With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

Vichy Yearns to Shed Heavy Yoke of Past Shame

Perhaps this small city could be forgiven for thinking, 70 years after the end of World War II, that it might be thought of as something other than the capital of the collaborationist government of Marshal Philippe Pétain.

Vichy, situated in the Auvergne region in central France, has tried to draw interest for other pursuits, including Omnisports Parc, one of the largest and most comprehensive sporting centers in Europe. A French language center draws thousands of international students every year. And its casino, built during the reign of Napoleon III, has been transformed into a convention center.

On the final weekend of August, 3,000 people from all over the world raced through the streets in the city’s first Ironman Triathlon, and skin care products manufactured here have begun to gain a new and sizable market in the United States. Yet many Americans still associate Vichy with the bottle of water that Captain Renault disgustedly throws in the trash at the end of the movie “Casablanca.”

Read entire article at NYT