Journal Article

French Colonial Soldiers in German PRISONER-OF-WAR Camps (1940–1945)

Raffael Scheck

in French History

Published on behalf of Society for the Study of French History

Volume 24, issue 3, pages 420-446
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0269-1191
Published online July 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-4542 | DOI:
French Colonial Soldiers in German PRISONER-OF-WAR Camps (1940–1945)

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After the conclusion of the armistice with France, the Germans held approximately 120,000 non-white soldiers from the French colonies in France's Occupied Zone. Based on new research in French and German archives, this article argues that the treatment of these prisoners by the Germans was less harsh than is often assumed and that being held in France was an advantage for the POWs. The article further shows that the prisoners experienced a profound disillusionment with the Vichy authorities and later with the Gaullist state. The POW experience therefore helped to drive a wedge between the French state and its colonial soldiers.

Journal Article.  14036 words. 

Subjects: European History

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