The Occupation: France 1940-1944 | Newberry

The Occupation: France 1940-1944

Led by Frank Biletz
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Eight sessions. Tuesdays, March 29-May 17.


In person (Full - Register for Waitlist on Learning Stream)

Newberry Adult Education Seminars will meet both virtually and in the building for the Winter/Spring term. Although we are still primarily virtual, you will find a smaller selection of in-person seminars in the schedule. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please reach out to Registration opens Wednesday, January 19th at 9am (Central time). Registration will take place through our online platform, Learning Stream.

Register via Learning Stream here

This is an in-person class at the Newberry. Following guidance from public health officials, all visitors are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Learn more about our visitor policy and the measures we’re taking to create a safe learning environment at the Newberry

Seminar Description

During the German occupation between 1940 and 1944, the French people on a daily basis faced decisions that could result, potentially, in life or death. The dynamic interplay between collaboration with the German authorities, passive accommodation, and active resistance will be a central focus of the seminar. Topics will include the Vichy regime, DeGaulle and the Free French, the emergence of the Resistance, cultural life during the occupation, the Liberation, and the post-war fate of collaborators..

Eight sessions. Registration – $280/$252

Frank Biletz received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago, with a primary specialization in modern British and Irish history. He is currently Adjunct Instructor in History at Loyola University Chicago and has been teaching seminars at the Newberry since 1994.

Materials List


First Reading:

  • Participants should read the introduction and chapters one to five of Julian Jackson, France: The Dark Years 1940-1944 before the first class meeting.

Cost and Registration Information 

Registration Information

Registration opens at 9 am (CST) on Wednesday, January 19th . Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning January 12th at 10am. Learn more about membership benefits and becoming a Newberry Associate.

Please note: The Newberry uses Learning Stream for all Adult Education Seminar registrations. For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.