A Nation Divided Learns to Heal
The Psychological Occupation of France
In 1940 France fell to overwhelming German military superiority. The fall of France however and the unfolding French surrender are two very different stories. In Versailles the stage was set for the most elaborate conspiracy that ever existed to divide and conquer the French people. It began with a treacherous betrayal of the military and resulted in the formation of a phony government calling itself “Vichy” France. The years afterward until the end of the war would be characterized by general confusion, low level paranoia, panic & genocide.
Social Iconography & the Distortion of the National Image
Staying alive and surviving in 1940’s Vichy France meant understanding the new laws of the Nazi Occupation to reduce loss of life and maximize survival whenever possible. Regardless, the new laws made survival a daily struggle and for some, impossible. Some people choose differently and believed that righteous life meant the ultimate return to democracy and social & economic freedoms. But not everyone agreed it was better to live autonomously and choose to live under the auspices of a German occupied France. An iconic example of this type of pattern in self-destruction is captured with this image of the French government surrendering to the Nazi’s in 1940.
Rape & Genocide of the the Population
The French government knew further resistance and continuing the war would mean the loss of public & personal property as well as national treasures. Life in Vichy France after defeat would benefit some , exile others, & target many millions more transport out East. For many though it seemed like life would go on. Few would challenge the invaders but those that did believed in freedom despite the treachery from the people in the image.
The V2 Rocket: Hitler’s Vengeance Weapons & German Withdrawal from France
As the war waged on, Germany’s ultimate defeat became more and more a reality. With dwindling supplies, troops, and capacity to wage a offensive war, Germany was driven back into defensive positions across Atlantic Wall and ultimately Westward retreat. Hitler’s V2 rockets; known as Germany’s Vengeance Weapons, still had long range capability to hit targets in England. Built with Jewish slave labor in underground factories, these weapons never created the game changer that Germany needed to win the war. Like most acts of vengeance, on micro and macro levels, they are desperate ploys to change reality and overwhelming odds to overcome inevitable defeat. In the case of the V2, the weapon was built by the same slave labor targeted by the Nazi government for extermination.
In the end, these weapons failed to meet their intended aim, and the turn of the war favored the allies and US interests in what would soon be post war Europe.
Freedom and Resistance
The image of Hitler in front of the Eiffel Tower captures evil in its most platonic form and is reminder of complacency in ethical and spiritual barbarism. When enemies are destructive to life we must band together to lead the charge on their homelands and root out their evil.
This country is the home of a peaceful people but we demand our rights. The right to freedom above all else and the right to live independently of foreign enemies and their interests before the needs of our people.
The Bible calls it the apocalypse, scientists call it annihilation. Everything that stands between our allies and victory needed be called into service at that time.
The Path to Providence, Healing & Recovery
France and its Western allies have always been a people outpacing basic survival and thriving despite the hurdles thrown in our wake. France had learned to reconstitute it’s borders and economy after centuries of war in Europe . The US, taking is cues from its European allies in centuries of rebuilding, but also learning from the mistakes of misapplied diplomacy, would set the course for a new chapter in European and world politics across the continent.
This chapter is remembered today as our path to providence and belief in a future world-shaped by our will to survive past the dangers of today. These dangers are overcome not by the will of one man or the strength of one nation but the capacity for mankind to heal as a species and learn from our history before humanity’s time on this earth too becomes revoked by a higher power.
Macro & Micro Levels of Healing in France and Western Europe
On the national level, France was unified and liberated by the end of the war. Healing on the national level meant re-building. Loans, massive loans re built Western Europe and restored the county’s infrastructure to pre-war if not modern heights of operation to hurl the Nation into an economic boom. When everything is in ruins, everything has to be rebuilt. Just like people, nations must constantly balance the scales of construction and reconstruction of outmoded infrastructure to keep commerce circulating through the country and a Europe safe from its next threat: communism.
Seems rather cyclical: this pattern of creating and distorting images of the enemy, enacting war, and enabling reconstruction just for the renewal of nationalistic values which are so overzealous they spur new conflicts at home and abroad? Or, has our capacity to conduct a war like World War Two become obsolete in the wake new technology and shadowy new ideology which is so covert and insidious it cannot be marked or identified on a national level? Is this, the beginning of the end of the nation-state and its apparatuses to hail us one people and one nation under god.
Only time will tell I think. The ongoing instinct we have as a species to move forward into the heart of tragedy, and find guiding light in the inner reaches of darkness will one day tell us a new history.