy. To fill his quota, Schrader selected another thirty-two prisoners who were somehow connected to the outlawed PCF.10 Under considerable pressure from superiors in Paris and Berlin, Captain Schrader selected 100 hostages in 10 hours. In theory, he should have prepared an index of potential hostages according to instructions issued by the MBF in September, but the captain had not taken the MBF’s September directive seriously and had to work all night to assemble the requisite list. Apparently Schrader had either not read or disregarded Keitel’s 16 September order about ‘Communist Insurrections in Occupied Areas’ that recommended that 50 or 100 hostages be executed for each German soldier killed by partisans. He later claimed that ‘nobody could be prepared for a list of 100.’11 On the morning of 21 October, Schrader sent his inventory of 100 names to Kriegesverwaltungschef Dr. Medicus, 9 BAMA, RW 35/542/48–51; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1624/49–51. 10 IMT,vol.XXXVII,pp.199–205;USNA,RG242/T-501/165/395–400,416–422;Gildea, Marianne in Chains, pp. 247–9; BAMA, RW 35/542/52. 11 USNA, RG 242/T-501/166/91–98; USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/417–418. 138 the end of ambiguity the head of the government subsection of the military administration (Verwaltungsstab Abteilung Verwaltung) in Bezirk B (Angers) for approval. Medicus or one of his subordinates removed the names of two decorated World War One veterans from the roster and then sent the changes back to Nantes.12 As the military administration vetted Schrader’s hostage list, the groupes de brûlots launched another attack in Bordeaux. Early on the evening of 21 October, an unidentified cyclist approached a civilian official working for the military administration, Kriegsverwaltungsrat Dr. Hans-Gottfried Reimers, as he walked home along Wilson Boulevard near the Rue Judaique. The assailant fired five shots and killed his victim before escaping into the darkness.13 When he learned that Lieutenant Colonel Hotz had been killed in Nantes on 20 October, Hitler ordered the execution of 100–150 hostages. General von Stülpnagel announced the reprisals, fine, and curfew to the French public on 21 October. Helped by the fact that Captain Schrader did not have a list of victims ready, the MBF delayed the first Nantes executions until 22 October. By this time, the resistance had struck again in Bordeaux. Rather than executing 100–150 hostages for each attack, Stülpnagel convinced his superiors to execute a total of 200 hostages for both attacks and split hostage executions into two contingents per city. The first Nantes contingent of forty-eight stood before a German firing squad on 22 October—the first anniversary of the Montoire agreement.14 In addition to minimizing the total number of executions and delaying the measures ordered by Hitler, General von Stülpnagel condemned Hitler’s policy through official channels. He informed General Wagner that the attacks were carried out by small terror groups and English soldiers or spies who move from place to place; that the majority of Frenchmen do not support them. I clearly believe that shooting hostages only embitters the people and makes future rapprochement more difficult . . . I personally have warned against Polish methods in France. 12 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/398, 418–424; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1587/8/nfn (Nr. 598/41 g.Kdos, 22 October 1941, Betr. Geiselerschiessung in Nantes und Chateaubriant am 22.10.41); Gildea, Marianne in Chains, p. 249. 13 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1585/folder 6/10; BAMA, RW 35/542/60–62. 14 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1587/folder 9/nfn (Nr. 598/41 g.Kdos, 22 October 1941, Betr. Geiselerschiessung in Nantes und Chateaubriant am 22.10.41); IMT, vol. XXXVII, pp. 200, 205 – 211. 139 after the fall Stülpnagel believed that a second round of executions would turn public opinion against Germany and added that ‘draconian countermeasures’ ran contrary to the long-term interests of the Reich. If the policy continued, the MBF claimed that Germany would have to arrest every male Frenchman between 16 and 60 years of age. In closing, Stülpnagel asked Wagner to present his opinions to Hitler and requested clear instructions with regard to reprisals.15 Nine hours after speaking with Stülpnagel, Wagner called back with news from the Führer. Hitler ordered the MBF to levy a fine and impose a curfew for each assassination. In addition, he directed the MBF to immediately execute 50 hostages in response to each attack. The first Nantes contingent perished on 22 October, and their compatriots from Bordeaux met their fate on 24 October. Unless either French or German authorities apprehended the perpetrators within 48 hours, Hitler threatened to execute a second contingent of 50 hostages for each attack.16 Stülpnagel secured time for an investigation, but his complaints irritated men like Wagner who preferred to ignore France in favor of pressing matters on the eastern front. While the MBF tried to limit the number of hostage executions, the Vichy regime tried to steer the German response toward common enemies. On the morning of the Nantes attack (20 October), Vichy’s Interior Minister, Pierre Pucheu, met with Major Beumelburg. Passing along a rumor started by the German Ministry of Propaganda, Pucheu suggested that English paratroopers or communists acting under British influence may have carried out the Nantes assassination.17 While the Interior Minister observed that stiff reprisals might damage Franco-German relations, his Chief of Staff, Fre?de?ric de La Rozie`re, joined the meeting. The latter added that Vichy had 5 or 600 subversives in an internment camp in Chaˆteaubriant. Pucheu offered Beumelburg a list of prisoners incarcerated in Chaˆteaubriant to reduce any potential friction between the military administration and Vichy that might emerge during the hostage selection process. Rather than oppose German reprisals altogether, the 15 USNA, RG 242/T-501/122/711–716. 16 Wagner, Der Generalquartiermeister, p. 211; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1624/50–52; BAMA, RW 35/542/63–69. 17 ElkeFro?hlich(ed.),DieTagebüchervonJosephGoebbels(München:K.G.Sauer,1996),vol.II, part 2, pp. 160, 168, entries dated 23 and 24 October 1941. 140 the end of ambiguity Vichy government tried to satiate Germany’s thirst for revenge with ‘expendable’ Frenchmen.18 Later that morning, Pucheu visited Field Marshal von Brauchitsch at his headquarters in Fontainebleau, conveyed Pe?tain’s regrets, and promised complete French cooperation during the German investigation. In addition, Pucheu handed Brauchitsch a police report that suggested the Nantes assassination had been carried out by English agents.19 After the second assassination in Bordeaux, representatives of the Vichy regime did not even bother to ask for clemency on humanitarian grounds as they had done after the Moser, Hoffmann, and Scheben cases. Instead, they argued that Frenchmen had not been responsible for the assassinations, suggested that massive reprisals might turn public opinion against the Reich, and tried to deflect German reprisals. Lobbying efforts of the Vichy government were not limited to ministers. Admiral Darlan, the head of the French government between February 1941 and April 1942, drove to Paris and met with General von Stülpnagel on the afternoon of 21 October. The admiral ‘understood the need for sharp countermeasures’ but wanted to make sure that German reprisals did not undermine Franco-German collaboration. Adopting a pragmatic approach, Darlan feared that mass executions would turn public opinion against Germany and not stop Great Britain from carrying out similar attacks in the future. He also observed that England would reap a propaganda victory because of the German policy.20 News of the Bordeaux attack reached Darlan shortly after his meeting with the MBF and forced the admiral to change tactics. He conceded the execution of the first 50 hostages for the Nantes attack and concentrated all of his efforts on saving the second contingent.21 After meeting with Stülpnagel during the day, Darlan addressed French- men over the radio on the evening of 22 October. The admiral described the murders as ‘cowardly,’ and he suggested that they had been carried out by foreign agents who wanted to sabotage a Franco-German peace agreement and delay the return of French prisoners of war. The head 18 BAMA, RW 35/543/63–64; Gildea, Marianne in Chains, p. 243. 19 BAMA, RW 35/1/50–51. 20 BAMA, RW 35/308/158 – 159; BAMA, RW 35/542/62 – 63; USNA, RG 242/T- 77/1624/55; Herve? Coutau-Be?garie and Claude Huan, Darlan (Paris: Fayard, 1989), pp. 459 – 461. 21 BAMA, RW 35/1/51; USNA, RG 242/T-501/166/768; Melton, Darlan, pp. 129–131. 141 after the fall of the French government admonished compatriots to obey the terms of the Armistice Agreement. He believed that every citizen was obliged to respect the 1940 Armistice Agreement and help the government catch the assassins. In no uncertain terms, Darlan condemned the attacks, but he did not comment on German reprisals.22 Although he rarely intervened in the regular business of the French government, Marshal Pe?tain also commented on the October assassinations. On 21 October in a message delivered by Ambassador Abetz, Pe?tain reminded Hitler of promises made during their meeting at Montoire and thanked the Führer for his ‘noble gesture.’ The obsequious note begged the Führer ‘to accept the assurances of my highest consideration’ but did mention recent assassinations.23 In a handwritten letter delivered by Admiral Darlan, the head of the French state asked the military administration to limit reprisals.24 Third, Marshal Pe?tain addressed the entire French nation over the radio on the evening of 22 October: Frenchmen, two shots have been fired at officers of the army of occupation: two are dead . . . This morning, fifty Frenchman have paid for these unspeakable crimes with their lives. Fifty more will be shot tomorrow if the guilty are not caught . . . Frenchmen, your duty is clear: the murders must stop. According to the Armistice, we set down our arms; we do not have the right to strike Germany in the back. The foreigner who ordered these crimes knows well that this is clearly murder.25 When communicating with the MBF, the marshal used conciliatory lan- guage to construct pragmatic arguments against mass reprisals. Speaking with Hitler, Pe?tain adopted a subservient tone, laced his messages with flattery, and did not even dare to mention the hostage executions. Perhaps because he feared Hitler more than French public opinion, Pe?tain explicitly condemned assassinations when addressing compatriots over the radio. Pe?tain and Darlan began to lobby the German government immediately after the Nantes assassination on 20 October, but they failed to stop the execution of either the first Nantes or Bordeaux contingents on 22 and 24 October respectively. On 24 October, Vichy’s Minister of the Interior, 22 USNA, RG 242/T-501/166/768. 23 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 673–4. The ‘noble gesture’ that Pe?tain referred to alludes to the return of the body of Napoleon I’s son, the Duke of Reichstadt, in December 1940. 24 BAMA, RW 35/308/158–159. 25 Jean-Claude Barbas (ed.), Discours aux Fran?cais, 17 juin 1940–10 août 1944 (Paris: Albin Michel, 1989), pp. 203–204. 142 the end of ambiguity Pucheu, informed Ambassador Abetz that Pe?tain planned to send Hitler a message over the radio: I cannot let the blood of those who had no part in these murders be spilled. I should betray my people if I did not address a solemn protest to you at this hour. If you refuse to hear my voice and if you need further hostages and victims, then take me. I shall be at the demarcation line in Moulins today at 2:00 p.m., where I shall consider myself your prisoner while awaiting your decision.26 In keeping with an archaic sense of chivalry, the aged marshal tried to exchange his own freedom in return for clemency for the second two hostage contingents. The marshal’s plan, which Abetz attributed to the chief of Pe?tain’s civil cabinet, Henri du Moulin de Labarthe`te, had some merits. The offer increased Pe?tain’s stature inside France and fortified the ‘Pe?tain as shield, de Gaulle as sword’ interpretation of the Vichy era. If Hitler accepted the deal, the military administration would have to shoot Pe?tain or stop executing hostages altogether in the event of continued assassinations. While the former course might turn the entire French nation against Germany, the latter policy could make Germany look weak. If Hitler and the military administration accepted Pe?tain as a hostage, the Reich would be placed in a difficult political situation.27 Pe?tain’s plan also posed difficulties for the Vichy regime. On 9 July 1940, the French National Assembly abandoned the 1875 constitution. The next day, it placed both executive and legislative authority in Pe?tain’s hands and authorized him to write a new constitution. Until he drafted a new system of government, the marshal had almost unlimited power to rule France as ‘the Head of the French State.’ He could appoint or dismiss ministers, sign proposed legislation into law, and only had to consult the National Assembly if he wanted to declare war.28 Although Pe?tain had designated Admiral Darlan as his successor, the marshal’s departure could only weaken the government and undermine his National Revolution. Admiral Darlan, Interior Minister Pucheu, and other members of the Vichy government understood the risks associated with the marshal’s idea. On the morning of 24 October, they told Pe?tain that his departure 26 BAMA, RW 35/46/82. 27 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1588/folder 01/1–4; DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 682–5; USNA, RG 242/T-120/685/259187–88; Nogue`res, Histoire de la Re?sistance en France, vol. 2, pp. 153–5. 28 Paxton, Vichy France, pp. 24–33. 143 after the fall would create a constitutional problem for the Vichy regime and have incalculable political consequences. Darlan and Pucheu appealed to the marshal’s sense of duty, scotched the plan, and saved Germany from having to reject the offer.29 Even though they opposed Pe?tain’s scheme, Darlan and Pucheu tried to use it to extract concessions from the MBF. During an afternoon meeting with Benoist-Me?chin and Stülpnagel, Pucheu told the MBF that Pe?tain might still offer himself as a hostage unless Germany declined to execute the second contingents of hostages for the Nantes and Bordeaux attacks. Vichy’s Interior Minister observed that Pe?tain’s initiative could confirm the impracticability of collaboration and transform Franco- German relations. Stülpnagel took their threats seriously and immediately telegraphed a summary of the 24 October meeting to Berlin.30 As General von Stülpnagel had predicted, draconian reprisals damaged Germany’s reputation. Diplomats from several south and central Amer- ican countries supported Vichy’s request for leniency. In a fit of pique, Ribbentrop ignored their complaints and refused to speak with those who questioned Hitler’s methods.31 The President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, condemned hostage executions in sweeping terms: The practice of executing scores of innocent hostages in reprisal for isolated attacks on Germans in countries temporarily under the Nazi heel revolts a world already inured to suffering and brutality. Civilized peoples long ago adopted the basic principle that no man should be punished for the deed of another. Unable to apprehend the persons involved in these attacks the Nazis characteristically slaughter fifty or a hundred innocent persons. Those who would ‘collaborate’ with Hitler or try to appease him cannot ignore this ghastly warning . . . These are the acts of desperate men who know in their hearts that they cannot win.32 Prime Minister Churchill wholeheartedly endorsed the American presi- dent’s words and added that the hostage executions were ‘a foretaste of what Hitler would inflict upon the British and American peoples if only he could get the power.’33 Hostage executions alienated neutral powers and provided Britain with a propaganda bonanza. 29 BAMA, RW 35/542/67–69; DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 684–5; Aron, The Vichy Regime, pp. 458–9. 30 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/1096–1098. 31 USNA, RG 242/T-501/122/711–716; Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, p. 277. 32 ‘FDR on the Execution of Hostages by the Nazis’ in Department of State Bulletin, 25 October 1941. Checked 12 March 2008. 33 ‘Mr. Churchill on a ‘‘Foretaste’’ ’, The Times, 27 October 1941, p. 4. 144 the end of ambiguity Charles de Gaulle could not take advantage of initial German reprisals. He remained in central Africa while the Moser affair unfolded and he had to unravel a nasty dispute with the British government after returning to London on 1 September 1941. While Stülpnagel responded to the Hoffmann and Scheben assassinations, de Gaulle outmaneuvered politi- cal rivals within the Free French movement and established the French National Committee (or CNF) on 24 September.34 With his diplomat- ic and political affairs in order, the general stood ready to condemn reprisals that followed the Nantes and Bordeaux assassinations. During a 23 October radio broadcast, de Gaulle expressed neither surprise nor outrage at the first round of executions; he expected Germans to act ‘like Germans’ and never doubted their ‘ferocious’ nature. Despite an angry preamble, the general counseled a policy of prudence in the body of his address: In the present circumstances the directive I give for the occupied territory is not to kill Germans. This, for a single but very good reason, is because it is too easy for the enemy to retaliate by the massacre of temporarily disarmed combatants. On the other hand, as soon as it is possible to attack, you will receive appropriate orders. Until then, patience, preparation, resolution.35 Although he had little if any influence over left-wing resistance groups that carried out the attacks in Nantes and Bordeaux, de Gaulle did not want to exchange the lives of 50 or 100 French civilians for the death of a single German officer and ordered his followers to stand down. As a professional soldier, de Gaulle discounted guerrilla warfare and believed that the liberation could not begin until regular soldiers landed in France.36 The arrest of ‘a wanted terrorist’ in Nantes on 24 October and de Gaulle’s timely retreat convinced Hitler that he had won. Speaking to General Wag- ner over the telephone in the evening of 24 October, the Führer ordered OKH to spare hostages associated with de Gaulle’s movement. During the same conversation, Hitler assumed responsibility for the reprisals, informed the MBF and OKH that they were not liable for any political repercus- sions caused by German executions, and reserved the right to intervene 34 Lacouture, De Gaulle: The Rebel, pp. 305–315; Roussel, Charles de Gaulle, pp. 243–9. 35 Charles de Gaulle, Discours et messages, vol. I (Paris: Plon, 1970), pp. 122–3. 36 Charles De Gaulle, The Complete War Memoirs of Charles de Gaulle, pp. 262–4; Lacouture, De Gaulle: The Rebel, pp. 369–378. 145 after the fall in subsequent crises. Three days later, he postponed the execution of the second Nantes and Bordeaux contingents for two more days. In a rare show of what was for him benevolence, Hitler suspended the execution of both groups indefinitely on 28 October.37 Diplomatic pressure, effective police work, and de Gaulle’s timely retreat may have encouraged the Führer to spare the second Nantes and Bordeaux contingents. Perhaps thinking that his reprisals had cowed some opponents, Hitler was willing to be relatively magnanimous. In several respects, French public opinion confirmed Hitler’s opinion. Nantes citizens believed Lieutenant-Colonel Hotz to be a decent man and 3,000 attended his funeral. The mayor of Nantes declared him to be ‘good,’ and Admiral Darlan believed Hotz to be ‘particularly considerate’ and ‘in no sense a Hitlerian.’ Most locals genuinely condemned the assassination, feared German reprisals, and shared little sympathy with the perpetrators. A Nantes restaurant owner later identified one of the assassins, and many concluded that her tip and public condemnation saved the second hostage contingent. Rallying behind Marshal Pe?tain, they interpreted events surrounding the Nantes assassination as a victory for collaboration, not a clarion call for resistance.38 General von Stülpnagel and the military administration viewed execu- tions as a propaganda disaster, but the Paris embassy saw reprisals in a very different light. In a carefully worded telegram sent to the Foreign Ministry on the night of 25 October, Abetz discounted French protests. The ambassador suggested that some members of the French cabinet were secretly pleased by the executions because ‘the major part of the hostages are communists, and with them disappear elements undesirable to the Government.’ Other French leaders welcomed the executions as a means to foster patriotic sentiments, overcome political divisions, and create ‘a morally united front against the Germans, which is desired by Vichy.’ A third group had ‘more confidence in the European and socialist objectives of the occupying power than in the program of their own government.’ The ambassador believed that most French officials did not object to the 37 USNA, T-77/1588/folder 001/9–10; DGFP, ser D., vol. XIII, pp. 684–5; BAMA, RW 35/542/69; BAMA, RW 35/308/149–150; Hans Luther, Der franzo?sische Widerstand gegen die deutsche Besatzungsmacht und seine Beka?mpfung (Tübingen: Institut für Bestazungsfragen, 1957), pp. 202–213. 38 Oury, Rue du Roi-Albert, pp. 98, 99, 102; Gildea, Marianne in Chains, pp. 243–4, 250, 256–8. 146 39 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 682–5. 41 DGFP, ser. D, vol XIII, p. 684. 40 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 730–732. 42 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, p. 685. the end of ambiguity German reprisals, but he added that the basis of official French support varied dramatically.39 Abetz also discounted Pe?tain’s offer to serve as a hostage. He described the marshal’s proposal as the result of cabinet intrigue engineered by the chief of the marshal’s civil cabinet, Moulin de Labarthe`te. According to Abetz, the latter tried to get rid of Pe?tain just as he successfully ousted Laval on 13 December 1940. If imprisoned as a hostage, Pe?tain could not dismiss General Weygand, the Commissioner of French colonial possessions in North Africa who allegedly favored the Allies.40 Aside from Darlan and Pucheu, the German ambassador had little confidence in the people around Marshal Pe?tain. The Paris embassy casually dismissed Pe?tain’s offer to serve as a hostage and discounted concerns raised by the military administration. Furthermore, Abetz suggested that German reprisals had a salutary effect on French policemen. Although he had no official contact with police officials, the ambassador claimed that French policemen had not fully cooperated with German authorities during previous investigations. Like most of the public, Vichy policemen were alarmed by the executions and would now do ‘all that is humanly possible . . . to avoid further executions.’41 In the ambassador’s opinion, draconian reprisals improved Franco-German collaboration. In this respect, the ambassador’s observations matched Hitler’s expectations. Playing both sides of the field, the ambassador described public opinion as markedly different from official attitudes: [T]he attitude of the French population does not provide any prerequisite for these assassinations of members of the Wehrmacht; indeed, in recent weeks there has been a noticeable improvement among the masses in the attitude toward Germany . . . The French public is uniform in condemning the murders and the treacherous manner of their execution. If the remaining 100 hostages are executed, however, there exists the danger that the indignation of the people about the assassinations will be transformed into indignation at the reprisals which are disproportionately high according to local opinion.42 The ambassador hedged his analysis by describing official reaction to German reprisals as surreptitiously positive, but characterized the public response as negative and potentially damaging. He supported executions 147 after the fall that had already been carried out but advised his superiors to spare the remaining hostages. In other words, the ambassador fecklessly straddled the fence. While sections of his 25 October report were ambiguous, Abetz did not miss a chance to attack the military administration. He told his superiors in Berlin that I have personally expressed the view to the military authorities that the reprisals ordered were entirely appropriate if the situation reports on France sent to the Führer’s Headquarters by almost all the German officers in Paris, in contrast to those of the Embassy for the past year and a half, were true, that is, if the overwhelming majority of the population were actually de Gaullist and anti-German.43 The MBF had made no such claims. A situation report sent to Berlin for the months of August and September 1941 characterized the French position as ‘attentiste.’ According to the military administration, French public opinion followed the lead of the Vichy regime and adopted a wait-and-see stance toward Germany in the fall of 1941. The vast majority of Frenchmen condemned resistance assassinations and German reprisals. From the perspective of the military administration in the Hotel Majestic, only a small minority of Frenchmen favored de Gaulle or supported resistance activity.44 The ambassador described the Vichy regime as a small group of sincere collaborators who were surrounded by a large number of anti-German conspirators. Abetz distorted the views of the military administration and condemned the MBF’s response to the Nantes and Bordeaux assassinations in an attempt to gain an advantage within the German hierarchy. He implied the military administration did not really understand French politics and suggested that the Paris embassy could better manage the selection of French hostages. However, even the ambassador’s tortured prose could not obscure the fact that both the Paris embassy and the military administration needed to limit bloody German reprisals. By 7 December, the Paris embassy had stopped attacking the MBF for the way that he had handled reprisals. In a telex on 7 December to the Foreign Office in Berlin, Abetz asked his superiors to support General von Stülpnagel’s request for a free hand so that the MBF could respond to resistance activity on a case-by-case basis. 43 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 682–3. 44 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/940–941, 1144–1146, 1172–1175. 148 the end of ambiguity The ambassador finally recognized that a hard and fast policy of draconian reprisals could not benefit the German embassy in Paris or its French clients.45 In addition to pressure from Vichy and Ambassador Abetz, the MBF also had to contend with Joseph Goebbels. The Propaganda Minister believed that the MBF did not understand Clausewitz’s description of war as an extension of politics and described General von Stülpnagel as politically naïve. He lobbied OKW to impose harsh reprisals and confessed a desire to control German policy in Belgium, Holland, and occupied France.46 Goebbels interpreted the Moser assassination as a simple test of German authority. If the military administration imposed harsh reprisals at the first sign of resistance, he thought Germany’s opponents would quickly acquiesce.47 (W)hat prevents us from arresting about three hundred leading communists, publishing a list of those prisoners, and explaining that, after each new assassination, fifteen communist leaders at the top of the list will be executed? The communists would protect themselves and prevent further stupid youthful pranks. But our military commanders in western Europe follow an exact scheme. Nothing gets through to them. They only appeal to force, and not very cleverly or with great intelligence.48 As the MBF ordered an ever-increasing number of reprisal executions, Goebbels moderated his criticism. He thought the execution of twelve hostages had a ‘wholesome’ and ‘sobering’ effect on the French public and believed the general situation in France had actually improved by the end of September. Attributing the improved situation in Paris to his own intervention, Goebbels thought that Frenchmen would gradually turn against resistance groups.49 Hitler appeared to endorse Goebbels’ policy during a meeting on 24 September 1941 with the Minister of Propaganda. 