THE overwhelming majority of the French people hope for the victory of the United Nations. Many express that hope openly, especially in the occupied zone, regardless of fears of German punishment. Some hold the hope because the victory of the United Nations will mean the triumph of democracy, of the free way of living and thinking; others simply desire to be free from German oppression, to have normal conditions of life restored, to get home the war prisoners, to get more food. The hope, then, though it is widespread, varies in degree and is based upon contrasting desires. But let me say once more at the start: the overwhelming majority of the French people hope for the victory of the United Nations.

In spite of this immense consensus omnium, France as a national entity collaborates with Germany. Not merely the Government at Vichy, but a relatively important part of what might be called the French élite collaborates. The majority which opposes collaboration lacks weapons; it also lacks leadership -- at any rate inside of France. At no time in French history has there been such a deep abyss between the French people and their government; at no time such a gap between the real France and the legal France. This abyss is not merely the result of the military defeat. Indeed, it is much more a cause of the defeat than its result. Probably it is the most important cause.

II

What are the basic economic and social reasons why the policy of collaboration was adopted by a considerable number of French leaders?

To understand the spirit of collaboration, we must understand, first of all, the psychology of the French bureaucrats. Collaboration would have been much more difficult, if not impossible, without the silent consent of the highest French officials.

As a result of the First World War, state intervention in the economic field became steadily more pronounced. But the French Parliament proved to be very badly equipped to solve difficult political and economic problems by itself. As a result, government by qualified experts gradually superseded the normal procedure. These experts were either high officials or former high officials who had become leaders in industry, banking or commerce. This political evolution began when the difficult problems connected with reparations and war debts were being solved, but it quickly spread through the whole economic field. After 1934, because of the continuing financial crisis, the Executive was empowered to issue decree-laws to solve the most urgent problems without parliamentary debate.

This trend quickly gave the French bureaucracy extraordinary importance, and this importance was never balanced by any increase in its political responsibility. French Premiers fell one after the other; but high officials never fell, and they came to look with scorn on officials who were at the mercy of shifting political majorities. In the thirties, the high civil bureaucracy had really become a caste, somewhat similar to the Prussian Junkers. This caste was highly competent in its own narrow field, but it remained, on the whole, absolutely ignorant of the real aspirations of the country. Naturally it inclined to be reactionary. The bureaucrats hated public debate; they hated to unveil the mysteries of the various bureaux through which they administered the country in accordance with a set daily routine. They actually liked to be misunderstood by Deputies and Senators; they laughed when Ministers published wrong facts and figures or were flouted by Parliament.

This psychology was chiefly exemplified by the administration of the Treasury, and especially the powerful Secretariat General and Inspection General of Finances. Following Munich, the overwhelmingly important task was to get the country mobilized industrially. But the officials of the financial administration were too much occupied with the task of curtailing postmen's and school teachers' salaries to face and deal with such vital problems as the supply of machine tools, of light metals like aluminum and magnesium, and of special steels. They consistently refused to solve those vital problems, just as they all along had steadily refused to adopt a broad policy of slum clearance which would have made France even more dear to even more of her people.

The military bureaucracy, which was despised by the high civilian authorities, was no better. It was overtired after years of administrative chicanery and allowed things to go their way without real resistance. It had failed to take any serious measure to decentralize the industry of the country; the most important war factories still were grouped along the northeastern frontier or in the immediate suburbs of Paris. The construction of the Maginot Line itself revealed a complete absence of a comprehensive grasp of the whole problem by the technicians. Most people still do not know, for example, that a large portion of the French steel production (in the Longwy basin) was outside the Maginot Line and hence was not protected by it.

Parliament, I must repeat, took practically no action either for or against the national mobilization. For a long time it voted without a murmur, and indeed without much real discussion, the enormous credits demanded by the Executive. If Parliament was guilty, its fault certainly was not to have imposed too much supervision but rather not to have exercised any supervision at all. If high military and civilian officials had been forced to appear at Senatorial hearings of the American type, France would have had both more tanks and better morale on September 4, 1939.

