Feeding France’s Outcasts: Rationing in Vichy’s Internment Camps, 1940-1944

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Friday, January 26th, 2018

Friday, January 26, 20183:00PM - 5:00PM208N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place
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Seminaire conjoint d'histoire de la France / Joint French History Seminar


All Joint French History Seminar events are held in English unless otherwise noted.

During the Second World War, France established a rationing system that attempted to provide a minimum amount of food to each of its citizens. It is generally accepted that rationing failed French civilians and worsened the food crisis. If free consumers could not always find enough food, what then of those that Vichy interned in its camps? This talk examines the ways in which Vichy’s rationing laws limited the ways in which camps could procure food and feed the individuals that they interned. It also looks at how food, once purchased made its way to internees and evaluates how much internees likely received. Faced with constant food shortages and hunger, internees, international aid organizations, and occasionally camp administrators tried as best they could to find additional food.

Laurie Drake is a PhD candidate in the Department of History and the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation examines the hunger crisis in Vichy’s internment camps and the ways in which the government, camp administrators, internees, and international aid organizations tried to find solutions.


Laurie Drake
University of Toronto

Main Sponsor

Centre for the Study of France and the Francophone World (CEFMF)


Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

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