By ALEXANDER WERTH
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Additional resources for France: 1940-1955
FRENCH PUBLIC SENTIMENT DURING THE OCCUPATION in 1939-40 7 was more consistent, clear-sighted, and more impeccably patriotic than it appeared at the time; according to him, they had shown a far shrewder of the Soviet-German Pact than understanding they had really done; for in 1939 the Pact had thrown most of them into a state of the greatest confusion. The role played by the Resistance was, for political reasons, immensely magnified in 1944 and stupidly "debunked" a few years later, when the Vichyite Right 'began to treat the FFI as though they had been merely an army of cut-throats.
Chance would have it that he first came into active politics at the age see it and, in doing so, of 78, as Minister of War in the Doumergue Cabinet, a few days after the 6th of February Riots. What had he been until then, and what did he represent in the eyes of French opinion? He represented one thing only the glory of the French Army. No doubt, there are many unkind : phrases about Petain to be found in the memoirs of Joffre and Poincare. It transpired from these that Petain's great reputation as a soldier had been exaggerated, and it was even suggested that the Battle of Verdun was won not so much thanks to him, as in spite of him, by men of stronger nerve like General Nivelle and General Mangin.
It's no use quarrelfor and against including social inling over statistics and trie arguments surance benefits in "wages"; it is just enough to look around to realize that the economic improvements in France since the war have greatly benefited such elements in the bourgeoisie as industrialists, engineers, top-ranking technicians, bankers, and even part of the liberal professions; here there has been a spectacular increase in luxury living. On the other hand, the petite bourgeoisie of employees and government officials, as well as the workingclass have been barely maintaining themselves along a horizontal line of slightly above, the 1938 level, despite longer well-being.