After the defeat and the armistice of June 1940 the bureaucrats were ripe for collaboration. They never had had any clear idea of the French mission. The Germans came and told them that the French mission was to help create "the new European order;" that was a marvellous discovery. They learned also that in Germany there was no Parliament and no public opinion to bother about; this was another great discovery. French high officials did not stop to discuss whether the new order was bad or good. They simply began immediately to rule once more in their own little fields in accordance with the requirements of that new order. And as they are very clever, very open-minded, and as above everything they like jobs and power, they do it pretty well.

The second point to be noted is that there were new trends in the field of heavy industry which helped pave the way towards collaboration.

Partly as a result of the re-incorporation of Alsace-Lorraine into France in 1919, partly because of the rise of such new industries as that based on aluminum, France in twenty years had grown into a great industrial country. Its iron ore, potash, bauxite and textile manufactures were especially important. But the French domestic market was fairly small; in order to dispose of their surplus, French industrialists entered international combines and became partners in almost every European cartel.

The contrast between the natural wealth of the country and its demographic weakness, between its economic potential and the Malthusian theories of its leaders, profoundly modified the political psychology of leading French men of business. The very men that Leftist leaders pointed to as "war mongers" became in fact the staunchest supporters of European collaboration, of a "continental order." Daily contact with their German colleagues and a somewhat justifiable admiration for German economic organization, output and efficiency, induced them to think favorably of the idea that Europe should be unified under German leadership and to look forward to the resulting opportunities for developing backward countries, especially the Balkans and western Russia.

This tendency found expression in the weekly Les Nouveaux Cahiers, published during the Popular Front period by prominent business leaders. Pioneers in the movement were MM. Barnaud and Baudoin for the bankers, M. Detoeuf for industry, and MM. de Tarde and Dayras for the high administrative and economic bureaucracy. In foreign policy it was internationalist and "appeasing" -- Munichois was the French expression; in the domestic field, simultaneously, it was liberal and vaguely socialistic.[i]

On the eve of the outbreak of war in 1914 the great French Socialist, Jean Jaurès, a champion of popular rights, recalled the phrase of Leibnitz, "Bodies prevent, but minds do not." He meant that individuals of good will might always come to agreement, whereas material and economic antagonisms would prevent. Just before the Second World War many important French business leaders adopted the opposite view, feeling that economic interests could always agree and that this agreement would inevitably lead to the "demobilization" of minds.

An anecdote which I heard from a friend who was a French representative on the international cartel for railway rolling stock will serve to illustrate this new psychology. A meeting of this cartel, held in Germany at the height of the Czech crisis, ended in general agreement and satisfaction. My friend got up and, addressing his colleagues from the various interested countries, said: "Gentlemen, we have just concluded an excellent technical and economic agreement. Let us offer our joint services to the Great Powers to solve the Sudeten problem. Doubtless it is difficult; but we have just proved that there is no problem without a solution, and anything is better than war." These words were received with great applause.

The story strangely recalls the desperate efforts which the French Socialists made on the eve of the First World War. Both denote a complete lack of political understanding, the absence of any real knowledge of what Pan Germanism means and how it acts.

On the French political scene, at the same time, M. Marcel Déat championed similar theories. In the two tendencies, one in the economic realm, the other in the political, we discover the tap roots of the spirit of collaboration.

Let me now mention a third influential factor. The business leaders in question had their own special conception of the world, a real Weltanschauung. Some of them, like MM. Baudoin or Barnaud, usually related it to what they conceived of as Catholic order, Catholic unity. At the time of the Czech crisis they often referred to the "Czech heresy" or the "Hussite heresy." Usually the motives which really dominated them were purely materialistic; but they pushed those into the background, and covered their dubious acts with the noble and idealistic arguments of their broad humanistic culture.

