The excellent work "Résistantes" is a publication of German origin. In spite of this, the French translation of this PhD thesis deserves attention.
Corinna von List is not the first historian to study this subject, but she provides a synthesis based on a broad analysis of sources from German, British and French archives, and in doing so, has filled a gap in the literature. In contrast to her many predecessors, she deliberately makes only limited use of interviews with contemporary witnesses. Instead she examines the biographies of 1604 Résistantes. Von List identifies three main motives that inspired women to join the Resistance: patriotism, politics and humanitarian and religious beliefs. In this way, the female resisters are in no different to their male comrades-in-arms.
One aspect which is noteworthy is the high level of education of the female resisters. More than 40% had A-levels, at a time when only just under 6% of the population finished their education with a university entrance qualification.
Von List describes in detail the way in which women were involved in the Resistance. They were not often found in the combat groups (0.5-0.6%) or at the heart of the spy networks (2.5%). This doesn't mean, however, that they were less exposed to the risk of being discovered and killed. Working as a radio operator was particularly dangerous. 47.6 % did not survive the war. Helping persecuted people or Allied soldiers, an activity in which women were particularly involved, ended fatally for 42.8 %.
This very positivist work is a treasure trove from which future historians of the Resistance will certainly draw on in abundance, not only in Germany but also in France. Written in a clear and understandable way, the book - whose French edition will soon be published in a second edition - acknowledges the importance of civil resistance in supporting military operations.
Extract from the essay by Steffen Prauser: Neueste Literatur zur französischen Résistance, in: Francia 41 (2014), pp. 421-439.
Corinna von List is co-editor of this book. It presents a fascinating and largely unknown, aspect of the German occupation of Paris.
On 15 July 1940, just one month after the German invasion of Paris, the German military authorities published a city magazine - "Der Deutsche Wegleiter". It was published every fortnight and announced the city's cultural programme (theatre, cinema, opera and museums) and recommendations for visiting places of cultural interest in and around Paris. It also covered sport, restaurant and shopping tips.
The magazine also published articles that were intended to give Germans, both soldiers and civilians, residing in Paris, an understanding of French culture. The whole magazine had a heavy bias towards German political ideology.
The "Deutsche Wegleiter" was available throughout the city and could be found at newspaper kiosks, the main underground stations, major railway stations and large bookshops.
The last issue of the "Der Deutsche Wegleiter" was published on 12 August 1944, a fortnight before the Liberation of Paris.
- La prison d’Anrath en Rhénanie – un lieu de déportation inconnu à travers les dossiers de la justice militaire britannique, in: Femmes en déportation. Les déportées de répression dans les camps nazis, 1942-1945, Nanterre: Presse universitaire de Paris Nanterre 2019 Buy here
- Die Fluchthilfenetzwerke Marie-Claire und Marie-Odile - Zwei Gründerinnen, eine überlebte Geschichte, in: Francia 43 (2016) online available
- Pearl Witherington, une agente franco-britannique au Special Operations executive, in: Actes du colloque « Journée national de la Résistance », Paris 2014
- Sous couvert de féminité. Trois domaines clés au sein des rouages civils de la Résistance: Les agentes de liaison, les secrétaires et l’hébergement, in: Francia 37 (2010) online available
- Jugement au nom du peuple. Les risques encourus par les résistantes face aux justices allemande et française, in: Les Femmes et la Résistance en Belgique et dans la zone interdite, Villeneuve-d'Ascq 2008 online available