The Chambery Tragedy (June 1945): the Causes and Historical Context of the Attack on the Spaniards in France
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The Chambery Tragedy (June 1945): the Causes and Historical Context of the Attack on the Spaniards in France
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Alexander Sagomonyan 
Affiliation: Lomonosov Moscow State University
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

On June 15, 1945, a mass attack took place in the French city of Chambery on a train carrying Spaniards traveling from Germany to their homeland. As a result, more than a hundred people were killed and injured. The French authorities presented this incident as a spontaneous wave of popular indignation against the soldiers of the Spanish “Blue Division”, who fought as part of the Nazi Wehrmacht. However, this version is unlikely (this division was disbanded and withdrawn long ago). There are many indications that this action was carried out with the sanction of the French authorities. According to some researchers, such reprisals, not uncommon for liberated France, demonstrating “national hatred of fascism”, were intended — not least оf all — to change the skeptical attitude of the victorious powers to France. This was especially relevant on the eve of the Potsdam Conference. The events in Chambery can also be seen as an attempt to “atone” for the Spanish Republicans for the cruel treatment of refugees from a neighboring country after the end of the Spanish Civil War of 1936—1939.

post-war France, Vichy regime, General de Gaulle, Potsdam Conference, Spanish-French relations, Blue Division, Collaborationism
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