After the debacle of June 1940, many French soldiers were imprisoned. While the combatants from metropolitan France left for Germany, those from the colonies were sent to frontstalags throughout occupied France. Welfare services and support organizations were solicited to assist this group materially and to give them moral support. This captivity in metropolitan regions led to an unexpected rapprochement with the French population, especially since the actions of the Resistance managed to intensify under the cover of these organizations, facilitating the escape and transfer to the Maquis of these prisoners from the colonies. This is perfectly illustrated by the commitment of the great ethnologist Germaine Tillion. Even the Vichy government recognized all the benefits they could derive from these privileged contacts and sought to use this collective solidarity to spread a colonialist propaganda about the "subjects" of the empire fallen into the hands of enemies whose nationalistic positions they especially feared.

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