Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Controversial Trials and Popular Executions

From: The Resistance, World War II

Many of the trials that followed the liberation ended in verdicts that were arbitrary and inconsistent. Prominent propagandists and journalists who had supported the occupiers were singled out for particularly harsh sentences, while little attention was paid to the economic collaborators who had amassed fortunes as contractors and suppliers for the Germans. The inequities of the purge prompted Parisians to make bitter jokes; it was said that a collaborator went free if he had built the Atlantic Wall, but went to jail if he had written that the Wall was a good idea.

There was nothing equivocal, however, about the fate of the cruel, hated troopers of the French Milice-the confederates of the Gestapo and the SS. Members of record were automatically executed - usually by firing squad.

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