45 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/354; Schumann and Nestler (eds.), Die faschistische Okkupa- tionspolitik in Frankreich, 1940–1944, p. 189. 46 Kershaw, Hitler 1936–1945, p. 35; Elke Fro?hlich, ‘Joseph Goebbels: the propagandist,’ in Smelser and Zitelmann (eds.), The Nazi Elite, pp. 48–61; BAMA, RH 3/204/7; USNA, RG 242/T-501/97/381 – 382. 47 Fro?hlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, vol. II, part 1, pp. 291, 303, 326, 296. Diary entries dated 22 August, 24 August, 29 August, and 23 August 1941. 48 Fro?hlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, vol. II, part 1, pp. 326–7. Diary entry dated 29 August 1941. 49 Fro?hlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, vol. II, part 1, pp. 463, 468, 474. Entries dated 21, 22, and 23 September 1941. 149 after the fall The Führer thought that even the ‘most doubtful cases’ of sabotage and assassination should be answered with ‘draconian punishments,’ but he did not mention specific numbers. Goebbels may have concluded that his suggestion of 10 to 15 reprisal executions matched Hitler’s concept of ‘draconian.’ The two also discussed the replacement of General von Falken- hausen, the military commander Belgium, with a civilian commissioner, but Hitler postponed a final decision. Three weeks later, the Minister of Propaganda told the MBF that he still opposed ‘mass shootings’ and simply wanted to institute ‘timely and psychologically appropriate punish- ments.’50 With Hitler’s apparent support, Stülpnagel’s apparent obedience, and decreasing resistance activity, Goebbels had reason to feel optimistic. Assassinations in Nantes and Bordeaux dispelled any false confidence and, along with German reprisals, may have caught the Minister of Propaganda off guard. At first, Goebbels attributed the MBF’s harsh response to influence exerted by his ministry. Since the MBF had failed to nip resistance in the bud after the Moser and Hoffmann attacks in August and September, Goebbels thought that the MBF had no choice but to execute fifty hostages in October. In Paris, the Ministry of Propaganda spread rumors that the attacks had been carried out by English spies even though it had no evidence to support this claim.51 Three days after the Nantes attack, Stülpnagel told General Wagner that he had consulted with Goebbels and claimed that the latter also opposed ‘mass shootings.’52 Unfortunately for General von Stülpnagel, the Propaganda Minster’s support proved to be ephemeral. Before the Nantes assassination, Goebbels had argued that the execution of ten or fifteen hostages would be an appropriate response for each attack on a German soldier. Immediately after Nantes, Goebbels shifted his position to accommodate Hitler’s demand for draconian reprisals. In a diary entry dated 24 October, he argued that an act of mercy would make the Reich look soft and encourage resistance activity.53 When Hitler first postponed and later suspended the execution of the second Nantes and 50 Fro?hlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, vol. II, part 1, p. 485; vol. II, part 2, p. 130. Entries dated 24 September and 17 October 1941. 51 Fro?hlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, vol. II, part 2, pp. 144, 160, 168, entries dated 20, 23 and 24 October 1941. 52 USNA, RG 242/T-501/122/711–712. 53 Fro?hlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, vol. II, part 2, pp. 168, 175, entries dated 24 and 25 October 1941. 150 the end of ambiguity Bordeaux contingents, Goebbels adroitly reversed course, hailed the move as ‘a skillful gambit,’ and lauded Hitler’s ‘humane gesture.’ With no sense of hypocrisy, he declared that ‘bloody methods are only appropriate when all other ways are barred.’54 Rather than advance a consistent policy of his own design, Joseph Goebbels simply aped the Führer. Goebbels justified his strategy during a meeting on 1 November with Field Marshal von Brauchitsch. He accused both the MBF and General von Falkenhausen, the military commander in Belgium and northwest France (Milita?rbefehlshaber in Belgien und nordwest Frankreich or MBB), of being soft. According to the Minister of Propaganda, they had failed to nip resistance activity in the bud and let things get out of hand. As a result of their restraint in August and September, Germany had no choice but to impose drastic penalties in October. As usual, Brauchitsch did not bother to defend his subordinates.55 Buoyed by his success with the commander of the army, Goebbels used even stronger language with General von Falkenhausen two weeks later. He described initial reprisals carried out by the MBB and MBF as being ‘neither sharp nor clever.’ Goebbels believed that moderate reprisals instituted in France and Belgium failed to ‘connect threats with penalties’ and did not target people associated with the likely perpetrators. The politically astute Falkenhausen did not mention Hitler’s repeated calls for immediate reprisals. Yet criticism from an unidentified source obviously stung the Minister of Propaganda. Goebbels complained that some of his remarks ‘had been greatly exaggerated’ and that his enemies were ‘braying like bloodhounds.’56 The conference between Goebbels and the MBB lasted over two hours and ‘followed a harmonious course,’ but the Minister of Propaganda clearly disagreed with General von Falkenhausen. In his diary, Goebbels complained about the ‘unpolitical nature’ of generals and thought that they simply concerned themselves with military tactics and had no political sense. The Minister of Propaganda dabbled in French affairs throughout October 1941 and could not be ignored in light of his close relationship with Hitler. After the crisis died down, Goebbels and Dr. Hans Lammers, 54 Fro?hlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, vol. II, part 2, pp. 180, 201, entries dated 26 and 29 October 1941. 55 Fro?hlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, vol. II, part 2, p. 217, entry dated 1 November 1941. 56 USNA, RG 242/T-501/97/382–393. 151 after the fall the head of the Reich Chancellery, began to push for the recall of Generals von Falkenhausen and von Stülpnagel. They urged Hitler to replace military governments with civil governments under the control of Nazi party loyalists.57 In a figurative sense, the groupes de brûlots provided Goebbels with an opportunity to expand his influence and wounded both Falkenhausen and Stülpnagel. In addition to complaints from Abetz, Goebbels, and Hitler, Stülpnagel had to contend with internal dissent. The MBF’s headquarters included an administration staff (Verwaltungsstab) and command staff (Kommandostab) manned by regular army officers. The latter collected intelligence, main- tained public order, and guarded against invasion. It played a subordinate role in everyday affairs but had almost unlimited power in an emergency. Consisting of civilian officials with temporary rank, limited authority, and a unique uniform, the military administration staff oversaw the French econ- omy and supervised the French government. The head of the government subsection (Verwaltungsstab Abteilung Verwaltung), Werner Best, accused the command staff (Kommandostab) of unilaterally selecting hostages and implied that they had made poor choices. He tried to seize control of Command Staff (Kommandostab) Colonel Hans Spiedel Militärbefehlshaber in Frankreich General Otto von Stülpnagel Ic des MBF Major Crome Region B, Angers Lt. General Neubron-Neurode Military Administration (Verwaltungsstab) Jonathan Schmid Command Staff Captain Schrader Military Administration Dr. Medicus Secret Field Police (GFP) Major Dernbach Government Subsection Werner Best Military Intelligence (Abwehr) Captain von Bonin SD Major Wolf District 518, Nantes Lt. Colonel Friedrich Hotz Command Staff Ic des FK 518, Lieutenant Kalbhenn Military Administration Kriegesverwaltungsrat Schuster Figure 6.1. The German chain of command in Nantes, 1941. 57 USNA, RG 242/T-501/97/392; Fro?hlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, vol. II, part 2, p. 285, entry dated 14 November 1941; DGFP, ser. D vol. XII, pp. 672–3. 152 the end of ambiguity German reprisal policy and aggravated latent divisions within the MBF’s command.58 According to orders issued by the MBF on 26 March and 28 September 1941, members of the command staff were supposed to consult counterparts on the military administration when they designed and implemented German reprisals.59 As soon as they learned of the Nantes assassination, members of the regional (Bezirk) command staff drove to Nantes and, in conjunction with local command staff and military administration officials (Feldkommandant), began to select hostages. The regional office of the Figure 6.2. Werner Best. Photograph courtesy of the Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-B22627. 58 See Chapter 1 of this volume, pp. 41, 44–5; USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/406–415. 59 USNA, RG 242/T-502/166/71–82, 91–98. 153 after the fall military administration reviewed the hostage list on 22 October and discovered two mistakes. According to Best, Schrader and the command staff had included a police officer and a former mayor of Nantes on their hostage list. The regional military administration asked the command staff to remove both names and the latter promptly complied. Best claimed that mistakes could have been avoided if the regional and national branches of the military administration had been included in the hostage selection process. He may have been trying to expand his own authority and ingratiate himself with hardliners in Berlin, or he could have been driven by personal motives. Best considered the victim of the Nantes attack, Lieutenant-Colonel Hotz, to be a kind and reasonable gentleman; Hortz had served with his father during World War One.60 Lieutenant General Neumann-Neurode, the regional commander (Bezirkchef ) responsible for Nantes, characterized Best’s charges as ‘baseless’ and described his report as ‘neither fair nor correct.’ He assumed responsibility for any mistakes that may have been made during the selection of hostages and vowed to make improvements in the process, but he denied accusations that he or his command staff had excluded the military administration. Two of the general’s subordinates swore that they had consulted with the regional military administration leader, Dr. Medicus, and his assistant, Dr. Kübler, over the telephone. In addition, the head of the local military administration, Kriegsverwaltungsrat Schuster, played an integral role throughout the reprisal process. Like their counterparts on the command staff, few senior military administration officials from the Paris office participated in formulating German reprisals, but regional and local officials certainly did. Best’s charges appear to be groundless.61 General von Stülpnagel reacted to Best’s complaint with surprise and outrage. In a letter to Jonathan Schmid, the head of the entire military administration and Best’s immediate superior, the MBF observed that Best had not complained about the system of selecting hostages during a September 1941 staff conference. Furthermore, he wondered if the head of the government subsection had avoided the selection process so that he would not have to make a tough decision in a short amount of time. By 60 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/395–400; BAK, N 1023/1/11–13. 61 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/403–404, 393–394, 416–422. 154 the end of ambiguity complaining that he had been excluded from the hostage process weeks after the fact, Best alienated regular military officers who had initially overlooked his SS background. Far from being the e?minence grise behind German reprisal policy, Werner Best stood on uncertain ground within the military administration.62 Given time, the MBF might have been able to resolve disagreements within his own office and shore up relations with Hitler, Goebbels, Keitel, and Wagner in Berlin, but communist resistance groups did not relent. Acting under the direction of Albert Ouzoulias, groupes de brûlots launched another series of attacks in Paris. On 21 November, partisans bombed a book store that sold National Socialist literature and had connections with the German embassy. One week later, guerrillas lobbed two grenades into the bar of the Hoˆtel du Midi and killed three German soldiers.63 In light of General von Stülpnagel’s general policy of gradually increasing reprisals, Hitler’s consistent demand for hostage executions, and Nantes and Bordeaux precedents, the bombings should have provoked an immediate, deadly reaction. Pressure from Berlin once again forced the MBF to temper his response. On 18 November, Go?ring arranged a meeting with Pe?tain at Saint Flo- rentin. The two marshals planned to discuss pressing military and political issues, and both sides wanted the negotiations to proceed without a hitch. Go?ring needed French support to expedite the flow of supplies to the German Africa Corps, and Pe?tain wanted to win the release of French prisoners of war and ameliorate German economic demands. To ensure that negotiations did not get sidetracked, Go? ring asked the MBF to suspend hostage executions until 10 December.64 Once talks began on 1 Decem- ber, Pe?tain asked for economic, political, and military concessions that would substantiate benevolent intentions voiced by Hitler at Montoire. Go?ring immediately rejected Pe?tain’s proposals, condemned French impu- dence, repeated Hitler’s favorite list of French transgressions, and demanded immediate, unreserved collaboration. To make matters worse, the Reichs- marschall skipped a dinner hosted by the Paris embassy, organized his own party at the Ae?ro-Club, and scrupulously avoided French officials after 62 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/428–431; Meyer, L’Occupation allemande en France, pp. 28–39. 63 BAMA, RW 35/542/73–75; Ouzoulias, Les Fils de la nuit, pp. 245–7; Nogue`res Histoire de la Re?sistance en France, vol. II, pp. 226–9. 64 Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 285–298; BAK, All. Proz. 21/217/229. 155 after the fall Figure 6.3. Admiral Darlan, Marshal Pe?tain, and Reichsmarschall Go?ring in St. Florentin. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress. business hours. Like the Protocols of Paris, the Saint Florentin talks col- lapsed because each side refused to grant concessions before first receiving concessions from the other.65 While the Saint Florentin negotiations continued, the MBF levied fines, imposed curfews, and threatened dire reprisals. Limitations imposed by Berlin undermined General von Stülpnagel’s efforts to follow a con- sistent policy, but they gave policemen time to investigate attacks and identify suspects. Subsequent inquiries failed to identify perpetrators of the 28 November hotel bombing that killed three German soldiers, and Stülpnagel asked Berlin for permission to shoot 50 hostages, fine Parisian Jews, and deport an additional 1,000 Jews and criminals with ‘Jewish con- nections’ on 1 December—the same day that Go?ring met Pe?tain at Saint 65 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 930–934, 914–927; Jacques Benoist-Me?chin, De la De?faite au de?sastre, vol. I (Paris: Albin Michel, 1984), pp. 317–327. 156 the end of ambiguity Florentin—but Berlin insisted upon restraint. Although none proved to be fatal, groupes de brûlots shot three more Germans on 2, 5, and 6 December and bombed a military canteen on 7 December. Incensed that a Luftwaffe major had been lightly wounded in the 5 December attack, Go? ring reversed course and immediately demanded bloody reprisals. With Franco-German negotia- tions at an impasse, the Reichsmarschall could indulge his desire for revenge without consequence. To placate Go?ring, OKW directed the MBF to exe- cute 100 Jews (50 more than the MBF asked for), deport 1,000 Jews and 500 ‘young communists,’ and impose a one billion franc fine on 12 December.66 Reprisals ordered by Berlin included a significant innovation: the depor- tation of 1,000 Jews and 500 young communists. On 7 December 1941, Hitler signed the ‘Night and Fog Decree’ (Nacht und Nebel Erlass) and added a new twist to Berlin’s anti-partisan policy. In a cover letter attached to the Hitler order, the OKW Chief of Staff explained that it is the long considered will of the Führer that, in the occupied zone, attacks against the Reich or occupying power should be met with other measures (anderen Maßnahmen). In the eyes of Hitler, punishing crimes with prison sentences, even lifelong prison sentences (lebenslange Zuchthausstrafen), is a sign of weakness. An effective and enduring deterrence can only be had through death sentences and equally far-reaching measures, measures that leave the relatives and public uncertain over the fate of the perpetrator. Deportation to Germany also serves this purpose. The attached guidelines for the prosecution of criminal offenses correspond to the view of the Führer. They have been examined and approved by him. Signed Keitel.67 The Nacht und Nebel Erlass once again directed senior military commanders and military courts to punish espionage, sabotage, communist activity, and other serious crimes with death; in that respect it contained nothing new. However, it also allowed military commanders and their subordinate courts-martial to send prisoners to the Reich and decreed that the entire process, as well as the ultimate fate of the accused, would remain secret. Keitel’s covering letter explained that deportation was equivalent to a death sentence. Because prisoners would be handed over to the SD for ‘deportation,’ the directive also created a new task for the SD, and this, in 66 BAK, All. Proz. 21/217/229–231; BAMA, RW 35/542/73–82. 67 USNA, RG 242/T-501/97/409. 157 after the fall turn, demanded an increased SS/SD presence in occupied France. Speaking for OKW, Admiral Canaris, the head of the Abwehr, described the decree as a ‘fundamental innovation’ in German policy.68 Ostensibly designed to combat terrorism, the Nacht und Nebel Erlass advanced the racial goals of the Nazi regime. During an 18 December conversation with Himmler, ‘Hitler confirmed that in the east the partisan war, which had expanded sharply in the autumn, provided a useful framework for destroying the Jews. They were ‘‘to be exterminated as partisans’’.’69 Although it did not explicitly mention Jews, the Nacht und Nebel Erlass followed the spirit of Hitler’s anti-terrorism policy (massive reprisals), established a conduit to death camps in eastern Europe, and provided the army with another way to contribute to the Final Solution as it fought partisans. Like his Führer, Himmler used racial deportations to reduce resistance and considered the fight against so-called Judeo- Bolshevism to be a vital part of the war effort. OKW’s 12 December 1941 directive to the MBF demonstrated proper use of the Nacht und Nebel Erlass by ordering the deportation of 1,500 Jews and communists.70 The Nacht und Nebel Erlass served as bait to enlist Stülpnagel in genocide. Before December 1941, the MBF did little to advance Nazi racial objectives. Acting on its own accord, the Vichy regime passed the Statut des juifs and launched its own Aryanization program in a vain attempt to curry favor with Nazi Germany.71 The German embassy in Paris and SS/SD agents stood at the forefront of German efforts to persecute Jews, but their efforts were hampered by a lack of executive authority and a shortage of personnel. General von Stülpnagel opposed the confiscation of Jewish property because such measures dishonored the army, aggravated friends in Vichy, and distracted the military administration from pressing tasks like the exploitation of French industrial resources. Stülpnagel embraced the principle of collective reprisals but worried about the political consequences of massive hostage executions. Using the Nacht und Nebel Erlass, military commanders in France and other occupied territories could liquidate 68 USNA, RG 242/T-501/97/407–416. 69 Kershaw, Hitler, 1936–1945: Nemesis, pp. 492, 965 note 156. 70 BAMA, RW 35/708/4; BALW, NS 19/2774/fiche 1/1; Christian Gerlach, ‘Die Wannsee- Konferenz, das Schicksal der deutschen Juden und Hitlers politische Grundsatzentscheidung, alle Juden Europas zu ermorden,’ Werkstattgeschichte, 18 (1997), pp. 7–44, especially 22; BAMA, RW 35/542/78 – 82. 71 Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 3–18. 158 the end of ambiguity hostages in accordance with Keitel’s 16 September 1941 directive but avoid the negative political consequences that mass shootings had previously entailed. Jews, communists, and suspected partisans would simply disappear into the ‘night and fog.’ With the Nacht und Nebel Erlass, General von Stülpnagel and the military administration could carry out deadly reprisals while still keeping their hands clean. The Nacht und Nebel Erlass did not mark an immediate shift in the way the MBF responded to particular attacks. On the evening of 28 Decem- ber 1941, an unknown assailant shot Lieutenant Dr. Winiger in Dijon. Further investigation by local French and German detectives unearthed ‘unmistakable signs of communist activity’ in the area. After consulting with the regional branch of the military administration, the MBF ordered the execution of ten hostages.72 Why did Stülpnagel forgo 21 October and 12 December precedents and act with such reserve? On 5 December 1941, the Red Army launched an offensive that pushed German forces back along the entire eastern front. To stem the Soviet advance and counter guerrilla activity behind front lines, OKH transferred 3 regular army divisions, 1 regional, 10 district, and 55 local sections of the military administration to the eastern front. German troop transfers consumed all available transport and precluded large-scale deportations.73 News of the Dijon attack may not have reached Hitler in a timely fashion. Multiple sources told the Führer about Nantes and Bordeaux assassinations on the day of each incident. Before and during the 1 December Saint Florentin meeting, both Hitler and Go?ring had monitored French political affairs. They knew about the November bombings that had killed three German soldiers and suspended reprisals to support diplomatic initiatives. Hitler, Go?ring, Goebbels, and other leading Nazis focused on the eastern front in late December and may not have heard about the 28 December attack in Dijon. Their ignorance allowed the MBF to revert to his preferred strategy of limited reprisals. The Führer certainly worried about incomplete or misleading reports and had already chastised the MBF for not providing Berlin with timely information. Speaking through General Warlimont, Hitler ordered all field commanders to submit 72 USNA, RG 242/143/1238; BAMA, RW 35/542/83. The former spells the victim’s name Winiger, the latter Winkler. 73 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/1240–1241; USNA, RG 242/T-78/32/706154; USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/1141. 159 after the fall accurate reports, avoid exaggeration, and confess mistakes on 26 December 1941.74 Obliging the Führer, General von Stülpnagel sent a substantial report to OKW on 15 January 1942. He pointed out that German and French policemen had already solved 22 of the 68 attacks carried out by resistance groups between 21 August 1941 and 3 January 1942. Small, fanatical terrorist groups associated with the communist party, Stülpnagel observed, had carried out the attacks and often committed suicide as soon as they were arrested. He argued that the groupes de brûlots enjoyed no popular support. French workers, like their German counterparts, continued to serve the German war economy. Both the Vichy government and French police forces had cooperated ‘loyally and energetically’ with German authorities in each and every case. General von Stülpnagel thought that the Vichy government had behaved ‘flawlessly’ and found a few words of praise for the SD, which had cooperated with the Abwehr and GFP during recent investigations. To protect himself against accusations that the military administration was following a ‘soft’ anti-terrorist policy, Stülpnagel noted that French and German police forces had arrested approximately 25,500 Jews and communists throughout France.75 The MBF discounted anti-terrorist measures that were ordered by Berlin. The groupes de brûlots welcomed German reprisals that alienated workers, provoked resistance, and forced Germany to send more security forces to the Hexagon. Second, General von Stülpnagel noted that mass deportations could not be carried out because of transportation shortages, and he questioned the wisdom of sending young communists to the east for ‘work duty’ (Arbeitsma?ssig) on security grounds.76 Shifting to general terms, Stülpnagel argued that hostage executions did not correspond to the French conception of justice and would eventually turn the French population against Germany. He implied that leaders in Berlin understood neither French politics nor the French mentalite?. General von Stülpnagel assured OKW that his military administration would continue to arrest and deport Jews as soon as transportation became 74 USNA, RG 242/T-78/32/706178. 75 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/1138–1144. 76 Stülpnagel’s use of the term ‘work duty’ (Arbeitsma?ssig) suggests that the MBF may have conveniently forgotten the lethal nature of the Nacht und Nebel Erlass, which Keitel explicitly described in his cover letter to Hitler’s order. 160 the end of ambiguity available. He promised to execute a limited number of hostages and support further deportations if resistance activity continued. He also pledged to impose fines, curfews, and other prohibitions in response to non-lethal attacks. Yet the MBF advised Berlin that I only intend to carry out future executions when a member of the armed forces has been assassinated (and the attack results in a death), after a series of non-fatal assassination attempts, or after cases of sabotage which have especially dangerous effects. However, I consider it essential to wait for an appropriate period of time so that a criminal investigation can uncover the perpetrators that such well prepared crimes require under the especially difficult conditions of the occupied zone. I intend to only order a limited number of executions and will adjust the number to suit the circumstances. At least under the present circumstances, I can no longer arrange mass shootings and answer to history with a clear conscience because of my knowledge of the entire situation, the consequences that such hard measures would have on the entire population, and on our relationship to France.77 Without mincing any words, General Otto von Stülpnagel rejected Hitler’s anti-partisan policy and drew a line in the sand. Subordinates on the command staff and military administration backed up General von Stülpnagel. In its report to Berlin, sent once every two months, the military administration claimed that the Frenchmen passionately opposed hostage executions. In conjunction with food and fuel shortages, German reprisals undermined support for collaboration and threatened to turn the local population against Nazi Germany. The military administration also minimized the threat posed by resistance activity and noted a decrease in the incidence of sabotage and assassination. As usual, the ‘political’ section of the report concluded that ‘[a]t the present time, internal security is not threatened.’78 Colonel Hans Speidel, the head of the command staff, went one step further than his civilian colleagues in the military administration. He characterized German policy as punishment without reward and argued for concessions to complement German reprisals. Going into further detail, Speidel observed that some other dramatic step like the start of Franco- German peace negotiations might induce the Vichy regime and the French 77 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/1142–1143. Emphasis in the original. 