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Sleeping with the enemy: The Collaborator Girls of WWII in images

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by PzJgr, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Some pretty good photos the show how many more women "collaborated" than I would have thought.

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    On June 25th, 1940, the Battle of France was over. The country had fallen to the German invader in a matter of six weeks. What ensued was a four-year-long period of occupation, a formation of a puppet state in the southern part of the country, and an army in exile, struggling to once again see the shores of its homeland.

    Despite the fact that there was a foreign occupying force present, however, life in France continued – or at least tried to continue – as usual. The famous Parisian cafés and cinémas were now open to German soldiers that were taking leave from the frontline, as well as those stationed in France. The notorious nightlife of which they had heard so much about before the war, with its brothels and clubs running all night, now seemed to be within their conquering grasp.

    But what interested the young German soldiers and officers the most were the beautiful and glamorous French girls. Since many of them seemed to show as much affection for the dashing Hugo-Boss-uniform-wearing invaders as any other man, a number of relationships developed all over the occupied area of the country, as well as in Vichy France, which was under de facto German control.

    After all, it was all quiet on the Western Front until the Allies invaded Normandy in June 1944, and plenty of young women saw the Germans as charming. On the other hand, many of them saw the officers as means of acquiring goods that were hard to come by in wartime conditions. Regular foodstuffs such as bread and meat all reached a much higher price as rationing took hold.

    But when the war ended, all the masks fell. While the members of the resistance struggled to liberate the country, the women who had intimately enjoyed the company of Germans were deemed to be traitors to the cause and downright collaborators.

    The punishment for them included brutal public humiliation as their heads were shaven as a mark of collaboration. In addition to this, tar and feathers were also used to further humiliate the women who participated in the so-called Collaboration horizontale.

    The term itself pretty much describes the crime, but since this justice was delivered by an angry mob, rather than a court, among the 20,000 women whose heads were shaven, there were also a great number of false accusations.

    However, from these forbidden love affairs an estimated 200,000 babies were born. While growing up, these children had to face discrimination, as the wounds of war still ran deep within the French people.

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    Occupying Germans could do a lot that local men couldn’t.


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    Moulin Rouge, Paris.


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    In times of military occupation, there were willing women to be found.


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    Several women from the highest reaches of the aristocracy were sheared for consorting with German officers.


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    French women who befriended the Nazis, through coerced, forced, or voluntary relationships, were singled out for shameful retribution following the liberation of France.

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    Many single French women, widows, or whose husbands had been wounded or captured, were forced into prostitution.



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    Like soldiers of every army of every period of history, as soon as the Germans got comfortable, they started scouting around for women.


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    Some 200,000+ babies were born to German fathers during the French occupation.


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    Clearly taken in the summer – note her swimsuit underneath.

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    German soldiers exchanging their clothes with their girlfriends.



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    The SS was the terror of Europe.


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    Everyone in the Wehrmacht knew that Paris was the place to be.

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    Off-duty Wehrmacht soldier spending a day at the pool with his girlfriend.


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    Conquering soldiers have a lot to offer a girl, especially a soldier who has rank and can most likely offer all sorts of inducements.


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    Everyone in the Wehrmacht knew that Paris was the place to be.


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    Many women became prostitutes.


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    In Norway, more than 10,000 babies were born to German fathers.


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    It could be a defensible act of survival, a way to get food or some measure of protection from occupiers.

    Source: Sleeping with the enemy: The Collaborator Girls of WWII in images
     
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  2. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Women are always going after the wrong guy! And can be distressingly practical with some of their choices of partner...I personally don't have too much of a problem with this...BUT if they are helping the enemy's war effort in any way...that's a different story. I wonder if there wasn't an effort started somewhere sometime to get some of these women to get information out of the soldiers...I know this happened with the odd women...but a network of information could have been established...everyones a winner.
    Love the cloth swapping picture...
     
