Vichy, government of

   The Vichy government was the name given to the executive power of the État français (French state) installed at Vichy from July 10, 1940, to August 1944. After the signing of the armistice at the beginning of World War II (June 22, 1940), the majority in parliament voted, on July 10, full powers to Marshal Philippe pétain to form a new constitution for the État français. Invested the next day with complete legislative and executive power, Pétain, who chose pierre laval as his vice president and successor, launched a campaign for a "National Revolution" with the slogan "Travail, Famille, Patrie," that expressed the most conservative and reactionary principles. several exceptional measures were immediately adopted: dissolution of secret societies, special statutes for French Jews, suppression of labor unions, administrative internments, and judicial charges against several political and military figures of the third republic. The arrest of Laval (December 1940), who had arranged the Hitler-Pétain meeting at Montoire (October 24, 1940), offered some hope of a Vichy resistance to the Nazis, but the policy of collaboration (see Admiral darlan) regarding the question of the East (Darlan-Warlimont Accords) and the return of Laval to the Vichy government (April 1942), as well as the German occupation of southern France (November 1942), made that impossible. The policy of collaboration and discrimination only intensified, with the Jews being key victims of the mass arrests and deportations. The Légion des volontaires, which was created in 1941 (to fight alongside German troops against bolshevism), was followed by the Milice français (January 1943) and the institution of Service du travail obligatoire (February 1943), while Vichy continued the struggle against the resistance. After the collapse of the Wehrmacht (Summer 1944), the Vichy government fled to Belfort, then sigmaringen.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

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