Traitors, Heroes, Martyrs, Victims? Veterans of Nazi ‘Forced Conscription’ from Alsace and Moselle

  • Elizabeth Vlossak

Abstract

On the morning of 13 April 1955, Jean-Jacques Remetter stepped onto the station platform in Kehl, the German town directly across the Rhine from his native Strasbourg. He had travelled from Berlin wearing Russian clothing and carrying only a small wooden suitcase. He was worn and thin, and appeared far older than his 32 years. From the train station, Remetter crossed the Rhine bridge by foot into France, and made his way through the city, back to the family he had not seen since January 1943, when he had been drafted into the Wehrmacht. Remetter was one of the approximately 130,000 Frenchmen living in Nazi-annexed Alsace and Moselle who, after 1942, had been forced to serve in the German armed forces. After the war, these men became known as the Malgrd-nous (‘in spite of ourselves’).

Keywords

Collective Memory Forced Conscript French State German History French Nation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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© Elizabeth Vlossak 2015

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  • Elizabeth Vlossak

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