Formed after the fall of Poland in 1939, the government of Wladyslaw Sikorski continued to operate in France until June 1940. The new political situation created by the signing of a truce between France and Germany forced Sikorski and his ministers to leave for Britain. The Poles who remained in France could still look for help at the Polish Embassy (it was not closed until September 1940), the French section of the Polish Red Cross, the so-called Bureaux Polonaises, presided by Stanislaw Zabiello, and from 12 June 1941 an institution called Groupement d'Assistance aux Polonais en France (GAPF), which worked under the auspices of the French Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Labour. Officially the GAPF was launched on 1 September 1941: its main objective was to organize all forms of assistance (material, legal, etc.) both outdoor and indoor. Outdoor relief was extended to Poles who had come to France before the war and, though they had their own income, fell upon bad times. They were eligible for one-off or long-term supplements. Persons who were admitted to GAPF homes and hostels, as well as employees of GAPF-subsidized cooperatives firms were recipients of indoor relief.The GAPF was dissolved on 1 May 1944. Its offices and local centres were closed. Their work was, on the whole, taken over by a fully decentralized network of relief centres.
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