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After France was Liberated 1944: ABUSE OF FRENCH WOMEN

War is a messy business. There are no rules in war. So when the France fell in May 1940, many French women, some for sheer survival, others for gains by siding with the victorious, became lovers and mistresses of German soldiers.

In 1944, after France was liberated by Allied forces, many Frenchmen {some of them had done nothing to oppose the German occupation}suddenly discovered their patriotic nature and went about shaving off the hair of these women. And worse


THE SICKENING TREATMENT OF FRENCHWOMEN by Antony Beevor {Guardian}

It may seem strange that head-shaving, essentially a rightwing phenomenon, should have become so widespread during the leftist liberation euphoria in France in 1944. But many of the tondeurs, the head-shavers, were not members of the resistance. Quite a few had been petty collaborators themselves, and sought to divert attention from their own lack of resistance credentials. Yet resistance groups could also be merciless towards women. In Brittany it is said that a third of those civilians killed in reprisals were women. And threats of head-shaving had been made in the resistance underground press since 1941.

There was a strong element of vicarious eroticism among the tondeurs and their crowd, even though the punishment they were about to inflict symbolised the desexualisation of their victim. This "ugly carnival" became the pattern soon after D-day. Once a city, town or village had been liberated by the allies or the resistance, the shearers would get to work. In mid-June, on the market day following the capture of the town of Carentan, a dozen women were shorn publicly. In Cherbourg on 14 July, a truckload of young women, most of them teenagers, were driven through the streets. In Villedieu, one of the victims was a woman who had simply been a cleaner in the local German military headquarters.

Many French people as well as allied troops were sickened by the treatment meted out to these women accused of collaboration horizontale with German soldiers. A large number of the victims were prostitutes who had simply plied their trade with Germans as well as Frenchmen, although in some areas it was accepted that their conduct was professional rather than political. Others were silly teenagers who had associated with German soldiers out of bravado or boredom. In a number of cases, female schoolteachers who, living alone, had German soldiers billeted on them, were falsely denounced for having been a "mattress for the boches". Women accused of having had an abortion were also assumed to have consorted with Germans.

Many victims were young mothers, whose husbands were in German prisoner-of-war camps. During the war, they often had no means of support, and their only hope of obtaining food for themselves and their children was to accept a liaison with a German soldier. As the German writer Ernst Jünger observed from the luxury of the Tour d'Argent restaurant in Paris, "food is power".


VIDEO








These French women had thought it wiser to collaborate with the Germans

Having a good time

After the Liberation of France

4 Comments:

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Gillian Nevill said...

My Father served as a cook with the RAF in WW2. He spent two years in Nova Scotia at the pilot Traing camp Geenwood Nova Scotia. canada.
He was a very kind and caring person. He was in France with the Canadian Air force "mopping up". One day he came across a number of girls worman having their heads shaved, He was appalled by what was happening to them and made a move to stop the humilliation of these women. His Co stopped him and said " leave it be, these people have spent years of occupation by the Nazi's, you do not know what they have had to endure". Nothing was done. Any time he spoke about this incident he would break down. He felt so guilty that he was not able to help the women.
Gill

Anonymous said...

some of the head shaving was justifed on the whole is was not . in the low countries the girls got off easy . in russia they got hung . there was a price for sleeping with the enemy.

Anonymous said...

Most of these girls were humiliated, but not otherwise harmed. Hair grows back.

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May 1945 - If hell on earth existed, than it existed in Prague after May the 5th. 1945. Old men, women and children were beaten to death and maimed. Rapes, barbaric cruelties, horror-scenarios of hellish proportions - here they had been let lose.

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Points to Ponder: Why Is China Unstable?

The aim of individuals in any society is money and power. Societies that give equal chance to all its members to get them will be the most stable. That is why democracies are more stable than other systems of governance.

China after Deng's reform gave the chance to get rich but power is in the hands of an elite; the Communist Party of China. Membership to the party is at the whims of the local party bosses. This leaves out many people who crave political power dissatisfied and disgruntled. There in lies the roots of instability. The Party suppressed these demands once at Tiananmen in 1989. But force is hardly the way to deal with things like these.

READ MORE: Tiananmen Square Massacre