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12. A New Police for a New France?

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Chapter Summary

The poor image of the Police in provincial France at the Liberation was partly derived from traditional hostility to these institutions. On the one hand there was a widely held belief that the Police in general were corrupt and self-interested. It is significant that Resistance documents concerning Police involvement with their organisations frequently showed scepticism as to the honesty of motives behind Police Resistance. On the other hand, hostility existed to the way in which the State had traditionally used its Police force as an instrument of political oppression. The general euphoria surrounding the Liberation, encouraged the belief that it was possible to start afresh and to establish services genuinely preoccupied with the interests of the public. The project for these Milices was launched from Moscow in August 1943, by the leader of the French Communist Party, Maurice Thorez.

Keywords: France; hostility; Liberation; Police; scepticism; Vichy



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