Online Sources for Teaching Vichy and the Second World War

Vichy – the Second World War – an Occupation. France’s relationship to its past is complicated at the best of times. With Vichy, it’s a syndrome all of its own. Often taught by historians of modern France, here is the beginning of a collection of sources which have been digitised, translated and made accessible to an international public.

Josette Blodgette, L'Exode (1) The exodus of May-June 1940 inspired Irène Némirovsky’s last novel, Suite Française ; it also generated millions of memories, testimonies and tales, some of which have been captured by Hanna Diamond (Cardiff) in her website Fleeing Hitler. A small but rich set of stories which bring the 1940s to life.


(2) A useful way to find primary sources relating to the history of modern France is via British sources. A selection of British Cabinet Papers from the National Archives in Kew have been digitised on TNA website relate to the Fall of France in 1940, one of those key moments which reverberated around the world and confirmed Hitler’s dominance of Europe. Great for students to get their teeth into and give them a close-up insight into the events.


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