Recently declassified French documentation and continuing scholarly discussion show that Vichy France's antisemitic legislation was no mere consequence of German antisemitic measures imposed in the Occupied Zone in summer 1940. One must differentiate between the economic persecution of Jews in France, in which the German occupational forces were the main actors, and measures of the French government, which enacted its own "racial" legislation. Franco-German collaboration started only in autumn 1940, after the promulgation of the first French racial legislation. From then on the Germans started to intervene in French antisemitic measures. By spring 1942 the Germans dominated action against the Jews in France, and harshly implemented their own Holocaust-related measures with less and less support from the French government, which was reluctant to go beyond its own antisemitic policy. This article traces French antisemitic traditions in government and administration before and after 1940, and then discusses Franco-German interaction in the introduction of racial legislation and economic persecution of the Jews.


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pp. 4-22
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