Editor’s note: This article by Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris and the author of 27 books on France and Europe, could’ve easily been titled “The Real France.” It’s filled with some terrible facts from history:
Charles de Gaulle refused to speak of the many French who had collaborated with the authorities of the German occupation. He refused to commemorate D-Day. He even went on to claim that the Normandy landings had “not been the beginning of the liberation of France,” but “the starting point of an American attempt to colonize France”.
. . .
His words and attitude appear to have their roots in those of General Charles de Gaulle at the end of World War II. The general was filmed in Normandy, a few days after June 6, 1944, just a few miles from the beaches where thousands of young Americans had been killed and not yet even been buried. “France,” he said, “begins to free itself and will soon be free, thanks to the French”. During the rest of his political career, de Gaulle stressed that France had been liberated by the French. When he talked about the Vichy regime, he said it was composed of “a handful of traitors who had ceased to be French”.
. . .
Until 1984, no French President even took part in D-Day ceremonies — and the events were discreet, to say the least.
. . .
Since 1945, no French political leader has ever breathed a word of gratitude to the United States for its contribution to the liberation of France without adding remarks emphasizing the moral values of France and the essential role of the French Resistance. Whenever possible, they have also done their best to show that they could prevail against the United States if they so wished.
. . .
As France apparently feels no guilt about its role in the genocide of Europe’s Jews, French leaders have long been indifferent to anti-Semitism. They began to talk about it only in the 1980s — in order to demonize the “far right”. That is what they continue to do.
French foreign policy became anti-Israeli in the 1960s, when, at the end of Algerian war, French politicians thought that it would be more lucrative to establish closer links with the Arab world. France is still anti-Israeli.
Read more: Gatestone