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See detailVoisinage et représentations : la Belgique francophone et la France, du Front populaire à la guerre froide
Lanneau, Catherine ULg

in Matériaux pour l’Histoire de notre Temps (2010), 97-98(janvier-juin), 3-10

The specificities of the relations between France and French-speaking Belgium having been recalled, the contribution examines the mutual representations of the two neighbours from the thirties to the ... [more ▼]

The specificities of the relations between France and French-speaking Belgium having been recalled, the contribution examines the mutual representations of the two neighbours from the thirties to the fifties. First, it explains the reasons of the negative image given by France in the 1930’s and suggests however that the time of the Popular Front was more a transition phase than a real turning-point. The coming of the Second World War brings an important break-up, intellectually as well as materially. French-speaking Belgian opinion was turned upside-down by the collapse of 1940 and was, in most cases, shocked to see that France accepted apparently to collaborate with the enemy. The “other France” was not audible from the start but de Gaulle began asserting himself from 1942. After the Liberation, the French-speaking Belgians tended to believe, as did the French, in the official thesis of a “New France”, rebuilt, regenerated and adorned with the virtues of the Resistance. However, this optimism rapidly declined and Belgium reconsidered sadly but with lucidity the now feeble impact of France on a world theatre dominated by the Cold War and the rise of multilateralism. [less ▲]

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