Groupement de travailleurs étrangers under Vichy

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Viktor.S
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Groupement de travailleurs étrangers under Vichy

Post by Viktor.S » 09 Apr 2020 17:08

Hello everyone,

I'd like some detail on these "foreign workers groups" established by the Vichy regime starting in September 1940. Specifically, what industries they were used in, what nationalities were represented in them (and whether they were segregated by nationality, or mixed), and what their living conditions and limits on personal freedom were like. I would also like to know if these groups were only used in mainland France, or in the Vichy colonies also.

Thanks.

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Loïc
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Re: Groupement de travailleurs étrangers under Vichy

Post by Loïc » 09 Apr 2020 18:26

The GTE came from CTE Compagnies de Travailleurs Etrangers of the French Army raised at the spring 1939 from the Spanish refugees camps of the southwest, throughout the war in 1939-1940 others companies were created and even in may 1940 from German-Austrians residents mainly jews and they included others nationalities

with the Armistice these companies were converted into Groups (gathered in Groupements) by a law of 27th september 1940 and passed from the Army to the Labour Ministry and Industrial Production

Actually the Foreign Workers Groups can cover extremely variable realities from one GTE to another, from 20 to 2000 men, from internment camp where people will be very vulnerable to deportation, to virtual GTE where the workers are only assigned to the GTE but being scattered and living with their family in farms, from lumberjacks right in the middle of forest and mountainous areas to construction sites with half-military discipline where the cadres allowed you to go in week-end at the nearest city
so there is not at all one reply and a generalization with the GTE

Viktor.S
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Posts: 76
Joined: 06 Apr 2020 10:14
Location: left website

Re: Groupement de travailleurs étrangers under Vichy

Post by Viktor.S » 09 Apr 2020 18:44

Thank you Loïc. I'm sorry if my question was too broad, maybe I can narrow it down to a few more specific points.

You mentioned Spanish, Austrians, and other nationalities in these groups. Were there any groups segregated by nationality, or were they usually mixed among different nationalities? And what about stateless people (e.g. Jews stripped of citisenship by the Nazis)?

Also, was membership in these groups compulsory for all foreign residents of Vichy France, or was there some selection criteria? And is there any information on the wages these workers were paid (even just if it was equal or lower to average French wages for the job they did)? Or were they not paid a salary, but only in food and lodging?

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