Open Access (free)
James E. Connolly

96 v 3 v Male misconduct Men suspected of misconduct were often high-​profile individuals in positions of authority. Municipal, administrative forms of misconduct –​ roughly analogous to what Nivet calls ‘political collaboration’1  –​ were taken seriously by the French authorities after the liberation. Members of the Gendarmerie Nationale and the Commissariat Spécial of Lille carried out time-​consuming investigations up to the end of 1919. All but two of these involved accusations of questionable occupation conduct on the part of the Mayor, the Municipal

in The experience of occupation in the Nord, 1914– 18
Open Access (free)
James E. Connolly

37 v 1 v Sexual misconduct Notions of misconduct were always heavily gendered  –​it was seen as a fundamentally female phenomenon.1 This ties in not only with the demographic of the occupied zone but also with the idea that complicity reflected weakness and submission. Similar ideas persisted after the Second World War.2 Philippe Nivet states that in 1914–​18 this gendering of what he calls collaboration was the cornerstone of the non-​occupied French view of the occupied populations as ‘Boches of the Nord’.3 In the occupied Nord, many locals also engaged in

in The experience of occupation in the Nord, 1914– 18
James E. Connolly

67 v 2 v General misconduct and popular reprisals Three main forms of misconduct involving both men and women can be identified:  denunciations, working for the Germans and espionage. As with sexual misconduct, there was a strong belief among locals that compatriots engaged in such activities, but the line between perceptions and reality is and was often blurred. Nevertheless, as will be demonstrated, the strength of belief in misconduct and disdain for perceived traitors was so great that the latter were the victims of popular reprisals and revenge during and

in The experience of occupation in the Nord, 1914– 18
James E. Connolly

31 Part I ‘Misconduct’ and disunity This first part of the book considers French behaviours under occupation that challenge the narrative of dignified suffering and patriotism.1 There is a temptation simply to label such behaviours ‘collaboration’, as certain historians have done.2 I believe that this should be avoided. Only very few members of the occupied population used the word in a negative sense,3 making its use anachronistic –​although anachronistic terms can still be useful to historians. Yet the term is too associated in French cultural and historical

in The experience of occupation in the Nord, 1914– 18
Living with the enemy in First World War France

This study considers the ways in which locals of the occupied Nord responded to and understood their situation across four years of German domination, focusing in particular on key behaviours adopted by locals, and the way in which such conduct was perceived. Behaviours examined include forms of complicity, misconduct, disunity, criminality, and resistance. This local case study calls into question overly-patriotic readings of this experience, and suggests a new conceptual vocabulary to help understand certain civilian behaviours under military occupation.

Drawing on extensive primary documentation – from diaries and letters to posters and police reports – this book proposes that a dominant ‘occupied culture’ existed among locals. This was a moral-patriotic framework, born of both pre-war socio-cultural norms and daily interaction with the enemy, that guided conduct and was especially concerned with what was considered acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. Those who breached the limits of this occupied culture faced criticism and sometimes punishment. This study attempts to disentangle perceptions and reality, but also argues that the clear beliefs and expectations of the occupied French comprise a fascinating subject of study in their own right. They provide an insight into national and local identity, and especially the way in which locals understood their role within the wider conflict.

This book will be useful to undergraduates, post-graduates and academics interested in an understudied aspect of the history of modern France, the First World War, and military occupations.

Open Access (free)
Liberation, remembering and forgetting
James E. Connolly

The departure of civilian men from Lille was ordered on 30 September;9 500 out of 1,476 municipal employees were allowed to remain, but municipal life was nevertheless paralysed.10 Here, locals committed many crimes in this period, especially theft and pillage but even some murders,11 a situation exacerbated by the German evacuation on 8 October of all French policemen under the age of fifty-​five, including the Chief Commissioner.12 Given this, it is even more surprising that few instances of violent vengeance against those accused of misconduct occurred (see

in The experience of occupation in the Nord, 1914– 18
Brian Pullan

customs of those who generally left no documentary traces apart from bald statements about their births, marriages and deaths in parish registers and necrologies. The tribunal which inquired into the misconduct of Giorgio Moreto, ‘Swarthy George’, was one of some forty Italian branches of the Roman Inquisition, responsible to the Holy Office created in 1542 and the Congregation of the Index of 1571. The ecclesiastical judges of the Inquisition functioned with the collaboration, sometimes grudgingly and sometimes enthusiastically given, of the lay authorities in the

in Judicial tribunals in England and Europe, 1200–1700
Open Access (free)
Criminality during the occupation
James E. Connolly

134 v 5 v Moral borderlands: Criminality during the occupation Examining misconduct has already required a blurring of the lines between illegal and legal definitions of behaviours in occupied France. This chapter leans towards the legal by considering general criminality, another neglected area in works on the occupation. Studying criminality poses well-​known challenges. Police reports and statistics evidently only demonstrate reported crimes, simply offering a glimpse into actual criminality  –​albeit a useful, suggestive one. Thus, the reality of

in The experience of occupation in the Nord, 1914– 18
Torsten Riotte

employees no longer faced legal persecution in cases of professional misconduct. This is why Ewald's interpretation is closely linked to the emergence of the welfare state in Europe. From the late nineteenth century, most accidents in the workplace were covered by insurance policies, with a rising number of states introducing compulsory insurance systems for employees. 10 To explain such a transition, historiography has emphasised the evolving relationship between risk, responsibility, and statehood. Julia Moses writes in

in Progress and pathology
James E. Connolly

17 Part II Popular patriotism and resistance avant la majuscule The experience of occupation in the Nord involved more than misconduct, crime and disunity. The spectrum of possible behaviour, while more restricted than in peacetime, still allowed for choices to be made. Indeed, precisely because actions were limited, the consequences of every decision were exemplified and exaggerated. The Manichean judgements of the dominant occupied culture placed those engaging in misconduct on one side of the spectrum and ‘patriots’ and those opposing the occupiers on the

in The experience of occupation in the Nord, 1914– 18