78 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/1237–1239. 161 after the fall public to wholeheartedly support the German war effort. On a local level, Colonel Speidel believed that specific rewards, in conjunction with reprisals, might enlist popular support for the campaign against resistance groups. The head of the command staff discounted resistance activity as the work of small terrorist groups organized by the PCF and advised superiors to punish only the people who attacked Germany. A member of the General Staff, Speidel ventured into the realm of politics and condemned draconian reprisals.79 Keitel discussed the general situation in France with General von Stülpnagel on 23 January 1942. The field marshal realized that Stülpnagel had to carry out Hitler’s security agenda while working with the French government on economic issues. He believed that the MBF exchanged a mild reprisal policy for French economic collaboration and thought that this strategy caused problems with Hitler. Keitel echoed one of Hitler’s common complaints during a 30 January military conference by saying that generals simply did not understand politics or resistance. He suspected that Stülpnagel was a Francophile and either ignored or misunderstood the MBF’s fundamental problem with Hitler’s reprisal policy. With great ambitions but limited talents, Keitel may have resented Stülpnagel’s distinguished military record.80 Field Marshal Keitel did not want to be responsible for German security because it created problems with the Führer, so he ordered General Warlimont to solve the problem by reorganizing the German chain of command. Warlimont designed and Keitel approved a plan that would make the MBF and MBB subordinate to a commander of all German forces in western Europe (Oberbefehlshaber West), a post eventually filled by Field Marshal von Rundstedt. OKW and OKH would no longer have to deal with Stülpnagel directly. Second, Keitel called for the installation of a Senior SS and Police Leader (Ho?herer SS- und Polizeiführer or HSSuPF) in France and transferred responsibility for security of German troops from the army to the SS. Even though the new design would decrease the MBF’s authority, Keitel referred to it as something that would enhance the power of the MBF because OKW would no longer have to deal with troublesome security issues and local commanders could concentrate on economic exploitation.81 79 USNA, RG 242/T-501/144/3–7; BAMA, N 5/24/11, 27–28. 80 BAMA, RW 5/690/39–43; Luther, Der franzo?sische Widerstand, p. 211. 81 BAMA, RW 5/690/42–45. 162 the end of ambiguity After consulting with Hitler and his staff, Keitel ordered General Wagner to reply to Stülpnagel’s de?marche on 2 February 1942: Field Marshal Keitel does not reject the (MBF’s) proposal for exclusive and final control over reprisals for assassinations and bombing attacks, so long as the proposed reprisals agree in type and scope with the Führer’s basic attitude. Attacks and bombings reported since 15 January that have not been solved must be answered with sharp deterrents including the execution of a large number of imprisoned communists, Jews, or people who carried out previous attacks, and the arrest of at least 1,000 Jews or communist for later evacuation. Field Marshal Keitel expects a corresponding instruction for submission to the Führer.82 As long as he obeyed the Führer’s policy of draconian reprisals and massive deportations, Hitler and Keitel were willing to grant the MBF a free hand. In light of comments made during the 30 January conference, Keitel probably knew that Wagner’s 2 February letter would trigger Stülpnagel’s resignation. Like Hitler, he welcomed the opportunity to dispose of a difficult subordinate and had already developed plans to reorganize the chain of command.83 The MBF understood that the offer made by Hitler and Keitel through Wagner left him with no room to maneuver. Unable to reconcile Hitler’s reprisal policy with his own conscience, General Otto von Stülpnagel tendered his resignation to General Keitel and OKW. Stülpnagel’s offi- cial letter recapitulated his long, distinguished career and requested an immediate recall. Although he based his request on a medical excuse and included a note from his doctor, the MBF explained that health reasons camouflaged a basic disagreement between both Hitler and military leaders in Berlin on the one hand and himself on the other. The MBF resigned because he felt that he no longer enjoyed ‘the full trust of the Führer or my direct superiors in the administration . . . The full extent of the military administration’s achievements will only be realized later.’ At first glance, the MBF resigned because he felt that the Nazi regime did not value his professional judgment.84 Yet the MBF did not resign just because of a simple policy disagreement with the Nazi regime. In his 15 January report, General von Stülpnagel rejected mass executions on both pragmatic and principled grounds. He 82 BAMA, RW 35/543/58. 83 BAMA, RW 5/690/46–48. 84 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/441–443. 163 after the fall foresaw his place in history and refused to carry out orders that disagreed with his conscience. In the final paragraphs of his official resignation to OKW, Stülpnagel complained that without this trust and freedom of action, the position of the MBF in the occupied area becomes more difficult, leads to weighty conflicts of conscience, and undermines my energy, self-confidence, and determination . . . I can withdraw to private life with clear conscience, confident in the knowledge that I served my people, country, and opponents with complete unselfishness and fulfilled my duties to the best of my ability. As a leading figure in the army throughout the interwar period, Otto von Stülpnagel had personal relationships with most of the leaders of the Wehrmacht. To drive his own opinions home, he sent a second letter directly to Keitel, the head of OKW and Hitler’s immediate subordinate for military affairs. The MBF did not mince words and, unlike his ‘official letter,’ discussed details and named names. In the very first paragraph of his letter, Stülpnagel discounted his own ambitions and claimed that he had never lobbied for his command in France. In contrast, he criticized civilian branches of the Reich government for expanding into areas outside of their jurisdiction, not following the ‘will of the Führer,’ and obstructing the military administration. Despite challenges posed by agencies that did not feel obligated to obey the MBF, Stülpnagel believed that he had mastered the situation and exploited France far beyond the terms of the 1940 Armistice Agreement.85 Although he abhorred the disruptive role played by civilian agencies, General von Stülpnagel reserved special criticism for Ambassador Abetz and Reichsmarschall Go?ring. The ambassador consistently supported a variety of small and ‘untrustworthy’ political parties and allowed the latter to criticize Marshal Pe?tain and Admiral Darlan in the press. In so doing, Abetz undermined the Vichy regime’s ‘attempts to work with the Germans on a soldier-to-soldier level.’ If only the ambassador would obey the will of the Führer, act responsibly, and stop encouraging groups that undermined the French government, Stülpnagel believed that political and economic relations with the Vichy regime would improve dramatically. Realizing that his military career had come to an end, the MBF did not shy away from dis- paraging Hitler’s designated successor, Reichsmarschall Hermann Go?ring. 85 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/433–440. 164 86 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/438. 87 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/437. the end of ambiguity I am placed in too many tragi-comic situations. For example, the Reichsmarschall recently would not allow me to impose a harsh sentence in an ongoing case because it might hinder his ongoing negotiations with Marshal Pe?tain. Two days later, after a plot against a Luftwaffe officer, he immediately demanded the sharpest possible punishment. In this and many other questions, I sit between two stools.86 General von Stülpnagel also condemned draconian reprisals ordered by Berlin and, by extension, Hitler’s anti-partisan policy. Simply put, the MBF claimed that mass executions would not deter further resistance activity. They offended the ‘French sense of justice’ and alienated the Vichy regime. Instead, Stülpnagel proposed another form of atonement is necessary for attacks against Wehrmacht personnel, that is to say, through limited executions, above all through evacuation of most communists and Jews to the East, when we are able to reach it. Based on my knowledge of the French population, I believe this deterrence, and not mass executions, will work.87 As he endorsed deportations over mass executions, Otto was alluding to Keitel’s failure to win the war in the east and delivered a stinging barb. He did not oppose executions or deportations in principle. His letter to Keitel rejected Hitler’s measures and supported reprisals that were tailored to local conditions and proportional to the original crime. Previous reports to Berlin, particularly those including remarks about having a clear conscience and having to answer to history, suggest that moral or ethical considerations influenced Stülpnagel’s decision to resign. He voiced similar concerns during his struggle against the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, but they did not prevent the MBF from encouraging the ‘evacuation’ of Jews and Communists. OKW accepted Stülpnagel’s resig- nation without comment and neither it nor Keitel replied to Otto von Stülpnagel’s letters. Attacks in Nantes and Bordeaux placed General von Stülpnagel and the military administration in the center of a political firestorm. They faced pressure from Hitler, political generals in Berlin, Nazi party paladins, the Paris embassy, and the Vichy government. Using assassinations as an pretext for genocide, Hitler ordered draconian reprisals and, after 7 December 1941, massive deportations in response to every resistance attack. Drawing upon his first-hand knowledge of the situation in France and 45 years 165 after the fall of military experience, General von Stülpnagel decried Hitler’s ‘Polish methods’ and stood his ground, but this stance destroyed his relationship with Nazis in Berlin. Keitel, Jodl, and Wagner refused to support the MBF’s protests and simply followed orders. Rather than following suit, Stülpnagel condemned directives that neither made political sense nor sat well with his conscience. Debate between the MBF in Paris and Nazis in Berlin revealed fundamentally different assumptions about the source of resistance activity and exposed discord within the German chain of command. Unlike most of his peers, Otto von Stülpnagel did not believe that superior orders excused criminal activity and resigned his command. As the war expanded in scope, Hitler escalated the scale of violence. Before the invasion of France, Hitler ordered subordinates to obey the Hague Convention. One the eve of the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Führer directed troops on the eastern front to shoot Jews and communists out of hand. With Hitler’s approval, Keitel commanded subordinates throughout Europe to answer increasing resistance activity with immediate and disproportionate reprisals on 16 September. Going one step further, the Nacht und Nebel Erlass supplemented mass executions with mass deportations on 7 December. Reverses on the eastern front and America’s entry into the war lent impetus to Hitler’s war against Jews and created a need for new men who would carry out Hitler’s policies without question. The structure and authority of the previously obstinate military administration would have to accommodate changing tactics of the Nazi regime. The dawn of the Final Solution created a need for an enlarged SS/SD presence in France, and increased demands for foreign labor provided an opportunity for the Plenipotentiary for the Mobilization of Labor, Fritz Sauckel. The French government also had to adjust to new circumstances. The Vichy regime used the hostage process to dispose of unwanted prisoners and political opponents.88 Despite his policy of collaboration, Admiral Darlan could not mitigate German economic demands, limit lethal reprisals, secure political concessions, or protect French colonies from foreign depredation. In desperate need of French resources and unwilling to countenance further obstruction, the German embassy in Paris and OKW pressed for Laval’s return. Emboldened by his German friends, Pierre Laval lobbied for a new, 88 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1625/folder 75479/nfn (Der MBF, 19.9.41, An den General- bevollma?chtigten der franzo?sischen Regierung beim MBF, Betr. Geiselnahme); BAK, All. Proz. 21/217/213 – 215. 166 the end of ambiguity powerful position in the Vichy government during a meeting with Marshal Pe?tain on 26 March. Darlan fought back, secured his position as head of the French armed forces, and remained Pe?tain’s designated successor but, in accordance with German wishes, resigned his political offices on 17 April.89 On 26 April 1942, Laval resumed his duties as Prime Minister, installed Rene? Bouquet as Secretary-General of the Police, and placed Louis Darquier de Pellepoix in charge of the Commissariat-ge?ne?ral aux questions juives. The second Laval government transformed a defeated French nation into a German satellite. The spiral of violence also transformed Germany’s relationship with the French public. Everyday problems stemming from rationing, infla- tion, and fuel shortages preoccupied most Frenchmen and, in the winter of 1941–1942, overshadowed broad political issues.90 German reprisals, chronic shortages, and economic difficulties all suggested the bankruptcy of Hitler’s new order. Only those with thick, rose-colored glasses could anticipate an Allied victory one full year before Germany’s defeat at Stal- ingrad. On the other hand, the consequences of resistance were readily apparent. A majority of Frenchmen concluded that neither collaboration nor resistance made sense and embraced attentisme by default. Unenthusias- tic collaboration gave way to sullen acquiescence during the second winter of the Occupation. 89 Melton, Darlan, pp. 147–155. 90 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/1237–1239. 167 7 Transitions During the final months of 1941, political and military elites in Berlin compelled the MBF to follow a reprisal policy that liquidated Jews and terrorized opponents. After a protracted but futile struggle against ‘Polish methods,’ Otto von Stülpnagel retired with his wife in Berlin. In his stead, OKW appointed General Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, Otto’s amiable cousin, to serve as the next Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich. The new MBF assumed command on 16 February 1942, revised German reprisal policy, and began to reshape the military administration. Like his predecessor, Carl-Heinrich rejected the methods and goals of the Nazi regime, but he expressed his opposition in a very different fashion. Rather than denouncing ideological directives, the new MBF simply followed orders while plotting against the Nazi regime. While Carl-Heinrich remained in charge, the military administration used ‘creative accounting’ methods to reduce the number of hostage executions but carried out Hitler’s basic policy without complaint. Despite the conciliatory tone of the new MBF and a continued decline in the incidence of sabotage, espionage, and murder, Hitler installed a Senior SS and Police Leader (Ho?herer SS- und Polizeiführer or HSSuPF) in France. On 1 June 1942, Carl Oberg took over German and French police forces in occupied France. The SS finally won autonomy and ‘executive authority’ or the right to make arrests and seize property. The new HSSuPF assumed control of the military administration’s police records and card-files, along with a large portion of its police officers and transitions administrative personnel.1 Armed with formidable powers, the HSSuPF stood ready to carry out Hitler’s racial agenda without fear of objections raised by a legalistic military administration, but he also faced enduring problems. Personnel shortages forced Oberg to collaborate with French policemen just like his military predecessors. Dependent upon French sup- port, he built upon foundations established by the military administration, accommodated some French concerns, and gradually expanded German efforts against Jews, communists, and saboteurs. The installation of an HSSuPF coincided with significant changes in the German war effort. As it became apparent that the war would continue for some time, OKW addressed serious labor shortages that limited German military production. During the first two years of the war, Germany used French prisoners of war as agricultural laborers and haphazardly sentenced enemies to terms of labor in German concentration camps. The Nacht und Nebel Erlass established a new ‘security’ measure—the deportation of Jews and communists to German concentration camps in Poland—that increased the pool of slave labor. During the last two years of the Occupation, the Nazi regime abandoned haphazard use of French labor in favor of the organized collection and forcible deportation of French workers and suspected partisans for service in German factories.2 Otto von Stülpnagel’s departure cleared another impediment on the path to total war in France. With reduced authority and jurisdiction, the legalistic military administration could no longer hamstring labor and racial programs. Haphazard discrimination and expropriation gave way to systematic deportation and extermination. Born in 1886, Carl-Heinrich Rudolf Wilhelm von Stülpnagel grew up in Munich and attended the humanistische Lessing-Gymnasium in Frankfurt where he excelled in almost every subject except music. In addition to French, which he often spoke at home, young Carl-Heinrich knew Latin, Greek, English, some Italian, and some Russian. Despite undistinguished tours of service on the western front and in the Balkan region during World War One, Stülpnagel avoided demobilization. His cousin, Joachim 1 Herbert, Best, pp. 314–316, 321–6; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/13/53ff. 2 Milward, The New Order and the French Economy, pp. 110–126; Ulrich Herbert, Hitler’s Foreign Workers: Enforced Foreign Labor in Germany under the Third Reich, translated by William Templer (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 95–100, 106–108, 192–8. 169 after the fall von Stülpnagel, advised Generals von Seeckt and Schleicher during the 1920s and may have helped Carl-Heinrich survive personnel cutbacks mandated by the Versailles Treaty. After the war, Stülpnagel helped organize the Black Reichswehr in Silesia and the Ruhr before commanding small infantry units and holding a range of staff positions.3 As he slowly ascended the ranks, Carl-Heinrich met and impressed future leaders of the Wehrmacht, including Fedor von Bock, Walter von Brauchitsch, Ferdinand von Bredow, Ludwig Beck, Erwin Rommel, and Walther von Reichenau. Just before the Nazi seizure of power, he attained the rank of colonel and took charge of the general staff section that studied Germany’s western neighbors.4 According to his son Joachim, murders carried out during the Ro?hm purge turned Carl-Heinrich against the Nazi regime, but he continued to enjoy the privileges of a rising officer. Foreign policy goals that Hitler articulated in a staff conference on 5 November 1937 and that Colonel Hoßbach recorded in his famous memorandum troubled Stülpnagel, but promotions and foreign policy successes like the 1938 Munich Agreement muffled serious opposition inside OKW and OKH.5 When war finally broke out in September 1939, Major-General von Stülpnagel worked as the deputy chief of the Army General Staff for operations (Oberquartiermeister I) and served as Brauchitsch’s direct subordinate. After the end of the Polish campaign, he visited the major field commands on Germany’s western border and tried to stir up opposition against the Nazi regime while planning logistical support for the invasion of France. In the winter of 1939/1940, Stülpnagel completed his logistical plan and directed a series of crucial map exercises that tested Manstein’s variant of Fall Gelb.6 Frustrated by his inability to organize resistance to Hitler’s plans and drained by official 3 F. L. Carsten, The Reichswehr and Politics, 1918 to 1933 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966). Joachim ‘le rouge’ von Stülpnagel (because of his support for a ‘citizens army’) should not be confused with either Otto ‘der Schwarze’ von Stülpnagel (for his staunch conservatism) or Carl-Heinrich ‘der blonde’ von Stulpnagel (because of his reddish blonde hair). Bargatzky, Hotel Majestic, pp. 52–4; Geoffrey P. Megargee, Inside Hitler’s High Command (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2000), pp. 14–15. 4 Heinrich Bücheler, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel: Soldat—Philosoph—Verschwo?rer (Berlin: Verlag Ullstein, 1989), pp. 30–45, 70–87, 94–118. An abbreviated history of the entire Stülpnagel family can be found in BAMA, N 5/26/1–42. 5 Bücheler, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, pp. 128–135, 137–158; Müller, Das Heer und Hitler, pp. 210, 232. 6 Umbreit, ‘The battle for hegemony in western Europe,’ pp. 235–8. 170 transitions obligations, Carl-Heinrich succumbed to exhaustion and reported sick in early 1940. He recovered in time to lead an infantry corps during the second phase of the Western campaign and later took charge of the Franco-German Armistice Commission in Wiesbaden, but he did not remain at his post for long.7 In early 1941 he assumed command of the 17th Army and began to prepare for the invasion of the Soviet Union as part of Army Group South. He briefly opposed ‘security measures’ that included the ‘relocation’ of Jews and other potential subversives from the rear area of his command but abandoned his complaints after seeing Hitler’s Commissar Order and talking with State Secretary Josef Bühler, a leading official in Poland’s Generalgouvernment.8 By the time Germany invaded the Soviet Union, Stülpnagel’s misgivings had fallen by the wayside. His 17th Army earned praise from an SS execution squad (Sonderkommando) for its attitude towards Jews, but SS accolades could not deflect Hitler’s ire when Stülpnagel’s command lagged behind neighboring units. Unable or unwilling to endure censure from OKW, Carl-Heinrich once again reported sick and gave up his post on 4 October 1941.9 General Franz Halder, the Chief of the Army General Staff (OKH), diag- nosed Stülpnagel’s sickness as a case of ‘timid leadership.’ Carl-Heinrich quickly recovered from his illness, returned to Berlin, and eventually secured a new post as Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich. In light of Stülpnagel’s pessimistic attitude in the fall of 1939 and his lackluster performance during the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa, one can only wonder why Hitler approved the appointment. Support from Halder, Wagner, and Warlimont must have been decisive. All three men had worked closely with Stülpnagel between 1938 and 1940, and the first two also shared Carl-Heinrich’s distaste for Hitler.10 Unlike his cousin Otto, who com- bined exceptional military skills with a grating disposition, Carl-Heinrich used his genial temperament and formidable intellect to compensate 7 Bücheler, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, pp. 168–194. 8 Bücheler, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, pp. 212–216. 9 Streit, Keine Kameraden, pp. 111, 114–115, 117–119; Fo?rster, ‘Securing ‘‘living space’’,’ in Germany and the Second World War, vol. IV, pp. 1194–1204; Bücheler, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, pp. 220–227. 10 Bücheler, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, pp. 227 – 8; Klaus-Jürgen Müller, ‘Witzleben, Stülpnagel, and Spiedel,’ in Correlli Barnett (ed.), Hitler’s Generals (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1989), pp. 43–74. 171 after the fall for unexceptional military skills. Personal charm and a reputation for being a ‘timid leader’ suggested that Carl-Heinrich would not cause trouble and may have helped him secure his post.11 In order to keep his position as Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich, Carl- Heinrich would need all of his diplomatic skills and a measure of luck. Before he assumed command on 16 February 1942, Carl-Heinrich spoke to his cousin Otto, and he certainly understood the situation that he would have to master. Personnel reductions forced the MBF to rely on the cooperation of the Vichy government. On the other hand, Hitler did not withdraw his demand for staunch reprisals that upset the Vichy regime. However, the new MBF also had several factors working in his favor. First, the 1941–1942 Soviet winter offensive distracted Hitler. If OKW and the Führer did not hear about a particular attack, they could not order draconian reprisals. Second, Pierre Laval’s return as Prime Minister of the Vichy regime on 26 April 1942 heralded a compliant French government that would negotiate but not impede Nazi Germany. Finally, the incidence of sabotage, espionage, and murder continued to decrease in the first five months of 1942. When he became MBF, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel faced a difficult but not hopeless situation. Resistance groups tested Carl-Heinrich a mere week after he became the MBF. In broad daylight, the Le?on Lioust group of the bataillons de la jeunesse threw a grenade at a group of German soldiers who were marching across la place de l’Arsenal in Le Havre on 23 February 1942. After consulting with naval authorities, the MBF proposed the immediate execution of five hostages because ‘up to now, French authorities and the population of Le Havre have worked together with Germany flawlessly.’ The German navy supported a muted response because draconian reprisals might alienate French workers who serviced German U-boats in Atlantic ports. Despite agreement between the MBF and navy, Hitler rejected the mild reprisals that had been proposed by Carl-Heinrich and ordered the execution of thirty hostages. The Führer dismissed fears that his sanctions would alienate French workers because they targeted separate, alien people: Jews. In Hitler’s opinion, regular French workers would not identify with or protest against the death of ‘foreigners.’12 11 BAMA, N 5/24/1–42; Bargatzsky, Hotel Majestic, pp. 52–5, and Ernst Jünger, Strahlungen (Tübingen: Heliopolis, 1955), pp. 81–2, 89, 108–110, 119–120. 12 BAMA, RW 35/542/90–91; Nogue`res, Histoire de la Re?sistance en France, vol. II, p. 354. 