In 1940, however, France was anything but victorious. Hitler invaded and
crushed an army that had largely trusted the ideas that had led to victory in
1918. The nation in defeat faced a horrible dilemma. Philippe
Pétain proposed a solution. His treaty with Hitler may have saved France
from annihilation. His treaty also created a France allied with the
Fascists. Many Frenchmen would have none of this, and they would no
longer have any of Pétain. The hero of 1918 became the traitor of 1940.
Every French city today has a street named for Clemenceau or Roosevelt or
Eisenhower. None has a street named Pétain. Upon the liberation of
1944 and 1945, Pétain was arrested and tried for treason. He was
sentenced to death by Guillotine. Only his glory from 1918 saved him and
he was sent to exile in the prison of the Citadelle of Yeu. These stark
halls were those that saw his last days on earth.