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Republic of silence A right-wing element in France seized on the Occupation as the ideal opportunity to adopt Hitler's "Final Solution" for its own unwelcome Jews and Communists - carried out with such zeal that it surprised even the Germans. Vichy transubstantiated the water of political compromise into Nazi blood racialism and with that fed the "shower rooms" of Hitler's concentration camps.

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80) at this time remarked: "Never have we been freer than under the German Occupation ... This total responsibility in total solitude, wasn't this the revelation of our freedom?" (From the essay "La Republique du silence", 1944.)

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