Horizontal Collaboration

This is an interesting story:

Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg has issued an official government apology to Norwegian women who were mistreated over World War Two-era relationships with German soldiers.

Many of the Norwegian-German children were born in the German-administered Lebensborn (Fountain of Life) maternity facilities set up from 1941 by the Nazis in the country.

The women who had relationships with the soldiers became known by the nickname the “German Girls”, and were targeted for reprisals in Norway when the war ended – standing accused of betraying the country.

Punishments included being deprived of civil rights, detained or expelled from the country to Germany along with their children.

I have recommended Keith Lowe’s superb book Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of WWII before, and will do so again. He goes into substantial detail on the topic of the treatment of women in occupied countries who had relations with German soldiers, particularly in Norway:

The number of sexual relationships that took place between European women and Germans during the war is quite staggering. In Norway as many as 10 per cent of women aged between fifteen and thirty had German boyfriends during the war.

Regarding coercion, he has this to say:

On the whole European women slept with Germans not because they were forced to, or because their own men were absent, or because they needed money or food – but simply because they found the strong, ‘knightly’ image of the German soldiers intensely attractive, especially compared to the weakened impression they had of their own menfolk. In Denmark, for example, wartime pollsters were shocked to discover that 51 per cent of Danish women openly admitted to finding German men more attractive than their own compatriots.

The alt-right is fond of claiming western women support mass migration and open borders because they find their own menfolk emasculated, and any successful invader automatically becomes more attractive. The above paragraph would appear to support that argument (see also the young women who flock to refugee camps and immediately sleep with the residents). Lowe then describes the reprisals carried out on such women at the end of the war, which were particularly nasty in France and the Netherlands. Regarding Norway, he says this:

The study of Norwegian attitudes towards what they termed the ‘war children’ of German soldiers is a particularly rich area because, unlike in other countries, these attitudes are so well documented. In the aftermath of the war the Norwegian authorities set up a War Child Committee to consider what to do with such children.43 For a short time, therefore, the problem was openly discussed here in a way that it was not anywhere else in Europe.

There were good reasons why other countries didn’t want to talk about it:

In Denmark 5,579 babies were born with a registered German father – and undoubtedly many more whose German paternity was concealed. In Holland the number of children born to German fathers is thought to have been anything between 16,000 and 50,000.  In Norway, which had only a third of the population of Holland, between 8,000 and 12,000 such children were born. And in France the number is thought to be around 85,000 or even higher. The total number of children fathered by German soldiers in occupied Europe is unknown, but estimates vary between one and two million.

The treatment of children born of German fathers during the occupation of Norway included forced exile, being declared mentally unsound, and denied full citizenship and schooling. Given Norway is one of the more enlightened countries in Europe, one can imagine it was a lot worse elsewhere (in the Netherlands, some were killed outright at the end of the war). It’s hardly surprising national governments just buried the whole issue and moved on, but the impact on thousands of children must have been enormous.

There is also the question of whether the women deserved such treatment. In Norway at least, sleeping with a German soldier was not a crime, and the post-war laws were applied retroactively. As one girl complained, she was 19 and the Germans were the de facto government and had been for some time. Leaving aside the fact that teenage girls and women in their early twenties can hardly be expected to be immune from falling in love with whoever struts around town in the best uniforms, how was anyone to know the Germans were not going to be there forever? For much of the occupation it must have seemed that way to a lot of people; for how long were young women expected to wait for liberation?

The anger these relationships generated among the male population is understandable, and Lowe goes into detail on its origins. However, it’s hard to say with 70 years’ hindsight that all these women deserved to be abused, beaten, humiliated, and sometimes killed because of their relationships with German soldiers. Credit is due the Norwegian government for looking into this sordid episode of their past and issuing an apology, particularly as no other country dared even approach the subject. Surprisingly – or perhaps not, given their true intentions – the treatment of women following the liberation of Europe warrants nary a mention from feminists, outside of the mass rapes of the Red Army.

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58 thoughts on “Horizontal Collaboration

  1. Its more grist to the mill that women are the ultimate pragmatists. They gravitate to what works at the current point in time, rather than any longer term thoughts. Presumably because women, being the weaker sex, and likely to have attached children to care for, need a protector/provider right now, and it doesn’t matter too much to them who that is, in moral or ethical terms. If the Nazis are in charge now and have the best stuff, better hitch your wagon to one of them. If the Red Army had rolled through Norway at some later date, women would have switched allegiance to them instead.

