French Intellectuals and a German Europe: An Aspect of Collaboration

  • Daniel Lindenberg
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series


During the four years of his presence on French soil the Nazi occupier benefited from the active support of a not inconsiderable number of writers, savants, artists, journalists and university academics as well as other members of the intelligentsia. In a country such as France, where the role of the intellectual is traditionally taken to be of decisive importance, such collective behaviour has posed a problem for the national conscience and so much so that a resort to selective memory has seemed the most appropriate response. Those who paid with their life or who were obliged to accept the punishment demanded of them (Robert Brasillach and Drieu la Rochelle, for example) remain, at the end of the day, the only ones to be identified unanimously as ‘collaborators’, a term which is equated with ‘treason’ but which itself is also not without its own conceptual problems. All the others are still up for discussion even when, for the impartial historian at least, the case is as clear-cut as that of someone like Céline. Nevertheless, there exist relatively straightforward criteria for defining a collaborator or, as they themselves preferred to be called, a ‘collaborationist’. A collaborationist was an individual who believed that the alliance of France and Germany represented the solution to a crisis of civilisation that had had two successive world wars as its primary symptom.


Occupied Zone French Intellectual Nazi Occupier National Socialism French Soil 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Lindenberg

There are no affiliations available

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