172 transitions Like his cousin and predecessor, Carl-Heinrich followed the letter but not the spirit of Hitler’s reprisal orders. Earlier in the month, the regional branch of the military administration had tried and executed five Frenchmen for various crimes against Germany. The MBF counted these five executions toward the Le Havre reprisals ordered by the Führer. For the remaining twenty-five executions that had to be carried out, the military administration selected eight people who had already received sentences of two to fifteen years for crimes such as illegal possession of a firearm, distributing anti-German propaganda, and aiding the enemy. Another Frenchmen held under administrative arrest by the German military administration also wound up on the hostage list. The French government turned over eleven people who had either been detained for or convicted of a crime by the Vichy regime. Another five hostages were removed from the list at the last minute for unspecified ‘technical’ reasons. Like his predecessor, Carl-Heinrich used creative accounting methods to reduce the number of hostage executions from the thirty ordered by Hitler to twenty who were actually shot on 26 February 1942.13 The MBF used a variety of stratagems to reduce the number of reprisal executions. After ‘terrorists’ shot and killed Private Hoffendank at his guard post in Paris on 1 March, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel ordered the imme- diate execution of twenty Jews and communists. If the perpetrators were not caught by 15 March, he threatened to shoot another twenty people. Only twelve of the original twenty executions were actually carried out because the Commandant of greater Paris had a ‘credit’ of six people who had already been put to death for other ‘crimes.’ Shortly before the exe- cution of the first contingent, the military administration disqualified two more hostages ‘on technical grounds.’ The MBF suspended the execution of the entire second contingent after French and German police appre- hended three resistance fighters who had carried out, among others, the Hoffendank attack: Karl Scho?nhaar, Raymond Tardif, and Georges Ton- delier.14 When responding to deadly attacks, Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel always promised to execute two groups of hostages. By splitting reprisal executions into two separate contingents, he could condemn a large num- ber of Frenchmen and appear to be a hardliner. When neither the Führer 13 BAMA, RW 35/542/90–91, 120. 14 BAMA, RW 35/542/91; Nogue`res, Histoire de la Re?sistance en France, vol. II, pp. 367–371; Ouzoulias, Les Fils de la nuit, pp. 246–255. 173 after the fall nor OKW were paying attention, the MBF could declare the French to be properly chastened and pardon the second hostage contingent. Both Otto and Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel also disqualified a number of hostages ‘on technical grounds’ shortly before they were scheduled to face a firing squad. After the Nantes reprisals, Werner Best, German diplomats, and British propaganda all criticized the military administration for placing a disabled World War One veteran on the hostage list.15 German military courts did not hesitate to condemn any suspected criminals or their associates to death, but Hitler encouraged subordinates to commute the sentences of women and children to life in a German prison for propaganda reasons.16 After the Nantes reprisals, Otto von Stülpnagel issued new guidelines that disqualified women, children under the age of 18, and disabled or blind veterans from hostage lists.17 Carl-Heinrich also used ‘technical reasons’ to spare twenty-three lives in eight of the eighteen reprisal cases that he adjudicated as the chief legal military authority in France. While they used a variety of stratagems to reduce the number of hostage executions, both Otto and Carl-Heinrich authorized the deportation of substantial numbers of Jews and communists. Acting on orders from Berlin, Otto von Stülpnagel deported 1,500 Jews and communists in December 1941. His cousin sent another 3,600 Jews and communists ‘to the east’ in response to eight different incidents.18 In 1942, 43 transports carried 41,951 Jews and communists to death camps in eastern Europe. Deportations ordered by the MBF—5,100 in all—filled the first five trains to Auschwitz.19 Both Otto and Carl Heinrich von Stülpnagel played a part in the Final Solution. Most leading figures within the military administration understood the deadly consequences of deportation. In his letter of resignation, Otto von Stülpnagel questioned the wisdom of sending young Jews and communists to the east for ‘work duty’ (Arbeitsma?ssig) because he feared that prisoners might escape and create security problems. He could only maintain this 15 USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/400. 16 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1634/nfn (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, 14 n 16 WR (I/3)/351/41 g; Berlin den 8.5.41). Hitler’s restraint was limited to western Europe; see BALW, NS 19/2175/1–2. 17 BAMA, RW 35/308/30–34, 46. 18 BAMA, RW 35/542/73–82, 94–95, 100–104, 106–109, 111–114, 116–117. 19 Serge Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz: Le Roˆle de Vichy dans la solution finale de la question juive en France–1942 (Paris: Fayard, 1983), p. 41. 174 transitions interpretation by willfully ignoring the subtleties of the Nacht und Nebel Erlass and ominous rumors that circulated through the military administra- tion in the fall of 1941. Nevertheless, Otto continued to favor deportations over mass shootings in his letter of resignation. Based on his experience as the commander of the 17th Army, Carl-Heinrich must have suspected and almost certainly knew what ‘deportation’ really meant. If he had any doubts, Reinhard Heydrich dispelled them during a visit to Paris on 6 May 1942. Both Otto and Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel muted their criticism of deportations as long as Himmler’s Black Corps did most of the dirty work.20 While he was in charge of German reprisal policy, Carl-Heinrich occasionally consulted superiors in Berlin before announcing his response to a particular attack. Of the eighteen serious attacks that were carried out by resistance groups between February and May 1942, Carl-Heinrich spoke with superiors in OKH before announcing his response on six occasions. Consultation with political generals in Berlin reduced but did not eliminate Hitler’s interference. In three of the eighteen attacks, Hitler reduced the interval between the execution of the first and second contingents or raised the number of people to be executed and deported.21 Furthermore, Carl- Heinrich did not oppose Hitler’s policy of massive reprisals and sweeping deportations in angry memoranda. The new MBF’s diplomatic approach reduced friction between Paris and Berlin. Methodical police work also began to produce arrests that, in turn, led to a number of highly publicized trials. The first major trial opened on 6 January 1942 in the Muse?e de l’Homme before a German military tribunal. French lawyers described the process as ‘pleading for cadavers,’ but the court acquitted four defendants and sentenced another to six months in prison. The German judge in charge of the process, Captain Roskothen, sentenced the remaining ten defendants to death, but superiors later reduced three of the death sentences to deportation.22 Subsequent trials held in March and April followed a similar pattern: they lasted only a few days, convicted most but not all of the defendants, and male defendants found guilty of serious crimes were quickly executed. Almost all of the defendants had 20 Bargatzky,HotelMajestic,pp.36,96–109;USNA,RG242/T–501/196/1138–1145;USNA, RG 242/T-501/165/433–440; Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 135, 219–220. 21 BAMA, RW 35/542/90–119. 22 Nogue`res, Histoire de la Re?sistance en France, vol. II, pp. 348–352. Dr. Ernst Roskothen served as an army lawyer in France and published a semi-fictional account of his experience in Gross-Paris, La Place de la Concorde (Bad Dürrheim: Kuhn, 1977). 175 after the fall Figure 7.1. The Nazis spring a trap, 1944. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress. some connection to the PCF, many were associated with the bataillons de la jeunesse, and some had committed multiple acts of resistance. The capture, trial, and execution of militant communists during the first half of 1942 retarded some of the most dynamic resistance groups.23 German authorities used trials to demonstrate that foreigners and Jews stood behind most resistance activity, and the facts of all three cases supported their contention. The German interpretation failed to resonate with the bulk of the French public because the brief duration of all three trials obscured evidence that supported Germany’s interpretation of events.24 Cameramen filmed the proceedings and newspapers carried detailed accounts of all three cases. The MBF’s propaganda division never released footage of the proceedings, and the verdicts only encouraged Jews, particularly those from Eastern Europe, to resist Nazi Germany because they 23 Nogue`res, Histoire de la Re?sistance en France, vol. II, pp. 367–9, 415–417. 24 Nogue`res, Histoire de la Re?sistance en France, vol. II, pp. 349–352, 367–370; Laborie, L’Opinion fran?caise sous Vichy, pp. 253–256, 264–278. 176 transitions had nothing to lose.25 In the short run, the military administration eliminated several important resistance leaders and validated Otto von Stülpnagel’s orthodox anti-partisan policy. From a longer-term perspective, German political leaders ultimately mishandled the proceedings. Abbreviated judicial proceedings appeared unconvincing and German reprisals seemed brutal and unjustified. Trials were a tactical victory but, at the same time, a strategic defeat. Statistical evidence collected by branches of the military administra- tion continued to suggest a drop in serious resistance activity. While Carl-Heinrich remained in charge of security, the incidence of mur- der, espionage, sabotage, and illegal possession of a firearm continued to decline. Some of the dips may be linked to a decrease in the number of German policemen. As German forces became bogged down on the eastern front, the MBF had to dispatch elements of the military administra- tion—including GFP officers—to the eastern front. German police forces stationed in France never surpassed 3,000 men and were dwarfed by 47,000 Frenchmen in the Gendarmerie alone. German policemen only accounted for a fraction of the law enforcement community in France.26 French police officers worked well with their German counterparts and, according to the MBF, provided invaluable assistance.27 The capture and execution of a few extraordinarily active militants probably also played an important part in reducing the overall incidence of serious resistance activity in 1942. Until labor deportations stirred up additional unrest, the ranks of major resistance groups would remain depleted. While Carl-Heinrich remained in charge of German police forces, resistance activity did not seriously impair the German army or the Nazi regime. Although he carried out orders without complaint and enjoyed some suc- cess, Stülpnagel lost control of German police forces on 1 June 1942. Hitler and Goebbels discussed the replacement of General von Falkenhausen, the 25 Jacques Adler, The Jews of Paris and the Final Solution: Communal Response and Internal Conflicts, 1940–1944 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 165, 188–195; Courtois et al., Le Sang de l’e?tranger, pp. 125–8, 143–170; Rene?e Poznaski, ‘La Re?sistance juive en France,’ Revue d’histoire de la Deuxie`me Guerre Mondiale et des conflits contemporains, 137 (January 1985), 3–32. 26 USNA, RG 242/T-120/3/396–397; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/13/7–14; USNA, RG 242/T-501/157/744–757; and USNA, RG 242/T-501/184/1045–1083. 27 USNA, RG 242/T-501/144/65, 72–73, 185–189; Bernd Kasten, ‘Gute Franzosen.’ Die franzo?sische Polizei und die deutsche Besatzungsmacht im besetzten Frankreich 1940–1944 (Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 1993); Maurice Rajsfus, La Police de Vichy: les forces de l’ordre fran?caises au service de la Gestapo, 1940/1944 (Paris: Le Cherche-Midi e?diteur, 1995), pp. 217–261. 177 after the fall Table 7.1 Arrests for serious resistance activity, October 1941–May 194228 Murder or at- tempted murder Manslaughter Espionage Sabotage Unauthorized pos- session of a gun Oct. 1941 – Nov. 1941 14 0 30 124 870 Dec. 1941 – Jan. 1942 7 1 28 119 604 Feb. 1942 – Mar. 1942 4 4 19 114 579 Apr. 1942 – May 1942 7 0 15 68 357 MBB, at a 24 September 1941 meeting. After the Nantes and Bordeaux assassinations, Goebbels, Lammers, and other leading Nazis urged Hitler to replace military administrations in France and Belgium with civil govern- ments controlled by reliable Nazis.29 Military opposition to the confiscation of Jewish property and protests against Hitler’s reprisal policy suggested that neither the MBF nor the MBB could be trusted to carry out Germany’s racial agenda with the necessary ruthlessness. Apparently Hitler believed that the military administration had some value. Rather than installing a civil government modeled along the lines of the administrations in Poland or Denmark, the Führer left the military administration in place and trans- ferred German reprisal policy to a Senior SS and Police leader (Ho?herer SS- und Polizeiführer or HSSuPF) in France. A decree issued on 13 November 1937 had authorized Heinrich Himm- ler, the Reichsführer-SS und Chef der deutschen Polizei, to appoint an HSSuPF in each military district (Wehrkreis) of the Reich upon mobilization of the army. The HSSuPF coordinated the order police (Ordnungspolizei or Orpo) and security police (Sicherheitspolizei or Sipo) at a local level. By design, the decree did not specify the exact responsibilities of the new office and left the HSSuPF’s relationship with other branches of the Reich government and 28 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/1246 (October–November 1941), USNA, RG 242/T- 501/144/34 – 35 (December 1941 – January 1942), 157 – 158 (February – March 1942), and 232 – 233 (April – May 1942). These numbers are limited to crimes that were prosecuted in German military courts. 29 Fro?hlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, vol. II, part 1, p. 485. Entry dated 24September 1941; DGFP, ser. D, vol. XIII, pp. 672–3. 178 transitions Wehrmacht subject to further instructions from Himmler. In practice, the authority of an HSSuPF varied from district to district; it usually depended on his relationship with Himmler and local circumstances. Once war broke out in 1939, Himmler appointed an HSSuPF to each military district with- in the Reich and later installed HSSuPFs in sections of Poland that were incorporated into the Reich and Hans Frank’s Generalgouvernement.30 After the conquest of Western Europe, Hitler established civil govern- ments in Norway and the Netherlands. Himmler quickly appointed an HSSuPF to both states. HSSuPFs arrived in conquered Soviet territory as German armies advanced further and further east. Areas in which Hitler had installed a military government did not receive HSSuPFs until early 1942, but their arrival did not necessarily indicate army–SS friction. Even though the military government in Serbia had far surpassed Keitel’s 16 September 1941 directive and was well on its way to annihilating all Serbian Jews, Himmler appointed an HSSuPF to the region on 22 January 1942.31 Otto von Stülpnagel’s resistance to draconian reprisals certainly encouraged Hitler and Himmler to insert an HSSuPF in France, but the advent of the Final Solution probably influenced their decision as well. Himmler’s authority derived from three basic titles: head of the SS (Reichsführer-SS), Chief of German Police (Chef der deutschen Polizei), and Reich Commissar for the Protection of German Blood (Reichskommissar für die Festigung deutschen Volkstums). The HSSuPF did not merely function as the top German cop in France; he served as Himmler’s personal representative and coordinated all SS activities within his jurisdiction. Racial and police missions of the HSSuPF complemented one another because they both targeted the same group: Jews. Furthermore, the HSSuPF’s arrival relieved the military administration of two onerous tasks: reprisals and racial cleansing or, in Nazi parlance, ‘Aryanization.’ Once empowered with executive authority, Himmler’s lieutenants could pursue SS racial goals and implement Hitler’s anti-partisan policy without regard 30 Helmut Krausnick, Hans Buchheim, Martin Broszat and Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Antatomy of the SS State, translated by Richard Barry, Marian Jackson, and Dorothy Long (New York: Walker and Company, 1968), pp. 213–214; Ruth Bettina Birn, Die Ho?heren SS- und Polizeifuhrer: Himmler’s Vetreter im Reich und in den besetzten Gebieten (Düsseldorf: Droste, 1986), pp 186–206. 31 Birn, Die Ho?heren SS und Polizeiführer, pp. 206–230, 238–249; Christopher Browning, ‘Wehrmacht reprisal policy and the murder of the male Jews in Serbia’ in Christopher Browning, Fateful Months: Essays on the Emergence of the Final Solution (New York: Homes & Meier, 1985), pp. 39–56; Walter Manoschek, ‘The extermination of the Jews in Serbia,’ in Ulrich Herbert (ed.), National Socialist Extermination Policies, pp. 163–185. 179 after the fall for opposition from conservative military officers. As members of the old guard of the Nazi party who had Himmler’s complete trust, HSSuPFs were ideally suited to handle special projects like the Final Solution.32 Field Marshal Keitel welcomed the installation of an HSSuPF in France. After a contentious exchange with Otto von Stülpnagel on 23 January 1942, Keitel directed General Warlimont to consider ways of redistributing responsibilities for security and reprisals in France. OKW eventually decided to negotiate with Heydrich and the SS.33 In mid-January, Admiral Canaris, the head of the Abwehr, met with Heydrich and Heinrich ‘Gestapo’ Müller, the head of the political police, to discuss counter-espionage responsibilities and other security issues. Canaris and Heydrich simply expanded the scope of their discussions to include the entire SS–Abwehr relationship. On 6 April, both organizations distributed a new set of principles, known as the ten commandments (Zehn Gebote), that established the jurisdiction of both agencies.34 Under the 1942 Zehn Gebote, the SS expanded at the expense of the Abwehr and GFP. Military organizations limited their activities to protecting the armed forces and military installations from foreign agents. In contrast, the SS gained permission to collect intelligence on Germany’s opponents and pursue foreign agents throughout the territory controlled by the Reich. Heydrich also won the right to report on political and economic developments and could thus influence future German policy. Himmler’s right-hand man used his new authority to mount a concerted campaign against what he believed to be the usual agents of foreign espionage organizations: Jews and communists. Devout Nazis viewed counter-espionage operations as related to and integrally linked with Nazi racial goals.35 Like Keitel, Canaris passed unsavory tasks to the SS. The SS expanded its brief to encompass all security measures—which included racial cleansing — in the Reich and occupied territories throughout Europe. The installation of a HSSuPF in France fitted within a general pattern of SS expansion and military retreat. 32 USNA, RG 242/T-501/172/482–484; Birn, Die Ho?heren SS- und Polizeiführer, pp. 18, 23, 106 – 112. 33 Birn, Die Ho?heren SS und Polizeiführer, p. 250; BAMA, RW 5/690/39–43, 46–48; BAK, All. Proz. 21/Proce`s Oberg-Knochen/20; USNA, RG 242/T-175/140/2668340–2668345. 34 BAMA, RW 5/690/21–23; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1513/635–639. 35 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1513/555–569; BAMA, RW 5/690/58–67, 77–80. 180 transitions Himmler appointed Carl Albrecht Oberg to serve as the HSSuPF in France. Born in 1897, Oberg grew up in Hamburg where his father was as a physician. After receiving his Abitur in 1914, he joined the army, won the Iron Cross first and second class, and earned a battlefield commission before being demobilized in 1919. After spending three years in the free corps movement, Oberg settled down and married in 1923. For the remainder of the Weimar era, he worked as a paper salesman, private secretary, clerk, and tobacco store manager. He joined the Nazi party in 1931, entered the SS in 1932, and, after the Nazi seizure of power, went to work full-time for the personnel and organization division of the Reichsführer-SS Hauptamt in Berlin. Once the war broke out, he worked in Zwickau and later served as an SS Police Leader (SS- und Polizeiführer or SSuPF) in Radom (south of Warsaw) with the SS rank of Brigadeführer.36 As an HSSuPF, Oberg had considerable authority. He received orders from and answered directly to Himmler — Oberg did not have to take orders from Heydrich or RSHA. In theory, the MBF could ‘direct’ the operations of the HSSuPF, but this authority amounted to little in practice. General von Stülpnagel could only issue binding orders during a military emergency, and his subordinates had even less influence. If a local or regional military commander wanted to make a request to his opposite number in the SS, his wishes had to travel up the military chain of command to the MBF, who would discuss the matter with the HSSuPF, and then a subsequent decision would return down the separate military and SS channels.37 If the MBF disagreed with the HSSuPF, the dispute would be resolved by Keitel and Himmler in Berlin. Given Keitel’s pusillanimous nature and OKW’s record of not supporting field commanders, this safeguard offered little protection. Hitler issued orders that installed an HSSuPF in France on 9 March 1942, and the MBF clarified the Führer’s general guidelines in a series of regulations that were released just before Oberg formally assumed his post on 1 June. Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel insisted upon close Army–SS 36 Birn, Die Ho?heren SS- und Polizeifuhrer, p. 341; USNA, RG 153/144 (War Crimes Branch)/Box 5/Folder 100 – 197/nfn (Oberg’s P.I.R. file); Ulrich Lappenküper, ‘Der ‘‘Schla?chter von Paris’’: Carl-Albrecht Oberg als Ho?herer SS- und Polizeiführer in Frankreich 1942–1944,’ in Stefan Martens and Maurice Vaïsse (eds.), Frankreich und Deutschland im Krieg (Novem- ber 1942–Herbst 1944): Okkupation, Kollaboration, Re?sistance (Bonn: Bouvier Verlag, 2000), pp. 129–143. 37 BALW, R 70 Frankreich/13/53–56. 181 after the fall cooperation and would not allow ongoing police investigations to be interrupted. He told his subordinates, specifically the police and justice divisions of the military administration, to turn over all information relating to ongoing cases and demanded a seamless transition. Stülpnagel surpassed the terms of Hitler’s 9 March order that placed both French and German police forces under the HSSuPF’s control and transferred responsibility for the oversight of French political organizations, unions, and youth organizations to Oberg’s lieutenants. The SS also took charge of foreigners interned by the French or German governments and handled cases of sabotage and assassination throughout the occupied zone. According to Hitler’s 9 March order and the Zehn Gebote, the MBF could only investigate cases of espionage aimed at military installations and military personnel.38 Furthermore, the HSSuPF’s subordinate, the Commander of the Security Police and SD in France (Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD or BdS), relieved the MBF of his ‘reporting duty’ (Meldepflicht). The ability to describe and interpret the situation in France had helped the MBF fend off criticism from the Paris embassy after the Nantes and Bordeaux assassinations in the fall of 1941. Without authority to send official reports to superiors in Berlin, the MBF lost the ability to frame events in a manner that favored the military administration. If he could not explain his perspective to the political and military leadership of the Reich, the MBF could not effectively defend what little authority he and his military administration still possessed. To make matters worse, the duty of interpreting French affairs passed to Helmut Knochen, the long-time SS commander in France. Otto von Stülpnagel had requested Knochen’s recall after the BdS submitted a patently false report on synagogue bombings in October 1941. Not only did the military lose an important weapon in the war against rival German agencies, but the tool fell into the hands of a dedicated anti-Semite who did not share the MBF’s sense of restraint. After Oberg arrived in mid-1942, the MBF could only comment on economic affairs. Although Hitler’s 9 March 1942 order gave him control over all ‘sanc- tions’ and ‘countermeasures’ (Vorbeugungs- und Sühnemassnahmen), the HSSuPF did not freeze the military administration out of all security matters. Regional and local branches of the military administration retained the right to impose fines, prohibitions, and curfews. They continued to 38 USNA, RG 242/T-501/172/441, 453–454. 182 transitions organize the local population into guard detachments that would protect lines of communication and patrol the border between unoccupied France and Franco’s Spain. Both Oberg and Stülpnagel expected the military administration and SS to work together with regard to mundane security matters, but the SS retained exclusive control of the French police and oversaw major investigations.39 The HSSuPF realized that he did not have the resources to fulfill all of his missions on his own, and gradually ceded control of minor security concerns back to the military administration.40 To further extend his authority and overcome personnel shortages, Oberg tried to issue orders directly to GFP and Abwehr units that were already assigned to the military administration. Admiral Canaris, the man ultimately in charge of the Abwehr and GFP, refused to place military per- sonnel under SS jurisdiction. From his office in Berlin, Canaris effectively blocked Oberg’s incursion and avoided a precedent that could endanger the independence of the entire Wehrmacht. Keitel supported Canaris’s general strategy but did not dare to flagrantly oppose Himmler. He eventually negotiated an agreement with the SS that disbanded most GFP groups in France. The SS, in turn, immediately drafted the demobilized members of the GFP into the Black Corps. Younger agents were sent to the eastern front while older policemen returned to France for service in the Sicherheit- spolizei under the command of Helmut Knochen. Few escaped the clutches of the SS.41 General Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel and SS-Brigadeführer Oberg worked well together and forged a series of agreements that established the respective tasks and responsibilities of the SS and military administration before the HSSuPF formally assumed his post. During this delicate pro- cess, neither referred a dispute to higher authorities in Berlin. After the October 1941 synagogue bombings, Otto von Stülpnagel banned all SS personnel from the Hotel Majestic. In contrast, Oberg frequently visited Carl-Heinrich and coordinated policy with the military administration whenever circumstances dictated. The two men had served in the same 39 USNA, RG 242/T-501/172/482–484. 40 UNSA, RG 242/T-77/1634/folder 12/nfn (MBF Verwaltungsstab–Abt. Verwaltung, 31Mai 1942, Az. V in 100/1/1400/42g.); BALW, R 70 Frankreich/12/1–4. 41 BALW, R 58/861/fiche 2/54 – 55; USNA, RG 338/Foreign Military Studies/Fiche 0027/FMS number C-029, ‘The secret field police’ by Wilhelm Kirchbaum; Klaus Gess- ner, Geheime Feldpolizei (Berlin: Milita?rverlag der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, 1986), pp. 65–9. 