    As Robert Plant sang ‘Soul of a woman was created below’……..

  2. Jim beat me to it. When looking for someone to have children with, women across the wold and throughout history are – and always have been – by far the more adventurous, being much more willing to look outside of their ‘tribe’ than men are.

  3. Not entirely true. Women are predisposed to “breed out” even if all other variables are equal. You can’t blame emasculated western men for everything.
    (Ed. Posted before Clarissa.)

  4. The treatment of these women, and especially their children, was pretty appalling. Interesting that the whole issue, including the revenge of the liberated, was quickly covered up. Has any historian investigated which were the prime motors of the post war tarring and feathering: was it previously excluded men or jealous women?

  5. I’m torn about this. Both sides of the issue are normal reactions to an invasion and/or occupation. I don’t see that the apology was necessary.

    To support your case, I imagine those countries which mostly just folded without a fight gave their men a poor reputation. Women like the strong horse and their biological clocks keep ticking no matter who is in charge.

  6. Hey these guys had an active outdoorsy lifestyle, a desire to travel to various European locations and an enjoyment of long walks in the (Polish) countryside, I expect they would be a hit on any dating website of today.

  7. I dunno about the rights and wrongs of it. I suppose the question is, how did all this compare to the punishments meted out to non-sexual collaborators?

  8. Women are predisposed to “breed out” even if all other variables are equal.

    So are men. It’s an evolved response to prevent inbreeding within a limited genetic pool.

  9. OK, these women shouldn’t have been treated harshly for willingly collaborating with an enemy force, per Tim. Fair enough. As you say the Nazi’s sure looked like winners and the poor things were just young and horny.

    Now…

    Those filthy, cowardly, disgusting TEENAGE BOYS who didn’t bravely rush the first Panzer they saw? Fuck those traitors, amirite?!? And remind me what the punishment for desertion is? What about avoiding the draft – a process that enslaves young men and forces them to die for king and country? Serves em right says I.

    Please. In all countries treason is an automatic death sentence, unless of course you are a poor little lady who is just looking to for love and supplying future troops to your enemy, I guess. Not to mention all retroactive apologies from politicians are just virtue signalling nonsense.

  10. Fraternisation also occurred in our Channel Islands:

    On 15 May, a week after VE Day, The Times and the Daily Mirror reported that eight hundred Jerseywomen had had children by German soldiers. The reports pointed out that under Jersey law, if the mothers were married their husbands had a legal responsibility for the child’s maintenance, regardless of whether or not they had fathered it, and there was no divorce law. …
    It provoked real antagonism amongst islanders when girls who had been having affairs with Germans effortlessly switched their attentions to British soldiers.

    (Bunting, Madeleine. The Model Occupation: The Channel Islands Under German Rule, 1940–1945. London: HarperCollins, 1995. 259–60.)

    But sometimes women exhibit an odd attraction for the defeated. Someone on the WW2Talk forum posted an anecdote:

    Before the war ended, my mother worked at a local brewery in the bottling plant. Every morning a small party of German PWs under the supervision of an escorting British Sergeant was trucked to work in the brewery. One morning, evidently one of the PWs cheeked the Sergeant who reacted by thumping him. The victim was quite popular with the ladies and they asserted to the foreman that if that particular Sergeant was seen on the camp again, they would walk out! They got their wish; only in England could this happen in wartime!

    One should be sceptical of family anecdotes but it parallels other accounts:

    The fact that the hospital now housed an SS officer caused a minor sensation. The American nurses who tended the German officers were shocked and excited. One even simpered, “You’re pretty nice—for an SS officer!” Thereafter, as Erich Huett recalled after the war, “A whole procession of lady majors, lady captains, and lady lieutenants came to visit and stare at me, as if I were some particularly rare animal.”

    (Whiting, Charles. ’44: In combat from Normandy to the Ardennes. 1984. Stroud: Spellmount, 2007. 167–8.)
    Whiting also describes similar fraternisation in the other direction with Allied POWs in Germany allowed out on working parties enjoying the ‘favours’ of fräuleins whenever opportunity afforded, e.g.

    Sergeant Al Brenner, a POW since 1943, was assigned to a working party when he became involved with a woman whose husband had been killed in Russia for “Folk, Fatherland and Führer,” as the Nazi slogan had it. Brenner took the plunge. He deserted to the woman’s farm and lived with her until April 1945, when the farm was finally captured by the British. Asked if he wished to be repatriated, Brenner’s laconic answer was, “Hell, no—why?”

