Added: December 3, 2016 – Last updated: December 3, 2016


Author: Katherine Rossy

Title: Forgotten Agents in a Forgotten Zone

Subtitle: German Women under French Occupation in Post-Nazi Germany, 1945-1949

Thesis: M.A. Thesis, Concordia University

Advisor: Rosemarie Schade

Year: 2013

Pages: vii + 130pp.

OCLC Number: 889910955 – Find a Library: WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | European History: French History, German History | Types: Wartime Rape / Second World War


Link: Spectrum Research Repository: Digital Repository of Concordia University (Free Access)


Author: Katherine Rossy, School of History, Queen Mary University of


»By the spring of 1945, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Soviet Union and France commenced the difficult task of restoring order to a continent that had witnessed unprecedented death and destruction at the hands of the Nazis. This task proved to be most arduous in post-Nazi Germany, where aerial bombings, mass rape and endemic hunger created inherently gendered experiences of defeat and occupation for a civilian population in which women largely outnumbered men.
As the occupation took shape, the Soviet, British and American Military Governments granted German women in their Zones a relative degree of social and political agency by sanctioning women’s activities and organizations. The French Zone, on the other hand, one that has come to be known as the 'forgotten Zone' in postwar historiography, did not follow suit.
The lack of French occupation policy toward German women disempowered them in the public sphere, where the failure of denazification and cultural imperialist policies and the absence of sanctioned women’s agencies stripped women of their agency altogether. Postwar depopulation anxieties and Gaullist ambitions of French ‘grandeur’ soon led to reforms in post-Liberation family and immigration policy, furthermore. Designed to reconstruct the ideal 'French race' along the lines of race, gender and nationalism, the French Zone became the base of a contentious repatriation program that radically subverted German motherhood.
By charting the interaction between German women and French occupation policy- or often lack thereof- this dissertation charts the ways in which women under French occupation were socially and politically marginalized within the broader context of the other Allies’ occupations policies. In other words, it excavates the lost narrative of forgotten agents in a forgotten Zone between 1945 and 1949.« (Source: Thesis)


  Abstract (p. iii)
  Acknowlegements (p. iv)
  List of Figures (p. vi)
  Abbreviations (p. vii)
  Forgotten Agents in a Forgotten Zone: German Women under French Occupation in Post-Nazi Germany, 1945-1949 (p. 1)
    Introduction (p. 1)
    The French Zone as the Forgotten Zone (p. 2)
    Forgotten Agents in a Forgotten Zone (p. 7)
  Forgotten Agents: An Historiographical Overview (p. 10)
  A Gendered Occupation: German Women and the Immediate Postwar Situation (p. 19)
    The Rape of German Women by Occupation Soldiers (p. 20)
    Fraternization: An Allied Conundrum (p. 32)
    The Hunger Crisis (p. 41)
  German Women under French Occupation (p. 53)
    The 'Big 3' and France (p. 54)
    The Failures of Denazification (p. 57)
    Arbitrating Culture (p. 63)
  Behind the 'Silk Curtain': Geman Women in the Public Sphere (p. 76)
    Women in the New Postwar Order (p. 77)
    A Stifled Democracy (p. 85)
  Reconstructing the 'French Race': Gender, Populationism, and Gaullist 'Grandeur' (p. 93)
    The Demographic Crisis (p. 94)
    Subverting Motherhood: The Repatriation of 'Besatzungskinder' (p. 101)
  Conclusion (p. 113)
  Bibliography (p. 117)
    Archives (p. 117)
    Memoirs and Diaries (p. 117)
    Pamphlets, Reports and Newspaper Articles (p. 118)
    Articles & Book Chapters (p. 118)
    Books (p. 121)
    Internet Sources (p. 126)
  Index (p. 127)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of France, History of Germany / Allied-occupied Germany | Types of rape: Wartime sexual violence | War: World War II / Rape during the occupation of Germany