Other leaders, however, did not bother to indulge in idealism. For them, from 1934 on, the question was very simple: was France to become a Communist country or not? To avoid the social revolution which they saw threatening they were ready for anything, even for adherence or submission to Hitler. There were sharp social differences between these people and the business leaders described above.

The French anti-Bolshevists were usually petits bourgeois: small shopkeepers or middle class industrialists, with a few great industrialists included. They were anti-Syndicalist, anti-Popular Front; whereas the business intelligentsia used to lunch with "open-minded" labor leaders and talk with them in fashionable drawing-rooms, indeed often subsidized their papers. The anti-Bolshevists were susceptible to any form of demagogic argument provided it was anti-Communist. They were ripe for civil war -- though not for too bloody a one! Their man was Doriot; their political system was Fascism. They were anti-imperialists; in international affairs they were definitely cowards. Since the armistice, they have accepted with enthusiasm the anti-Semitism and the "corporative" anti-capitalism offered by Vichy.

Just as the business intelligentsia flirted with open-minded labor leaders so it flirted also with the despised petits bourgeois. The petits bourgeois did not like banks and trusts. Therefore, to keep the peace, ties had to be created between them and the upper bourgeoisie which operated the banks and trusts. To maintain these ties the intelligentsia had to find clever and cynical intermediaries, men who had a keen understanding of the social set-up and were physically aggressive. MM. Pucheu and Marion were born for this work.

M. Pucheu was educated at the Superior Normal School, the French temple of higher culture where college and university professors are trained. But after the last war professors were badly paid and some pupils of the School developed a sudden interest in international politics or big business. Those who felt a call to politics gravitated to Geneva, and especially to the International Labor Office, whose first director, Albert Thomas, himself came from the Normal School. The Comité des Forges, under the leadership of M. François-Poncet, also from the Normal School, and later French Ambassador to Germany, attracted the others. Pucheu was one of them. Eventually he was entrusted with the international relations department of the Comité des Forges. Much later, he became one of the followers of Jacques Doriot and is said to have taken on the rôle of financial intermediary between Doriot's French Popular Party and the great interests which secretly subsidized it. Just before the war broke out, the Worms Bank had asked him to reorganize the Japy plants at Beaucourt.

Marion was merely a Communist who in 1934 left the Communist Party with Doriot. He became chief of the Propaganda and Press Services of the Popular Party.

There was constant social and political unrest in France from the end of 1933 on. Politico-financial scandals raised up violent rival factions, most of them strongly anti-parliamentarian in feeling. Convulsions of this sort are not rare in the lives of nations. They evidence a maladjustment between the inefficiency and consequent unpopularity of existing political bodies and the skill and competence of technical and economic forces. When the political powers prove unable to integrate the rising social forces and to canalize them within the traditional political frame, the maladjustment leads inevitably to revolution or tyranny. England furnishes examples of such epochs, under men like Boling-broke at the beginning of the eighteenth century and Beaconsfield in the nineteenth. But neither Bolingbroke nor Beaconsfield seceded; both of them were absorbed into the traditional system, another proof of English political wisdom.

In France, on the contrary, such processes of absorption have always been extremely difficult. Clemenceau offers perhaps the only example of a violent and individualistic personality who never played anything but the parliamentary game. On the eve of the great crisis which led to the present war the traditional French parties could not absorb and discipline the various rebels. The Unified Socialist Party could not absorb Marcel Déat, Adrien Marquet and their companions; nor could the Right absorb Doriot, Pucheu and their friends. Here is surely an historical factor of great importance, even though the reasons for it are difficult to untangle.

On the eve of Munich, all the definitely pro-Fascist factions in France were working under cover of darkness; and, also in darkness, the business intelligentsia were trying to lay down the new rules for the government of tomorrow. In this projected government MM. Gabriel Leroy-Ladurie, Barnaud, Baudoin, Pucheu were to be the foremost leaders. None of these men wished for the defeat of France, nor did they work for it; but they could not help knowing that the political convulsions which would follow defeat would finally make a clean sweep of the past and give them the possibility of realizing their program. In a way they were 1940 followers of Saint-Simon.

