Apology for Girlfriends of German Soldiers?

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by CL1, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    So why is it that my Garmin 35 vibrates and up flashes "MOVE" when I have covered 7.9 miles today.
    I sat down for 10 mins to have a cup of tea and a custard tart, it keeps doing this without apology
    Yesterday was the same
    Tomorrow will also be the same
    No apology even though I have covered many miles
  2. Ramiles, wrt Channel Islands women romantically fraternising with Germans (post #17), according to Madeleine Bunting:
    (Bunting, Madeleine. The Model Occupation: The Channel Islands Under German Rule, 1940–1945. London: HarperCollins, 1995. 259–60.)

    And that is just on Jersey and just the ones who delivered children; one can infer the actual number of romantic liaisons was substantially higher.
  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I recently heard this a History Extra podcast on the Occupation entitled "Britons under Nazi rule": Channel Islands

    I saw that "eight hundred Jerseywomen had had children by German soldiers" and thought too that it was surprising.

    But I suppose for a population on an island, not sure of the exact figure but 30,000 or so perhaps, with most of the young and even middle aged men elsewhere. 200 - a year ?

    Still as you say "one can infer the actual number of romantic liaisons was substantially higher."

    Looking at it the other way around, if Germany had only sent females to the island and it was largely an island comprised of young British men, without enough to eat or heating in the winter, and after years even clothes were falling apart, and those females had money and power and were extremely eager to be helpful and befriend the young British men...

    Would British women be rounding up these men to tar and feather them? Probably...

    I think it's a state picking on young women and girls, and innocent children that is an issue.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
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  4. As observed, the 800 figure is only those who brought children to term—and it turns out to be higher:
    (Moyes, Jojo. “How Jersey’s Nazi children disappeared.” The Independent, 23 Nov 1996, www.independent.co.uk/news/how-jerseys-nazi-children-disappeared-1353692.html)

    It is reasonable to presume there were at least a few miscarriages and, although against both British and German law, a few more could have procured abortions; and many more would have employed successfully the available contraceptive methods and not fallen pregnant: much more than 200 Jersey women were sleeping with the enemy every year.

    This is the results of the 2011 Jersey census and records 24.5% of their population being women aged 16 to 49; this page shows a graph indicating the island’s 1941 population was about 51,000. Assuming a similar percentage of women gives a figure of 12,491 women aged 16–49 in 1941. A figure of ‘70 per cent’ of Jersey women sleeping with the enemy is mentioned above and I’m happy to reject that. Arbitrarily doubling the number of pregnancies for a figure of 1800 women sleeping with the enemy is conservative; and that would mean 14.4% of relevant women were sleeping with the enemy, which is not particularly rare. A ballpark figure to be sure, but it’s not being submitted as evidence in court and will suffice for a debate.

    As regards treating children negatively for the crimes of their parents, I concur that that was sometimes shameful. (According to this article, ‘offspring of German soldiers and French women born during the occupation were cruelly shunned’—n.b. not ‘beaten’, just ‘shunned’; not nice, but not the worst of fates either. Another complained of being called names—again, very much not being beaten. Two words: Baby. P.)

    Wrt treating adult women negatively for their crimes, consider that their treatment was lenient compared to that meted out to the males, many of whom were simply executed. Here is an instance where 12 captured French members of the ‘Charlemagne’ regiment (33. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS „Charlemagne“ (französische Nr. 1)) were shot out of hand. Any defence of ‘over-friendly’ when not outright collaborating women applies as much to those soldats. Obviously not a crime in Vichy France (or other occupied countries) to enlist in its institutions (Milice française) or German ones (Légion des Volontaires Français contre le Bolchévism), from their pov they were being patriotic—and if Jerry had won, there would be statues to les héros of la Trente-troisième.

    This picture and this one were taken in August 1940; both labelled as German soldiers drinking champagne with civilians in France, they were taken after an estimated 90,000 French died fighting for France.

    Consider also that while those ‘jerrybags’ of Occupied Europe were living it up with their nations’ invaders, many of their fellow citizens—mainly men but also women—were being shipped to Germany as forced labour: 375,000 from Belgium, 475,000 from Holland, and at least 390,000 from France.

    Ramiles: ‘… if Germany had only sent females to the island and it was largely an island comprised of young British men’ Outside of ‘adult’ film plots, that is an impossible scenario as the young men will be away—as indeed they werefighting.
    Ramiles: ‘Would British women be rounding up these men to tar and feather them? Probably...’ Outside of Hollywood fantasy where diminutive women kick seven shades out of half a dozen burly blokes simultaneously, no they wouldn’t. They would not be able to. E.g. here are three Swedish policewomen trying to arrest one man—they fail. Miserably. Embarrassingly.

