I think it's very easy to say the people of France or Serbia should have done this or that 80 years later when you're not involved and weren't in that position - children to feed and so on.After the occupation of France (1939) and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1941), the Nazis imposed the most rigorous rules in France and Serbia. Example, for one dead German soldier, 100 civilians would be shot. The French government advised people not to give resistance to the German occupation, in the hope that the allied army would succeed in releasing them soon.Yugoslavia was occupied completely in 11 days. The army of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia had no time to mobilize, i.e. the mobilization was ordered is too late. But even so, a large number of civilians took weapons and entered the streets by resisting the German occupation. France was largely relieved of the intervention of the United Kingdom and the United States of America. While Partisan leaders led by Marshal Josip Broz Tito successfully freed most of their teroriir from the enemy before the forces of the Red Army came.
France received a special position within the United Nations Security Council, as well as control over part of Germany. While Yugoslavia only received praise from both sides. The Allies wanted to weaken the Soviet influence in Europe, putting pressure on the liberated countries to oppose the "new evil". And to choose instead a democratic system. The leadership of the Soviet Union was shocked by the fact that the Marshall Plan did not encompass the Soviet Union and their "puppet states", as well as the pressure of the Allies that territories under the auspices of the USSR become democracies and decide for themselves which political system to choose.
How do you characterize the role of France and Serbia (Yugoslavia) in the Second World War?
I'm not saying either France or Serbia were defined by collaboration as I don't know much of what happened in those countries, but as a general point I never feel comfortable when watching pictures of 'collaborators' being rounded up and 'dealt' with. 'Just seems another chapter of violence and dislocation that doesn't achieve anything for anyone.
As for France's position after the war, I think powerful nations are always looking at least 20 years ahead, and when Germany isn't in the equation France is continental Europe's leading power and so of course France was always going to be rebuilt in terms of political sway - for the benefit of the United States and Britain. Just as West Germany was - same reason.