Women in Vichy and Nazi Occupied France often found themselves facing situations in which their societal gender roles greatly influenced not only the choices that they made but also how their actions were perceived within society. Many women acted as either collaborators, resisters, or both to maintain their livelihood. How they were perceived was based in large part by how they fit into their prescribed social roles, in particular that of the self-sacrificing mother. Women who participated on both sides were often following their social expectations and obligations. Following the decline of Vichy and the end of the Occupation, however, there was an immense shift in perception that determined what a good mother was. During the Vichy regime, collaboration with both the regime was highly encouraged and expected. Thus, women collaborating during the Vichy regime were praised, only to be condemned after the occupation. Women who resisted Vichy and the Nazis were scorned, only to be glorified after. It is clear that women in both of these categories had similar motivations, but a drastic shift in public opinion made these women appear in a different light. There were only slight differences that separated many of the women who were judged based on how they adhered to their female roles within society, whether that society be under Vichy or after its decline, often without considering the difficult situations that women lived in.
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Lyons, Amelia H.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Thurlow, Katherine, "Female Collaborators and Resisters in Vichy France: Individual Memory, Collective Image" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1511.