The PCF During World War II 1941
Source: La Vie du 13ème, organ of the PCF section in the 13th arrondissment of Paris, #6, May 1941;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitchell Abidor.
France, recognized as a land of asylum where political refugees were sure of finding refuge has lost the right to this title and honor every day since 1938.
After having parked the Spanish Republicans in the conditions we all know about and then having turned them over to Franco, the current government in Vichy is continuing the policy of class struggle and submission to the invader begun by Daladier.
On the orders of Pétain, Laval, de Brinon, Abetz, and Hitler a racial campaign on the Nazi model was unleashed against workers whose only crime was that of being Jews.
Thousands of these poor people have been sent down the road to the concentration camps in particularly revolting conditions. Some were notified the very morning this was to occur without being allowed to return home. Others were seized at their homes like criminals and torn from their families.
We have noticed the substantial security presence established on the rue Sauvage near the Gare d'Austerlitz to allow the coaches to take the people to their new-style prisons. Heart-wrenching scenes have taken place: women throwing themselves on the ground to present the cars from advancing, hoping in this way to delay separation, while on the platforms German machine guns are leveled and the trains guarded by gendarmes.
Some guards, agents of the forces of order, feel the amorality of their task and strive to fulfill their humiliating task with humanity.
In the face of these poor people, in order to cover over this shame the scribblers of the venal press and Radio-Paris have spoken with irony of a “purge.”
The French people will not be taken in by this dishonesty. They know what is meant by a “purge.” They know that while workers are being hunted down that Panhardt, the directors of Gnome, and Delahaye continue to reap scandalous profits off the working class and, all-powerful on the distribution committees, in agreement with the occupying power they continue their labor of impoverishing the country
In the present case the people know that the Jews, like their French comrades, fought in September 1939; that they were wounded and that, like their French comrades, they were betrayed by the braided canaille of Vichy.
The population will not allow its attention to be diverted from the nation’s problems by this racial campaign. It already demonstrated its discontent at the time of the departure of the Jewish workers. It will remember that Lenin said that “anti-Semitism is the cannibalism of modern times.”
The population of the 13th arrondissement will give the Jewish families struck by Vichy all their active sympathy by organizing in solidarity with them, demanding the right to family visits and the receipt of packages, and of allocations for families in need.
The people of the 13th will not weaken in the face of its class duties.