What is the course about?
Born out of the defeat of 1940, the Vichy regime is one of the darkest periods in French history. Even if Marshal
Pétain pretended he was sheltering the country from excessive demands by the Nazis, the government and
administration offered themselves to the service of the enemy, often for the worst.
What will we cover?
The 1940 defeat and its consequences: the collapse of the Republic and the emergence of the French State (Vichy
A new France: dictatorship, social and economic reorganisation, and public morality
Repression, exclusion and persecutions
Collaboration: initial objectives and reality (1940-1942)
The full participation of Vichy to the Nazi war effort (1942-1944)
Legacy and memories of the Vichy regime: how to deal with France’s darkest hour?
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
List the key characteristics of the Vichy regime
List the key groups vying for power in Vichy
Explain why the Vichy regime initiated its policy of collaboration with Nazi Germany
Discuss constructively the outcomes of state collaboration
Analyse the responsibility of the Vichy regime in the persecution, deportation and extermination of Jews
Analyse why France struggled with the legacy and memories of Vichy after the war.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an `introductory` course and does not assume any previous study or reading although you will need a good
grasp of English to keep up with the course. You will gain more from the course, in terms of enjoyment and
learning, if you are able and willing to do some supplementary reading. As with most of our history and current
affairs courses, an open mind and a willingness to listen to and think about views with which you do not always
agree are more important than specific levels of skills.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This day course will be delivered through a combination of lecture and group discussions. The class will be
supported by PowerPoint presentations and handouts. Documents will be supplied for the group discussions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
A list of recommended reading material and recommended films will be provided, but this is optional.
Please bring pen and paper.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please see other European and general history courses on the City Lit website.