    (Whiting, 160.)

    The attraction of the ‘alpha warrior’ is understandable from a biological perspective, but here we have instances of fraternisation where there is no obvious material advantage to be gained, and with beaten enemies, which one would expect would considerably reduce someone’s apparent alpha status. And wrt the wounded SS bloke, he was on a military ward surrounded by other wounded ‘alpha warriors’, the majority of whom also the nurses’ fellow-Americans.

    For modern examples of this phenomenon, there was e.g. a female prison guard, a Swiss native (and married), who absconded with a Syrian inmate convicted of rape. And from Britain, e.g. a WPC who had an affair with a ‘prolific offender’ recently released from prison.

    As Goethe wrote: „O die Verstellung und der Leichtsinn der Weiber ist so recht zusammengepaart[.]“
    O! the treachery and the fickleness of women are rightly matched[.]
    (Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. Halle 1889. 96. English translation from Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship and Travels, translated by Thomas Carlyle, vol.1. 1824. 145.)

    Wrt the behaviour of women in general (NAWALT, obvs, but enough; I genuinely love the outliers though—Ann Coulter for Empress of the Anglosphere!), some argue that feminism is just a s**t-test on a societal scale—they are testing our manhood and are really wanting masculine society to put them firmly in their place. Others argue that women, barring some outliers, are simply children, hardly able to understand themselves what they really want.

  11. To add to what Sam wrote wrt the treatment of female collaborators: consider that it was lenient compared to that meted out to the males, many of whom were simply executed. Here is an instance where 12 captured French members of the ‘Charlemagne’ Regiment (33. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS „Charlemagne“ (französische Nr. 1)) were shot out of hand.

    Any defence of the ‘over-friendly’ when not outright collaborating women applies just as much to those soldats. It obviously was not a crime in Vichy France to enlist in either its institutions (Milice française) or German ones (Légion des Volontaires Français contre le Bolchévism), and from their pov, they were being patriotic; and if Jerry had won, there would be statues to les héros of la Trente-troisième.

    Now IDGAF about traitors fighting for the wrong side—and IDGAF about collaborating trollops; AFAIC, they should consider themselves fortunate they got away with only having their heads shaved and paraded around for a while. I suspect if those 12 French soldiers had been given a choice, they would have opted for getting their heads shaved and stuck in a zoo cage for a while to getting a bullet.

  12. I don’t see that the apology was necessary.

    Nor do I, but at least it shows the Norwegians had the balls to look at the subject, not pretend it never happened.

  13. Credit is due the Norwegian government for looking into this sordid episode of their past and issuing an apology, particularly as no other country dared even approach the subject

    No, it’s not. Apologising for what was considered justifiable in past is weakness and pandering to SJWs. No different to those who capitulate to SJW twitter trolls for “causing offence”.

    Seems the HR SJW virus has infected you, have you bought a cat?

  14. In all countries treason is an automatic death sentence

    Having relations with a German soldier was not a crime, hence the Norwegians had to apply the law retroactively. Interestingly, Lowe’s book also looks at what constituted treacherous behaviour in the eyes of the post-war governments. Did a baker commit treason by supplying bread to German soldiers? What if he was also, by keeping his bakery open, also keeping the townspeople fed?

  15. “it’s hard to say with 70 years’ hindsight that all these women deserved to be abused, beaten, humiliated, and sometimes killed because of their relationships with German soldiers”

    No, it’s easy to say. They knew it was wrong. They knew what they were doing. The next generation knew it was wrong, and also knew there would be consequences.

  16. For modern examples of this phenomenon, there was e.g. a female prison guard, a Swiss native (and married), who absconded with a Syrian inmate convicted of rape.

    It’s a well-known phenomenon that death row inmates in the US are showered with fan mail, much of it from young women. The mind boggles.

  17. AFAIC, they should consider themselves fortunate they got away with only having their heads shaved and paraded around for a while

    Lowe makes that point in the book.

  18. Apologising for what was considered justifiable in past is weakness

    I don’t think many thought it was justifiable, and a lot of the affected children will still be alive. This is somewhat different from apologising for the slave trade, for example.