Still another kind of crisis was in process among the leaders of the labor unions and of French anti-Fascism. Here Communism and the Spanish Civil War were the agents of dissolution.

The reunification of the Socialist and Communist Workers' Confederations, decided upon at Toulouse in July 1935, had paved the way for the covenant of the Popular Front. But it did not smooth away the mistrust and anger felt by moderate labor leaders who belonged to the Second International for their Communist comrades. Younger Socialist and Communist workers might frankly decide to go along together hand-in-hand; but the same could not be said of the leaders of the trade unions. Among them the prevailing feeling was hatred -- hatred mixed with fear on the part of the "Reformists" (moderates), hatred mixed with condescension among the Communists. Coöperation with the French bureaucracy, both at home and at Geneva, had taught the "Reformists" the easy way of compromise and quiet accommodation, but they knew that on this very account they eventually would be absorbed by their Communist companions, who were more audacious, more active, more numerous and above all absolutely free from any scruple. Between them, they knew, there was bound to be a struggle to the finish for the union dues of the workers -- and for power.

Later on in this article I shall pay a tribute to the courage which the Communists displayed in France after the start of the German-Russian war in June 1941. In view of that I can all the more properly criticize their attitude during the five preceding years. Their behavior was doubtless coherent from Stalin's point of view; but from the French point of view it was entirely unadmissible. The Communist Party, which did everything in its power to drag France into the war and everything, at the same time, to prevent her rearmament, carries a crushing share of the responsibility for her defeat. The climax of its subservience to Moscow was reached when it greeted the signature of the German-Russian agreement in August 1939 as a guarantee of peace, thus completely confusing the French workers at a crucial moment.

From the foregoing we are able to understand the psychology of the "Reformist" labor union leaders during the Spanish Civil War, at the time of Munich, and immediately after the Armistice with Germany. It can be summed up in one word: anti-Communism.

Several other circumstances also help explain the anti-Communist feeling of many Socialist and labor leaders. The French Socialist movement had been traditionally pacifist -- indeed, pacifist at any price. This pacifism was colored by a rather marked friendliness for Germany. Jean Jaurès before 1914 and Léon Blum after 1918 were its greatest exponents. Prior to 1914, Jean Jaurès had feared that France might become the champion of "English imperialism" against "German imperialism." He did not want England to "dispose of" France. In those days he and his colleagues were very open-minded towards the country of Karl Marx, Bebel and Liebknecht, and suspicious not only of Saint Petersburg but also of London.

The Socialist tendency to put faith in Germany revived after the war. Obviously Hitler's intrusion onto the scene was bound to upset the traditional position -- but it did not do so completely. The true internationalism and sense of democracy of men like Léon Blum and Léon Jouhaux outweighed their desire for peace and their anti-Communism. But a large minority secretly or openly believed that Hitler was not worth a war and that the "pluto-democratic" government of the City of London was not very much better than the regimentation of the Gestapo. Let us put it another way. The Marxian idea that any war is essentially only a clash between economic antagonisms gave moral support for their attitude of complete selfishness. That was the case with Paul Faure, Charles Spinasse, Paul Rives, René Belin and others.

This spirit of abdication was rife in the ranks of militant anti-Fascism from the time of the Spanish Civil War on. The struggle, it was said, was only a fight between Stalin's imperialism and Hitler's and as such was not of interest to French workers. The powerful unions of school teachers and postmen were both ardently pro-Munich and their attitude symbolized the degradation of French patriotism. Because pseudo-patriots in the past had identified their business interests with national interests, these misguided persons came to believe that any form of patriotism was only a cloak for reactionary selfishness, that the old words liberty, equality, fraternity no longer had any meaning. Why struggle for a political democracy which had not been able to achieve social democracy? Slavery was better than death; Nazism did not endanger public liberties any more than did the laws that accompanied a state of war.

