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WORLD WAR II IN PARIS (France) : Who actually lived there at the time?

Updated on January 7, 2013
General Charles de Gaulle hands over their flags to the new units of the Army on April 2nd, 1945. Gouache by A. Brenet for a special issue of the magazine "L'Armée française au combat" (The French Army in combat). Copyright : Roger-Viollet
General Charles de Gaulle hands over their flags to the new units of the Army on April 2nd, 1945. Gouache by A. Brenet for a special issue of the magazine "L'Armée française au combat" (The French Army in combat). Copyright : Roger-Viollet | Source
June 14, 1940. German military forces parade down from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, shortly after the invasion of France
June 14, 1940. German military forces parade down from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, shortly after the invasion of France | Source
29 August 1944. After five years of worldwide killing and suffering, the war has come full circle for Parisians .American troops of the 28th Infantry Division march down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris, in the `Victory' Parade. .
29 August 1944. After five years of worldwide killing and suffering, the war has come full circle for Parisians .American troops of the 28th Infantry Division march down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris, in the `Victory' Parade. . | Source

A fine mess ?

In the middle of writing a series of historical articles about life in Paris under Nazi occupation from 1940 to 1944, I eventually found myself deeply confused. While conducting research work, which, I have to admit, took a lot more time and efforts than I had anticipated, I kept discovering that within the general population of Paris during the war, as in peacetime, there was a significant number of groups of people, leaning towards one side or the other. Shortly thereafter, It became quite complicated, as I realized one group of people could also be part of another group, and so on. So, I decided to create the following chart, from scratch, and the nightmare began. As the readers will discover, being a Parisian between 1939 and 1945 could mean a lot more than just being simply a resident there...

Crowds of Parisians celebrating the entry of Allied troops into Paris scatter for cover as a sniper fires from a building on the place De La Concorde. Although the Germans surrendered the city, small bands of snipers still remained. August 26 1944.
Crowds of Parisians celebrating the entry of Allied troops into Paris scatter for cover as a sniper fires from a building on the place De La Concorde. Although the Germans surrendered the city, small bands of snipers still remained. August 26 1944. | Source

With a little help from a chart, who was living in Paris between 1939 and 1945 ?

 
CHAPTER 1 - GENERAL CIVILIAN POPULATION
 
Who's who ?
Details
Relevant Numbers
1 - Silent majority of French Civilians :
101 - Men
Alongside the Jewish people, 81 000 non-Jewish French Nationals were deported by the Germans to concentration camps, 23 000 will survive
Can also be part of 2-3-4-5-7-8-9-10-11-12
102 - Women
 
 
103 - Children
 
 
104 - Elderly
 
2 - Jewish Parisians (including Foreign Origin)
201 - Living in the open
Jewish population in Paris before the war : approx. 200 000
Can also be part of 1-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-11-12
202 - In hiding
Jewish population in Paris after the war : approx. 50 000
 
203 - Captured, in transit camps or deported to concentration camps
Total of Jews deported from France : 73 853. Survivors : 2584
 
204 - In exile (have left German occupied zone before, during or after the German invasion of France in June 1940)
2 million French nationals will flee their home in front of the German invasion,along with another 2 million refugees from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg
3 - Families of French Soldiers killed or captured in 1939/40
301 - Killed in Action during the Sept 1939/June 1940 Battle of France
Number of French Army soldiers killed in action : 58 829
Can also be part of 2-3-5-7-8-9-10-11
302 - Captured in combat and interned in POW camps in Germany Sept 1939/June 1940
Total number of French Army prisoners of war : 2 Millions
4 - French Prisoners of war liberated by Germans or escaped from captivity
401 - Living in the open
Escaped French Army Prisoners Of War from Germany: 171 000
Can also be part of 1-2-5-6-7-8-9-11
402 - In hiding
Number of wounded French Army Soldiers 123 000
5 - Ex French Army disbanded in 1939/40 including deserters
501 - Living in the open
 
can also be part of 2-4-6-7-8-9-10-11
502 - In hiding
 
6 - Parisians Residents of Foreign Nationality (excluding Jewish included in 2)
 
Out of about 300 00 Foreigners living in France at the time, an estimated 30 000 participated in some kind of resistance activity against the Germans
can also be 2-3-4-5-7-8-9-10-11
601- Civilians of all nationalities
 
 
602 - Diplomats
 
 
603 - Foreign Observers and journalists
 
 
604 - Spies (from everywhere!)
 
7 - Members of the French Resistance
 
 
can also be 1-2-3-4-5-6-8-9-10-11-12
701 - Loyal to Colonel Charles de Gaulle after his June 18, 1940 BBC Radio broadcast
 
 
702 - Forces Francaises de l'Interieur (FFI) Interior French Forces
400 000
 
703 - Members of the French Communist Party
 
 
704 - Anonymous not afiliated with any organisation
 
 
705 - Parisians French families hiding Jewish families and/or Jewish children
 
8 - Male population unyielding to German Mandatory Working Program (STO :Service du Travail Obligatoire) refusing to go work in German factories
801 - In hiding
Up to 650 000 workers were unwillingly moved to German factories between February 1943 and 1945
can also be 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-9-11
802 - Joined some resistance network in France
 
 
803 - Left France to join Charles de Gaulle Free France Army in London (UK)
 
