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The Postwar MomentProgressive Forces in Britain, France, and the United States after World War II$
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Isser Woloch

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300124354

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300124354.001.0001

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Starting Over, with de Gaulle or without Him

Starting Over, with de Gaulle or without Him

(p.170) 5 Starting Over, with de Gaulle or without Him
The Postwar Moment

Isser Woloch

Yale University Press

This chapter assesses postwar France. In one respect, the postwar moment began earlier in France than elsewhere with the gradual liberation of French soil in the summer of 1944. Alongside the Allied armies, Charles de Gaulle's Free French units and the paramilitary forces (FFI) of the Resistance helped drive out the Nazis and oust Vichy's collaborators. However, liberation of the national territory was the first of two steps necessary to make France whole again. Only the conquest of the Reich would allow the repatriation from Germany of more than two million French prisoners of war (POWs), forced laborers, and surviving concentration camp deportees. Once that was achieved, the progressive project of renewal, the “peaceful revolution” envisaged by the National Council of the Resistance (CNR) Common Program, could begin in earnest.

Keywords:   postwar France, French liberation, Charles de Gaulle, Free French, French POWs, forced laborers, concentration camp deportees, National Council of the Resistance, CNR Common Program, peaceful revolution

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