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9. The New Slave Trade

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Chapter Summary

Germany had initially focused on recruiting volunteer labour from France. They promised such workers generous wages and good working conditions and accommodation. But these attempts to attract volunteers were never very successful. Up until the summer of 1942 they had managed to recruit a total of around 150,000 French volunteer workers, although there were never more than around 75,000 in Germany at any one time and it was only in June of that year that Vichy allowed the Germans to recruit volunteers in the unoccupied zone when recruitment bureaux were set up in Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse. Beyond the genuine volunteers, there was a second category comprising those who, having received their call-up, felt constrained to report for the labour draft without any direct Police intervention. They felt obliged by the threats which had accompanied the written call-ups received through the post.

Keywords: France; Germany; labour; Police; Slave Trade; Vichy



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