Tag Archives: ww II

Ultimate Racism: The Liberation of Paris

In June of 1940, France fell to Germany. Among the troops who were overwhelmed by the German attacks were about 17,000 black West African colonial troops with the French Army. Many of these soldiers were shot do death by the Germans, who considered these Africans to be subhumans, as they stood in surrender. Surely, it would be fair to consider this to have been part of the Holocaust.

Then the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese did a pretty good job of trying to take over the world, millions upon millions died in that war, and the rest of the Holocaust happened.

The Allies banded together and put everything they had into defeating the racist, fascist, imperialist, evil Axis forces. And eventually prevailed. And Paris was liberated and the first troops to march into the city just abandoned by the Germans were, suitably, French.

But not the Black French.

The units that would have marched into Paris at the time of liberation consisted of a majority of black faces, as the French Army was staffed at this time primarily with colonial troops. But the black faces were weeded out of the ranks, intentionally, so that the companies of soldiers marching into liberated Paris would be 100% white.

I ask you, what, the fuck, were the Allies fighting for?

This fact has recently come to light (although, presumably, people have known about this since it happened) as the result of a BBC archiving project.

… Charles de Gaulle, made it clear that he wanted his Frenchmen to lead the liberation of Paris.

Allied High Command agreed, but only on one condition: De Gaulle’s division must not contain any black soldiers.

In January 1944 Eisenhower’s Chief of Staff, Major General Walter Bedell Smith, was to write in a memo stamped, “confidential”: “It is more desirable that the division mentioned above consist of white personnel.

“This would indicate the Second Armoured Division, which with only one fourth native personnel, is the only French division operationally available that could be made one hundred percent white.”

This is a very interesting article. Go read the rest here.