  3. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I'm on both sides of the fence on this. I don't think there was anything wrong with girls of occupied countries to be enamored with or fall in love with their German occupiers, and the same goes with the German occupiers and their feelings toward the native women. Being in those relationships for the sake of food, money, and resources is wrong, and what I would call treason, not collaboration. If the hometown girls tell confidential information about Partisan or underground groups, or use their relationships for personal gain, then I think it is wrong. If none of that happens, I don't see anything but two people who love eachother..........
     
  4. Jan Ooms

    Jan Ooms New Member

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    Not only during WWII
     
  5. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    I guess we would have to look at from their perspective. Fascism was the new order even before the war. Did anyone at that time (1940) actually see a light at the end of the tunnel? What else can the normal man/woman do other than go on with their daily lives. That includes romance. Watching "Island at War", it addresses this where a Channel Island girl falls in love with a Luftwaffe navigator. Not doing it to get stuff. Just plain love.

    Like JJWilson said, if things turn towards helping against/with the enemy, then that is where things get tricky. The Western countries had it made compared to Eastern countries. Not a picnic but consider the treatment of the Poles or Czechs. A conundrum.

    Now I have a hankering need to meet the swimsuit lady in the 7th pic from the bottom. Anyone have her number?
     
  6. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    I don't think you can really bash them for this. I mean, the same thing happened when the Americans went through Italy and France and even Germany too. I can't speak for what happened in the Pacific (outside of Australia at least, where lots of Americans got with local Australian girls), but fraternizing with the locals was common through out Europe during WW2. The whole 'life and death' thing certainly plays into as well - young men fighting a war, never knowing if they're going to ever go home.

    Its hard to have foresight during a war, but if your country has been conquered and things don't look like they're going to change, and this is now the new life, then wouldn't you do what needed to be done to live life and enjoy it? Anyone ever heard of love? I am sure that was a factor too.
     
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  7. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Now I am sure that gal in the Waffen SS uniform would not have been given any quarter or consideration
     
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The fact that the Germans were telling everyone they had won would have had an impact. "This is the way things are going to be from now on."
     
  9. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I think young ladies will normally gravitate to the most powerful men. It's in the their jeans (whoops! I meant their genes). German girls were no different and Eisenhower played King Canute with his "no fraternization" order. The German soldiers in France were on top of the pecking order and many girls just normally gravitated to them. My wife's old piano teacher was a French national in Paris and had a German boyfriend who was part of the occupation.
     
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  10. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    Certain situations call for desperate measures. Many of these women, not all, but many hooked up with German men because it was practical for them. Those with children whose father died overseas were only thinking of their little ones. A conquering nation who occupies as much of a country as the Wehrmacht did in France is going to be feared. At the time their country is in shambles, the government is displaced and they knew Vichy for what it was, a puppet regime. For these women, the most "stable" thing to do was find a male and the German was king. However, on the other hand it was disloyal and they were punished for it. Many too harshly. The women from my research tended to side with pragmatism or just falling for a guy in uniform. War has many faces of hell and choice.
     
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  11. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I would love to hear a women's perspective on the matter.......because unfortunately, all of us who have commented......are not women. :D
     
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  12. rkline56

    rkline56 USS Oklahoma City CG5

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    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  13. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    War makes strange bedfellows, literally as well as figuratively. I'm sure that for some it as purely a matter of survival. Others may have been sympathetic to the Nazi cause. While others may have nothing more in mind that being adventurous and living for the moment. It's difficult to look at photos 70+ years later and know what they were thinking. Great post. Thanks!
     
  14. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Honorable honorary Aryan wakarimasen.
     
  15. the_diego

    the_diego Active Member

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    "Collaboration." I suppose having sexual relations somehow helped the German war machine, to the detriment of the French.

    In occupied Japan, a lot of rape incidents happened but there were also a lot of women giving themselves willingly to the occupying Americans. No mob justice there that I read about.
     

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