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"I make to France the gift of my person, to attenuate her suffering... The combat must cease"...
- Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain, Premier of France and later Chief of State at Vichy France (on a radio broadcast before he signed the armistice between France and Germany)

"If the blood of France and of Germany flows again, as it did twenty-five years ago, in a longer and even more murderous war, each of the two peoples will fight with confidence in its own victory, but the most certain victors will be the forces of destruction and barbarism."
- Édouard Daladier, French Premier (1939)

"I declare that the French Government has ordered me to sign these terms of armistice... Forced by the fate of arms to cease the struggle in which we were engaged on the side of the Allies, France sees imposed on her very hard conditions. France has the right to expect in the future negotiations that Germany show a spirit which will permit the two great neighboring countries to live and work in peace."
- General Huntziger (1940, after the signing of the armistice)

"The Axis Powers and France have an identical interest in seeing the defeat of England accomplished as soon as possible. Consequently, the French Government will support, within the limits of its ability, the measures which the Axis Powers may take to this end."
- Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain, Chief of State of Vichy France

"When dealing with a force as corrupt and evil as Hitler's Germany that there was no middle ground -- to be "neutral" in that type of conflict was to in fact support the side of Hitler's Reich."
- Albert Camus, one of the leading writers of the French Resistance and editor of Combat, then an important underground newspaper

"France has lost a battle. But France has not lost the war. A makeshift government may have capitulated, giving way to panic, forgetting honour, delivering their country into slavery. Yet nothing is lost! Nothing is lost because this war is a world war. In the free universe, immense forces have not yet been brought into play. Some day these forces will crush the enemy. On that day France must be present at the victory. She will then regain her liberty an her greatness. That is why I ask all Frenchmen, wherever they may be, to unite with me in action, in sacrifice and in hope. Our country is in danger of death. Let us fight to save it."
- General Charles de Gaulle, Leader of the Free French Forces (1940)

"It is your last chance. If you do not stop Germany now, all is over."
- Foreign Minister Pierre-Etienne Flandin (1936, speaking to the British after Germany advanced into the Rhineland)