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The Liberation of Paris

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The Liberation of Paris, also referred to as the Liberation of France, took place during World War II from the 19th of August 1944 until the surrender of the occupying German army on the 25th of August. The Liberation began with an uprising by the French Resistance against the German troops. The capital of France had been governed by Nazi Germany since the signing of the Second Compiègne Armistice in June 1940, when the German Army occupied northern and westernmost France, and when the puppet regime of Vichy France was established in the town of Vichy in central France.

Nonetheless, it is difficult to define exactly when the Liberation took place because the term ‘Liberation’ has a multitude of meanings: the military operations of the Allied forces which signalled the end of the German occupation of France, the end of the war in Europe and in the World, the return of prisoners of war, deportees and others who had been absent from France during that period, and their reintegration into French society, the re-establishment of a democratic form of government, that not only marked the end of the Vichy regime but also the end of the provisional government of Charles de Gaulle. Therefore it could be argued that the years of the Liberation lasted until the beginning of 1947, when the new Fourth Republic was finally put in place.

It was after this period of Liberation that Charles de Gaulle set about creating a Resistance Myth that covered up the extensive collaboration that had taken place in France; later to be uncovered with the hugely publicised trial of Maurice Papon and the publication of American historian, Robert Paxton’s book that revealed the extent of active collaboration that the Vichy regime was guilty of during the Holoc...

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... place after 1945 happened as part of a long and gradual process. Feminist literature didn’t really take off until after the events of May 1968, as Duchen implies and although Gregory and Tidd present improvements, there were still setbacks and permanent inequalities between the sexes.

Works Cited

De Beauvoir, S. (1949). Le Deuxième Sexe. Paris: Editions Gallimard.

Duchen, C. (1994). Women's Rights and Women's Lives in France, 1944-1968. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge.

Gregory, A., Tidd, Ursula. (2000). Women in Contemporary France. Oxford, GBR: Berg Publishers.

Humbert, E. (2012). Lucie Aubrac: A Resistance Heroine from Page to Screen. Literature Film Quarterly, 40(2), 109.

Paxton, R. (2001) Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order 1940-1944. Columbia University Press, 2nd revised edition.

Rossiter, M. (1986). Women in the Resistance. New York, USA: Praeger.