Posted by: secondeguerremondialeclairegrube | July 20, 2013

Love & Sex under Nazi Occupation

Love & Sex under Nazi Occupation

Grüß Gott !

French women, during World War II, found the German occupiers irresistible. And the American saviors attractive. / Love and sex under Nazi occupation / France televisions distribution / Video / 

« It all begins one day in June 1940, an unforgetable day for Gisele Guillemot, a young Norman factory worker, who would later join the resistance:

« It was appalling to see them turn up like that, an entire hord of handsome well dressed soldiers on brand new motorcycles. It was impressive, and it was also demotivating. I remember thinking : «  How we ever get through this, this is not possible, we will never make it, the sight of all that force. »

« On June 14th, Paris is declared an Open City. For several days the German army parade in the capital. Parisians bitterly contemplate the victorious Third Reich on parade. »

« The troops make a Wagnerian opera entrance, with their shiny steel helmets and their well appointed tanks. The housewives on Avenue Kleber and concierges everywhere are amazed at the sight of these fresh face men that looked like they just stepped out of a barber shop. »

« A magnificience remembered by Max Weber a Wehrmacht veteran. »

Patrick Buisson:

« The body has a visibility it did not have in previous conflicts. This is largely due to the meaning given to it by National Socialism and totalitarian facist regimes making the young male body an emblem of the virility, energy and vitality of the nation. Unquestionably there is a kind of erotic aura, these are young victorious men, they give off a victorious charisma, the seductive force that will disturb and arouse the sensiblity and the sensuality of many. »

« Young Benoite Groult, future writer, saw the effects this prestige had on some women:

« Yes, they were handsome and well fed, and well dressed, and victorious. It’s amazing the aura victory can give. At the time they seemed beautiful and horrible, because I could see some girls would chase after their tanks, …   »

Patrick Buisson:

« The sight of hundreds of thousands of Frenchmen held prisoner by a few German soldiers damaged their masculine image. Frenchmen failed in their mission to protect the nation, to protect their women. And one of the oldest metaphors of war, an invasion, is to personify the victors and the vainquished. The victor has male features, and the vainquished has female features. And this allegory will serve as a backdrop during the collaboration. »

« Against all expectations the occupier helps to put the country back together … »

Simone de Beauvoir:

« They were as nice as could be, thoughtful, discrete and eager to help out. Their orders are to help and respect the population especially women and children. »

Patrick Buisson:

« Abandoned populations trust in the German soldier. This is a well known poster that shows a German soldier holding a child in his arms, another child is at the bottom of the poster giving the German soldier a trusting look. »

« This soldier is intended to replace as protector the weak French soldier who was just taken prisoner during the battle of France. »

« if Germans arrived in Paris, we would be raped, but after we were there three months, four months, we saw that the Germans were very correct. »

« The Germans settle in as masters, they dominate Paris. »

« A soldier writes in the guest book of a Champs-Elysees’s hotel : « It feels just like at home, many thanks. »

« But for some the ice begins to melt, fear gives way to curiosity and sometimes curiosity opens the door to sympathy. »

Max Bayer, Wehrmacht veteran:

« France was wonderful, because I lived well in France and I hardly ever saw any violence or felt in danger. I had quite good relations with people and even though it is something people don´t really talk about, generally speaking, we were fairly well accepted. »

« For the German soldiers the summer of 1940 feels like one long holiday. Their main fantasy is French women, and especially beautiful Parisian women … »

Benoîte Groult:

« Abortion was illegal, but that did not mean that we didn’t have abortion, it was very common to have an abortion. I had friends, myself included, who had four, five, ten abortions in their life ; upper-class women, poor women, women of all social classes.  »

« For the French women who stood on the right side of the history, this is the beginning of a love affair with their rescuers. When the Americans arrived, suddenly, everything changed dramatically. We completely forgot about the war. They were handsome, well fed, innocent. They found all Parisian women delightful. In their eyes, even the most ordinary women in Paris, myself included, was an enchantress. The Americans stayed a week, or two at the most, there was no danger of a complicated love affair, we just had sex, something nobody dare talk about in those days. »


« The seductive force …  »

Claire GRUBE



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