Love between Enemies: Western Prisoners of War and German Women in World War II

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Love between Enemies explores the forbidden relationships which formed between foreign prisoners of war and German women during the Second World War. From the desire to have fun to deep love commitments, this study examines the range of motivations which lay behind these relationships, tapping into new documents and drawing on thousands of court cases to offer a transnational analysis of personal relations between enemies. Highlighting gender roles, the contradictory reactions of the communities surrounding the couples, and the diplomatic tensions resulting from the severe punishments, this is a history of everyday life which throws light on this subversive aspect of intimacy in wartime Nazi Germany. Comparing the 'transgressing' couples to other groups persecuted for their cultural or private choices, Scheck demonstrates how the relationships were silenced or justified in the post-war memory of prisoners, while the German women, who had been publicly shamed, continued to live with the stigma, and even illegitimate children, for the years that followed.

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Cambridge University Press
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