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France: The Dark Years,
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Julian Jackson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207061

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207061.001.0001

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Intellectuals, Artists, and Entertainers

Intellectuals, Artists, and Entertainers

(p.300) 13 Intellectuals, Artists, and Entertainers
France: The Dark Years, 1940–1944

Julian Jackson

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the responses of artists and intellectuals to the Vichy regime. The prestige attaching to intellectuals in France invested their actions with huge significance. The trials of intellectuals at the Liberation attracted as much publicity as those of Pétain and Laval: they were punished more for who they were than what they had done. The surest way to avoid compromising oneself was to go abroad. A considerable number of French artists and intellectuals chose exile. These include the film directors Jean Renoir, René Clair, Julien Duvivier, and Max Ophuls; the actors and actresses Michèle Morgan, Jean Gabin, Louis Jouvet, Françoise Rosay, and Jean-Pierre Aumont; the artists Marc Chagall, Tanguy, Man Ray, Amédée Ozenfant, Jacques Lipchitz, and Fernand Léger; the writers André Breton, Saint–John Perse, Georges Bernanos, Julien Green, Jules Romains, André Maurois, Antoine de Saint–Exupéry, and Jacques Maritain. For those who stayed in France, their post-war reputations have often been based more on rumour and innuendo than a balanced assessment of their conduct during the Occupation.

Keywords:   Vichy regime, intellectuals, artists, entertainers, French culture

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