It was in this nauseous climate of intellectual and moral decomposition, when so many normal leaders of public opinion questioned the elementary ideas which ordinarily cement national solidarity and are above question, that the war broke out. And the defeat, instead of providing the fiery furnace in which all the sophisms of yesterday might have melted together, made it worse.

Such are the elements of political psychology which have combined to produce the spirit of collaboration in France today. Once more let me say that only a certain so-called élite is concerned. My remarks do not apply to the obscure crowd which this élite was supposed to lead. But it is this very élite which today rules Vichy France.

III

It is apparent, from the above, that Franco-German political collaboration is supported by very different types of men, and for very different reasons. Let me now give some more precise details of trends in the different social strata.

First as to the upper civilian and military bureaucracy. The former Minister of Finance, M. Yves Boutilhier, and generally speaking the higher Treasury officials, have been definitely in favor of collaboration. Most of them belong to the Franco-German economic bodies headed by M. Jacques Barnaud, a former Treasury official. All the new prefects are of course subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior, formerly under M. Pierre Pucheu and now under M. Pierre Laval. They are among the most fanatical collaborationists; hunting out Communists and baiting Jews are their daily pursuits.

In the academic field the situation is more intricate. Teachers and research workers are not really either pro-collaboration or anti-collaboration, but for the most part adopt a passive attitude. With some exceptions, they have not reacted openly against the racial laws. At the top of the academic hierarchy, rectors, deans and administrative officials are more frankly collaborationist.

The behavior of the French diplomats has been, on the whole, much more courageous. The pro-British tradition had deep roots in the French Foreign Office and this tradition still persists. For example, the resignation of M. Basdevant, formerly legal adviser at the Quai d'Orsay, created much commotion in Vichy France.

Army officers, for the most part, and especially the young ones, hope for revenge on Germany. This does not mean that they have democratic leanings. But they have been beaten, their sense of honor has been wounded. A number of older officers have been placed by the Vichy Government in positions which carry great prestige but little real responsibility, for example, as inspectors for the execution of economic regulations, super-inspectors of police, regional food advisers, etc. Navy men have been especially favored in the same way by Admiral Darlan and so in general are more collaborationist than the army.

There is another group which favors Franco-German economic coöperation because its members admire "German organization." Among them are MM. Paul Baudoin, Jacques Barnaud, Jean Bichelonne, now Minister of Production, Jacques Leroy-Ladurie, now Minister of Agriculture,[ii] and René Lehideux, former Minister of Production, Director of the Renault plant. The key position held by the Worms Bank in these circles is now well known.

Before the defeat and the armistice these men believed in a compromise peace; since the armistice they believe in a German victory. They were profoundly surprised by the Russian resistance, but even at the end of 1941 they still thought that Germany would finally absorb Russia and reorganize it in the course of a few years. They probably still hope for a German victory, for the economic unification of Europe under German aegis, and for a "deal" with America. It must be clearly understood that these men are absolutely unconscious of the ideological aspects of the present struggle. They are not shocked by the absurdity of the idea that democracies and dictatorships can exist side by side in the postwar world. For them the war is only a clash between conflicting economic imperialisms. Despite their social origins they are unconscious Marxists of the most benighted type.

Around these men are grouped the members of the new French economic bureaucracy, especially of the Office for the Allocation of Raw Materials, which handles the details of Franco-German industrial collaboration. This bureaucracy is not to be confused with the newly created Committees of Industrial Organization, which have charge of what remains of French industry and do not participate in schemes for industrial collaboration with Germany. In fact, many leaders of the Committees of Industrial Organization have proved very reluctant collaborationists.

Then there are the French reactionaries with Nazi leanings, most of them grouped in the Doriot, Deloncle and Costantini organizations. They have no popularity or prestige in either the occupied or the unoccupied zone.

