The Vichy Government

Topics: Charles de Gaulle, Vichy France, Philippe Pétain Pages: 4 (1308 words) Published: September 9, 2007
The Vichy Government


Vichy France, or the Vichy regime, was the government of France from July 1940 to August 1944. It succeeded the Third Republic. The "French state" (L'État Français), as it called itself in contrast with the "French Republic", was proclaimed by Marshal Philippe Pétain, following the military defeat of France by Nazi Germany during World War II, and the vote by the National Assembly on July 10, 1940, to grant extraordinary powers to Pétain, who held the title of "President of the Council" instead of President of France. Vichy France had legal authority in both the northern zone of France, which was occupied by the German Wehrmacht, and the unoccupied southern "free zone", where the regime's administrative center of Vichy was located. The southern zone remained under Vichy control until the Allies landed in French North Africa in November 1942. Pétain and the Vichy regime willfully collaborated with Nazi Germany to a high degree. The French police organized raids to capture Jews and others considered "undesirables" by the Germans in both the northern and southern zones. The legitimacy of Vichy France and Pétain's leadership was challenged by General Charles de Gaulle, who claimed to instead incarnate the legitimacy and continuity of France. Following the Allies' invasion of France in Operation Overlord, de Gaulle proclaimed the Provisional Government of the French Republic (GPRF) in June, 1944. After the Liberation of Paris in August, the GPRF installed itself in Paris on August 31. The GPRF was recognized as the legitimate government of France by the Allies on October 23, 1944. With the liberation of France in August and September, the Vichy officials and supporters moved to Sigmaringen, a French enclave in Germany and there established a government in exile, headed by Pétain, until April 1945.

Establishment of the Vichy government

On July 1, 1940, the Parliament and the government gathered themselves in Vichy, a city in the...
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