France 1929-1939
Intellectual Life
France 1944-1949
the Economy
France 1940-1944
Intellectual Life

France 1940-1944 : the Economy

The defeat had split France in two - occupied France with Paris, the north and the Atlantic coast, and unoccupied France with the administrative center at Vichy. Formally, the Vichy administration was neutral; in practise it had to follow German policy (which it did rather reluctantly, thus the occupation of unoccupied France in 1942).
In order to replace workers now in uniform, about 650,000 Frenchmen were sent to Germany as FORCED LABOUR (Alsatians not included; the Alsace and northern Lorraine had been annexed into Germany). Many materials were also requisitioned, either for use by German authorities or for the construction of the ATLANTIC WALL; for the latter, ORGANISATION TODT was responsible.
In France, as elsewhere in Europe, a WAR ECONOMY was introduced, with rationing of scarce goods, the distribution of scarce raw materials according to military priority, regulated prices. In addition, the national bank printed a lot of money; in 1944 the money in circulation was more than 4 times that of 1939. In World War II, France lost an estimated 600,000 citizens.
The French population suffered economically from the German occupation; yet in comparison with occupied Poland and Russia, it fared considerably better.

La Banque de France pendant la Guerree 1939-1945 (The Bank of France during the War), by Pierre Negrier, in French
REFERENCE Roger Price, A Concise History of France, Cambridge Concise Histories, 1993, pp.218-231
W. Scott Haine, The History of France, Greenwood Histories of Modern Nations, 2000, pp.159-169
Article : France, in : Americana Annual 1940 pp.318-321, 1943 pp.303-305, 1944 pp.289-294 [G]
Article : France, in : New International Year Book Events of 1940 pp.276-288, 1941 pp.215-222, 1942 pp.257-265, 1943 pp.217-225, 1944 pp.230-237, 1945 pp.216-222 [G]
Article : France, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1940 pp.248-256, 1941 pp.203-207, 1942 pp.178-183, 1943 pp.181-186, 1944 pp.124-127 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on March 30th 2007

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