The article is devoted to the analysis of relations between the French cultural figures and the German invaders during the Second World War. The author left outside his research the collaborationists and the supporters of the Resistance focusing his attention on the politically unbiased majority. According to the author, French artists and intellectuals under the German occupation were for the most part conformists, not collaborationists. This «time-serving» (the term of Swiss historian Philippe Burrin) was explained not only by the desire to preserve their material well-being and comfortable conditions for creativity, but also by the deep psychological causes and cultural traditions of the French nation. The delicate and thoughtful policy of the German occupation authorities towards the French intellectuals also largely predetermined their openness to dialogue with the invaders.