183 after the fall regiment during World War One, and this common bond may have helped them maintain cordial relations during the Occupation.42 Hitler’s 9 March 1942 directive allowed Oberg to issue instructions to various branches of the French police forces, but the Führer did not define the precise relationship between the Vichy regime and the HSSuPF. In order to clarify matters, Oberg won the right to negotiate directly with Vichy. He did not have to work through the German embassy in Paris or a military liaison officer. With an open channel to the very highest echelons of the French government and almost unlimited power as the head of German security forces in France, Oberg could play a decisive role in Franco-German relations. The Vichy government heard about Oberg’s appointment in April 1942.43 On 5 May, Reinhard Heydrich flew to Paris and introduced the new HSSuPF to French officials. On the same day that they arrived, Oberg and Heydrich spoke with Fernand de Brinon, Vichy’s representative in Paris, and Louis Darquier de Pellepoix, the new Commissioner-General for Jewish Affairs (Commissaire-ge?ne?ral aux questions juives or CGQJ) in SS offices on l’avenue Foch.44 Leaders of the military administration met Oberg at a dinner held in the Ritz hotel that same night, and Rene? Bousquet discussed police business with the two senior SS officers the next morning: 6 May 1942. The meeting with Bousquet, who Laval had appointed the Secretary-General of the Police (Secre?tariat-ge?ne?ral a` la Police) in the Ministry of the Interior, lasted over two hours and explored how French and German policemen would work together.45 Hitler’s 9 March 1942 order installing an HSSuPF in France allowed Oberg to ‘supervise and issue instructions to French authorities and police forces. He is responsible for the employment of the French police in the occupied zone.’ In other words, the Führer granted Oberg con- trol of French police forces in occupied France.46 Since the Occupation 42 Wilhelm von Schramm, Conspiracy Among Generals, translated by R. T. Clark (New York: Scribner and Sons, 1956), pp. 125, 143, 169; BAK, All. Proz. 21/Proce`s Oberg-Knochen/33, 35. 43 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1624/folder 3/45–48; USNA, RG 242/T-120/2398/E209343– E290347. 44 Corinna Franz, Fernand de Brinon und die deutsch–franzoesischen Beziehungen, 1918–1945 (Bonn: Bouvier Verlag, 2000); Gilbert Joseph, Fernand de Brinon: L’Aristocrate de la collaboration (Paris: Albin Michel, 2002); Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 283–293. 45 Pascale Froment, Rene? Bousquet (Paris: Stock, 1994), pp. 200–204, 207–213. 46 BALW, R 70 Frankreich/13/53–56. 184 transitions Figure 7.2. Prime Minister Laval (left) and HSSuPF Oberg (centre), 1 May 1943. Photograph courtesy of the Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H25719. had begun in 1940, the Vichy regime consistently tried to preserve the principle of French sovereignty by using French authorities to carry out German policies. Both Laval and Admiral Darlan tried to reinforce the precedent that French bureaucrats and the Vichy government ruled France. By doing so, they hoped to block German penetration of the French bureaucracy and prevent the gradual break-up of France. The arrival of Oberg and his mandate to supervise French police endangered Vichy’s control over its own police force and, by extension, French sove- reignty. Secretary-General Bousquet certainly understood the basic policy of the Vichy government. During his meeting with Oberg and Heydrich on 6 May, Bousquet tried to persuade Himmler’s lieutenants to stop reprisal executions, preserve Vichy’s sovereignty, and get all German policemen to work with French counterparts through official channels. Like Laval, the Secretary-General of French Police wanted to keep ultra-collaborationists such as Marcel De?at out of the official decision-making process and block 185 after the fall unauthorized collaboration between local French and German officials. In return, he offered to share information and cooperate with German policemen.47 Given the severe shortage of trained policemen, RSHA could not afford to send additional SS officers to France and closely supervise French police forces.48 At a dinner held in the Hotel Majestic during his visit, Heydrich told the MBF and 50–60 MVW officials in attendance that he did not intend to use ‘eastern methods’ in France. He explained that hostage executions demonstrated Germany’s weakness and had to be curtailed. Instead, Heydrich planned to enlist the French police in Germany’s struggle against communists and terrorists who were attacking German forces.49 Heydrich and Bousquet were prepared to make some accommodations. Heydrich’s assassination on 29 May disrupted Franco-German talks, and Oberg needed time to settle into his new position once he was formal- ly installed on 1 June 1942.50 Eager to resume negotiations, Bousquet sent a note to Oberg on 18 June. The HSSuPF conferred with superi- ors in Berlin, diplomats attached to the German embassy in Paris, and the MBF before replying on 23 July. Oberg congratulated Bousquet on the ‘commendable’ performance of the French police and outlined mea- sures to further increase their effectiveness.51 The new HSSuPF offered to provide better weapons, permitted the opening of a school to train police officers, and allowed the French police autonomy as long as they followed German directives. In return, Oberg expected Bousquet to maintain law and order throughout France, share all intelligence, and collaborate closely with the SS. Bousquet’s 18 June letter offered to collaborate against ‘anarchism, communism, and terrorism,’ but Oberg’s 23 July reply tried to expand this definition to include ‘all enemies of the Reich.’52 Bousquet recognized that Oberg’s reply inflated the scope of Franco- German collaboration. On 29 July, the Secretary-General asked Oberg to 47 Kasten, Gute Franzosen, pp. 70–71; Froment, Rene? Bousquet, pp. 162–3, 174–188, 205. 48 BALW, R 19 (Ordnungspolizei)/97/55. 49 BAK, All. Proz. 21/217/455–457; Luther, Der franzo?sische Widerstand, p. 214. 50 Froment, Rene? Bousquet, pp. 205, 214–217; Kasten, Gute Franzosen, pp. 69–73. 51 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 209–213; Oberg’s congratulations probably referred to the Vel d’Hiv round-ups carried out by the French police in the middle of July. Bousquet and Laval may have authorized the raids to demonstrate French reliability. 52 USNA, RG 242/T-120/2398/E209364–E209367; Kasten, Gute Franzosen, p. 72. 186 transitions specify the duties and responsibilities of the French police. He once again offered to pursue anarchists, terrorists, and communists because all three groups jeopardized order and endangered Germany. Bousquet volunteered to hunt down Vichy’s opponents and did not mind collaborating with German forces against common enemies, but he did not want to give the HSSuPF a blank check to use the French police however he wished. In Bousquet’s opinion, Franco-German collaboration should be limited to civil matters revolving around the maintenance of order. He did not want to get the French involved in ‘purely military affairs’ that were the exclusive domain of the HSSuPF.53 Oberg unveiled his final offer during a lunch meeting on 8 August 1942 in his private apartment on the boulevard Lannes. Before a small group of prefects and senior police officials, the HSSuPF promised to issue instructions through the French administration and preserve the illusion of French sovereignty. He also agreed to leave the French police out of the reprisal process and assured the assembled officials that ‘people arrested by them [the French police] would not be the object of reprisals ordered by German authorities.’ In return, the French would have to cooperate in the repression of the Reich’s enemies and specifically listed ‘communists, terrorists, and saboteurs.’54 In the mind of every dedicated SS officer, these latter three groups certainly included racial opponents of the Nazi regime. The French delegation retired to offices on the rue de Monceau to review the HSSuPF’s offer. Unfamiliar with SS duplicity, Bousquet told colleagues that the accord was a binding declaration that limited German demands and French collaboration. He believed that the agreement allowed the French considerable autonomy and stopped French participation in German reprisals. After some discussion, the rest of the French delegation concurred. Oberg viewed the accord in a rather different light. He later described the Oberg–Bousquet accords as an unsigned ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that outlined Franco-German collaboration. Articles of the Oberg–Bousquet accord obliged French policemen to support and protect the German army but placed few limits on the demands that Germany could make in return. Exploiting Bousquet’s naïvete?, Oberg expanded the scope of collaboration 53 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz: 1942, pp. 297–300; BAK, All. Proz. 21/209/407–411. 54 BAK, All. Proz. 21/209/415–417. 187 after the fall to include the deportation of Jews and pushed France further down the slippery slope of collaboration.55 Behind closed doors, Oberg outlined comparatively moderate security policies to Secretary-General Bousquet and representatives of the Vichy regime. In public, however, the new HSSuPF described a different course. On 10 July, posters throughout Paris congratulated the majority of French- men and women who continued to go about their daily business despite assassinations, sabotage, and other provocations carried out by English and Soviet agents. As a reward, Oberg guaranteed peace and quiet to the populace. Toward this end, he announced a new policy of repression that was aimed at the relatives of resistance fighters. If families did not turn in relatives who had attacked the German army within ten days of the original crime, the HSSuPF threatened to execute all siblings and cousins over 18 years of age. Female relatives would be deported to Germany for an unde- termined sentence of forced labor, and children would be sent to reform schools.56 While reprisals ordered by the MBF tried to target ideological fellow-travelers and ‘criminal associates,’ the HSSuPF embraced a policy of blatant terror by striking at the family members of resistance fighters. The German embassy in Paris did not oppose the method outlined in Oberg’s 10 July announcement, and distributed versions of his policy to the French press. It considered the people who stood behind sabotage and assassinations to be ruthless and undeserving of mercy. Initial assassinations carried out by resistance groups violated the laws of war and warranted Ger- man reprisals. A diplomat attached to the embassy argued that ‘destruction of an insidious adversary must be the only principle guiding German coun- termeasures.’ Both the embassy and the HSSuPF judged Allied protests that were based on ‘humanitarian phraseology’ to be the height of hypocrisy. They considered Germany to be just as brutal as their Allied opponents, but took solace in the honesty of the Reich’s candor.57 Two well-known attacks forced the HSSuPF to reconcile public threats with private assurances made to Bousquet. On 5 August 1942, unknown ‘terrorists’ tossed hand grenades at a group of German airmen jogging around a Parisian athletic field. Go? ring and Hugo Sperrle, the local Luftwaffe commander, immediately demanded sharp reprisals. Under considerable 55 Froment, Rene? Bousquet, pp. 217–221; Kasten, Gute Franzosen, pp. 71–3; Paxton, Vichy France, pp. 131–5; BAK, All. Proz. 21/209/407. 56 BAK, All. Proz. 21/217/465. 57 USNA, RG 242/T-120/2398/E209360–E209363. 188 transitions political pressure from a rival paladin, Himmler directed Oberg to execute a total of ninety-three prisoners or three Frenchmen for each German killed and two Frenchmen for each German wounded. On 11 August, the SS shot eighty-eight prisoners who were suspected of being associated with a terrorist group to satisfy the Luftwaffe’s thirst for revenge.58 Fifty-seven of the victims had been arrested by the French police and had not committed a crime against the German army.59 The HSSuPF had waited a mere three days to violate terms of the Oberg–Bousquet accords. A group linked to the Francs Tireurs et Partisans/Mouvement Ouvrier International (FTP/MOI) carried out another attack on 19 September 1942. The Valmy cell—named after the 20 September 1792 battle that stemmed a counter-revolutionary invasion—exploded a bomb in the ‘Rex’ movie theater and claimed fifty-eight casualties. Although bloody, the attack did not cause an immediate sensation. German personnel in Paris had become accustomed to resistance activity and had adapted to the hostile atmosphere.60 The HSSuPF ordered the immediate execution of 116 hostages (70 imprisoned in Bordeaux and 46 held in Romainville, just outside Paris), placed all theaters and cinemas off limits to Frenchmen, and imposed a strict curfew in the Seine, Seine-et-Oise, and Seine-et-Marne de?partements. Why the HSSuPF chose hostages from the Romainville and Bordeaux prisons remains unclear. The decision represented a break with the MBF’s policy which called for the execution of hostages from the same region as the original attack. The Valmy group operated in metropolitan Paris, had about thirty-five members, and carried out thirty-one attacks between 29 July 1941 and 16 October 1942 before being broken up by French and German policemen. A large supply of communist prisoners in Bordeaux and Romainville may have influenced Oberg’s decision, or he may have thought the random nature of the executions (as opposed to always using ‘local’ hostages) would make his countermeasures even more terrible and therefore more effective.61 58 USNA, RG 242/T-120/1854/E040540 – E040543; Luther, Der franzo?sische Widerstand, p.217. Numbers of dead and wounded come from Luther but do not match diplomatic reports that list 4 dead, 10 seriously injured, 19 lightly injured, 7 ambulatory cases, and 1 nervous breakdown. 59 Froment, Rene? Bousquet, p. 222. 60 BAK, All. Proz. 21/217/301–303, 315; Luther, Der franzo?sische Widerstand, pp. 217–219. 61 IMT, vol. XXXVII, pp. 190–199; USNA, RG 242/T-175/129/2655204–2655206; BAK, All. Proz. 21/217/343–349, 537–541. 189 after the fall Between 1 June 1942 and the liberation of France in the fall of 1944, the HSSuPF executed 254 hostages in response to 3 dramatic assassinations.62 In contrast, Otto and Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel ordered the execution of 471 hostages while they served as the MBF.63 Statistics suggest that the HSSuPF followed a more moderate reprisal policy than his military counterparts, but these numbers are deceptive: several factors belie alleged SS moderation. First, the MBF controlled all hostage executions, recorded the entire hostage process, and publicized reprisals in order to ‘teach’ Frenchmen that resistance did not pay. Neither methodical nor exacting, the HSSuPF allowed local and regional subordinates to carry out reprisals on their own accord and preferred not to leave a paper trail. Oberg did not know about all reprisal actions carried out by subordinates and did not report every incident to superiors in Berlin. While the MBF used reprisals to impress the folly of resistance upon the French public, the SS used hostage executions to liquidate enemies. By design, the HSSuPF did not control, record, or publicize hostage executions.64 Second, the HSSuPF had more reprisal options than either of his military counterparts. In addition to reprisal executions, the HSSuPF could arrest hostages under the Nacht und Nebel Erlass and count the subsequent deportations as equivalent to hostage executions. Keitel issued the Nacht und Nebel Erlass on 7 December 1941 while Otto von Stülpnagel remained in charge of the military administration, but the MBF could not take advantage of the alternative policy. Transportation shortages aggravated by the Soviet winter offensive and troop movements prevented the deportation of substantial numbers of Frenchmen that would be necessary to satisfy Hitler. Oberg’s arrival coincided with an improvement in the transportation situation. The HSSuPF could substitute deportations for hostage executions, but the former could be just as deadly as the latter and, when carried out in accordance with Hitler’s wishes, targeted the same people: Jews. During 62 For the third case, the assassination of Julius Ritter on 10 September 1943, see Luther, Der franzo?sische Widerstand, pp. 219–220 and Froment, Rene? Bousquet, p. 415. For the total number of hostage executions carried out by the HSSuPF, see Luther, Der franzo?sische Widerstand, pp.269–274; Umbreit, Der Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich 1940–1944, pp. 140–146. 63 BAMA, RW 35/542/120. 64 Birn, Die Ho?heren SS- und Polizeiführur, pp. 91–3, 106–131; IMT, vol. VI, pp. 383–4. Nogue`res, Histoire de la Re?sistance en France, vols. 3 and 4 mention additional reprisal executions that are not described by Luther, HSSuPF records, or military archives. 190 transitions the Occupation, German authorities deported at least 6,639 people under the Nacht und Nebel Erlass.65 Hitler also made the HSSuPF’s job a bit easier by releasing the so- called Commando Order. Issued in October 1942, the decree ordered subordinates to not take enemy commandos prisoner, even if they were caught wearing a uniform and bearing weapons openly. Officers who mistakenly took prisoners were to turn commandos over to the SD immediately, and the Führer threatened to prosecute officers who did not follow his directive with dereliction of duty to drive his point home.66 Fearful of Allied reprisals against captured soldiers and downed pilots, the military hesitated to carry out the Commando Order and regularly issued ‘clarifications’ that distinguished combatants who could be treated as prisoners of war from guerrillas who were subject to the Commando Order. The Führer preferred an expansive definition of a commando, but enthusiasm for his interpretation decreased as one approached the front.67 SD agents usually operated in rear areas, ran little risk of falling into enemy hands, and volunteered to take captured Allied commandos off the Wehrmacht’s hands.68 The Commando Order allowed the SS to shoot partisans without a trial, reduced the need for damaging public executions, and did not create a paper trail. On 30 June 1942, Himmler installed an SS police court in France.69 The new judiciary supplemented military courts-martial and could also be used to prosecute members of the French resistance. While in charge of German police forces, the military administration followed traditional rules of military justice. Trials of people who were accused of resistance activity in early 1942 followed rules set forth in the Milita?rgesetzbuch. SS courts, particularly if short of judicial personnel, may not have been so meticulous. The SS adopted a modified version of the military legal system and could certainly use abbreviated procedures set forth in the KStVO and KSSVO. Using a truncated legal code, SS courts were staffed with dedicated National-Socialists who could handle French criminals in a way 65 Luther, Der franzo?sische Widerstand, p. 136; Umbreit, Der Militarbefehlshaber in Frankreich 1940–1944, p. 145. 66 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1430/168–171, 176–182; Blood, Hitler’s Bandit Hunters, pp. 81–3. 67 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1428/797, 869–870, 1010–1012. 68 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1428/812–813. 69 USNA, RG 242/T-580/95/nfn (Der RFSS, Hauptamt SS-Gericht, II/203/265, Tgb. 695/42, München den 8/7/42); Krausnick et al., Anatomy of the SS State, pp. 248–254. 191 after the fall that was bound to satisfy both Himmler and Hitler; they also provided a fourth way to liquidate alleged terrorists away from the public eye.70 Fifth, the Reichsführer-SS and his lieutenants did not have a zealous rival driving them toward extreme measures. While the MBF remained in charge of security and reprisals during the first half of the Occupation, SS critics in Paris and Nazis in Berlin condemned the MBF’s moderation. Who would dare accuse the head of the SS of being soft on enemies of the Reich? Certainly not Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel or Wilhelm Keitel. Like his military predecessors, Himmler depended upon support from the French police and could not afford to shoot thousands of Frenchmen after the death of a few German soldiers. Without a deadly political rival standing over his shoulder, Oberg enjoyed more leeway than his military predecessors.71 Hitler specifically ordered hostage executions in at least seven of the thirty major sabotage and assassination cases that were handled by the military administration. After the 5 August 1942 grenade attack, Himm- ler—not Hitler—ordered Oberg to shoot ninety-three hostages. With the trustworthy Reichsführer-SS in charge of sabotage countermeasures, Hitler may not have felt compelled to monitor resistance activity or German reprisals. The Führer allowed Himmler and the SS a degree of latitude that would never have been awarded to an army officer. Himmler functioned as a buffer between the HSSuPF and the Führer. Oberg further reduced the need for executions by not reporting every incident of sabotage to superiors in Berlin.72 If Hitler and Himmler did not know about a particular attack, they could not order draconian reprisals. After the liberation of France, the French government estimated that 29,660 Frenchmen had been shot as hostages during World War Two, but the French government used an expansive definition of ‘hostage’ (otage) and included people shot by the regular army and SS units as Germany retreated in the fall of 1944. Statistics compiled by the MBF and HSSuPF indicate that German police forces executed about 725 French hostages, but German data does not include thousands of prisoners deported under the Nacht und 70 BALW, R 58/642/1–9; Wüllner, Die NS-Milita?rjustiz und das Elend der Geschichtsschreibung, pp. 298–9. 71 USNA, RG 242/T-501/184/1045–1083, especially p. 1070. 72 BAMA, RW 35/542/40–120, particularly cases 5, 6, 7, 9, 13, 16, and 19; Birn, Die Ho?heren SS- und Polizeiführer, p. 256; Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 282–4. 192 transitions Nebel Erlass, executions carried out by junior SS commands, or Frenchmen shot by the regular army in the final weeks of the Occupation. French and German accounts struggle to distinguish dubious hostage executions from shooting of unlawful combatants who had violated the rules of war. Political considerations and problems associated with memory undermine statistical surveys carried out immediately after the war. A recent summary of available data suggests that a total of about 20,000 French men and women perished during the Occupation. If anti-partisan operations during the final months of the Occupation and summary executions carried out by the regular army as it retreated toward Germany claimed approximately 12–14,000 French lives, then approximately 6,000–8,000 French men and women perished through hostage executions, deportations, and equivalent measures ordered by the MBF and HSSuPF. Atrocities carried out by the field army during the liberation of France probably accounted for the bulk of French casualties, but this should not obscure or excuse the lethal nature of army and SS reprisal policies.73 73 IMT, vol. XXXVII, p. 212; Lieb, Konventioneller Krieg oder NS Weltanschauungskrieg, pp.289–299, 412–415. 193 8 Defamation, discrimination, and despoliation Before 1942, the fortunes of war clearly favored the Axis powers on the continent of Europe. German victories in Poland (September 1939), Norway (April 1940), France (June 1940), Yugoslavia (April 1941), Greece (April 1941), and Crete (May 1941) overshadowed the ‘miracle at Dunkirk’ and Britain’s successful defense of the skies over London. Winston Churchill recognized Great Britain’s grim situation when he exclaimed that ‘[w]ars are not won by evacuations.’1 The 22 June 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union inaugurated another round of Axis triumphs. German soldiers captured 324,000 Soviet troops around Minsk (9 July), 310,000 near Smolensk (5 August), 665,000 in Kiev (26 September), and 663,000 in Vyazma/Bryansk (10 October).2 Allied troops fared somewhat better in North Africa. Italian forces occupied sections of northwestern Egypt in September 1940, but Mussolini’s success evaporated after British forces liberated Egypt, captured 130,000 prisoners, and seized portions of Italian Libya by February 1941. In conjunction with Italian troops, the newly arrived German Africa Corps invaded Egypt during the spring and summer of 1941, but Axis forces were themselves forced to retreat in January 1942.3 1 Churchill quoted in Horne, To Lose a Battle, p. 554. 2 John Lucas, War on the Eastern Front: The German Soldier in Russia 1941–1945 (Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1979), p. 176; R. H. S. Stolfi, Hitler’s Panzers East: World War Two Reinterpreted (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), pp. 192–3; Glantz and House, When Titans Clashed, pp. 49–87; John Erickson, The Road to Stalingrad (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1975), pp. 101–248. 3 Weinberg, A World At Arms, pp. 264–299; Parker, Struggle for Survival, pp. 106–114. defamation, discrimination, and despoliation Allied defensive stands in late 1941 marked the end of the beginning of World War Two—a stage punctuated by dramatic Axis victories and humiliating Allied retreats—and introduced a period during which both sides experienced mixed results. Hitler responded to new conditions with characteristic aggression. After learning about the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Führer rushed back to Berlin and declared war on the United States because a ‘great power does not allow itself to be declared war upon; it declares war on others.’4 Hitler could embark on a policy of total war without fear of political repercussions because all of the Great Powers had joined either the Axis or the Allied cause. In response to the December 1941 Soviet counter-offensive, Hitler fired dozens of generals, reorganized the German chain of command, and adopted new policies. During the height of the Soviet attack, both field commanders and Army High Command asked Hitler, the head of Armed Forces High Command (OKW) since 1938, for permission to retreat. Characterizing such requests as defeatist, the Führer replaced Gerd von Rundstedt, Fedor von Bock, and other pessimistic generals with reliable Nazis like Walther von Reichenau or opportunistic commanders such as Hans Günther von Kluge. Second, Hitler accepted Field Mar- shal von Brauchitsch’s resignation on 19 December 1941 and assumed direct control of Army High Command (OKH). The Führer replaced doubters with obedient soldiers and concentrated power in his own hands.5 In addition to personnel changes, Hitler instituted new policies to deal with changing circumstances. As German forces became bogged down on the eastern front, the Führer ordered a ruthless crackdown on all resistance activity. OKW’s 16 September 1941 directive ordered military commanders to answer sabotage and espionage with death. The 7 December 1941 Night and Fog decree (Nacht und Nebel Erlass) meted out ‘special treatment’ to real and imagined partisans, Jews, and communists. Toward the end of 1942, Hitler instructed the army to offer no quarter to commandos, even when unconventional soldiers qualified as lawful combatants according to the laws of war. By 1945, OKW considered renouncing the Hague and Geneva conventions so that Germany could fight without any sense of 4 Gerhard L. Weinberg, Germany, Hitler, and World War II (New York: Cambridge, 1995), pp. 194–204. Ribbentrop uttered the quote, but it certainly reflected Hitler’s point of view. 5 Megargee, Inside Hitler’s High Command, pp. 142–169, 160–161. 