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Not sure if the question is intended to mean "the French people" or "the French government." For the French people, reaction to fascism was very mixed: you had convinced French fascists and anti-fascists. But there was a lot more admiration for it than you'd maybe expect; a lot of French intellectuals even before the war had a certain admiration for Hitler's Germany; considered it dangerous, but were, i think, kind of jealous, and would have liked France to be more like that. As for the French Vichy government, it seems to me like a case of "if you can't lick 'em, join 'em." Fascism was an ideology chiefly of national pride, and national pride was at an all-time low after the defeat and was therefore felt as a deep need; Petain, who did, I think, have a kind of admiration for Hitler's Gemany, did not necessarily call himself fascist but preached an ideology very like it--and full of national pride. He also soon began to adopt fascist trappings: the fascist salute (the stiff arm to the sky, the well-known "Heil Hitler" salute), with which French schoolkids were supposed to salute the French flag each morning, and the fascist symbol, the bundle of sticks (fascii) tied together, which were incorporated into a crest or symbol of the Vichy gov't called the "francisque."

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โˆ™ 2007-09-04 04:43:40
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Q: What was France's reaction to fascism in World War 2?
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