Question: How did the French state and public response to the wave of Spanish republican refugees arriving in France in 1939?
Question to write on: our theme shall be the French Resistance. Starting point: The French Resistance, in the years 1940-44, had to be, as Robert Gildea puts it, ‘fighters in the shadows.’ As well as being willing to fight, however, Resistance groups also had to communicate a message of hope to French people and to stir up their hatred of the Occupation to the French people. The question: How well did the French Resistance – in all its diversity- exercise this dual role – of preparing to fight but also of spreading political messages that would win over French men and women (and others who found themselves in France) over to their side? Provide evidence for your answer.
[P.S. bear in mind the existence of the potential for internal tensions, the dangers of the time, the evolution from individual dissent to a collective and finally an open movement by the Liberation, as well as the tension between the London/Algiers leadership under De Gaulle and the internal Resistance) My reference to ‘others who found themselves in France’ is a reminder that the French Resistance, especially the Communist parts of it, drew support from -and actively sought to recuruit- foreigners, either migrants or exiled Spanish republicans, for example. Of course, not all parts of the French Resistance were enthusiastic about foreign influence.
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