  19. No, it’s easy to say. They knew it was wrong.

    I love amateur psychiatry over the internet, especially regarding events which happened 70 years ago.

  20. Having relations with a German soldier was not a crime.

    Which is my point, kind host. Treason is subjective, and only applied to the actions of men.

    Did a baker commit treason by supplying bread to German soldiers? What if he was also, by keeping his bakery open, also keeping the townspeople fed?

    Sure there are degrees of collaboration, and any hard line is going to be arbitrary. But if you equate baking bread and keeping townspeople from starving to fucking the enemy in full view of a demoralized, conquered people then…we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  21. But if you equate baking bread and keeping townspeople from starving to fucking the enemy in full view of a demoralized, conquered people then…we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    That’s pretty much what did happen in France. Whereas those who served on the Vichy government often didn’t suffer any punishment at all.

  22. Given the times and circumstances I have no concerns about their treatment, men died fighting while they slept around (the offspring however are not responsible for parents actions), there is always a bill to pay.

  23. men died fighting while they slept around

    Part of the reason for their treatment afterwards was down to the fact that men hadn’t died fighting, and they were looking to restore lost honour. The Danes lost 26 men in the Nazi invasion.

  24. Admittedly the British experience was very different but about 25000 German POWs settled in Britain after the war including my godfather George, a Bavarian JU-87 pilot who’d been captured in the western desert. He met his wife whilst being held on the Wanstead Flats in east London and they lived nearby until he retired in the 80s. It wasn’t until 3-4 years ago I could say for certain that George definitely hadn’t killed my Great Uncle Fred.

    In any case whatever you think of the women, treating the children like shit is not on. Unless you think inherited guilt is a good idea, in which case you might want to look over your own shoulder – there’s plenty of historical guilt to go round.

  25. Not exactly an issue here given Denmarks military position, but some did die and as the war went on many more suffered and I’m sure the women were aware of the deaths all over Europe resulting from the actions of their smiling lovers. Norwegians and Danes fought in our special forces to free their nations….the women knew what they were doing.

  26. So the men can surrender without a fight and stand by as the Jews are hauled off into camps, but teenage girls are beyond the pale for fraternizing with the occupiers, many of whom would have been near-kids their own age? Right.

  27. …men can…

    …but teenage girls are…

    I am questioning your ability to apply the same leniency – to the point of agreeing with useless political virtue signalling – that you’ve granted young women to young men, who are universally mocked, beaten, and killed for anything less than dying for their country. The subtle men:teenage girl conflation above doesn’t help.

    I’ve not made it clear, but as far as I’m concerned all people should be granted context for their actions in such stressing circumstances, though I do not expect a conquered nation, subsequently liberated, to be kind either.

  28. I’m applying the same leniency. I wouldn’t have expected the men (who were largely men, not teenagers) to have let themselves get massacred trying to stem the German invasion any more than I’d blame teenage girls (the older ones I may be less forgiving of) for fraternizing with the occupying forces. But if we’re going to condemn the women, let’s not pretend the men covered themselves in glory either.

    The point of my post was that in times of war and occupation morals get severely tested, and people get treated rather more harshly than perhaps they deserve. Maybe that’s a little too nuanced for some.

  29. “25000 German POWs settled in Britain after the war including my godfather George, a Bavarian JU-87 pilot who’d been captured in the western desert. He met his wife whilst being held on the Wanstead Flats in east London and they lived nearby until he retired in the 80s.”

    Its has to be considered also that there was a shortage of men in general at the time, given the two wars had thinned out the male ranks a bit, so it might end up being a case of marry a POW or not get married at all……in my family I had two great aunts who never married, one born in the Edwardian era so she was one who lost out due to WW1 and one born in the 1920s, so she could have been affected by the losses of WW2.

  30. As the old saw goes: ‘Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? / For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.’ (Sir John Harrington, 1618)
    The only lesson is: Don’t lose. It’s not that the winners write the history books but that they get to decide who hangs.

    Exiled French royalists fought on our side during the Napoleonic Wars to remove the usurper Buonaparte and restore a Bourbon king. One sympathises with them and their cause as, being on our side, they were the Good Guys, as we’re always the Good Guys. But there is no denying that they were fighting their own countrymen.
    A century and a half before that the Battle of the Dunes (1658) saw exiled British royalists allying with Spain to remove the usurper Cromwell and restore a Stuart king. Cromwell’s English forces beat ‘Johnny Foreigner’—but the forces he defeated included not only fellow British but the ancestral regiments of some of our most famous including the Grenadier and Life Guards; and they were fighting for their lawful king. Meanwhile, Cromwell’s army were likely mostly loyal sons of England little minding whether they fought under Cromwell’s or Charles’s banner.
    And if the later American Rebellion had been fought with greater success, the people whom Americans revere as their Founding Fathers would have been hanged as traitors, and mostly damned by history.