    The women of Occupied Europe were well aware that a war was going on. Channel Islands women were especially aware that Britain was fighting on, and their fellow Britons—some their fellow islanders—were fighting, bleeding and dying on land and sea and in the air. The women of France, Denmark, Holland, Luxembourg, Belgium and Norway would surely have been aware that there were ‘resistance’ movements (and some women became members themselves) and ‘Free’ forces of their fellow citizens fighting their nations’ conquerors: Free French, Free Danish, Free Dutch, Free Belgian, Free Luxembourgian, Free Norwegian.

    They had a choice and they picked a side.
    You pays your money and you takes your choice.

    More here: “Collaborator Girls”, Filminspector, 22 Sep 2014. (About halfway down, article has images of corpses but none too graphic—you might lose your faith in humanity but not your lunch. Note the descriptions of those executed: six French militiamen executed for their treason; another man executed for ‘passing on information’; a sketch of ‘French Partisans executing male French collaborators’; a photo of French Resistance being shot by Germans labelled, ‘The partisans were only following their teachers’; and another Frenchman executed. I suspect if those 12 Charlamagne soldiers and others executed had been given a choice, they would have opted for being shunned or getting their heads shaved rather than catch a bullet.)
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  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Fraternisation with the opposite sex has always been conducted when a country has been overrun by the enemy.The British Isles has a history of being settled by force by tribes from mainland Europe and Scandinavia and these incomers integrated with the women of the defeated.The last foreign victor was the Duke Of Normandy in 1066 and his army and followers settling in Britain must have resulted in additions to the gene pool

    There are many instances in history when this has been practiced and recent history reminds us of what has become the norm.It is reflected by those caught up with the consequences of human reaction.For some it might have been a case of a loving relationship,ignoring the consequences.However to some women,such relationships had the advantage of privilege in associating with the enemy at a time when occupation meant that civilians were deprived of food,shelter and warmth,something that a soldier of the occupation forces could provide.The higher the rank, the better the treatment and the status attained by the "horizontal collaborator."

    After the invader had been defeated,it was a common practice for those women left behind,some with children to receive the wrath of their fellow citizens.Some such Norwegian women sought sanctuary in adjacent countries such as those in Norway who crossed to Sweden after the war.Anni-FrId Lyngstad of ABBA was one such child of a German soldier and a Norwegian girl....apparently did not have a good relationship with her German father when they eventually met.However there was not much opportunity for those in France and the Low Countries, accused of "horizontal collaboration", to seek sanctuary elsewhere.

    The big problem was when fellow citizens' patriotic stance or active resistance were denounced through these relationships to the enemy.Such relationships were seen as abhorrent and obviously unpatriotic by the civilian population.Retribution followed given the opportunity but some had to await postwar tribunals.I recollect a case of a French POW who had escaped from Germany and returned to his home.During his absence,his wife had taken a German soldier lover and wife denounced her husband to the German authorities.
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  6. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.


    I don't think its wise to class everybody that had a fraternisation with the enemy & was seen as betraying a country. I can only speak for my Grandmother on my Father's side. She went through hell in the year of 1948, when her partner / lover was a German POW in a camp that she was working in the County of Cumbria has it is known.. She was looking after her Mother who was rather sick at the time.. Her partner was on his way home to Germany & he asked her to come with him, the only problem was, she never told him that she was pregnant with my Father. I could go on & mention the hell that she received from the chap that she eventually married & had two other kids with. Lets put it this way, I could not go to her funeral.. Looking back, i was rather foolish. My Old-man has given up on trying to find out any info on his Father & its (not easy for me who had two Grandfather's who batted on each side!) I will be forever pissing in the wind.

    Sleeping dogs & all that. Clive, my Grandmother suffered.. She lost her first Son for about 35 years.

    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
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  7. mcan

    mcan Active Member

    In Norway,

    Norway apologises to women punished for relationships with German soldiers
  8. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

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  9. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    I did not read all the comments made before, but I totally agree with you.
    Having said that, being German, may be I should not comment to posts with these subjects at all.
    But I strongly believe in my slogan: Enemies yesterday - Friends today.
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  10. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Stu my comment "It is not a surprise that fraternisation with the enemy was seen as betraying a country."

    Is exactly that of the time which would have applied to a great number of individuals.
    Perhaps people should have looked toward the future but of the time they did not.