9 - Neutral
901 - Part of the Press
 
Can also be 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-9-11-12
902 - Some Clergy members
 
 
903 - Part of Show Business and artists
 
 
904 - Most Local Medium and Low level Government Officials (Mayors, Prefects, etc)
 
 
905 - Education system
 
 
906 - Part of Parisian Police and Gendarmes
 
10 - Openly Collaborating with some form of German Authority
1001 - French Civilians openly collaborating with Germans
 
can also be 1-6-9-11-12
1002 - French civilians secretly collaborating with Germans
 
 
1003 - Part of French Police (willingly or unwillingly)
 
 
1004 - French civilian Militia (Milice Francaise) and its armed extension Franc Garde
10 000 to 35 000
 
1005 - Political parties sympathetic to the Germans
 
 
1006 - Press sympathetic to the Germans
 
 
1007 - French Nationals participating voluntarily in work programs in Germany
up to 400 000
 
1008 - French Nationals participating voluntarily in work programs in France
 
 
1009 - French Nationals serving voluntarily under German uniforms (Army, SS, etc.)
 
 
1010 - Women (and possibly men ?) romantically involved with German Nationals (Military and Civilians)
20 000+
11 - Commerce, Industry, and food supply
 
 
can also be 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-9-10-12
1101 - Blue collar workers (factories) and white collar workers (offices,etc)
 
 
1102 - Artisans (skilled self-employed)
 
 
1103 - Store and Shopkeepers (Retail)
 
 
1104 - Farmers and market gardeners
 
 
1105 - Industrial production, mining, transport
 
12 - People having fled Paris upon German invasion (Exodus of 1940)
 
2.000 000 French Nationals
can also be1-2-5-6-7-9-11
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chapter 2 - FRENCH NATIONALS SERVING UNDER GERMAN UNIFORMS
 
13 - French Nationals voluntarily part of the German Military Forces
1301 - Legion Volontaire de France contre le Bolchevisme (LVF)
6500
 
1302 - French Waffen SS
7340 men at its peak in 1944, down to about 60 in May of 1945
 
1303 - Other French Civilians working voluntarily for the German Military Forces
 
 
Chapter 3 - GERMAN MILITARY FORCES
 
14 - German Military Forces of Occupation
1401 - Central Command
 
 
1402 - Army (Wehrmacht )
 
 
1403 - Air Force (Luftwaffe)
 
 
1404 - Navy (Kriegsmarine)
 
 
1405 - SS (Schutzstaffel)
 
 
1406 - Gestapo (State Secret Police)
 
 
1407 - Foreign contributors (German Allies)
 
 
1408 - Other military related agencies and civilian German Nationals
 
 
1409 - Abwehr (Intelligence)
 
High ranking German officers seized by Free French troops which liberated their country's capital are lodged in the Hôtel Majestic, headquarters for the Wehrmacht in the days of the Nazi occupation, Paris, France. August 26 1944
High ranking German officers seized by Free French troops which liberated their country's capital are lodged in the Hôtel Majestic, headquarters for the Wehrmacht in the days of the Nazi occupation, Paris, France. August 26 1944 | Source

The last word !

If this document helped only one person to see the light, it was me. But I hope others will find some interest in it too. I wouldn't dream to have produced a 100% complete and accurate chart, so as time goes by, I will add new information and make corrections to always possible mistakes. In any case, comments and suggestions are welcome. Thank you for your interest.

Austinhealy

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      Russ Joki, Ed.D. 4 years ago

      I am doing a fictional book on Paris during the occupation. I found your material excellent. If I had some technical questions, would you be willing to offer your insights? Many thanks for what you have already done.

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      Alan T. Marty MD 4 years ago

      Dear Austin Healy, You have compiled amazing photos of Occupied Paris. Since 2003 I have been writing A Walking Guide to Occupied Paris: The Germans and their Collaborators. It is now about 600 pages long. Can I use any of your photos? I can email you my book privately. aempmarty@aol.com

    • austinhealy profile image
      Author

      Bernard J. Toulgoat 4 years ago from Treasure Coast, Florida

      Hello Graham and good to see you again on Hubpages. Thank you for your kind compliments on this particular hub, which was a lot of work to put together, and for showing interest in my work in general.

    • austinhealy profile image
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      Bernard J. Toulgoat 4 years ago from Treasure Coast, Florida

      Hello UnnamedHarald and good to see you again. Yes, this one was a bear and it took four drafts before putting it halfway right, but to me it was worth it as it made things much clearer in my mind. It was not originally intended to be published, but considering the response, I'm glad I did. Thank you for showing constant interest in my Hubs.

    • austinhealy profile image
      Author

      Bernard J. Toulgoat 4 years ago from Treasure Coast, Florida

      Hello Pavlo, thank you for being a loyal reader of my World War II related hubs. Good to see you again on Hubpages.

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      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Austin. Brilliant, well done. Your efforts on the chart are outstanding to say the least. The text was brilliant and the third photo down, which showed the troops marching towards the camera, took me there.

      Voted up and all.

      Graham.

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Holy Cow! You weren't kidding about the complications. And that's just Paris??? Makes you wonder when one refers to THE French or THE Americans or THE Germans or... etc. Kind of opens your eyes even beyond Paris.

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

      Pavlo Badovskyi 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      Great hub! I liked it along with previous ones devoted to German soldiers in France !