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It is becoming increasingly clear that the French are having a more difficult time than the Germans in explaining to themselves and to others their collaboration with Hitlerism. The Germans can more easily claim that they were hoodwinked by a German natiionalism taught them for decades if not for centuries. What can the French say in justification of collaboration, anti-semitism, and pure opportunism during the German occupation? How can they justify their abandonment of French nationalism, whether Jacobin or Catholic, in favor of German domination?

The French seem mostly like the Austrians who want to be considered victims of Hitler rather than collaborators. Can there be something noxious about Catholicism which explains this for both the French and the Austrians?

Norman Ravitch

Savannah, Georgia

Apr 3 2008 - 6:04pm