France Releases More Holocaust Era Records on Collaboration With Nazi Germany

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A black and white photo of a Vichy internment camp, depicting an officer checking people in.
French Police registering new inmates at the Pithiviers campCredit: Wikicommons

France opened another round of its WWII archives on Monday, which names those from the Vichy regime who collaborated with Nazi Germany.

The archives, which contain documents dating back to 1940, should reveal details of France's collaboration with the Nazis during the Holocaust, including the methodological plans to gather the Jews and send them to extermination camps across Europe.  

The archives are expected to contain wartime records from France's foreign, interior and justice ministries, as well as from the provisional Vichy government that come into power after Germany liberated France.

The some 20,000 documents will be available online to researchers, government officials and public citizens, The Guardian reported. Some of the documents may still be withheld due to "national defense secrecy rules," the Guardian explained. 

The release of the material comes as the 75-year document classification period ends. By 2019, the entire archive, including names of leading officials who organized the Jews' deportation, should be available, unless the French government takes steps to keep some documents classified.

The first French leader to recognize the country's responsibility of deporting its Jews was President Jacques Chirac who did so in 1995. It wasn’t until 2009 that a French court officially recognized the country's involvement .