Apology for Girlfriends of German Soldiers?

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by CL1, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I think serving soldiers previously had to ask CO's permission to marry, no matter to whom. So even if it was generally speaking just a formality I'd imagine that there'd be occasions when permission would not be granted, especially if it was against standing orders.

    In the recesses of my mind there a memory of some very odd post-war practices requiring not only the usual background checks of prospective wives but also medical examinations and tests...and that was for GI brides! The British might have also required similar in post-war Germany.

    Edit, links:
    Permission to get married letter??

    Getting married - Army Families Federation

    "Many war brides complained about the humiliating and unnecessary medical examinations."

    The REAL story of the GI brides: How British wartime girls married dashing US soldiers to start new life in America... only to find their men were drunks, womanisers and thieves | Daily Mail Online
    "a holding site for war brides where US officials would carry out embarrassing medical exams on the new wives before granting them passage to their new homes."

    (added quotes for clarity)
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Incidentally: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/3808/1/Harrison12PhD.pdf


    ABSTRACT This study focuses on the experiences of young girls, who were aged between four and twenty-one when the Occupation began, growing up in Occupied France during World War II. Although youth and gender have been researched independently, this has been in terms of the policies that were implemented by the Vichy regime. Similarly studies on public opinion focus on the population as a whole rather than on a specific category of people. Using archival documents and published testimonies, my research explores the complexities surrounding the formation of opinions towards the Germans in young girls’ minds and how these opinions reflect their age and gender. An important factor in this interplay is that the Germans were often not much older than these young girls so in peacetime the two would have belonged to similar peer groups. In contrast to adults who could make conscious decisions about how to behave towards the enemy, young girls tended to react more naturally and instinctively. The thesis therefore argues that their accounts provide a deeper and more nuanced insight into public opinion at this time.

    Contains a lot of background info. about the time, in a 284 page pdf
  3. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The non fraternisation policy was soon circumvented by the Western Allied forces as relationships were established.There were more important challenges for the Western Allies such as the emergence of the Cold War and the Western Allies realised that they would require the goodwill of the former enemy to develop alliances against a potential enemy. The total relaxation of the non fraternisation policy eventually came to pass but it might well be that a blind eye was applied by the authorities as soon as they recognised the disadvantages of the policy.In any case,Montgomery issued the 3rd of his four messages on the policy to Allied forces on 25 September 1945.relaxing the policy but retaining the forbidding billeting with Germans and inter marriage.By 1949,the founding of the GFR was enabled by the Western Allies and by this time the policy was long gone.Allied forces being allowed to intermarry from early 1947.....less than two years following Germany's defeat.

    Field-Marshal Montgomery and the fraternisation ban

    As regards the fall of Berlin and Russian occupying forces in Berlin, it has been recorded that senior officers maintained German mistresses who were described as "war wives"

    Early postwar,my wife's cousin as a member of the British occupation forces married a German girl. I cannot say that her presence in England drew any adverse attitude from others,probably due to the area having many Poles and Yugoslavs as DPs settling down to a new life.I do recollect it was said by my mother in law that when they had intense disagreements,C would revert to German.

    I would agree what Steve Dee has posted (#34) to a certain extent.However at school during the war,the media and BBC radio was the conduit for the British government's propaganda to the British public home front.One of the most striking aspects of British propaganda was in the form of "A good German is a dead German".It has to be emphasised that there was an intense hatred of the Germans during the war.
    Ramiles likes this.
  4. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I did look for a thread on "non-fraternisation-policy" and there was this: F/m Montgomery's Non-fraternisation Policy Letters

    Just after VE day, in Germany with the Sherwood Rangers, my grandfather wrote this:

    "We’ve just had a lecture from the O.C. He said the Corps Commander wishes all the troops to look back on the period of occupation with pleasure etc. So guards are to be cut to a safe minimum and football and other sports put in full swing. The old boy probably meant cricket. Also classes of Army Educational Scheme. Well, they’ve a hell of a lot of ground to make up for me to find any pleasure here. How can any army possibly enjoy themselves under such conditions? We must not fraternise, can you imagine it, there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do, no shops. There is really and truly no organisation for the fighting soldier who is temporarily occupying the dumps till…

    …new troops take over. By the time the peace-time soldier arrives there will be plenty of everything. It doesn’t really matter because most of us are going along much as usual and watching for our demob number. The Russian, Poles and Italians seem to do pretty well as they please, much to our disgust, if it were left to us we’d darn soon settle their hash, but orders is orders. Never tell me anything about the Glorious Russians, if these are a patch of them they’re scum and I for one feel sympathy for the Boche East of the Elbe. They rape and that’s one thing I’d never countenance from anyone."

    You could make rules about non-fraternisation but you needed law and order, etc. in order to enforce it.
  5. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    If you need help to trace thatGerrman jewish lady, let me know. It would help to know the city where they married. Then it is possible to receive a coy of the marrige certificate.
    TriciaF likes this.
  6. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    "If you need help to trace that Gerrman jewish lady, let me know. It would help to know the city where they married. Then it is possible to receive a coy of the marrige certificate."
    Thanks Stefan. I know their daughter, but as I said, she's still sensitive about the situation. I should think she knows where they were married. her parents are both dead now.
  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    The newspaper headline doesn't seem to jive with the pdf article. I added the bold.

    Over 70,000 women sailed to America to start a new life with their husbands in 1946.
    The majority of women did make successful lives in their new homes. For some
    though the reality of life with husbands in peacetime was not what they expected. Many had
    not even seen their husbands in civilian clothes. For others their partners were still in Europe so they travelled to meet and live with
    strangers, not always facing a warm welcome.
    There are no figures available on the amount of brides that returned to Great Britain or those that found the price of leaving everything familiar behind was too high
    Ramiles likes this.
  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Dave55 likes this.
  9. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Hello Steve,

    I'm rather interested has to which dictionary definition that you obtained the above information from? You have not given a source!
    I'm going off the Concise Oxford English Dictionary on page 564. It do's not say the above. I may be missing something here? This tomb of a book is rather thick at about 1000 pages. I will hold up my hand if you can provide another source?

  10. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

  11. BarbaraWT

    BarbaraWT Member

    I think a good number of those women who “slept with the enemy” may have been doing it to feed families. Given how disadvantaged women are by war, they should never be punished for such actions.
    ecalpald likes this.


    Sounds like some Norwegian politician attempting to win votes by commenting on an issue that he's got no interest in, no personal ax to grind, and no real possibility of saying anything too controversial.

    I agree with Von Poop, and further add that it's not only a non issue in this day and age but a mere exercise in media manipulation.

Share This Page