(8.) This overall characterization of the collaborationist
press must be qualified by mentioning leading collaborationist
Marcel Deat, who edited a very popular Parisian daily, L'Oeuvre, and who trumpeted the Jacobins as the great models of bold, revolutionary transformation and revolutionary state violence and control, for both the Nazis and the National Revolution that he hoped to carry out.
Here, no doubt, lies the discrepancy between the backers of the film together with the collaborationists, who interpreted it literally and absorbed only its message, and the majority of the viewers, who were probably surprised by the film but regarded it simply as a source of entertainment.
In addition to Payen, referred to above, the group included Andre Rigal, who punctuated newsreels with cartoons (as demonstrated in L'Oeil de Vichy); Andre Daix, the creator of the original Professor Nimbus who had already made several animated films about him, and who was also the creator of Baron de Cresus, the daily comic strip of the collaborationist newspaper Le Matin; and lastly Erik, a children's cartoonist who later contributed to the pro-German comic Temeraire.
Nimbus, his wife and his daughter represented that section of the French population upon whom, in the early months of 1944, the collaborationist press let loose its anger, accusing them of having contributed, through their conservatism, social egoism and small-mindedness, to the failure of the National Revolution, and who, thenceforth were impatiently awaiting the Liberation so that everything could 'go back to normal again'.
They claimed that the so-called liberators (referred to with the pun 'libera-tueurs' -- literally, liberator-killers -- by the collaborationist press) bombed civilians indiscriminately and cynically, killed French people and destroyed homes, causing widespread death and desolation.
The affinity between Anouilh and their expectations was not lost on the critics of the collaborationist press.
Claims that the play is collaborationist, resistant, or apolitical have been put forward with equal fervour.
This brings us to the question of the critical reception of Anouilh's Antigone after its first opening during the Occupation and its second just after the Liberation. The collaborationist press was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, although most of the commentators do not directly discuss the political significance of the play.
The expressions of Grasset's collaborationist principles were not restricted to his private correspondence.
Maurras's propaganda also included what was seen as the worst collaborationist crime: denunciations.
This second active term can be read as what the narrative of the epuration represses, hoping to contain collaborationist guilt to the either/or of the signed article or stereotypic political activity (party membership, Milice, denunciations, economic profiteering, government service).