Identités croisées – Hommage à Pierre de Longuemar
Edited By Florence Descamps, Roger Nougaret and Laure Quennouëlle-Corre
Les sujets traités couvrent nombre des intérêts historiques de Pierre de Longuemar et entrent en résonance avec tel ou tel épisode de sa biographie ou de ses activités scientifiques. Trois parties ont été distinguées : l’analyse et la compréhension du système financier international contemporain par des acteurs et des observateurs de premier plan ; des contributions d’histoire économique et bancaire ; des articles d’histoire sociale ou d’entreprise.
My adventures in search of Vichy France
Robert O. PAXTON
I became a student of Vichy France by accident. I went to Paris in September 1960 intending to prepare a doctoral dissertation for Harvard University on the history of the école militaire at Saint-Cyr during the Third Republic (in 1960, as one may remember, acute tension existed between the Army and the Republic over how to resolve the Algerian insurrection, and I wanted to know how the Army had become a separate corporation within French society). The Service historique de l’Armée de terre told me that the American Air Force had bombed Saint-Cyr in 1944, and that therefore no archives existed.
Professor Raoul Girardet at Sciences Po had agreed to advise me unofficially in my proposed study of Saint-Cyr, though I was only an “auditeur libre” at Sciences Po. He clearly thought that my alternative idea, the politicization of the officers’ corps during the Fourth Republic, was not yet a historical subject, and that I did not possess sufficient weight or experience to undertake it. He had a better suggestion for me. “If you are interested in the French officer corps,” he told me, “the most interesting period is the German occupation, from June 1940 to August 1944.” In those years, professor Girardet pointed out, the French officer corps did not know where its legitimate commander was. Was it Marshal Pétain at Vichy? Was it General de Gaulle in London? Or was it the Americans’ candidate, General Giraud, in...
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