The case of Marcel Déat is obviously different. He is a man of energy and some intelligence. During the First World War he proved to be a very brave soldier. Moreover, he has a certain political philosophy; for the last two years he has fought not only for close coöperation with Germany and against England but also against Vichy clericalism and reactionary social measures. In a Nazi France, he would become the leader of the left wing; he would probably be a bitter opponent of the kind of financial interests represented by the Worms Bank, as well as of Catholic influence. Under a purely National Socialist rule he would stress, at least for a time, the "Socialism" more than the "Nationalism."[iii]

Still another group is formed of the politicians of the Left and Extreme Left who have gone over to collaboration. These, it will be generally agreed, are among the most despicable elements in French politics. I have tried to explain above some of the personal reasons for their attitude. Admiral Darlan endeavored to use them at times to rally the Radical peasants and the Socialist workers to Vichy. Charles Spinasse, Paul Rives and Paul Faure lent themselves to this manœuvre. It failed definitely and completely.

Collaborationist leaders in the labor unions were recruited among the friends of former Labor Minister René Belin, including Francis Million, Georges Dumoulin and Kleber Legay. Delmas, leader of the teachers' union, has also been a prominent advocate of Franco-German friendship. Many of these labor leaders have been invited to visit Germany, have come back quite enthusiastic and have been sent out through the country on extensive propaganda tours during which they have contrasted the Hitler paradise with the Stalinist hell. The same must be said of some of the former Socialist mayors in the suburbs of Paris, such as Pierre Morizet and others, who have celebrated German urban achievements. Paradoxically enough, it is precisely in the coal and steel regions of Flanders and in Paris industrial suburbs that workers have proved to be mostly in favor of de Gaulle and most determined to help bring about Germany's defeat.

A few intellectuals of the Emery type are also included among the collaborationists.[iv] They are mainly followers of Alain, whose pacifist doctrine was a first step towards collaboration. Finally, there is the inevitable crop of needy journalists such as Francis Delaisi and Achille Dauphin-Meunier. For them, writing about collaboration is just a new way to earn a living.

IV

France thus is confronted with a frightful depreciation in intellectual and moral values among its traditional leaders. As a result, perhaps the most essential postwar problem of French political reorganization will be to find a new leadership, to discover a new élite in every field of activity, but particularly in administrative, educational and social life. I do not say that the constitutional problem of the new France will not be of importance. All that I say is that the form of government in itself will be of less importance than the quality and intrinsic worth of the leaders in each field.

Will these leaders be found? If so, where and how? My answer to the first question is a definite "yes." To the second my answer is that they will be found in four sectors, as follows:

(1) Among the limited but still considerable number of business leaders and high officials who have refused to bow to the invader.

(2) Among the Frenchmen who have left France momentarily in order to continue the fight. This raises the whole problem of the relationship between the Fighting France of General de Gaulle and France proper; also the subsidiary problem of the relationship of the Fighting French movement with foreign governments, as well as of its relationship with French politicians who have left France but have not definitely joined the movement.

(3) Among the new groups and strata which have formed spontaneously in France as a result of the resistance against defeat and collaboration. I refer particularly to the Catholic youth.

(4) Finally, among the old social groups which at present are stifled and persecuted either by the Nazis, or by Vichy, or by both. Here I mean chiefly the Communist organizations, but also those leaders of the Socialist trade unions who have refused to collaborate.

I shall not discuss here the first two groups. Obviously it would be absurd to identify by name the leading anti-collaborationist industrialists and officials. I also prefer not to pass judgment, in the pages of a foreign review, on the polemics which have sometimes occurred inside the Fighting French organization or on differences which have arisen between it and foreign governments. But I must comment briefly on the two other sections.

First, there are the new French youth, the young Frenchmen who do not accept unquestioningly the orders given by Vichy, who ponder the future of France and who try to establish new rules of action for themselves in their own minds.