195 after the fall restraint.6 As fortune turned against Germany, Hitler championed ever more ruthless measures. Nazi ideology links deadly anti-partisan measures to the so-called Final Solution of the Jewish Question (die Endlo?sung der Judenfrage). Long before the Nazi party gained control of the German state, Adolf Hitler believed that Jews exercised a disproportionate influence on European society. In the Führer’s mind, all of Germany’s problems could be traced back to malevolent Jews, and the ‘question’ was how to eliminate Jewish influence in Germany and Europe. Nazi lieutenants proposed a range of solutions including, but not limited to, despoliation, sterilization, resettlement within a greater German Reich, and enforced emigration.7 The outbreak of war in 1939, continued British resistance, and military setbacks in December 1941 eliminated compulsory emigration, resettlement in Madagascar, and deportation to Siberia as viable options. SS experiments proved sterilization to be slow and inefficient. Increasing resistance behind the eastern front seemed to underline the danger of the alleged Jewish conspiracy, so something had to be done. At some time in 1941, senior Nazi leaders settled upon the Final Solution (die Endlo?sung) or outright murder of all European Jews as the definitive ‘answer’ to the so-called Jewish Question and the problem of resistance.8 Changes instituted in the wake of the 1941 Soviet counter-offensive removed people and isolated institutions that had previously impeded Hitler’s racial policy: 1941 marked a major turning point in World War Two. The arrival of new leadership transformed the German military govern- ment in France. Following his own predilection and Keitel’s advice, Hitler installed the apparently compliant Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel as MBF on 16 February 1942. One month later, Colonel Hans Otfried von Linstow superseded Hans Speidel as the MBF’s Chief of Staff. Neither Linstow nor Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel could block Hitler’s anti-partisan policy or obstruct the Final Solution because SS-Brigadeführer Carl Oberg, a member of the Nazi party since 1931, assumed control of German security forces in France.9 Older generals inculcated with the values of the Imperial Army gave way to younger men who identified with the goals of the Nazi 6 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1430/168–172, 176–182; USNA, RG 242/T-77/1429/245–257. 7 Ian Kershaw, The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation, 3rd edn. (New York: Arnold, 1993), pp. 80–107. 8 Browning, Fateful Months, pp. 8–38. 9 BAMA, RW 5/690/39–45. 196 defamation, discrimination, and despoliation regime. With Oberg in charge of security and the military administration handicapped by what appeared to be timid leadership, Hitler had rea- son to expect a vigorous campaign against communists, partisans, and Jews. Hitler also reorganized the military hierarchy in Western Europe to account for Allied progress and an increased emphasis on racial policy. In March 1942, Field Marshal von Rundstedt replaced Erwin von Witzleben as the head of Army Group D, a skeleton command in charge of active army units in western Europe. Over the next several months, OKW transformed Army Group D into the supreme command for German forces in the west (Oberbefehlshaber West or Ob West). The command oversaw the military government in Belgium (MBB), the MBF in the originally occupied portion of France, and the rump of Army Group D in the newly occupied portion of the Hexagon.10 After Hitler created Ob West, neither the MBF nor the MBB had direct access to Hitler, OKW, or OKH. The new structure insulated the highest echelons of the German armed forces from cantankerous subordinates who disagreed with Nazi methods and policy. In response to the Allied invasion of North Africa, Axis troops occupied southern France on 11 November 1942. Rather than expanding the MBF’s jurisdiction, Hitler designated the newly occupied zone as an ‘operational area,’ and placed it under the control of Army Group D and Ob West. OKW expected General von Stülpnagel’s staff to provide technical expertise but explicitly forbade the installation of a military government.11 Hitler’s penchant for complicated command structures did not extend to the SS. The same 16 November 1942 order that placed the newly occupied zone under Army Group D allowed Oberg to expand his brief throughout France. The HSSuPF simply opened new offices in Limoges, Vichy, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, and Toulouse. Although suspicious of conservative generals and ‘the spirit of Zossen,’ the Führer tolerated centralized police networks under SS control. Personnel and structural changes introduced in December 1941 cleared the path for the Final Solution in France. The chain of command limited 10 Samuel W. Mitcham, Hitler’s Legions: The German Army Order of Battle in World War II (New York: Stein & Day, 1985), pp. 494–6; Umbreit, Der Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich 1940–1944, pp. 62–7, 97–106. 11 Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 335–7, 343–361; USNA, RG 242/T-501/121/ 441 – 444. 197 after the fall Figure 8.1. Local, district, and regional authorities in occupied France, 1944. the influence of a military administration that had opposed the confiscation of Jewish property and condemned draconian reprisals. The creation of Ob West and the division of France into two main zones under the MBF and Army Group D had the same effect as Hitler seizing direct command of OKW in 1938 and OKH in late 1941. They isolated critical subordinates and reduced the authority of institutions that could impede Nazi racial policies. Structural, personnel, and policy changes that were carried out between December 1941 and November 1942 cleared the way for the Final Solution to the Jewish Question in Western Europe. First implemented in Germany, Hitler’s campaign against the alleged Jewish menace began with defamation and discrimination. Joseph Goebbels organized a boycott of Jewish businesses throughout the Third Reich on 198 defamation, discrimination, and despoliation 1 April 1933. Six days later, the regime barred Jews from select professions. Decrees issued in the wake of the 1938 annexation of Austria added despoliation and forcible emigration to the list of Jewish tribulations. A few days after the Anschluss, Adolf Eichmann arrived in Vienna and created a bureaucratic system to oblige Jewish emigration under the watchful eyes of the SD. Promulgated on 14 June, the third Nuremberg Law defined Jewish businesses and established a system of despoliation that amounted to state-sponsored robbery.12 As the Nazi regime settled into power, German Jews faced gradually increasing pressure from Nazi militants and, later, state bureaucrats. After the 1940 Armistice, a similar process unfolded in the Hexagon. German institutions participated in the defamation–discrimination–de- spoliation process with varying degrees of enthusiasm. The German embassy in Paris dispersed virulent anti-Semitic propaganda in an attempt to dampen anti-German sentiments and foster Franco-German reconciliation. The military administration perceived Jews as a security threat and evicted them from provinces along the English Channel. Under direct orders from Berlin, the MBF also participated in the Aryanization (Arisierung) or de-Judaicization (Entjudung) of the French economy. The Einsatzstab Rosenberg considered the expropriation of Jewish art collections to be a subset of economic Aryanization and began to steal paintings from wealthy Jews in the fall of 1940. Following methods pioneered in eastern Europe, SS officers created a council (Judenrat) to exploit the entire Jewish community. In an attempt to satisfy latent anti-Semitic tendencies within French society, the Vichy regime launched its own campaign against Jews which followed a similar pattern of defamation, discrimination, and despoliation. Acting on its own accord, the French government encouraged anti-Semitic propaganda by rescinding the 1881 Marchandeau Law and passed the Statut des Juifs which defined ‘Jews’ and barred them from practicing select professions. In conjunction with the German military administration, the French government confiscated Jewish businesses and Aryanized the French economy. Admiral Franc?ois Darlan established the General Commissariat for Jewish Affairs (Commissariat-ge?ne?ral aux questions juives or CGQJ) to coordinate French anti-Semitic initiatives. French politicians, bureaucrats, 12 Leni Yahil, The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932–1945, translated by Ina Friedman and Haya Galai (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), pp. 60–67, 104–108. 199 after the fall and policemen participated in every major aspect of Hitler’s campaign against European Jewry as it pertained to France. From the start of the Occupation, the Vichy regime, German military administration, Paris embassy, Einsatzstab Rosenberg, and SS all champi- oned programs that were designed to address the so-called Jewish Question and advance their respective institutional interests. French leaders used anti-Semitic measures to satisfy indigenous anti-Semites, curry favor with German authorities, and keep strategic assets in French hands. The Ein- satzstab Rosenberg welcomed economic Aryanization because it provided an opportunity to enhance their position within the Nazi hierarchy and play a significant role in French affairs. The German embassy in Paris viewed the Final Solution as a way to obscure German oppression and dampen resistance activity. It was no accident that German institutions typically championed anti-Semitic policies which advanced their own institutional goals. Divergent institutional goals fostered conflict among various German institutions. The MBF consistently favored anti-Semitic measures that supported the German war effort and enhanced the security of the German army. Although they had no problem evicting Jews from de?partements along the English Channel in 1940, officers expressed little enthusiasm for initiatives that disrupted French industrial production and limited France’s contribution to the German war effort. During the first two years of the Occupation, SS officers favored aggressive anti-Semitic policies even when such measures alienated the Vichy regime and upset the French public. Once in charge of security and thus dependent upon assistance from the French police, SS officers began to pay some attention to French sensibilities. The Vichy regime welcomed the ‘evacuation’ of unpopular Jewish refugees but balked at the deportation of assimilated French Jews, which triggered public protests. The military administration, Paris embassy, SS, and Vichy regime accepted the fundamental legitimacy of the so-called Jewish Question and perceived Jews as a menace, but institutional prejudices tempered the policy of each group. How each proposed to address the Jewish Question in 1940, and the degree to which they embraced Hitler’s Final Solution in 1942, sheds considerable light on the ethos of each institution. Following a course charted by the Nazi party but inspired by indige- nous anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and the legacy of the 1940 defeat, the 200 defamation, discrimination, and despoliation Vichy regime defamed and discriminated against Jews of its own accord. Anti-Semitism and economic nationalism later encouraged the regime to participate in Germany’s despoliation program. Xenophobia drove early French denaturalization efforts and German diplomatic pressure accelerated this process in 1942. As German control over the French polity increased during the course of the Occupation, so did German influence over French anti-Semitic policy. Vichy’s anti-Semitic campaign began as an indige- nous French movement, turned into a bargaining chip that Laval tried to exchange for broad political concessions, and eventually devolved into ignominious accommodation. The Vichy regime inaugurated its defamation campaign on 27 August 1940. The Third Republic passed the Marchandeau Law in 1881, which banned press attacks ‘toward a group of persons who belong by origin to a particular race or religion when it is intended to arouse hatred among citizens or residents,’ and elected a Jewish Prime Minister in 1936. At the same time, a large segment of French society celebrated determined anti-Semites such as Edouard Drumont, Charles Maurras, and Robert Brassillach. Profoundly reactionary attitudes continued to survive and thrive inside the liberal Republic. After they eviscerated the Third Republic, leaders of the Vichy regime repealed the Marchandeau Law and unleashed a wave of anti-Semitic propaganda in the press.13 Forthright discrimination antedated repeal of the Marchandeau Law. During the height of an economic boom that followed World War One, the French government reformed immigration laws to accommodate desperately needed eastern European workers. Changes encouraged an influx of immigrants in the latter half of the 1920s, but these same workers became a source of bitter contention with the onset of the Great Depression and mass unemployment. Eager to resolve unfinished business from the interwar era, the Vichy regime created a commission to review recent applications for French citizenship on 7 August 1940. The committee examined naturalization applications submitted since 1927 and denaturalized those judged unable to assimilate into French society. Orthodox Jews who had emigrated from eastern Europe often fell into the latter category. After the French government stripped Jews of their French citizenship, they 13 Mission d’e?tude sur la spoliation des Juifs de France, La Perse?cution des juifs de France, 1940–1944, et le re?tablissement de la le?galite? re?publicaine (Paris: La Documentation franc?aise, 2000), p. 87; Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 3–5, 34–44. 201 after the fall became ‘stateless’ and could be sent to the east without offending Gallic amour propre. During the Occupation, approximately 15,000 people—a number that included at least 7,000 Jews—lost their French citizenship and ultimately perished in this fashion.14 Vichy’s enthusiasm for denaturalization had limits. As trains bound for Auschwitz reduced the number of stateless Jews in 1942, Helmut Knochen urged Prime Minister Laval to automatically denaturalize all Jews who had acquired French citizenship since 1927. Citing protests led by prominent French Catholics including Cardinal Gerlier, Laval claimed that he could not deliver Jews ‘like goods from a supermarket’ and pleaded for additional time.15 The head of the CGQJ, Darquier de Pellepoix, drafted a law that denaturalized all Jews who had obtained French citizenship since 1927, spouses who had acquired French citizenship by marrying naturalized French Jews, and the children of naturalized Jews on 31 December 1942. The Secretary-General of the Police, Rene? Bousquet, proposed a similar law that denaturalized Jews who had gained French citizenship since 1932, and his proposal included an exemption for Jews related to prisoners of war. SS criticism obliged Bousquet to change the date of denaturalization from 1932 to 1927, but the revised legislation still exempted the relatives of Jewish prisoners of war. Darquier rejoined the debate by submitting a fourth version that exempted Aryans who were married to Jews but included children resulting from mixed marriages. Pierre Laval and Maurice Gabolde, the Guardian of the Seal, signed Bousquet’s second draft on 10 June 1943 and Darquier’s second version on 20 and 22 June respectively.16 The Allied conquest of Sicily and Mussolini’s arrest on 25 July 1943 may have encouraged Prime Minister Laval to reconsider his position with regard to collaboration in general and denaturalization in particular. Although both denaturalization bills had been signed by the Prime Minister and Guardian of the Seal, neither measure had been published in the Journal officiel and thus did not carry the force of law. A senior SS official 14 MarrusandPaxton,VichyFranceandtheJews,pp.3–5;Weisberg,VichyLawandtheHolocaust in France, pp. 356–369; Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. II, p. 16. 15 Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. II, pp. 651–2; Serge Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, volume III, Le calendrier de la perse?cution des Juifs de France, septembre 1942–août 1944 (Paris: Fayard, 2001), pp. 1033–5. Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 3–5; Weisberg, Vichy Law and the Holocaust in France, pp. 356–369; Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. II, p. 16. 16 Weisberg, Vichy Law and the Holocaust in France, pp. 355–365; Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. III, pp. 1302–3, 1474–6, 1522–3, 1545–6, 1611–1614. 202 defamation, discrimination, and despoliation reported that Laval had reopened the denaturalization debate during a cabinet meeting on 7 August 1943. One week later, Laval asked for a delay because Marshal Pe?tain opposed regulations that denaturalized the wives and children of Jews. Knochen threatened to arrest Jews without French assistance, but Laval stood his ground.17 The arrest of Jewish children and labor deportations had turned segments of the French public against Laval’s government. With a brief limited to security, the SS could not offer economic or political concessions such as a reduction in occupation costs or the release of French prisoners of war that might make denaturalizations palatable and accommodate French concerns. Unwilling or unable to repudiate Franco-German collaboration, Laval and the Vichy government lapsed into attentisme. Vichy’s anti-Semitic campaign did not stop with discrimination and denaturalization. Before France and Germany signed the Armistice Agree- ment, Army High Command (OKH) allowed senior German officers to manage enterprises whose owners had fled before the German advance. The 20 May 1940 decree did not explicitly refer to Jews, appeared to be part of a larger plan to revive French industry, and could be used to confiscate businesses that were abandoned by Jewish or gentile owners. French observers interpreted the regulation as a blatant attempt to expro- priate segments of the French economy, sap France’s long-term economic strength, and undermine Vichy’s sovereignty.18 To counter German despoliation and reduce Jewish influence within the French economy, Vichy’s Ministry of Finance and Industrial Production established a temporary administration agency (Service de controˆle des admin- istrateurs provisoires or SCAP) on 10 September 1940.19 SCAP appointed French trustees to oversee businesses owned by Jews in order to supersede the installation of German administrators who might not act in the interests 17 Weisberg, Vichy Law and the Holocaust in France, pp. 365–9; Vicki Caron, Uneasy Asylum, (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999), pp. 338–341; Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. III, pp. 1610, 1616–1619; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/32/28; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/23/46–47. 18 Mission d’e?tude sur la spoliation des Juifs de France, La Perse?cution des juifs de France 1940–1944, pp. 43–5; Philippe Verheyde, Les mauvais comptes de Vichy: l’aryanisation des entreprises juives (Paris: Perrin, 1999), p. 24; Paxton, Vichy France, pp. 176–181; Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, p. 8; de Chambrun, France during the German Occupation, vol. I, pp. 30–34, 98–100, vol. II, pp. 626–636; Baudouin, Neuf mois au gouvernement, p. 341. 19 Mission d’e?tude sur la spoliation des Juifs de France, La Perse?cution des juifs de France 1940–1944, p. 88; Verheyde, Les mauvais comptes de Vichy, pp. 23–34; Jean-Marc Dreyfus, Pillages sur ordonnances: aryanisation et restitution des banques en France 1940–1953 (Paris: Fayard, 2003), pp.66 – 70. 203 after the fall of France. French legislation sought to block the sale of French business- es to German concerns unless the transaction was approved by Vichy’s Ministry of Finance. In October 1940, the military administration granted legal power to French trustees who were nominated by SCAP. The Vichy regime worked with the German military administration by providing administrative and technical support to prevent the ‘Germanization’ of the French economy.20 The Darlan government continued to support and extend despoliation measures established by the first Laval administration, which suggests that Vichy’s campaign was not the product of a single person or isolated cabal. French efforts to defame, despoil, and discriminate against Jews proceeded haphazardly during the first year of the Occupation. For example, the Vichy regime passed a law that banned foreign Jews from practicing medicine on 16 August 1940. Promulgated on 3 October, the Statut des Juifs defined ‘Jews’ and restricted them from practicing select professions including architecture, banking, law, and education. One day later, French bureaucrats won the right to imprison foreign Jews in French concentration camps. Long before agents of the Nazi regime brought official pressure to bear, the Vichy regime established its own anti-Semitic program which limited the influence of French and foreign Jews.21 On 29 March 1941, the Vichy regime created an agency to coordinate and extend all anti- Semitic measures. Known as the General Commissariat for Jewish Affairs (Commissariat-ge?ne?ral aux questions juives or CGQJ), the new agency had three specific missions: (1) to prepare and propose all legislative measures relative to the political, economic, and legal status of Jews; (2) taking into account national needs, to fix the date for liquidating Jewish property in cases where liquidation had been prescribed by law; and (3) to designate trustees for confiscated Jewish property and control their activity. The mandate allowed the CGQJ to operate throughout France, although 20 Philippe Verheyde, ‘The looting of Jewish property and Franco-German rivalry, 1940–1944,’ in Gerald D. Feldman and Wolfgang Seibel (eds.), Networks of Nazi Persecution: Bureaucracy, Business and the Organization of the Holocaust (New York: Berghahn Books, 2005), pp. 69–87; Jean-Paul Cointet, Histoire de Vichy (Paris: Plon, 1996), pp. 132–133. 21 Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 4, 98; Mission d’e?tude sur la spoliation des Juifs de France, La Perse?cution des juifs de France 1940–1944, pp. 89–91; Asher Cohen, Perse?cutions et sauvetages: juifs et fran?cais sous l’occupation et sous Vichy (Paris: E? ditions du Cerf, 1993), pp. 113 – 124; Claire Andrieu, ‘Le mythe de la banque juive et les re?alite?s de l’aryanisation,’ in Andre? Kaspi, Annie Kriegel, and Annette Wiebiorka (eds.), Les Juifs de France dans la seconde guerre mondiale (Paris: Cerf, 1992), pp. 85–6. 204 defamation, discrimination, and despoliation measures usually began in the occupied zone and spread slowly or were implemented with less enthusiasm in the unoccupied or, after November 1942, newly occupied portion of the Hexagon.22 Working through the CGQJ, the Vichy regime established a comprehensive system of legal discrimination and despoliation. Why did the French government create the CGQJ in early 1941? After the December 1940 fall of the Laval government, German officials refused to discuss important questions such as a reduction in occupation payments, the repatriation of French prisoners of war, or a return of the French government to Paris with their French counterparts. By creating the CGQJ, Darlan tried to demonstrate France’s commitment to a central tenet of Hitler’s new order and resuscitate Franco-German negotiations.23 His efforts forestalled the installation of a comparable German agency, preserved the illusion of French sovereignty, and satisfied radical anti-Semites who had accused the Vichy regime of being ‘soft’ on Jews. Although German pressure undoubtedly influenced Darlan’s judgment, economic and political factors also informed the Admiral’s decision to create the CGQJ.24 Admiral Darlan placed Xavier Vallat, a fervent nationalist and devout Catholic, in charge of the CGQJ. Born in 1891, Vallat lost both an arm and an eye during World War One. While serving as a deputy from Arde`che in 1919–1924 and 1928–1940, he associated with the moderate Fe?de?ration Republicaine and right-wing movements such as the Action Fran?caise, George Valois’s Faisceau movement, and Colonel de la Rocque’s Croix de Feu. The latter groups certainly influenced Vallat’s opinion of Jews. Throughout his career, Vallat defined Jews by a combination of race, religion, and culture. He argued that France could indeed absorb a small number of Jews who had embraced French culture and tried to protect Jews who had served the French state with distinction. During the Occupation, Vallat continued to define a Jew in terms of race and culture and exempted some assimilated French Jews from various anti-Semitic measures. By appointing Vallat to 22 DGFP, ser. D, vol. XII, pp. 437–9; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/23/3–5; Dreyfus, Pillages sur ordonnances, p. 118. 23 Lambauer, Otto Abetz et les Fran?cais, pp. 279–296, 305, 311–318; DGFP, ser. D, vol. XI, pp. 1055–6, 1169; Fred Kupferman, Laval (Paris: Balland, 1987), pp. 257–8; BAMA, RW 35/2/7. 24 Coutau-Be?garie and Huan, Darlan, pp. 387–395, 506–508; Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 82–7; Cohen, Perse?cutions et sauvetages, pp. 127–136; DGFP, ser. D, vol. XII, pp. 227–8; Verheyde, Les mauvais comptes de Vichy, pp. 40–41. 205 after the fall lead the CGQJ, Darlan signaled both his independence from Germany and his support for many anti-Semitic measures favored by the Reich.25 Vallat’s independence created friction with the German embassy and SS. Otto Abetz, the German ambassador in Paris, considered Vallat to be dangerous because the latter had served as head of a French veterans group in 1940. The SS questioned Vallat’s heretical brand of anti-Semitism because it did not focus exclusively upon race. Werner Best formally requested Vallat’s dismissal on 2 March 1942, and Louis Darquier de Pellepoix assumed control of the CGQJ two months later.26 The change in leadership coincided with the advent of the Final Solution in France and reflected the increasing power of the SS. Under Darquier’s command, the CGQJ became an SS appendage. Darquier passed confidential papers to SS officials, eliminated exemptions for assimilated French Jews, extended anti-Semitic measures into the unoccupied zone, and acquired his own police unit. As the CGQJ adopted SS policies, its prestige within French official and public circles dropped. While Vallat often dined with Pe?tain and could be described as a part of the conservative establishment, Darquier only met with Laval once or twice each month. Trumping Laval’s indifference, Marshal Pe?tain referred to Darquier as ‘Monsieur le tortionnaire.’ Darquier’s greatest strength—his willingness to obey SS directives — also made him an ineffective tool because he could not rally widespread support for Hitler’s Final Solution. Unable to ‘impose his will on the French government’ and eventually abandoned by his SS sponsors, Darquier resigned his post on 26 February 1944.27 Charles Mercier du Paty de Clam, a scion of the commandant who had arrested Captain Dreyfus in 1894, succeeded Darquier. ‘[L]argely indifferent to the commissariat and its goals,’ du Paty went on indefinite leave in May and was eventually replaced by Joseph Atignac. As the probability of an Allied invasion increased, the CGQJ became lethargic and irrelevant. The SS turned to the Milice, a French paramilitary group under the command of Joseph Darnand, for support and assistance. On a national scale, coordinated anti-Semitic measures ground to a halt as Allied armies liberated France 25 BALW, R 70 Frankreich/2/136–137; Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 87–95; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/32/9–13; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/31/55–64. 26 Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 88–9, 118; BALW, R 70 Frank- reich/32/14–20; Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 50–51. 27 Rajsfus, La Police de Vichy, pp. 191–202; Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 283–293; USNA, RG 242/T-501/144/203. 