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Polish citizens in Vichy France?


sijet 2 | 12
7 Apr 2020 #1
Does anyone know how the Vichy regime treated Polish citizens who might have been in their territory? Did they hand them over to the Germans or intern them? Or were they left alone? I have not found any evidence of formal declarations of war between Poland and Vichy France. Is it possible that Vichy France recognized the dissolution of Poland after the German-Soviet invasion and just treated Poles as stateless people, or as German/Soviet subjects?

Considering that there has been a Polish diaspora in France for many generations, I would find it hard to believe if there was not one Polish citizen present in the regions controlled by the Vichy regime, but I have no sources to verify that, so I hope someone here can elaborate.

Any information would be appreciated.
dolnoslask 6 | 3,085
7 Apr 2020 #2
Polish carpathian rifle brigade in french syria refused to fight for the Vichy regime and joined the British,dunno if that's of any use.
OP sijet 2 | 12
8 Apr 2020 #3
@dolnoslask So they were given the option to join Vichy at first?
dolnoslask 6 | 3,085
8 Apr 2020 #4
They were told to leave by General Sikorski

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Independent_Carpathian_Rifle_Brigade
OP sijet 2 | 12
8 Apr 2020 #5
It seems that Polish citisens were active in the French resistance during the war, and that there was even a Polish secondary school in Villard-de-Lans that operated during the war:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_resistance_in_France_during_World_War_II

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villard-de-Lans

I have to wonder, does this mean there were Polish nationals living out in the open in Vichy territory? If so, what sort of regulations/restrictions were they placed under?
jon357 67 | 16,836
8 Apr 2020 #6
There were certainly coal miners in North-East France who had come (often on foot) from Silesia. That was of course occupied France and they presumably had French citizenship (and most if not all would have been born before Polish citizenship existed).

Even in the area covered by the fascist Vichy regime at that time, Polish residents were likely to be citizens of places other than Poland which only became a legal entity 20 years before.
OP sijet 2 | 12
9 Apr 2020 #7
@jon357 This depends on a number of factors. It was possible during II RP for members of the Polish diaspora to become Polish citisens, and there were some who did (for example, members of the Polish diaspora in Harbin). There was also, as I'm sure you know, an exodus of Polish citisens (from Poland) to France in the wake of the 1939 invasions, and not all of them managed to escape the country before the fall of France.
jon357 67 | 16,836
9 Apr 2020 #8
It was possible during II RP for members of the Polish diaspora to become Polish citisens

Whether coal miners from the hinterlands around Lille did so is less likely than the Paris community. Some families retained cultural links with the 'old country'; most did not.
OP sijet 2 | 12
9 Apr 2020 #9
@jon357 Well, regardless, Lille was not part of Vichy territory, and neither was Paris. They were in the German occupation zone. So, the potential Polish citisens we should be looking for would be in the south, or else people from places like Paris who fled south during the German invasion. The Polish school that I mentioned was in the south (Villard-de-Lans).
jon357 67 | 16,836
9 Apr 2020 #10
Lille was not part of Vichy territory, and neither was Paris.

They were occupied.

In the south, it would depend entirely on whether or not they were a. French citizens and b. Gentile.


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