It is a well-known fact that since the Armistice there is no longer a national army in France but only a professional army of about 100,000 recruited volunteers. But young men are required, when twenty years old, to spend eight months in the Youth Camps, where they undertake a variety of rural and public works, under commissioned supervisors who give them some civic and moral training. Here is probably the best opportunity for the building up of a new national leadership. The different social strata in the Youth Camps do not amalgamate completely, since the supervisors generally are of bourgeois origin, whereas the rank and file of the boys are either workers or peasants. However, contacts are much more intimate in the camps than they were between officers and men in the regular French Army.

The new élite which is being created in the Youth Camps tends to be rather anti-collaborationist. They have not adopted racial ideas; if they seem to accept the commands of the Government, that is largely out of reverence for the person of Marshal Pétain. They often debate whether or not the new order is in the French tradition. On the whole, they seem to be largely under the influence of social and liberal Catholicism -- that is to say, the prewar tradition of the Young Christian Workers' Movement. Many outstanding figures in the Church are in close contact with them. Obviously the Church sees that the defeat gives it a marvellous opportunity to take the French youth in hand once more, and it is performing its task with tact and intelligence.

A few words now about the Communists and trade union leaders. For a whole year, from June 1940 to June 1941, the German authorities officially took no interest in Communist activities. Whenever the Préfet de Police in Paris complained about them the usual German answer was that it was a purely French domestic affair and that the French authorities could do what they liked about it. A new daily paper, La France au Travail, was started in occupied France with German money; its economic and social tendencies were purely Communist, but mixed with attacks on Britain and the normal sort of anti-Semitism. It proved, however, to be a complete failure. Meanwhile, the old Communist daily, L'Humanité, was printed underground.

Things changed with the German attack on Russia at the end of June 1941. Since that time the Communist Party has become the main focus of French resistance. Some of its former leaders, such as Semard and Gabriel Peri, former editors of L'Humanité, have been shot by the Germans. They died bravely.

Many leaders of the "Reformist" trade unions who had not been corrupted by the daily routine of bureaucracy and political compromises have taken an equally fine stand. Recently in Nantes four such leaders -- Granet, of the paper union, Michels, of the leather union, Poulmarch, of the seamen's union, and Timbaud, of the steel union -- were shot by the Germans after having refused to collaborate along the lines urged by their former comrade, Froideval, a man of Vichy.

Obviously a real movement of reunification is in process among French workers. Some of the new young leaders in the underground Socialist trade union movement seem to maintain a resolute attitude toward the Communist organizations, and probably they will find more difficulty in collaborating with Communist leaders than with the liberal Catholics. But there is a sense of common interest, based on an equality of suffering and on an equality of hatred against former Communists of the Gitton and Clamamus type and former Socialists of the Spinasse and Belin and Froideval types. It is of course much more deeply rooted than the artificial political movement of 1935-1936 which paved the way for the Popular Front.

In my opinion, the most arduous political task in France after the victory of the United Nations will be to establish the basis of collaboration between these two new rising forces -- the young Catholic bourgeoisie of liberal and Socialist leanings, and the Communists and the Socialist trade union leaders who have learned once again the great lessons of national consciousness and patriotism.

[i] I do not mean, of course, that all French industrialists formerly interested in European cartels have become enthusiastic supporters of collaboration. Many members of the Nouveaux Cahiers group have proved to be devoted to freedom. But the general attitude was as I have described it.

[ii] His brother, Gabriel Leroy-Ladurie, is head of the Worms Bank.

[iii] Déat, who before the war signed a manifesto urging the Polish Government to be less anti-Semitic, is now a bitter anti-Semite. A curious fact which must be mentioned is the strong influence exercised on him by Werner Sombart's works on the evolution of capitalism.

[iv] Emery, an anarcho-syndicalist leader, favored peace at any price and headed various anti-Fascist committees.

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  • LOUIS R. FRANCK, a former official in the French Ministries of Finance and National Economy; a high official, until the French capitulation, in the Ministry of Armaments; now a consultant with the Board of Economic Warfare in Washington
  • More By Louis R. Franck