  11. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    I will just add this, my Father got into a scrap or two with his Father-in- law & a (few slaps was exchanged over the years!) He could never come to terms that he was half German! Life is rather short to have enemies. Stefan, please comment has you wish.

    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
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  12. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    very true indeed. I have a US friend with a German family name searching for his roots. And he found them all over the area around where we live. Is he German or American? Just a real good guy.
  13. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    depends on which country your US friend was born in? In the case of my Father, he was born in England which means he his English.
    In my eyes with his descent it makes him half German & English. Having said that, I not 100 % sure, but I think my Grandmother was born in Scotland, or she had Scottish blood?

    Clive, you have started a most interesting thread indeed from my point of view (my nose has not been put out of joint), but I think my Father would have something to say about some of the images that you posted in your post 8. The Daily Mail article has a very happy ending. All i will say is, that his first twenty years of life was not easy. Being put up for adoption in the early 1950's was probably not something that i would liked to have done myself.. Being passed from Aunt to Aunt before being put up for adoption. The houses that he lived in left a lot to be desired. Is he bitter about his up-bringing, not at all (Its made him what he is!) In a kind of strange way, he even has a chuckle at some of the houses that he lived in. Mrs Avery was probably not up to the standards of people who adopt kids these days.

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  14. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    Its too easy to take a practical view on what people should or should not have done during WW2, when we now know how the story ended.

    There was a huge rise in casual sex and marriages during the early years of the war, because young people did not know if they were even going to survive.

    I don't believe that people can decide who they are going to love and who they are going to hate. You fall in love because of what is happening at the genetic level, even if your rational mind thinks it is probably not a great idea.

    During WW2, did we really hate all Germans because (in effect) they were supporting some crazy dictator? As a child in the 1950s I was taught that German people were just like us (...and I now know they are!), but that their ordinary soldiers just had to fight to survive.

    It is reasonable to suppose that most of the multi-racial/national relationships were conducted by young people; many teenagers or in their early twenties. So if we don't hate the ordinary young German soldiers pushed into war, why hate those youngsters that had relationships with them?

    On the question of national apologies, I really don't know if such an action makes much sense. However, I hope it at least sends out a message that some earlier policies were wrong, and if we ever find ourselves in a similar position in the future, it will be [more] difficult to make the same mistakes again (...because what's wrong, is wrong).
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  15. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    my friend was born in the US and understands German, but speaks little.
    He visited me last week for the 5th time or so this year and joint us for the opening of my exhibition in the local Museum "Lager Lindele" which translates:
    to POW camp Lindele or OFLAG Vb or later ILAG from 1936 until 1945.
    I like to invite you to come to Germany to visit this exhibition before 3 March 2019
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  16. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Dictionary definition:

    “Fraternisation with the enemy" refers to associations with members of enemy groups and suggests a serious conflict of strong, deep, and close romantic interest and attraction, if not the possibility of treason.
  17. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    To go back to my post with the photos.
    My simplistic thoughts.
    They are an example of the time and don't forget we are talking about as it happened live in WW2 and not now with hindsight.
    So people at that moment in time through (as stated) genetics/chemistry fell in love or went with the enemy to protect themselves.
    People of that time who where affected by the enemy actions had their own thoughts which carried over after the war ended.
    With that mindset of the time and for a period after it would be difficult for the affected person to forgive or forget.
    You cannot put a modern spin on it no matter how you try it was of the time.
    However much people of the time and after did not like the so called relationships I am sure it helped the countries to forgive and forget in the most simple of terms as time progressed.

    Below non frat card and associated propaganda posters show how the enemy leaders at the time were seen and the peoples of that enemy nation would be lumped in the same pot by the many of the affected nations.

    Montgomery's 4 Letters on Non-Fraternisation and Personal Message to the German Populace, 1945, and 1950s Ration Books.


    Canadian WWII Propaganda
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  18. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    I've attached a document that my father received a while back ( Its the reason that he gave up on a lost cause.) Has you will see, it has a interesting first name. I would like to take up your kind offer, but I'm rather busy with a few battlefield studies that i have paid for in 2019. If others need it, I'm willing to post the translation that came with it?


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  19. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    Very complex, as you imply CL1.
    Another aspect - I have a friend whose mother was a German Jew and fell for a British soldier, in Germany, after the final invasion. They returned to the UK.
    After reading the first link on your last post, I don't know when or where they were married, and if they faced any hostility. Don't like to ask my friend, I get the feeling it's a sensitive subject.
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  20. SteveDee

    SteveDee Well-Known Member

    That non-frat document is very interesting, especially point 3b.

    Did the Forces really have the power to stop one adult from marrying someone of his/her choice?

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