Theft and looting during the Battle of Normandy

Posters Normandie 1944 (Jeanne d'Arc)
The theft and looting of Normandy households and farmsteads by liberating soldiers began on June 6 1944 and never stopped during the entire summer. One woman - from the town of Colombieres - is quoted saying: They are looting everything and going into houses everywhere on the pretext of looking for Germans. Even more feared, of course, was the crime of rape - and here too the true picture has arguably been expunged from popular memory. The evidence shows that sexual violence against women by Allied servicemen in liberated Normandy was common. Reference: William Hitchcock´s The Bitter Road to Freedom. According to the American Professor and historian Robert Lilly, there were around 3,500 rapes by American servicemen in France between June 1944 and the end of World War II. According to an article in Der Spiegel by Klaus Wiegrefe, many personal memoirs of Allied soldiers have been willfully ignored by historians until now because they were at odds with the "Greatest Generation" mythology surrounding World War II, but this has recently started to change with books such as "The Day of Battle" by American journalist and author Rick Atkinson (winner of the Pulitzer Prize) where he describes Allied war crimes in Italy, and "D-Day: The Battle for Normandy" by British historian Anthony Beevor. References: Spiegel Online 05/04/2010. Credit: Wikipedia. Image: French Poster: Criminals always return to the scene of the crime. Public domain. See Original Poster.

1 comment:

  1. tonyss15/5/18

    This is a US Navy photo, taken soon after the liberation of Cherbourg, July 1944, showing German propaganda posters stuck up on a wall. The central one says something like "Assassins always return to the scene of their crimes". This refers to Allied bombing raids on France - it is an attempt to stir up bad feeling against the Allies due to French civilian casualties in these raids.

    The posters on either side are obviously trying to turn French opinion in favour of the Nazi regime. The one to the right is a recruiting posters to encourage French people to join the Waffen SS. It says "If you want France to live, you will fight in the Waffen-SS against Communism." It's painted from a photo taken by SS Kriegsberichter Duerr.

    The one on the left is presumably meant to show someone holding back the tides of the Soviets.

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