Bad Faith: The Forgotten History of Family and Fatherland by Carmen Callil; The Unfree French: Life Under the Occupation by Richard Vinen - review by Simon Heffer

Simon Heffer

Swept Under The Carpet

Bad Faith: The Forgotten History of Family and Fatherland

By

Jonathan Cape 576pp £20 order from our bookshop

The Unfree French: Life Under the Occupation

By

Allen Lane The Penguin Press 496pp £25 order from our bookshop
 

The scars inflicted on France by the Nazi occupation of 1940–44 – and, more to the point, by the collaboration of some of the French with the occupier – still run deep. For decades after the event ‘collabos’ were shunned in French communities. Now most of them are dead, but in some cases their children have been tarred with the brush of betrayal. 

Attitudes, though, have never been black and white. After the purges of 1944–45, whose climax was the execution of the Vichy Prime Minister Pierre Laval and the sentencing to death (commuted to life imprisonment) of the 89-year-old Marshal Pétain, French society seemed to draw a veil over what, to put

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