"A willed amnesia has a way of overpowering even the ugliest history. After 65 years, both the citizens and leaders of France still try to forget the moral squalor of the dark years, 1940 to 1944, when their parents and grandparents lived under German occupation. The people of Vichy, for instance, can still be heard complaining that what the world knows best about their spa town is that it was chosen as the capital of a puppet regime that governed part of the country while submitting to German direction.
Vichy officials handed over about 76,000 Jews to the Nazis and
- sent 650,000 non-Jews into slave labour in Germany. The locals, understandably, would prefer to be known for Vichy water and the restorative baths famous since Roman times.