Lecture 23 - Collaboration and Resistance in World War II

author: John Merriman, Department of History, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: April 16, 2010,   recorded: December 2008,   views: 3300
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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One of the principal myths concerning collaboration during World War II in France, as in other countries, is that the domestic collaborators did so despite themselves, or to prevent even greater atrocities. In fact, many French, Belgians, Hungarians, Poles, Dutch and others voluntarily and enthusiastically abetted the occupying Germans. This collaboration, inspired by anti-Semitism and xenophobia, often resulted in extremely zealous persecution of Jewish nationals, communists, and others. Along with the myth of reluctant collaboration, France has also been obliged to confront the myth of widespread resistance, promulgated in part by a victorious Charles de Gaulle. Many questions concerning collaboration and resistance still remain unresolved in formerly occupied European countries to this day.

Reading assignment:

Browning, Christopher. Ordinary Men

Merriman, John. A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present, pp. 1157-1206

Film:

Au Revoir les Enfants

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