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Nazis Will Exchange War Prisoners for Deported Jews, Vichy Says

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Alarmed at the protests of the French population against the merciless deportation of Jews from unoccupied France to Nazi-held territories, the pro-Laval press in Vichy today started a campaign aimed at convincing families who have relatives among French war prisoners in Germany that these prisoners will not be returned to France unless Jews from France are delivered to Germany.

This campaign is being supported by the Vichy radio station which in a broadcast today complained that “some French men who are too stupid or maybe too good-natured display their pity for the Jews.” The broadcast quoted an article from the Grand Echo du Midi, a Vichy newspaper, in which the leaders of the Catholic church in France are criticised for stimulating protests against the deportation of the Jews “Some people seem to forget that giving vent to certain feelings might well prejudice the work which Marshal Petain is conducting for the recovery of our country,” the paper is quoted as saying. “If ever fraternal feelings overcome us, let our affection and understanding go out to the 1,200,000 French war prisoners in Germany who are waiting for liberation.”

Counteracting the Vichy broadcast, the Fighting French in London today broadcast an appeal in French addressed to the people of France urging them to intensify their organized protests against the deportations of the Jews. “Let no Frenchman forget that the deportation of Jews to Nazi land is merely preliminary to the deportation of Frenchmen the broadcast warned.

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