Living with Defeat

France under the German Occupation 1940-1944
Burrin, Philippe
Date published: 
September 1996

After the debacle of 1940 the French had to come to terms with the realities of enemy occupation. For four years the Nazis set the rules of daily life, imposed authority and demanded obedience. Placed in an extraordinary predicament, some French people resisted, a fair number sought preferment, but most chose the inevitable compromise - accommodation, partly imposed but partly voluntary. 'Living with Defeat' is the first book to look at the whole range of French responses - from Vichy's complicity in the Holocaust to the average Parisian's need to secure the necessities of life. Making use of a spectacular variety of largely untapped sources, the author gives us a remarkable and evocative portrait of French society in its gravest hour.