A survey conducted in May 1945 on the whole French territory now released (confirming a survey in September 1944 with Parisians) showed that interviewees appear well aware of the power relations and the role of allies in the war, despite the censorship and the difficulty to access reliable information under enemy’s occupation.
A clear majority (57%) believed that the USSR is the nation that has contributed most to the defeat of Germany while the United States and England will gather respectively 20% and 12%.
But what is truly astonishing is that this vision of public opinion was reversed very dramatically with time, as shown by two surveys conducted in 1994 and 2004. In 2004, 58% of the population were convinced that USA played the biggest role in the Second World War and only 20% were aware of the leading role of USSR in defeating the Nazi.
This is a very clear example of how the propaganda adjusted the whole nation’s perception of history, the evaluation of the fundamental contribution to the allied victory in the World War II.