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4. Policing Opposition

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Chapter Summary

Memories of the assassination of Alexander I of Yugoslavia and French foreign Minister Louis Barthou on the Canebière thoroughfare in October 1934 were fresh enough for the authorities to assure that no risks were taken this time. Police round-ups followed. It has been estimated that some 20,000 individuals were imprisoned not only in the regular jails but also in four boats, four barracks and three cinemas specially commissioned for the purpose, living off a diet of stale bread and uncooked meat whilst the Head of State sat down to a seven course lunch. Eyewitness accounts of these Police activities are provided by Varian Fry, Daniel Bènèdite and Jean Gemähling of the Emergency Rescue Committee, an American organisation which established itself in the city in 1940 to help in the emigration of refugees.

Keywords: Emergency Rescue Committee; France; hostility; Policing Opposition; Vichy



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