'FRANCE REFUSES TO COLLABORATE'
Charles de Gaulle
THE SPEECHES OF GENERAL DE GAULLE pp. 37 39.
The reverses suffered by the Italian enemy re-echo around the Mediterranean.
As an offset to her Allies' defeat, Germany is pressing for collaboration with Vichy.
But France, in spite of the disaster which has overtaken her armies, in spite of the shame of the armistice and the treacherous dealings that are going on, in spite of oppression, court martials, a vile radio, and an infamous Press, France, crushed but undying, is once more uniting in secret againstthe enemy. France, crushed but undying, refuses to collaborate.
That is why the men in Vichy who set themselves up as rulers of the nation now shrink from the supreme ignominy. They live in a constant state of panic, and to-day it is the thought of France that strikes terror into their hearts.
Of course, we do not for a moment doubt that if these men do not submit the enemy will be able to find others who will fall in with his wishes. We do not for a moment doubt that the enemy holds in reserve various traitors-elect who are only too willing to take their places. We do not for a moment doubt that the enemy will succeed, with or without the help of Vichy, in winning collaboration from some gang or other styling itself the' Government'.
But we do not doubt, either, that this dreadful bargain is being driven without consulting the French people—indeed, it is directed against France, and is entirely contrary to the will of the nation. Nor are we in any doubt as to what France herself has chosen.
France has made her choice against the enemy and his collaborators. France has decided in favour of those who are fighting in her service. France has resolved to triumph one day by driving the enemy from her soil and bringing to justice the men who have betrayed her.
It so happens that events now afford a magnificent opportunity to bring back the might of France into the war, and also to place our country on a level with victory. It so happens that, at this very moment, it is in the power of our fleet, French North Africa, and Syria to turn the Italian defeat into a rout and win victory in the Mediterranean for France.
Generals, Admirals, Officers, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Empire, my Comrades, arise! Join us, the Free French, who are your vanguard. Do not wait until the opportunity is lost. Now is the time; let us all march together along the path of honour and duty.
Generals, Admirals, Officers, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Empire, we, the Free French, are waiting and hoping for you to come to our side. Join us and I pledge my word that together we shall know once more the joy and pride of service and the hope of brilliant feats of arms.
Generals, Admirals, Officers, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Empire, it is your country that claims your obedience.
Comrades, rally to our cause, to the flag of Free France, and, by force of arms, we shall restore to France her freedom and greatness.