    Enoch Powell, disagreeing with Margaret Thatcher that nuclear weapons were ‘necessary for the defence of our values’, stated:

    We do not fight for values. I would fight for this country even if it had a Communist government. … [V]alues exist in a transcendental realm, beyond space and time. They can neither be fought for, nor destroyed.

    I don’t think there’s an obviously right or wrong answer here (at least not for the ordinary bod who doesn’t do duty in a torture chamber), apart from the cynical: Don’t be on the losing side.
    (Louis Malle’s 1974 Lacombe, Lucien has this theme: a young Frenchman rejected by the Maquis for his youth, more or less accidentally ends up in the Milice instead.)

  31. They were collaborators and should be treated as such. I have as little sympathy for the women in the west today who take 3rd world boyfriends and end up beaten, raped or abused by them. They got exactly what they deserved. If you step outside your own people, you should consider the protection of your own people has been withdrawn.

  32. If you step outside your own people, you should consider the protection of your own people has been withdrawn.

    I dunno. I think the time for protecting one’s womenfolk from invaders is when the invaders turn up. And tarring and feathering women for sleeping with the wrong men is an odd sort of protection. I suspect most just wanted to be left alone.

  33. Tim – these Scandiwegians who failed to defend their country against a vastly superior German army – how many of them subsequently joined up with the Germans? and how were they punished after the war? Seems to me that’s the best way to tell whether the women were treated unfairly or not.

    Leaving aside the question of right and wrong, I suppose that a willingness to punish traitors, even unfairly, is a mark of a healthy society. A nation that didn’t punish collaborators at all is probably not going to be around much longer.

    I think the treatment of the kids is a separate case: it’s definitely unfair, even unjust – but perhaps not unwise: from a national security standpoint, it might be better, 20 years later, not to have 50,000 young men with split loyalties inside your borders. In 1945, who could have been certain that there wouldn’t be a round three?

    Finally, if you poke around inside British anti-Americanism you find a lot of it stems from American soldiers’s affairs with British women in the war. I wonder if people would feel better if they could’ve shaved a few heads and got the resentment out of their system.

  34. Tim – these Scandiwegians who failed to defend their country against a vastly superior German army – how many of them subsequently joined up with the Germans? and how were they punished after the war? Seems to me that’s the best way to tell whether the women were treated unfairly or not.

    This assumes switching sides and fighting alongside the invaders is the same as civilian women sleeping with them. That’s not an argument I’d like to make, especially when I think of the number of British colonial officers (military and civilian) who married locals.

    Leaving aside the question of right and wrong, I suppose that a willingness to punish traitors, even unfairly, is a mark of a healthy society. A nation that didn’t punish collaborators at all is probably not going to be around much longer.

    This is basically how women get treated in the rougher parts of the Islamic world.

    Finally, if you poke around inside British anti-Americanism you find a lot of it stems from American soldiers’s affairs with British women in the war. I wonder if people would feel better if they could’ve shaved a few heads and got the resentment out of their system.

    Okay, but what punishment should the American men receive for sleeping with “our” women?

  35. Okay, but what punishment should the American men receive for sleeping with “our” women?

    A swift kick to the goolies should suffice.

  36. Women can protect themselves, Tim. All they have to do is not fuck the foreign boy and stay away from where they congregate. No woman accidentally finds herself socialising with foreign men, nor accidentally having sex with them. Any women so ready to leave her own people for the promise of foreign mystique deserves nothing but scorn when it all goes bad if for no other reason than to set an example for those on the fence.

  37. No woman accidentally finds herself socialising with foreign men, nor accidentally having sex with them.

    Nobody’s saying otherwise, are they?

    Any women so ready to leave her own people for the promise of foreign mystique deserves nothing but scorn when it all goes bad if for no other reason than to set an example for those on the fence.

    “Scorn” in this case being beaten, shaved, stripped naked, and sometimes killed by their own menfolk.

