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Thu Jun 6, 2019, 05:47 PM

This Picture Tells a Tragic Story of What Happened to Women After D-Day

https://time.com/5303229/women-after-d-day



They called it the épuration sauvage, the wild purge, because it was spontaneous and unofficial. But, yes, it was savage, too. In the weeks and months following the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944, Allied troops and the resistance swept across France liberating towns and villages, and unleashing a flood of collective euphoria, relief and hope. And then the punishments began.

The victims were among the most vulnerable members of the community: Women. Accused of “horizontal collaboration” — sleeping with the enemy — they were targeted by vigilantes and publicly humiliated. Their heads were shaved, they were stripped half-naked, smeared with tar, paraded through towns and taunted, stoned, kicked, beaten, spat upon and sometimes even killed.

One photograph from the era shows a woman standing in a village as two men forcibly restrain her wrists; a third man grabs a hank of her blonde hair, his scissors poised to hack it away. Just as the punished were almost always women, their punishers were usually men, who acted with no legal mandate or court-given authority. Although some were loyal resistance members, others had themselves dabbled in collaborationist activity and were anxious to cleanse their records before the mob turned on them, too. About 6,000 people were killed during the épuration sauvage — but the intense, cruel, public ferocity of the movement focused not on serious collaborationist crime. Instead, it zeroed in on women accused of consorting with the enemy.

(snip)

Recognizing these women now is an important step in acknowledging the long history of gender inequality. With little ability to defend themselves — no courts, no juries — the shorn women became the public target of a humiliated nation, a convenient scapegoat to pummel, demean and discard, all in an attempt to wash away the shame of defeat and submission.

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Reply This Picture Tells a Tragic Story of What Happened to Women After D-Day (Original post)
WhiskeyGrinder Jun 2019 OP
RelativelyJones Jun 2019 #1
Thomas Hurt Jun 2019 #2
smirkymonkey Jun 2019 #3
Jake Stern Jun 2019 #4
WhiskeyGrinder Jun 2019 #5
yardwork Jun 2019 #6
Delphinus Jun 2019 #7
demosincebirth Jun 2019 #8
SeaDoo Jun 2019 #9
Baclava Jun 2019 #10

Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 05:51 PM

1. These women were completely exposed and had no protection.

And they were scapegoated. I hope their story gets told.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 05:55 PM

2. Conservatives get off on this type of revenge/punishment.

That is why they like Trump, he is a sick f**k and tries to carry out similar acts of humiliation and punishment.

This kind of behavior happened in the US during and after WWI. Jingoistic attacks, humiliation and punishment. German Americans and anyone who was suspicious, anyone who did not believe in the war, or just didn't buy enough war bonds to suit the locals.

Ditto, during the American Revolution with Loyalists. Murdered, tarred and feathered.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 05:56 PM

3. K&R

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 05:57 PM

4. Hard time finding pity, especially after talking to people who lived around these collaborators

during the German occupation.

What this story fails to mention is how these 'horizontal collaborators' gave away identities of resistance members, outed Jews in hiding, used their German paramours to help settle old scores and so much more.



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Response to Jake Stern (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 06:00 PM

5. I doubt that that was the case for every one of the women who was punished. As in most things

in war, no one ever knows the full story, and the truth can be many different things at the same time, depending on your perspective.

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Response to Jake Stern (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 06:21 PM

6. Some did; others were raped and coerced.

Without trials, who could tell? Vigilante justice is rarely justice at all. And what about the male collaborators?

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Response to yardwork (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 07:44 PM

7. True. n/t

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Response to yardwork (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 09:04 PM

8. Many got their due, especially those in the Vichy Gov.

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Response to Jake Stern (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 6, 2019, 09:12 PM

9. It's hard to distinguish them from Nazi soldiers morally. On the other hand

 

Women should not be treated that way.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2019, 11:57 AM

10. Getting their hair cut is nothing compared to what the Russians were doing

'They raped every German female from eight to 80'

"Red Army soldiers don't believe in 'individual liaisons' with German women," wrote the playwright Zakhar Agranenko in his diary when serving as an officer of marine infantry in East Prussia. "Nine, ten, twelve men at a time - they rape them on a collective basis"

In Dahlem, Soviet officers visited Sister Kunigunde, the mother superior of Haus Dahlem, a maternity clinic and orphanage. The officers and their men behaved impeccably. In fact, the officers even warned Sister Kunigunde about the second-line troops following on behind. Their prediction proved entirely accurate. Nuns, young girls, old women, pregnant women and mothers who had just given birth were all raped without pity.

Women soon learned to disappear during the "hunting hours" of the evening. Young daughters were hidden in storage lofts for days on end. Mothers emerged into the street to fetch water only in the early morning when Soviet soldiers were sleeping off the alcohol from the night before. Sometimes the greatest danger came from one mother giving away the hiding place of other girls in a desperate bid to save her own daughter. Older Berliners still remember the screams every night. It was impossible not to hear them because all the windows had been blown in.

Estimates of rape victims from the city's two main hospitals ranged from 95,000 to 130,000. One doctor deduced that out of approximately 100,000 women raped in the city, some 10,000 died as a result, mostly from suicide. The death rate was thought to have been much higher among the 1.4 million estimated victims in East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia.

Altogether at least two million German women are thought to have been raped, and a substantial minority, if not a majority, appear to have suffered multiple rape.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2002/may/01/news.features11

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