Marshall Petain: "I have chosen the path of collaboration":
1940 Vichy: Pétain spoke on nation-wide rafio broadcast (October 30). Pétain informed the French people that he had met with Reich Chancellor Hitler and had aceppted the principles of the "mew European order".
He insisted that France remained "sovereign" and that imposed the obligation to defend French soil.
To erase divergencies of opinion, to subdue dissesions in her colonies--that is my policy. The Ministers are responsible to me, and to me alobe, and history shll judge.
Frenchmen, aew days ago I had a meeting with the Chancellor of the Reich. This meeting raised hopes and caused anxiety. I owe you an explanation on this subject. Such an interview was only possible four months after our military defeat, thanks to the dignity of the French people in the face of their ordeal and thanks to the enormous effort toward regeration which they have made. It was only possible also, thanks to the heroism of our sailors, the energy of our colonial leaders, and the loyalty of the native populations. France has rallied. This first meeting between victor and vanquished signifies the first vindication of our country.
It was my own free will that I accepted the Führer's invittion. I have been under no 'diktat,' no pressure from him. Collaboration between our two countries was considered. I accepted the principle of it. The application will be discussed later....
He who has taken charge of the destiny of France has the duty of creating the nost favourablke atmosphere to safeguard the interests of the country. It is with honour and to maintain French unity, a unity of 10 centuries, within the framework of a constructive activity of the new European order, that I enter to-day the path of collaboration. In the near future the load of suffering of our country may thus be lightened, the lot of our prisoners improved, the burden of occupation expenses be lessened, and thus the line of demarcation may be rendered more flexible, and the administration and provisioning of the territoiry facilitated. This collaboration must be sincere. All thought of aggression must be excluded from it. It must conform to a patient and deliberate effort. An armistice, after all, is not peace. France has numerous obligations toward the victor. Until now I have spoken to you as a father. Today I speak to you as the leader. Follow me. Leep your trust in eternal France...