  38. Seems perfectly appropriate for wartime. They made choices to join with the invaders, suffering the invaders fate is quite just.

  39. It looks to me less like justice and more like men making up for their own failures and humiliation by taking it out on their women.

  40. It looks to me less like justice and more like men making up for their own failures and humiliation by taking it out on their women.

    (assuming the country does try to resist)
    Is it the fault of the men?
    The government fails to prepare, prepares badly and/or the leadership lose the war because of bad tactics / strategy.
    The men have just been fighting and dying, watching their mates get blown apart to try, however futile, to defend their homeland. Then, when they get home, they see some trollop with the same enemy balls deep in her. Kinda going to rub people the wrong way.
    How much is losing a war the fault of a single soldier?
    We could defend our country along the lines of Sparta – come back victorious or don’t. But considering the quality of the leadership, would you want to throw your life away for them? rely on them to keep you alive and free?

    Better to abandon a losing battle then form a militia or resistance at home to fight the enemy. Using all the guns that the previous generation allowed the government to take… Sh…ugar.

  41. Then, when they get home, they see some trollop with the same enemy balls deep in her. Kinda going to rub people the wrong way.

    I can fully understand the sentiment, I just don’t think it’s very fair. Sure, a lot of Norwegians fought the Nazis either in the resistance or abroad, but I don’t think they were the ones who were shaving women’s heads after liberation.

    I think my broader point is this: those societies whereby the men are not prepared to fight like hell and take huge casualties have a flip side which means their women are going to take up with the invaders in large numbers. I don’t think the Soviets or Japanese women slept with the Germans and Americans respectively in large numbers, probably because it would be abhorrent in their culture – the same culture which had the men fighting fanatically, rather than meekly giving up to avoid casualties. So for men whose culture does not make them fight to wait until *someone else* liberates them before setting about their women for sleeping with the occupiers is a little hypocritical. It’s understandable, and there are deep emotional reasons for it, but the men don’t come off looking very good IMO.

  42. It looks to me less like justice and more like men making up for their own failures and humiliation by taking it out on their women

    …and children.

    I remembered one of the members of ABBA was one of the children in question. A quick look at her wikipedia page led to this:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/jun/30/kateconnolly.theobserver

    It’s all pretty rough but at the bottom it quotes from one women’s autobiography:
    ‘As a two-year-old living with foster parents, I was chained up with the dog in the yard,…’As a six-year-old I was thrown in the river by a man from my village, who said he wanted to see if “the witch will drown or float”…At the age of nine or 10, she says, drunken villagers from Bursr, near Trondheim, branded her forehead with a swastika made of bent nails, and threatened to rape her. ‘A woman saved me, and I rubbed sandpaper on my skin to get rid of the swastika.’

  43. The reason for the treatment of the women was to set an example – that actions have consequences. Otherwise, in future women will know there’s no downside to fraternisation. While the going is good they get better food etc, and if it goes pear shaped, there’s no consequences. If that applied to men as well it would dissolve nations. In addition, it undermined families – the soldiers didn’t marry them – and reared some Trojan horses.

    You can understand the young girls, but you can understand the attitude of the women who didn’t collaborate – that actions have consequences.

  44. [You assume] switching sides and fighting alongside the invaders is the same as civilian women sleeping with them. That’s not an argument I’d like to make, especially when I think of the number of British colonial officers (military and civilian) who married locals.

    Well, it’s close enough. It’s supporting the enemy in quite a profound way. That’s especially the case if sex leads to marriage and children. A man who fights alongside the enemy, killing his own countrymen, is increasing the population of the enemy relative to his own; a woman who bears an enemy soldier’s child is doing the same thing. If enough women did that, then the nation would cease to exist.

    I don’t quite take your point about British colonial intermarriage. I’m sure the locals frowned upon the intermarriage quite seriously, and would’ve done much more than frown if they could.

    Leaving aside the question of right and wrong, I suppose that a willingness to punish traitors, even unfairly, is a mark of a healthy society. A nation that didn’t punish collaborators at all is probably not going to be around much longer.

    This is basically how women get treated in the rougher parts of the Islamic world.

    I can think of a rough part of the Islamic world that’s survived:

    – ten years of Soviet invasion
    – five years of anarchy
    – five years of dictatorship
    – 20 years of American invasion

    If I had to bet who’ll be around fifty years from now and in more or less the same shape, I’d pick the bestial tribes of Afghanistan over the US of A.

