Published 8 June 2006
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Daily life during the occupation and sources of discontent

The first repression of the Jews was from 1941, there was a huge rise in the cost of living, families found it difficult to keep up the supply, since we had ration books, i.e we couldn’t have bread, meat, milk or all the necessary things without having this book from which the seller tore out a coupon and gave just the amount that the law authorised. Besides this published in the official papers, today, with a D3 coupon you had the right to 25g of butter or to 50g of meat; they were very small rations. So people were inevitably unhappy, there was lots of unemployment, to such an extent that the men who stayed, because there were also enormous amounts of prisoners of war and people who stayed, the majority of businesses were closed and couldn’t open/restart the work to supply the Germans with their ammunitions so the people were busy in the roadworks/building sites etc. but it was the building sites that were opened by the German authorities and there were a lot of people who worked there.

So, it was the unhappy reasons for a lot of people, the laws were felt throughout, the new laws, it means for me that I was a teacher, for example, we had a meeting of all the teachers from Carton, and the inspector said to us: "Well, we are going to have to purify the libraries;", i.e we had to get rid of the books that weren’t in agreement with the policy of the government, this caused a murmuring of concern because the teaching body was very attached to the Republican freedoms and the authorities of Vichy considered the teachers as dangerous people because the democracy no longer existed and the teachers were considered not only as democrats themselves, but as spreading the ideas of the democracy, which meant that we were watched a lot, as were the teachings that we could give in class.