206 defamation, discrimination, and despoliation during the summer of 1944. Only a few dedicated CGQJ officials carried out their mandate to the bitter end.28 French enthusiasm for anti-Semitic measures can be linked to German prospects for victory and the power of the SS. As an observer, the SS could not control French anti-Semitic policy during the early stages of the Occupation. Admiral Darlan placed Vallat in charge of the organiza- tion. Vallat pursued a unique agenda, exempting some assimilated French Jews from Vichy’s anti-Semitic measures but pursuing foreign Jews with remarkable enthusiasm and developing an extensive program of defama- tion, discrimination, despoliation, and denaturalization. In response to military setbacks, Hitler ceded additional powers to the SS and added extermination to the aforementioned list of anti-Semitic measures. Unable to suffer Vallat’s independence, the SS engineered his dismissal, support- ed the rise of Darquier de Pellepoix, and began to transport Jews from France to Auschwitz. After the fall of Mussolini, Laval belatedly overcame the shock of defeat and recognized that further accommodation would not yield any substantial concessions, but the Prime Minister could not reverse course and expect to survive. During the final two years of the Occupation, Vichy ‘resistance’ amounted to little more than a refusal to extend official accommodation beyond limits established during the summer of 1942. The Vichy government developed a comprehensive campaign of defamation, discrimination, despoliation, and denaturaliza- tion of its own accord. Although they did not explicitly endorse the outright murder of all Jews, the CGQJ and French police forces played an integral role in the deportation process during the latter stages of the Occupation. The Germany embassy in Paris failed to play a major role in Germany’s campaign against Jews, though not because of a lack of effort. Basic instructions from the Foreign Ministry directed Ambassador Abetz to take charge of ‘all political questions in occupied and unoccupied France.’ Specific guidelines authorized the ambassador to represent German interests, supervise German propaganda, direct the ‘seizure and securing of . . . private and especially Jewish artistic properties,’ and advise the military administration, Secret Military Police (GFP), and the Gestapo.29 In theory, 28 Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 333–9, quote p. 336. 29 DGFP, ser. D, vol. X, pp. 407–408. 207 after the fall this sweeping mandate allowed the German embassy in Paris to play a leading role in the defamation–discrimination–despoliation process. During the summer of 1940, German diplomats focused most of their efforts on despoliation. Led by Baron von Künsberg, they fanned out across occupied France and stole valuable works of art from wealthy Jews. Protests from the military administration and later the Vichy regime eventually convinced Abetz to reconsider his confiscation policy. Künsberg and company got out of the confiscation business in Septem- ber 1940, but the Einsatzstab Rosenberg stepped into the void. With Hitler’s support, the latter agency spearheaded Germany’s despoliation campaign.30 Based on his role as a political advisor, Ambassador Abetz urged the MBF to embark on a campaign of discrimination under the guise of ‘security.’ He advised General von Stülpnagel to prohibit Jews from crossing the demarcation line, require Jews to register with local authorities, and appoint trustees for ‘abandoned’ Jewish enterprises. The head of the MVW’s government subsection, Werner Best, promised to study Abetz’s suggestions and passed them along to subordinate departments. On 29 August, Abetz told the military administration that his ‘suggestions’ were actually orders from Hitler, but the MVW proceeded in a dilatory fashion,31 and without the means to carry out their own campaign, diplomats had to ask others for assistance. The military administration did not have to obey orders from Ambas- sador Abetz. Conflict between Count von Metternich’s MVW art group and Baron von Künsberg indicated that the two organizations had rather different policies with regard to the treatment of Jews and Jewish property. Werner Best disregarded Abetz’s call for vigorous anti-Semitic measures, even after the ambassador claimed that his suggestions came directly from Hitler, and supported Count von Metternich’s efforts to stop Künsberg. Starting in the fall of 1940, the French government denounced the con- fiscation of Jewish art works in a series of verbal notes delivered to the German government and forced Abetz to reconsider his policy. The 30 BAMA, RW 35/712/67–83. 31 DGFP ser. D, vol. X, p. 513; Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. II, p. 18; Henri Monneray (ed.), La Perse?cution des juifs en France et dans les autres pays de l’ouest pre?sente?e par la France a` Nuremberg (Paris: E?ditions du centre, 1947), pp. 83–4; Lambauer, Otto Abetz et les Fran?cais, pp. 299–301; Umbreit, Der Milita?rbefehlshaber in Frankreich, pp. 261–2. 208 defamation, discrimination, and despoliation ambassador eventually reversed course, joined the military administration, and opposed pell-mell confiscations in order to preserve cordial relations with Vichy.32 However, Abetz did not abandon his general campaign against the Jews; instead, he searched for a more amenable pawn. Acting on a proposal floated by Theodor Dannecker during a 28 February 1941 conference, the ambassador urged the Vichy government to create a central Jewish office (Judenamt). In a meeting on 5 March 1941 with Admiral Darlan, Abetz reported that: Darlan indicated his willingness to let the French Government set up such an office, but at the same time called attention to the fact that there was much vacillation in Marshal Pe?tain’s attitude toward the Jewish Question. The Marshal would not want native Jews and those French Jews who had distinguished themselves in military service for France to be treated the same way as Jews who have immigrated from other countries. Since German diplomats could not force the MBF to take vigorous action against Jews, they chose to act in conjunction with the Vichy regime. Less than one month after he raised the issue of a Jewish office with Darlan, Abetz reported creation of the CGQJ to superiors in Berlin. He assigned Counselor of Legation Karl-Theodor Zeitschel to serve as his liaison to the CGQJ and allowed the French government to act as his proxy against the so-called Jewish conspiracy.33 German diplomats could not discriminate against Jews on their own and failed to secure substantial help from the military administration, but the Vichy government proved more obliging. Throughout the Occupation, the German embassy used propaganda to defame Jews and divide Frenchmen. Beginning in October 1940, the embassy supported a series of exhibitions with titles like ‘European France,’ ‘The Jew and France,’ and ‘Bolshevism against Europe.’ Millions of Frenchmen viewed embassy-sponsored exhibitions that directed popular animosity away from occupiers and toward allegedly subversive groups such as communists, Freemasons, and Jews. The embassy also subsidized a broad range of newspapers aimed at a variety of different social groups. 32 Billig,LeCommissariatge?ne?ralauxquestionsjuives,vol.III,pp.62–5;BAMA,RW35/712/81. 33 Schumann and Nestler (eds.), Die faschistische Okkupationspolitik in Frankreich, pp. 148–9; DGFP, ser. D, vol. XII, pp. 227–8, 437–9. 209 after the fall Propaganda formulated by the German embassy convinced portions of the French public that Jews, Freemasons, and communists posed a threat, but it failed to generate substantial active support for the Nazi cause.34 Several factors limited the influence of the Paris embassy. Without explicit permission from superiors in Berlin, which was never forthcoming, Abetz could not exchange German concessions for French cooperation. Diplomatic personnel did not control the MBF and could not force the French government to act in a particular way. Only when the Vichy regime wanted to curry favor with the Nazi government could Abetz shape events. French politicians eventually discovered that the Paris embassy had little influence over German policy, and as the Occupation dragged on, they began to speak directly to their German counterparts. Laval discussed economics with the MBF, labor policies with Fritz Sauckel, and racial issues with the SS. While they served as Prime Minister, both Darlan and Laval belatedly discovered that the German embassy in Paris was irrelevant. German diplomats could not offer meaningful concessions and accommodate any French needs. By playing upon Laval’s fear of Bolshevism and Anglo-Saxon hege- mony, Hitler and Ribbentrop secured most of what they wanted from him.35 In response to the Allied invasion of North Africa, Hitler recalled his ambassador and left Germany without representation in Paris for most of 1943. During Abetz’s absence, Consul-General Rudolf Schleier managed diplomatic affairs until November 1943. Abetz and Schleier allowed Zeitschel to handle Jewish affairs for most of the Occupation.36 Zeitschel participated in a weekly meeting of all senior German officials involved in anti-Jewish affairs that was known as the Tuesday Group and eagerly anticipated the time when France could be cleared of Jews, but he usually backed SS proposals.37 With an irregular diplomatic presence and limited authority, German diplomats could only encourage others 34 Burrin, France under the Germans, pp. 292–8; Jackson, France. The Dark Years, pp. 198–204; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/23/18–21; Rita Thalmann, La mise au pas. Ide?ologie et strate?gie se?curitaire dans la France occupe?e (Paris: Fayard, 1991), pp. 202–206; Rene?e Poznanski, Jews in France during World War II, translated by Nathan Bracher (Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2001), pp. 377–380. 35 Paxton, Vichy France, pp. 309–326; Ja?ckel, France dans l’Europe de Hitler, pp. 311–334; ADAP, ser. E, vol. IV, pp. 301–310; ADAP, ser. E, vol. VI, pp. 8–17. 36 BAK, All. Proz. 21/216/145; de Chambrun (ed.), France During the German Occupation, vol. III, pp. 1611–1613. 37 Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 78–82; BAK, All. Proz. 21/233/4–5. 210 defamation, discrimination, and despoliation and played an inspirational but ultimately subordinate role in the Final Solution. During the first two years of the Occupation, the German military administration alone possessed ‘executive authority’ and had the power to implement Germany’s anti-Semitic agenda. The terms of the 1940 Armistice Agreement granted the military administration ‘all the rights of an occupying power’ and Hitler placed the MBF in charge of ‘security.’ To carry out his mission, General Otto von Stülpnagel could use military policemen or pass orders along to French police forces via the French government in accordance with the Agreement. The MBF had both the mandate and the means to persecute Jews throughout Occupied France. In keeping with general directives issued in 1939 and 1940, the military administration concentrated on security and economic exploitation, and both initiatives included anti-Semitic components.38 Economic exploitation began amidst the 1940 Western campaign. As German soldiers approached the English Channel, General Brauchitsch issued regulations that allowed senior military commanders to appoint trustees to manage businesses whose owners had fled before the German advance. The 20 May 1940 decree could be used to confiscate Jewish or gentile businesses, could be interpreted as a plan to restore French industry, and did not appear to be fundamentally anti-Semitic. General Streccius reiterated Brauchitsch’s initial decree on 18 October and allowed military administrators to place an Aryan trustee in charge of abandoned ‘Jewish’ businesses. Neither Blaskowitz, Streccius, nor Otto von Stülpnagel—the first three MBFs—applied the 20 May or 18 October 1940 statutes with much enthusiasm.39 The MBF’s lax attitude provoked a reprimand from the commander of the German army on 12 November 1940. Brauchitsch ordered Otto von Stülpnagel to focus the military administration on the seizure of Jewish businesses and told him to use the proceeds to support the war effort. Monthly reports sent to Berlin did not discuss Jews or Aryanization in detail before December 1940, but Brauchitsch’s reprimand produced immediate results. The MBF began to Aryanize the French economy by 38 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1430/291–297; DGFP, ser D, vol. IX, pp. 300–301; DGFP, ser. D, vol. X, pp. 128–130, 407–408. 39 Mission d’e?tude sur la spoliation des Juifs de France, La Perse?cution des juifs de France 1940–1944, pp. 43–5, 51–3. Billig, Le Commissariat ge?ne?ral aux questions juives, vol. III, p. 71. 211 after the fall placing Aryan trustees in charge of Jewish businesses. Trustees could either operate enterprises on their own or sell them to certified Aryans. Jews ultimately had to sell their businesses or turn them over to French or German trustees.40 Brauchitsch’s 12 November directive triggered a comprehensive despoliation campaign that targeted Jews. Without French assistance, the numerically weak military administration could not hope to identify, much less liquidate, every Jewish business. The head of the economic branch of the military administration, Elmar Michel, explained the MBF’s strategy: First, we must do what is necessary to eliminate Jews even after the Occupation. More important, we cannot from our side provide sufficient manpower to deal with the great number of Jewish enterprises. These two factors have led us to have the French authorities participate in the elimination of Jews. We thereby gain shared responsibility by the French and we have at our disposal the French administrative apparatus.41 Knochen argued that Aryanization would ‘give numerous Frenchmen the possibility of moving from low social status to the middle class’ and create French co-conspirators who had a financial interest in German victory. Under the control of Kurt Blanke, an Aryanization subsection of the MVW’s economic division drove the Vichy regime to enact a comprehen- sive despoliation campaign. If Vichy did not act against Jewish businesses with the necessary enthusiasm, Blanke’s subsection could appoint German trustees who might, in turn, sell French concerns to German industrialists at fire-sale prices. Eager to preserve economic assets, protect French sovereign- ty, and curry favor with the Nazi regime, both Admiral Darlan and Laval supported an indigenous Aryanization program that advanced Nazi racial goals. By playing upon French greed and fear, the military administration created French support for Germany’s despoliation program.42 40 BAMA, RW 35/255/48–49, 2–3; Mission d’e?tude sur la spoliation des Juifs de France, La Perse?cution des juifs de France 1940–1944, pp. 97–8. 41 Billig, Le Commissariat ge?ne?ral aux questions juives, vol. III, p. 75; Weisberg, Vichy Law and the Holocaust in France, pp. 251–2. 42 Adam Rayski, The Choice of the Jews under Vichy: Between Submission and Resistance, translated by Will Sayers (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005), pp. 47–8; Billig, Le Commissariat ge?ne?ral aux questions juives, vol. I, pp. 13, 22; Wolfgang Seibel, ‘A market for mass crime? Inter-institutional competition and the initiation of the Holocaust in France, 1940–1942,’ in International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior 5 (2002), 219–257. 212 defamation, discrimination, and despoliation Figure 8.2. Aryanization in Marseilles. A ‘Jewish’ business under new manage- ment. Photograph courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In a 3 December 1940 report, the MBF told superiors that the military administration had laid the legal foundation for economic Aryanization. Using French police data, the military administration counted 149,734 Jews, 7,737 Jewish businesses (Einzelunternehmen), and 3,456 Jewish enterprises (Gesellschaften) in the greater Paris region. While discussing efforts to Aryanize the French economy, the MBF expressed concerns about anti- Semitic measures in general. He warned that Aryanization would take years to complete, disrupt industrial production, and reduce France’s contribution to the German war effort. According to the military administration, the French public was surprised by the number of Jewish businesses and welcomed the elimination of foreign Jews, but regarded discrimination 213 after the fall against assimilated French Jews as an ‘injustice.’ Stülpnagel questioned the wisdom of the program but followed orders.43 Between December 1940 and January 1941, the MVW appointed trustees to manage large Jewish companies and announced the ‘evacuation’ of assets from Jewish businesses to Germany. Exaggerating its success, the MVW reported that ‘the Aryanization of the French economy has made considerable progress.’ Laws passed by the Vichy government had created a ‘sufficient legal basis’ for Aryanization in the eyes of the French public. The MVW inflated its own accomplishments and attributed delays to a lack of enthusiasm for such measures among some French circles. In defense of Vichy, the military administration added that comparable actions had also taken a long time to implement inside the Reich.44 Aryanization did not always proceed smoothly. During April and May 1941, German and French authorities raised their estimate of the number of Jewish businesses in the Paris area from 10,000 to approximately 15,000. They Aryanized about 900 businesses in metropolitan Paris and reported that most Jewish businesses in outlying districts of the occupied zone had already been placed in Aryan hands. After 26 April 1941, profits from the sale of Jewish enterprises flowed into blocked accounts that could not be tapped by former owners. Although some French Jews had voluntarily Aryanized their own businesses, German officials worried that such transactions would have to be scrutinized to avoid fraud.45 As they delved into the task of Aryanization, German bureaucrats discovered just how difficult the operation would be. As spring turned to summer, the military administration began to worry that French authorities might not fulfill their promises. Because ‘Germany lacks the power to take such inclusive actions over the long run,’ the MVW had no choice but to rely on French assistance. It viewed Aryanization as a test of Vichy’s commitment but did not predict how Vichy would respond. ‘The practical implementation of the law will show how serious the French government is about de-Judaicization (Entjudung).’ After Germany invaded the Soviet Union during the summer of 1941, one regional (Bezirk), ten district (Feld), and fifty-five local (Ort) branches of the military government 43 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/493; Dreyfus, Pillages sur ordonnances, pp. 109–110. 44 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/560–562. 45 USNA,RG242/T-501/143/886–887;BALW,R70Frankreich/31/49–53,55–56,58–64; Verheyde, Les mauvais comptes de Vichy, pp. 369–373. 214 defamation, discrimination, and despoliation were eliminated and the personnel sent to the east. Transfers decimated the military administration and intensified fears of a French relapse. The MBF told superiors in Berlin that ‘personal supervision has been replaced by hasty surveys.’ Despite the Vichy regime’s questionable dedication, the MBF reduced the Aryanization office.46 Stülpnagel probably used troop transfers to minimize an unpopular program. In January 1941, he told Field Marshal von Brauchitsch that Aryanization should not proceed beyond the registration of Jewish property because there was no legal precedent for such a policy. Moving beyond registration, Stülpnagel explained, would undermine ‘respect for the leaders of the German state in the eyes of the public at home and in the judgment of the world.’ He claimed that he would have nothing to do with the confiscation process when he took command of the military administration, would not ‘reduce [his] personal responsibility by acting jointly’ with another German agency, and advised his boss to take a similar position. Stülpnagel’s advice undoubtedly referred both to the confiscation of Jewish art and the Aryanization of the French economy. Though Stülpnagel could not extricate himself or his staff from the Aryanization process without disobeying orders, he tried to limit the MVW’s involvement and encouraged the French government to act in his stead.47 With considerable assistance from French bureaucrats, a small group of German officials identified 42,739 Jewish businesses during the Occupation. By August of 1944, they had Aryanized 18,227 of these concerns by selling them to certified Aryans, liquidating businesses, or by transforming them into ‘piecework’ operations that could not be controlled by the owner. After the liberation of Paris but before the end of World War Two, a veteran of the military administration estimated that German and French officials had Aryanized approximately 43 per cent of Jewish businesses and could have completed their task in another twelve to eighteen months.48 The military administration played an important role in the Aryanization process by prodding the French government to act. With substantial French 46 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/1157, 990, 1245, 1253. 47 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1624/folder 75455/nfn (Stülpnagel to Brauchitsch dated 31.1.41); Verheyde, Les mauvais comptes de Vichy, p. 292. 48 BAMA, RW 35/2/22, 32–37. See other estimates of Aryanized businesses in Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, 3rd edn (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003), pp. 653–8; Paxton, Vichy France, p. 176; Billig, Le Commissariat ge?ne?ral aux questions juives, pp. 326–7; Verheyde, Les Mauvais comptes de Vichy, pp. 361–9. 215 after the fall assistance, the military administration despoiled Jewish property and raised considerable sums of money that, in turn, supported the German war effort.49 The military administration viewed Jews as a security threat from the start of the Occupation. While the field army prepared to invade England, the MBF evicted Jews and foreigners from nine de?partements along the English Channel. Acting on behalf of the MBF, Speidel barred Jewish refugees from returning to the occupied zone on 20 September 1940. One week later, the military administration issued regulations that defined a ‘Jew,’ directed Jews register with French police, and ordered Jewish business owners to place a bilingual sign (‘Entreprise juive’ and ‘Judengescha?ft’) on the door of their establishments. Frenchmen expressed surprise at the number of Jewish businesses, but the MBF noted that German soldiers continued to patronize Jewish shops. Two years later, policemen used registration data collected at the behest of the military administration to arrest and deport Jews. Sub- sequent regulations ordered French police to stamp ‘Juif’ or ‘Juive’ on the identity papers of all people who qualified as Jews. After initial regulations identified the scope of the alleged Jewish menace, the MBF focused on despoliation while life in occupied France gradually became routine.50 Food shortages, unemployment, and German victories in North Africa and eastern Europe triggered anti-German demonstrations that increased security concerns during the spring of 1941. Accepting a basic Nazi assumption, military reports attributed unrest in Paris, Lyon, and Marseille ‘mostly to Jews.’51 To guarantee order, Werner Best urged the MBF to intern Jews throughout occupied France. Taking a somewhat softer line during a 4 April 1941 meeting with Vallat, the MBF asked the head of the CGQJ to enforce French anti-Semitic regulations. Vallat explained that the arrest or deportation of Jewish veterans and assimilated French Jews might stir up more unrest because France did not have a long history of ‘serious’ anti-Semitism, but he promised to fulfill his mandate and consider the arrest of German Jews.52 49 Ally, Hitler’s Beneficiaries, pp. 91, 119–123, 130. 50 BAMA, RW 35/353/1–3; Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. II, pp. 26–28, 34; USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/493, 573; Poznanski, Jews in France During World War II, pp. 31–6. 51 Jackson, France. The Dark Years, pp. 274–7; Gildea, Marianne in Chains, pp. 161–9; USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/735. 52 Monneray (ed.), La Perse?cution des juifs en france, pp. 137–8; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/ 32/9 – 13. 216 defamation, discrimination, and despoliation On the basis of this ‘pressure,’ French police sent the so-called billet vert (green ticket) via mail to 6,500 Austrian, Czech, and Polish Jews living in Paris. The message ordered recipients to show up at a local police office with a friend or family member on 14 May. Those who did were promptly arrested while the companion returned home and packed a bag for the hap- less victim. The scheme yielded 3,747 prisoners or 60 per cent of the people originally notified by the French police. At the end of May 1941, the MVW expressed satisfaction with Vallat and believed that he would ‘contribute decisively to a radical solution of the Jewish question in France.’53 The invasion of the Soviet Union triggered a second round of anti- German demonstrations. In response to a protest on 13 August, French and German police arrested two anti-German activists and proscribed the French Communist Party on 15 August. Four days later, German firing squads executed two militants thought to be responsible for the 13 August protest. The detention of 4,000 Jews at a 20 August demonstration, as well as the arrest of 3,477 Jews for possession of illegal firearms, leaflets, and other contraband in August and September 1941, seemed to confirm the belief that Jews were implacable enemies of the Reich.54 Leaders of the military administration undoubtedly considered Jews to be a genuine security threat. Early regulations written by the military administration directed com- manders to prepare lists of potential hostages that included communists, anarchists, Anglophiles, Gaullists, and nationalists. The MBF considered all to be potential security threats.55 Assassinations carried out during the fall of 1941 led the MBF to revise his understanding of likely partisans. The regional commander (Bezirkchef ) of southwest France noted that resistance cells associated with the PCF had become more active and had begun to cooperate with the followers of Charles de Gaulle in September. Rumors linked Gaullists to October 1941 assassinations and seemed to confirm the existence of a centralized conspiracy against Nazi Germany.56 53 Andre? Kaspi, Les Juifs pendant l’occupation (Paris: E?ditions du Seuil, 1991), pp. 212–214; Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 15–19; USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/855–857; Rajsfus, La Police de Vichy, pp. 69–71. 54 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/1051, 1096–1099; Meyer, L’Occupation allemande en France, pp. 70–74. 55 USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/491; USNA, RG 242/T-501/166/91–98. 56 USNA, RG 242/T-77/1587/folder 9/nfn (MVW Bezirk B, Kdo.St. Ia Br B Nr 3508/41, Angers 19.9.41, Betr. Lagebericht der Abt Ia für die Zeit vom 20.7.41 bis 19.9.41); USNA, RG 242/T-77/1588/folder 1/1–7. 217 after the fall As the number of assassinations multiplied, military authorities had trouble differentiating attacks carried out by various resistance groups. Toward the end of 1941, they characterized most resistance activity as the work of a single Judeo-Bolshevik conspiracy and focused their reprisals on Jews and communists. Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel ordered subor- dinates to avoid words like hostage (otage) when describing people shot in reprisal for a particular resistance attack because they did not link the people being shot with the perpetrator of the original crime. Instead, he directed his lieutenants to characterize unknown perpetrators as ‘Jews’ and ‘communists.’57 The linguistic shift indicates a new attitude that brought the military administration into accord with OKW regulations. The latter’s September 1941 directive ordered the MBF to assume that all anti-German activity had communist origins, and Nazi dogma described communists and anti-German nationalists as tools of the so-called international Jewish conspiracy. The MBF had embraced language that cleared the way for the outright murder of Jews living in France.58 Census data and the marking of identity papers laid the legal and administrative foundations of the Final Solution. The MVW’s economics division launched a despoliation program that provoked a larger French analog. Otto and Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel ordered the deportation of 5,100 Jews to the east, and they almost certainly understood that deportation was equivalent to a death sentence. Finally, both Stülpnagels shot Jews in response to resistance activity. Deportations and hostage executions carried out by the MBF killed thousands of Jews; they may fall short of the tens of thousands murdered by the SS in Auschwitz, but they still contributed to the Final Solution in France. In a letter of 31 July 1944 to Gauleiter Martin Mutschmann, Heinrich Himmler blamed an ‘extremely difficult’ military commander for the continued survival of French Jews. Himmler’s expert opinion may attenuate charges of genocide, but it does not invalidate war crimes or mass murder indictments.59 Every major German and several French agencies persecuted Jews during the Occupation. Perceiving Jews as a potential security threat, the military administration evicted Jews from a security zone along the Channel coast 57 BAMA, RW 35/308/8–9; USNA, RG 242/T-501/144/1–6; USNA, RG 242/T-501/ 166/121 – 122. 58 USNA, RG 252/T-501/196/1072–1074. 59 USNA, RG 242/T-175/155/2685772–2685773. 218 defamation, discrimination, and despoliation and played a major role in the Aryanization of the French economy. The Vichy regime defamed and discriminated against Jews on its own accord, despoiled Jews through the CGQJ, and ordered French police to arrest specific categories of Jews. Although French and German agencies persecuted Jews, they did not all act with an equal measure of enthusiasm. The MBF objected to Aryanization on legal grounds and did not believe that Jews stood behind all resistance activity. Laval objected to the arrest of assimilated French Jews because the round-ups undermined support for his government. The SS and German embassy in Paris both championed the entire defamation, discrimination, despoliation, and deportation process, but they lacked the manpower and a legal mandate to act on their own before the summer of 1942. During the first half of the Occupation, no single French or German agency controlled the entire anti-Semitic process. 219 9 Racial deportations With an estimated 310,000 Jews, France possessed the largest Jewish population in western Europe and appeared to be an attractive target for Hitler’s Final Solution. During the course of the Occupation, French and German police deported approximately 75,000 Jews and exterminated 25 per cent of the Jewish population in France. In contrast, about 45 per cent (25,000 of 55,670) of registered Belgian Jews and 75 per cent (105,000 of 140,000) of Jews living in the Netherlands perished during World War Two. Eastern European Jews typically endured higher mortality rates that fluctuated between 69 per cent in Hungary and 81 per cent in Greece.1 What factors contributed to the survival of Jews in general and French Jews in particular? Geography and dispersement may have helped some European Jews escape deportation. In the Low Countries, most Jews resided in large cities and could not flee to a neighboring neutral state like Sweden or melt into a sparsely inhabited rural area.2 Although many French Jews lived in Paris, a substantial number fled before advancing German armies, scattered throughout the unoccupied zone, and found some refuge in the relative wilds of southern France. Jews in southeastern France could also rely on a degree of protection from the Italian army. Geography and 1 Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, pp. 650–2 (France), pp. 636–645 (Belgium), pp. 600 – 628 (the Netherlands), and pp. 738 – 755 (Greece), 1321; Wolfgang Benz (ed.), Dimension des Vo?lkermords: Die Zahl der jüdischen Opfer des Nationalsozialismus (Munich: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 1991). 2 Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, pp. 600–601, 636. racial deportations dispersement may have helped some French Jews and endangered their Dutch counterparts, but neither factor can explain the high mortality rate in Yugoslavia.3 A general explanation for varying survival rates must lie elsewhere. Diplomatic considerations may have influenced the deportation process in nations that contributed to the Axis war effort. After signing an armistice with Germany, the Vichy regime functioned as a friendly neutral and reluctantly supported the German war effort. Perhaps France’s valuable economic assets allowed the Vichy regime to shield Jews from Himmler’s depredations. This strategy yielded favorable results in Italy, where 75 per cent of the Jewish population survived both Mussolini’s Fascist regime and the subsequent German occupation.4 Hungary also offered substantial assistance to the Third Reich, but at least 550,000 or 69 per cent of the approximately 795,000 people who were regarded as Jews inside of greater Hungary did not survive World War Two.5 An alliance with Hitler’s regime might delay large-scale deportations, but the Hungarian example suggests that collaboration offered very little protection in the long run. Diplomatic considerations may have influenced but did not determine varying survival rates. Recent scholarship suggests that governmental structures may explain higher survival rates in some European nations. As German armies marched across Europe, Hitler integrated regions such as Danzig–West Prussia and Lorraine directly into the Reich. Civilian administrators governed potential colonies in Poland and ‘friendly races’ in Denmark and Norway. Military governments controlled portions of France, Belgium, and Greece for the duration of World War Two.6 Wolfgang Seibel argues that ‘territorial administrative structures’ shaped the course of the Final Solution. He links the low survival rate in the Netherlands to the civilian administration and attributes higher survival rates in Belgium and France to military 3 Yahil, The Holocaust, pp. 349–352, 491–6; Manoschek, ‘The extermination of the Jews in Serbia,’ pp. 163–185. 4 Liliana Picciotto Fargion, ‘Italien’ in Benz (ed.) Dimension des Vo?lkermords, pp. 199–228. 5 La?szlo? Varga, ‘Ungarn’ in Benz (ed.) Dimension des Vo?lkermords, pp. 331–351. 6 Hans Umbreit, ‘German rule in the occupied territories 1942–1945,’ in MGFA (ed.), Germany and the Second World War, vol. V, Organization and Mobilization of the German Sphere of Power, part 2, Wartime administration, economy, and manpower resources, 1942–1944/5, translated by Derry Cook-Radmore, Ewald Osers, Barry Smerin, and Barbara Wilson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2003), pp. 9–12. 221 after the fall governments.7 Limited to western Europe, his study cannot account for low Jewish survival rates in Greece or high survival rates in Denmark, which were under the auspices of military and civilian administrations respectively. Structural analysis does not provide a comprehensive account of the varying survival rates. Local attitudes appear to be equally deceptive. Although a substantial portion of French society embraced anti-Semitism after the 1894 conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus and collaborated with Germany during the Occupation, three-quarters of the Jewish population outlived Marshal Pe?tain’s regime. A history of tolerance may have helped Italian Jews survive the Holocaust, but it did not save co-religionists in the Netherlands. Widespread partisan activity did not necessarily translate into high survival rates either. Recognizing the unique dangers that Jews faced, Danish resistance groups helped the small Jewish community escape to Sweden. Although they came to the same conclusion and actually derailed a deportation train, Belgian guerillas could not stop the murder of 45 per cent of the 55,000 registered Jews. French resistance groups assassinated German personnel and sabotaged the transportation network but did not identify Jews as an especially endangered group or impede the deportation process.8 Widespread resistance activity, anti-Semitism, diplomatic considerations, geography, and structural factors influenced the course of the Final Solution, but none explain varying rates of survival throughout Europe. In the conclusion of Vichy France and the Jews, Michael Marrus and Robert Paxton argue that ‘the degree to which Germans were able to apply their power’ governed varying rates of survival, but vague terminology undermines sound logic.9 Analysis of ‘German’ racial policy must reflect the polycratic nature of the Nazi government. Inter-agency competition often precluded effective cooperation between the Army, SS, Foreign Office, and other German agencies. Although it was responsible for the war against Judaism, the SS often lacked the means to carry out Hitler’s racial agenda on its own and frequently depended upon the support from indigenous collaborators and other German agencies. 7 Wolfgang Seibel, ‘The strength of perpetrators — the Holocaust in western Europe, 1940–1944,’ in Governance 15 (April 2002), 211–240. 8 Yahil, The Holocaust, pp. 496–7; Adler, The Jews of Paris and the Final Solution, pp. 195, 209 – 217. 9 Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, p. 357. 222 racial deportations An analysis of the Final Solution in France highlights the importance of both inter-agency cooperation and indigenous accommodation. At the start of the Occupation, Army leaders dominated Franco-German rela- tions and advanced a policy of economic collaboration in order to place French resources at the disposal of the German war economy.10 Interpret- ing increased resistance activity as the product of a flawed security policy, Hitler transferred control of French and German police forces to the SS in the middle of 1942. Once vested with executive authority, the Black Corps pressed for the immediate deportation of all Jews and disregarded French sensibilities. Bitter at the loss of authority, the MBF limited army participation in the Final Solution because the latter undermined economic collaboration. French enthusiasm for racial deportations evaporated once cooperation yielded few diplomatic benefits and the prospects for a Ger- man victory declined. Hamstrung by a severe shortage of personnel, the SS depended upon ephemeral French support and could only deport a relatively small percentage of Jews to Auschwitz. Conversely, a high degree of inter-agency cooperation and substantial indigenous accommodation fostered low survival rates. With support from an obliging Dutch bureaucracy, Reichskommissar Dr. Seyss-Inquart deported three-quarters of the Jewish population in the Netherlands. SS leaders in Belgium overcame a generally hostile public with limited resources because most Belgian Jews lived in Brussels and Antwerp. In such an environment, limited German manpower proved to be especially efficient and thus deadly. The Plenipotentiary Commanding General in Serbia, Franz Bo?hme, concurred with his SS counterparts, identified Jews and communists as the fundamental source of resistance activity, established joint army–SS ‘pursuit groups,’ and exterminated the entire Jewish population by June of 1942. On the eastern front, a military fear of resistance activity or guerillaphobia complemented SS Judeophobia and encouraged inter-agency cooperation. Soldiers worked with their SS counterparts and shot ‘all who looked askance.’11 Inter-agency cooperation and local accommodation determined varying rates of survival throughout Nazi- occupied Europe. 10 Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, pp. 635–6. 11 Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, p. 676; Manoschek, ‘The extermination of the Jews in Serbia’ pp. 164–170; Shepherd, War in the Wild East, pp. 45–8, 52–7, 86–94. 223 after the fall In France, Vichy politicians, French policemen, German diplomats, SS fanatics, and leaders of the German military administration all contributed to the so-called Final Solution of the Jewish Question. Diplomats associated with the German embassy in Paris regularly highlighted the dangers of the alleged Jewish menace but could not solve the so-called Jewish Question without help. Wehrmacht leaders ordered the MBF to register Jews in occupied France, confiscate Jewish property, and answer resistance activity with reprisals that focused on Jews. The military administration demonstrated its political unreliability to leaders of the Nazi regime by objecting to the confiscation of Jewish property and arguing against draconian reprisals. In response, Hitler inserted an HSSuPF in France and placed the SS in charge of French and German police forces. The SS began the Occupation as a second-class Nazi party organization in search of a spot in France. When German soldiers marched into Paris on 14 June, relations between the SS and army remained tense. The activities of SS Einsatzgruppen in Poland and a speech on 28 October 1939 in which Himmler urged members of the SS to father children out of wedlock upset conservative officers throughout the military establishment. Elements of the Waffen SS participated in the Western campaign, but they were attached to regular army formations and subject to military control. General von Brauchitsch did not allow SS police or intelligence organizations to enter France during the 1940 campaign.12 Without the approval of OKW or OKH, a group of about twenty SD intelligence experts surreptitiously established offices near the German embassy along the avenue Foch.13 Elements of the Kriminalpolizei and Gestapo eluded military police and joined their SD comrades in Paris during the following weeks. By the end of the summer, sixty SS agents worked in France. Brigadeführer Dr. Max Thomas led the entire SS contingent and had the title Representative of the Security Police and SD (Beauftragter des Chefs der Sicherheitspolizei und des Sicherheitsdienst or BdS).14 His executive officer and eventual successor, Sturmbannführer Helmut Knochen, negotiated an agree- ment which would permit the SS to operate lawfully in occupied France 12 Breitman, The Architect of Genocide, pp. 105–115; Müller, Das Heer und Hitler, pp. 458–466. 13 Steinberg and Fite`re, Les Allemands en France, 1940–1944, pp. 39–45. 14 Once vested with executive authority in 1942, the Beauftragter des Chefs der Sicherheitspolizei und SD became Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und SD. The abbreviation, BdS, remained the same. 224 racial deportations on 4 October 1940. Members of the Black Corps could wear their black uniform but could not arrest suspects or confiscate property on their own. SS officers monitored the activity of Jews, foreigners, Freemasons, com- munists, and clerics; located and secured valuable documents and records in state libraries, Masonic lodges, and religious institutions; and investigated anti-German conspiracies. In return, the SS had to inform the MBF of their strength and activity. Finally, Himmler promised to tell the army high com- mand and General von Stülpnagel about any change in the SS’s mission.15 To carry out his duties, Thomas established a central bureau in Paris that, in terms of structure, mimicked Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicher- heitshauptamt or RSHA) in Berlin. By 1942, the Paris headquarters had seven sections focused on personnel, finance and industry, liaison with the French government, anti-German groups, criminal police (Kriminalpolizei or Kripo), intelligence, and cultural affairs. SS branch offices stood beside regional commands of the military administration in Bordeaux, Rouen, and Dijon.16 Thomas’s second-in-command, Knochen, served as the SS liaison with the MBF. SS Sturmbannführer Herbert Hagen arrived with the very first group of SS operatives, opened the branch office in Bordeaux, and supervised the collection of foreign intelligence as head of section VI. After HSSuPF Oberg arrived in 1942, Hagen moved to Paris and served as Oberg’s Chief of Staff and representative (perso?nal Referent). One of Hagen’s colleagues, SS Sturmbannführer Kurt Lischka, ran the Paris office and served as Knochen’s agent (sta?ndiger Vertreter) when the BdS was unavailable. Both Lischka and Hagen had worked with Adolf Eichmann before the war and juggled several jobs within the SS apparatus. A convoluted SS hierarchy and blurred lines of jurisdiction between various German agencies often confused outsiders.17 Because they had limited powers, SS men spent much of their time collecting anecdotal information and sending eclectic reports to superiors in Berlin. An intelligence summary of 14 December 1940 focused on dis- gruntled workers, characterized the atmosphere of Paris as ‘revolutionary,’ 15 USNA, RG 242/T-501/196/655–656. 16 BAK, All. Proz. 21/Proce`s Oberg-Knochen/12–13, 39–43; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/ 1/6–21; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/4/5–42. 17 Joseph Billig, La Solution finale de la question juive. Essai sur ses principes dans le III Reich et en France sous l’occupation (Paris: Centre de Documentation Juive Contremporaine, 1977), pp. 169–178, 192, 88–90, 197–8; BAK, All. Proz. 21/Proce`s Oberg-Knochen/35; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/4/7. 225 after the fall and conjured images of 1870. The MBF’s December 1940 report noted a deterioration in public morale but added that subversive groups were being carefully monitored and concluded that ‘the safety of the occupation is nowhere endangered.’ SS reports focused on Jews and communists, exaggerated racial threats, and highlighted the need for racial vigilance in the Hexagon. Unlike comprehensive accounts written by the military administration, SS briefs did not assess the overall popularity of resistance groups or place resistance activity within the larger context of French society.18 While Knochen sent dubious reports to Berlin, Theodor Dannecker prepared the ground for the Final Solution. Born in 1913, Dannecker joined the SS in June of 1932 and enrolled in the Nazi party six weeks later. After the Nazi seizure of power, he served in an SS Verfügungstruppe before transferring to Columbia-Haus in Berlin, where he gained a first-hand knowledge of the Nazi concentration camp system. Dannecker secured a position as a Jewish affairs expert in the SD Main Office (SD Hauptamt) in 1937 and worked closely with Eichmann, Hagen, Lischka and, to a lesser extent, Reinhard Heydrich. Eichmann relocated to Austria after the March 1938 Anschluss and trusted Dannecker enough to leave him in charge of the Berlin office during his absence. Toward the end of 1939, Himmler integrated the SD Hauptamt into RSHA. Along with Eichmann, Dannecker joined section IV D 4 (Gestapo Jewish affairs, later renamed IV B 4) under the command of Heinrich Müller. Before World War Two, Dannecker had won the trust of influential SS leaders who would later shape the Final Solution.19 Dannecker arrived in France on 5 September 1940 and took charge of subsection J (Jewish affairs), in section IV (anti-German groups) on the staff of the BdS. Although nominally a part of Thomas’s team, he usually received his orders from and reported directly to Eichmann in Berlin. Despite a modest rank that was equivalent to an army lieutenant, 27-year-old SS-Obersturmführer Dannecker played a pivotal role in the Final Solution.20 18 Schumann and Nestler (eds.), Die faschistische Okkupationspolitik in Frankreich, pp. 126–7; USNA, RG 242/T-501/143/557; Germaine Willard, Roger Bourderon, and Gilbert Badia (eds.), La Gestapo contre le parti communiste: rapports sur l’activite? du PCF (Paris: E? ditions Messidor, 1984). 19 Claudia Steur, Theodor Dannecker: ein Funktiona?r der ‘Endlo?sung’ (Essen: Klartext Verlag, 1977), pp. 16–29, 40–42; Krausnick et al., Anatomy of the SS State, pp. 163–187. 20 Steur, Theodor Dannecker, pp. 45–91. Dannecker was promoted to Hauptsturmführer or captain by April 1941. 226 racial deportations Once in France, Dannecker tried to implement the anti-Semitic routine pioneered by SS colleagues in Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland that began with identifying Jews, segregating them from the rest of the pop- ulation, and confiscating their assets before concluding with deportation and extermination.21 In conjunction with the Vichy regime, the military administration discriminated against and despoiled Jews, but the MVW characterized additional discrimination as a French matter and declined to proceed further. Unfettered by legal concerns, Dannecker established a Jewish council (Judenrat) to carry out SS orders. The resulting organization, the Coordination Committee for the Jewish Relief Organizations of Paris (Comite? de Coordination des Oeuvres de Bienfaisance Israe?lites a` Paris) started operations on 30 January 1941.22 Dannecker’s first Judenrat proved ineffective. Several major Jewish organ- izations refused to cooperate, the MBF claimed that such matters lay beyond his jurisdiction, and the French government declined to assist the young SS officer. The military administration’s reluctance to tamper in internal French affairs dissipated as assassinations increased during the fall of 1941. Under pressure from the MBF and especially the SS, the French government forced Jews to join the General Union of the Israelites of France (Union Ge?ne?ral des Israe?lites de France or UGIF) on 29 November 1941.23 After a year of struggle, Dannecker had established a Judenrat that could support the deportation process. Dannecker also tried to consolidate French anti-Semitic initiatives to facilitate SS control. During a conference with German diplomats on 28 February 1941, he painted an ominous picture of 50,000 French and 150,000 foreign Jews living in metropolitan Paris and convinced Ambassador Abetz to support the creation of a French office that would coordinate French anti-Semitic programs. Abetz raised the issue with Darlan during a dinner at the German embassy, and the Admiral established the Commissariat-ge?ne?ral aux questions juives (CGQJ) on 29 March 1941. The CGQJ placed French bureaucrats at the disposal of SS officials, facilitated despoliation, and later expedited the Final Solution. Dannecker could issue orders to Jewish 21 Yahil, The Holocaust, pp. 104–106, 115–122, 146–150, 176–8; Steur, Theodor Dannecker, pp. 48–53. 22 Adler, The Jews of Paris and the Final Solution, pp. 57–8; Steur, Theodor Dannecker, p. 52; Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 80–83; Billig, Commissariat ge?ne?ral aux questions juives, vol. I, p. 27. 23 Adler, The Jews of Paris and the Final Solution, pp. 57–80. 227 after the fall groups through the UGIF and to the CGQJ via the French government. He compensated for the small number of SS personnel under his direct command by creating a network of French and Jewish proxies.24 With his administrative apparatus taking shape, Dannecker began to experiment with deportations but, without the power to make arrests, could not act unilaterally. Dannecker, Ambassador Abetz, the MBF, and Werner Best all asked Xavier Vallat, the newly appointed head of the CGQJ, to demonstrate France’s commitment to racial ideals and arrest ‘politically unpleasant Jews’ during a series of meetings held on 3 and 4 April 1941. Six weeks later, French police sent out 6,500 bil- lets verts and arrested 3,747 Polish, Czech, and Austrian Jews.25 Playing on fears of increased communist activity, Dannecker persuaded the MBF to launch a second round-up on 20 August 1941. After meeting with junior army officials, 2,400 French policemen sealed the 11th arrondissement and detained both French and foreign Jews without informing superi- ors in Vichy until after the fact. By the end of the four-day operation, French police had seized 4,232 Jews in 16 different sections of the French capital.26 In response to a series of attacks carried out between 2 and 6 December, 260 French and 200 German policemen seized 743 French Jews during a third round-up. Dannecker characterized the 1941 raids as ‘restrained,’ but added that they did indeed address the so-called Jewish Question.27 French police sent prisoners seized by the 1941 round-ups to concentra- tion camps in Pithiviers, Beaune-la-Rolande (Loiret), and Drancy that were run by French policemen under German supervision. Drancy served as a source of hostages and, later, the anteroom of Auschwitz. Round-ups car- ried out in 1941 filled all three camps well beyond their capacity. Appalled by conditions in Drancy, a German military commission ordered the release of approximately 900 sick and dying prisoners in October 1941. On 24 Schumann and Nestler (eds.), Die faschistische Okkupationspolitik in Frankreich, pp. 148–9; Billig, La Solution finale de la question juive, p. 120; Rayski, The Choice of the Jews under Vichy, pp. 22–4. 25 BALW, R 70 Frankreich/23/3–5; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/32/9–13; Kaspi, Les Juifs pendant l’occupation, pp. 212–214; Rajsfus, La Police de Vichy, pp. 67–71. Kasten, Gute Franzosen, p. 96, note 302, argues that the SS instigated the 14 May raids. 26 Klarsfeld, La Shoah en France, vol. I, pp. 28–32; vol. 2, pp. 183–199; Kaspi, Les Juifs pendant l’occupation, pp. 214–215; Rajsfus, La Police de Vichy, pp. 71–3. 27 Klarsfeld, Vichy–Auschwitz, 1942, pp. 32–3; Monneray (ed.), La Perse?cution des juifs en France, pp. 117–121; Steur, Theodor Dannecker, pp. 55–8. 228 racial deportations Figure 9.1. Reinhard Heydrich. Photograph courtesy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 2 January 1942, Best informed Knochen that problems on the eastern front created a transportation shortage and prevented the deportation of Jews until February or March 1942.28 Overcrowding and transportation shortages precluded further arrests and deportations respectively. Dannecker discussed the situation with Eichmann at a conference in Berlin on 4 March 1942. Eichmann told his assistant that RSHA could only accept 5,000 French Jews in 1942. He advised Dannecker to strip all deportees of their French citizenship to forestall French protests. Heydrich secured transport for the deportation of 1,000 Jews and approved plans for 4,000 more ‘evacuations,’ but he told Dannecker that widespread deportations would have to wait until 1943. After conferring with Heydrich 28 BAK, All. Proz. 21/212/99–100; Marrus and Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, pp. 251–5; Adler, The Jews of Paris and the Final Solution, pp. 39–40; BALW, R 70 Frankreich/23/8. 229 after the fall and Eichmann, Dannecker (recently promoted to the rank of captain) prepared to arrest a limited number of foreign Jews.29 The SS enjoyed a bit of luck. During a chance conversation with a Luftwaffe major, Dannecker learned that the German officer in charge of French railroads, Lieutenant-General Otto Kohl, was ‘very interested in the Jewish Question.’ He arranged a meeting with the general and discussed the Jewish question for over an hour on 13 May. The SS captain discovered that Kohl was ‘an inveterate adversary of the Jews’ who ‘completely approved of the Final Solution.’ The general promised to supply Dannecker with all of the rolling stock that he needed. Although Heydrich could not secure transportation for large-scale deportations, Dannecker found a way around the bottleneck through Lieutenant-General Kohl. As a result of Dannecker’s ingenuity, RSHA raised the number of expected deportations from 5,000 Jews envisioned by Heydrich on 4 March to 100,000 during an 11 June 1942 meeting in Berlin. Eleven days later, Eichmann refined the transportation schedule to accommodate 40,000 deportations from occupied France, 40,000 from the Netherlands, and 10,000 from Belgium.30 The first convoy to Auschwitz left Compie`gne on 27 March 1942. Like most deportation trains, it carried over one thousand Jews in sealed box cars to conserve guards. Four more convoys left Drancy, Pithiviers, and 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.