    That’s not to say that I support the way they treat their women. But I think it’s a correct observation that a nation which balks at punishing female collaborators is less likely to last. I probably should have found a better way to characterise a lasting nation than “a healthy society”.

    Okay, but what punishment should the American men receive for sleeping with “our” women?

    Henry Crun’s answer made me laugh, and also doubles, I think, as a serious answer. Certainly, if you were a Brit in World War Two who objected to a particular GI sampling the local wares, a swift kick in the goolies would be quite effective in establishing a boundary.

    Of course, if you were GI Joe and you kept getting kicked in the nuts every time you looked at a British girl, you might wonder why the hell you were bothering to help out in the first place. Maybe having some of your womenfolk get off with foreign men is the price you pay for not being able to defend yourself. In which case, it might be considered unfair to punish the women for it.

    But then I come back to my point from before, which is that there might be some conflict between what’s fair and what’s good for the long-term health of the nation.

    In real life, I feel quite sure that the problem of American men fucking British women would have been noticed, and objections raised and solutions proferred to the Americans, who would have ignored or rejected them depending on how polite they felt like being.

    I’m not saying that it would have been better to “punish” British women who slept with Americans. It almost certainly wouldn’t’ve. But leniency definitely had its own costs, which you can still see today in the bitterness some people have for the Yanks. I can only imagine how much worse the cost of leniency would’ve been in continental Europe, where the exciting foreign men were enemies, not allies. Would it have been worse than the rough justice meted out to these women? I have no idea.

    Three last points I’d like to make (this is all getting rather long, isn’t it?):

    First, Tim seems to be laying the blame for what happened to these women at the door of men, but I am quite sure that there would’ve been plenty of women who would’ve happily joined in the tarring and feathering. (The ones who didn’t fuck enemy soldiers, natch – the loyal and the ugly.) Bear in mind also that whatever laws were passed would’ve probably passed with the acquiescence of female voters.

    Which brings me to the second one: we’re talking in particular about World War Two. A nation’s ability to defend itself successfully against Germany would’ve required serious preparation, both military and diplomatic. Since these were democracies, whether or not a nation undertook that preparation would ultimately be decided by the voters. And since these democracies all allowed women to vote, the fault for a country’s lack of preparedness, and hence the fault for its failure to defend itself, is borne by women as much as men. It’s not just because the men didn’t “fight like hell”.

    What good would it do the men in a European nation’s army to fight like hell if the government hadn’t bothered recruiting enough of them? If they hadn’t mechanised their infantry, built an air force, stockpiled oil and built the means to refine it? If they hadn’t made the proper alliances… yada yada yada. Most European nations didn’t start to do this until it was far too late.

    So it’s a bit rich to lay the blame for loss of the war only on the men. It was a collective failure. Therefore women who shack up with the invaders don’t have the excuse that their own men proved themselves unfit by letting the country get invaded. The women let the country get invaded too. (Unless you think that it’s ultimately the men’s fault for letting women have the vote.)

    Finally:

    I don’t think the Soviets or Japanese women slept with the Germans and Americans respectively in large numbers…

    Well, I couldn’t find anything on Google in the two minutes I dedicated to it – but I strongly doubt it. (And with the Soviets, how would you know? They covered up tens of millions of war dead for 50 years; how much easier to cover up this?)

  45. Tim, just one point:we Danes got our Jews out to safety (well, 95% of them). And those Danish soldiers that fought on 9April 1940 did rather well, inflicting much higher casualties on the Germans.

  46. Supporting Matthew’s point (‘I am quite sure that there would’ve been plenty of women who would’ve happily joined in the tarring and feathering’), there were many loyal women cheering or participating in the punishment of the disloyal. E.g. quoting again from Model Occupation:

    Jersey factory girl Stella Perkins joined other rebellious teenagers daubing swastikas in tar on the houses of women she had seen fraternising with Germans in the last months of the Occupation …
    Jersey farmer’s daughter Dorothy Blackwell saw how a girl was treated after she had been caught giving cigarettes to some German PoWs. Her hair was cut off and her jumper was hung on the barbed wire fence around the PoW camp. She said of the girl’s treatment: ‘I don’t think it worried us at all.’ …
    Jersey girl Mary McCarthy bumped into a friend who had been closely associated with two of the top German officers. ‘A month after the war ended, she was out riding with a British officer. I said to him, “Do you know she’s the biggest jerrybag?” He said, “Shut your bloody mouth.” I was furious. I nearly pushed him off his horse. Being patriotic doesn’t pay.’ …

