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Post-Liberation Myth, Purge and Trials

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Chapter Summary

There were political tensions between General De Gaulle who wanted to institute a new Constitution with a strong executive and a weak Parliament to remedy the past ineffectiveness of the parliamentary system of the Third Republic. Illegal purges and abuses took place in many regions which the new authorities tried to channel through legal means: new legislation, new courts and mostly political trials. This chapter refers to the Gaullist myths, then describes the new legislation and court system designed to try those who collaborated with the Germans. It reviews the illegal, non-judiciary and violent purges carried out in various parts of France before and after the Liberation, and the judiciary and administrative purges organized by the government. The chapter summarizes a few exemplary trials: those of Pierre Pucheu, Marshal Philippe Pétain and Pierre Laval.

Keywords: General De Gaulle; Germans; illegal purges; Marshal Philippe Pétain; new legislation; Pierre Laval; Pierre Pucheu; Third Republic



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