Petain's Crime

Paul Webster, Author Ivan R. Dee Publisher $24.95 (239p) ISBN 978-0-929587-55-4
A controversial bestseller in France, this shocking book by the London Guardian 's Paris correspondent charges that French complicity in the Holocaust ran far deeper than previously known. Webster traces the history of French anti-Semitism to its climax in 1940, when Marshal Philippe Petain, head of the collaborationist Vichy government, signed into law a statute declaring French Jews enemies of the state. Petain then launched a program of arrest and deportation that resulted in the deaths of 72,000 French, foreign and stateless Jews in the extermination camps of the East. Purportedly, four thousand others were killed in a gas chamber on French soil. The book presents evidence indicating that the program was conceived, organized and carried out independently of the Germans. In addition to providing details on what he calls ``the most shameful period in French history,'' Webster exposes the postwar coverup based on the false impression that Vichy resisted German demands to assist in the ``final solution.'' Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/25/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
Paperback - 248 pages - 978-1-56663-249-2
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