    (Bunting, 259,260)

    Here is a page depicting French ‘jerrybags’ being subject to humiliation. The main photograph shows collaborating women being escorted by a female Resistance fighter (and she looks fairly attractive, Matthew, so, not all ugly); and a number of women in the crowd are smiling and obviously enjoying the spectacle.
    The page has a few YT videos (no sound), and women in the various crowds have expressions ranging from discomfort to enjoyment. The first vid shows a woman who seems to be trying to dissuade the men from punishing her: at around the 40s. mark a woman with a Red Cross armband behind and to her left (attractive, Matt!) seems to be nodding in agreement with the men, as is another woman behind her right shoulder, who grins at 34s. The second vid shows two of the women getting their heads shaved and not even minding it much. The fourth and fifth vids show plenty of women bystanders smiling and enjoying the spectacle of the women being humiliated.

    Societies rely at least as much on women to police social mores as men. So in Victorian and Edwardian times, matriarchs warned their daughters and granddaughters to keep away from ‘bad boys’, be a ‘good girl’ and marry the best man they can. In more dysfunctional cultures, women play a very active part in policing their particular social mores—one of the disturbing aspects of the Islamic culture of shame is reading how often the mothers participate in the murder of their own daughters for ‘shaming’ the family, e.g.
    Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, “Mother kills raped daughter to restore ‘honor’”, Seattle Times, 17 Nov 2003.
    Phyllis Chesler, “When Women Commit Honor Killings”, Middle East Quarterly, vol.22, no.4, Fall 2015.
    Waqar Mustafa, “Pakistan sentences mother to death for burning daughter alive in latest ‘honour killing’”, Independent, 17 Jan 2017.
    Canadian Press, “Mother convicted of killing daughters in ‘honour killing’ ordered deported”, Toronto City News, 15 Mar 2018.

    And to a large degree, it is the women promoting FGM, e.g.
    Chris Bodenner, “The Complexity of Female Circumcision: Your Thoughts”, The Atlantic, 1 May 2015. (‘In fact, elderly women [as opposed to men] often do the most to perpetuate the custom. … If we look at the data across Africa, the support for the practice is stronger among women than among men. …’)
    Mark Duell, “’My daughters were circumcised, they’re growing up perfectly’: Twitter is hit by furious backlash after Muslim group’s video promoting sickening FGM practice is seen 30,000 times”, Daily Mail, 20 Sep 2018.

    And of course, women are the gatekeepers with the power to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; and if the man ignores a ‘No’ it becomes rape, which has always been treated seriously in Western Civilisation (rape used to be a capital offence in Britain, the last man being hanged on March 30 1836; and in 1767 learned judge Sir Michael Foster wrote in his Discourse II: Of Homicide (p.274): ‘A Woman in Defence of her Chastity may lawfully kill a Person attempting to commit a Rape upon her. The Injury intended can never be repaired or forgotten.’).

  47. Sorry, Matt, I missed it, my face is red. I thought your post was very good anyway and raised solid points (esp. the enfranchisement issue) and that was but a minor quibble—and mistaken. And your previous post at 10.08AM was spot on, I was going to post similar thoughts myself (about healthy societies needing to punish treason to remain in existence) but you’re ahead of me.
    Also thought tolkein had a good point.

  48. This might be of interest to some, if not already familiar with it: It Happened Here, a 1965 film positing a successful invasion and occupation of Britain by the Nazis. (Forget about the feasibility of Seelöwe or film’s later US invasion and liberation of Britain—that’s not what the film is about.) It was made on a shoestring and the acting is often fairly amateurish—stiff; but I think that gives it a documentary feel. The main character is a plummy-voiced woman of the type common in Ealing films of the 40s and 50s, and we watch her and other Brits ‘keep calm and carry on’, except now they’re ‘making do and mend’ under a Nazi puppet regime. The most shocking moment is near the end when a British Waffen-SS unit surrenders and then are gathered in a field by British ‘Resistance’ fighters who suddenly start machine-gunning all the POWs (collaborators).
    But, but… we’re BRITISH, we don’t behave like that!
    Maybe—likely—we would; if we had to suffer occupation, and see collaborators swanning about, living it large alongside our conquerors.
    Trailer here.

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