School of History

HST6734 – France: Occupation, Resistance and Collaboration in the Second World War

Module code: HST6734

Credits: 30
Semester: YEAR

Module Convenor: Professor Julian Jackson

In 6 weeks in the summer of 1940 the French army was decisively defeated by the forces of Nazi Germany. The French government signed an armistice and for the next four year France was partially occupied by the Germans. This was the most traumatic and controversial period of French modern French history. After the war a myth was created that the majority of the French population had 'resisted' the Germans but more recent research uncovered the extent of French collaboration. 75,000 Jews were deported and killed. with the complicity of the French authorities. These are the themes and issue examined by this this module: to examine the validity of these concepts of 'resistance' and 'collaboration'. But it is impossible to understand the reactions of the French people to defeat and occupation without going back to the history of the 1930s. So the module opens with the events of 6 February 1934 when there was a violent riot in Paris in which 15 people were killed. The left-wing government claimed that it had thwarted an attempted fascist uprising; the right wing claimed that the government had massacred innocent patriots. This sparked off ten years of division in French politics which descended into near civil war under the impact of the Occupation. The sources to be used will include diaries and memoirs, novels, (for example the famous Resistance novel 'The Silence of the Sea'), films ('The Great Illusion', 'The Crow') and official government archives. The module seeks to foster an awareness of international perspectives in a four-day excursion* to Paris, where students explore major sites, including the Mmorial de la Shoah and the Museum of Resistance, and consider how the German Occupation has been remembered in France. This module MUST be taken in conjunction with HST6700 History Research Dissertation. *Please note that students may be expected to make a financial contribution

Preliminary Reading

Julian Jackson, France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944 (Oxford, 2001)

Robert Gildea, Marianne in Chains (London, 2002)

Assessment: Source Analysis (1,000 words) 12.5%, Essay 1 (2,000 words) 25%, Essay 2 (3,000 words) 37.5%, Take Home Exam (2,000 words) 25%
Level: 6