Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The malgré-elles of Moselle
by Lovasz, Steven A., Ph.D., The Florida State University, 2012, 206; 3551231
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the experiences of young Frenchwomen from the northeastern département of Moselle who, following the surrender of France to the invading Germans in 1940 and the de facto annexation of Moselle into the Third Reich, were forcibly conscripted into German labor organizations devoted to the wartime support of the Nazi State. Their experiences, part of France's Second World War history has been largely forgotten if not occulted altogether.

Research into the malgré-elles, as they refer to themselves, led me to recognize that their story is intimately tied to the history of Moselle and its occupation by Germany twice in a hundred years; one occupation having lasted almost fifty years. My research in the field included the interviewing of fifteen malgré-elles dispersed over most of north and central Moselle.

An initial analysis of the interview data permitted the identification of experiences typical of a young malgré-elle, illustrated by the personal itinerary of one of my most informative interviewee. On further analysis, a hypothesis was formulated concerning the possible influence of cultural and especially linguistic backgrounds on the attitudes of malgré-elles toward their experiences. While interview data are somewhat mixed, it appears that malgré-elles from the German-speaking group were slightly less negative in regards to their experiences than their Francophone peers, while the common experiences of the members of both groups, forced to function in a coercive environment in Germany, tended to narrow this gap.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hargreaves, Alec
Commitee: Boutin, Aimee, Cloonan, William, Hargreaves, Alec, Stoltzfus, Nathan
School: The Florida State University
Department: Modern Languages
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: European history
Keywords: France, German occupation, Malgre-elles, Moselle, World War II
Publication Number: 3551231
ISBN: 978-1-267-88749-8
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