"Le Bel Indifferent", Cocteau's play written for and starring Edith, opened at the Bouffes Parisians in the Spring of 1940. Her first performance in support of the war effort was on the 9th May 1940 at the Bobino for the Red Cross in the company of other stars such as Maurice Chevalier and Johnny Hess. By the time "Le Bel Indifferent" had closed Meurisse had been called up and then rejected on medical grounds, Edith discovered that Mômone's husband had been killed fighting so moved her back to their apartment, and German troops were advancing towards France through Belgium. Edith left Paris for Toulouse for a tour of the unoccupied areas with Meurisse.
German occupied Paris was a very different place to Edith's previous home. All artists were forced to register at the Propagandastaffel and have their songs vetted in order to be able to work. Edith fared better than most - she may have hated them but they liked her, and her use of Parisian argot enabled her to voice her opinions without reprisal. She was in great demand not only to perform benefit concerts for prisoners of war but also for the Germans themselves. Her association with the French Resistance is now well known and many owed their lives to her as a result.
Professionally, the period 1940 - 1945 was a very successful one for Edith; privately however it was one containing many changes...