The Vichy France regime, which collaborated with the Nazis, was complicit in the persecution and murder of France’s Jews. And the Vichy government retained its authority over north African colonies such as Morocco. That put Morocco’s 250,000 Jews in a terrifying position. Only one man stood between them and their Vichy persecutors: Morocco’s leader, Sultan Mohammed V.
The Vichy government was set up in France with the approval of Hitler, after his army had conquered the country in 1940. France was divided into an occupied zone and a Vichy zone, with the puppet Vichy government nominally responsible for the whole country.
Vichy officials were all too ready to cooperate with their Nazi overlords. And that included colluding with Nazis to persecute the Jews. Anti-Jewish laws were introduced in 1940 by the Vichy government, led by Marshal Pétain. And, whether they were in the German-occupied north of France or the “free” south, Jews faced the same discrimination and persecution.