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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 transnatio 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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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 transnatio 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.

6 review for Love Between Enemies: Western Prisoners of War and German Women in World War II

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mike Cross

    A very interesting micro-history where the author thoroughly and effectively explores all sides of the topic and weaves themes together perfectly, leaving, seemingly, no stone unturned. Insanely well researched, organized, and presented. Only critique is the author sometimes overuses examples in place of narrative. A very detailed read that is well worth it if you are even slightly interested in the subject. Highly recommended.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chandel

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brandi

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chet Patterson

  6. 5 out of 5

    Salvador Guzman

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