'For Their Own Good': Civilian Evacuations in Germany and France, 1939-1945 | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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'For Their Own Good': Civilian Evacuations in Germany and France, 1939-1945

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'For Their Own Good'

Civilian Evacuations in Germany and France, 1939-1945

Julia S. Torrie

280 pages, 9 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-725-9 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (March 2010)

ISBN  978-1-78238-390-1 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (April 2014)

eISBN 978-1-84545-816-4 eBook


View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


This work adopts an innovative transnational and comparative approach…Because of the richness of the sources it complements very usefully the history of refugees and the exodus in Europe during the Second World War, a history that for several decades has often been forgotten by historians.”  ·  Francia

With [this] publication Julia Torrie has established herself as a significant scholar of the home front during World War II...Dr. Torrie has written a fascinating book based on in-depth research in [more than twenty] French and German archives. She introduces younger and older scholars to aspects of World War II that have received little attention. She has also mastered the skills needed to carry out an excellent comparative study.  ·  Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d’histoire

Torrie has written an interesting and thoroughly researched book that considerably deepens our knowledge of the relationship of the “Third Reich” to its own population and to that of occupied France. She shows that the evacuations within Germany as well in occupied France were problematic.  ·  Historische Zeitschrift

The book makes an extensive use of French and German archives and has generally demonstrated a good knowledge of the existing secondary literature…Overall Torrie’s text is a welcome contribution to the literature on World War Two.”  ·  H-France Review

Torrie has accomplished a great deal, a rich analysis of the significance of evacuations to national identity, the relationship between rulers and ruled, as well as the ambiguous mix of competition and sharing among enemies.  ·  Central European History

Overall, this is an impressively researched study…In revealing the need to examine opposition to evacuation policies, Torrie’s book is an important addition to the literature on wartime civilian evacuation.  ·  American Historical Review

“…a useful, well-crafted book…any bi-national comparison will face difficulties of the incomparable. It is skilful to attempt one, and Torrie’s succeeds. .. we are more enlightened as to the relations between people and state in authoritarian regimes, and have developed ideas of belonging, rights and privileges. The book is a worthy contribution to a growing literature on the civilian experience of air war in Europe.”  ·  Reviews in History

The strength of Torrie’s monograph is certainly its comparative analysis of German and French evacuations and relationship between them…A highly readable and convincing study.  ·  Choice

"[The book] is well written and well constructed...A high quality work."  ·  Robert Gildea, Oxford University


The early twentieth-century advent of aerial bombing made successful evacuations essential to any war effort, but ordinary people resented them deeply. Based on extensive archival research in Germany and France, this is the first broad, comparative study of civilian evacuations in Germany and France during World War II. The evidence uncovered exposes the complexities of an assumed monolithic and all-powerful Nazi state by showing that citizens' objections to evacuations, which were rooted in family concerns, forced changes in policy. Drawing attention to the interaction between the Germans and French throughout World War II, this book shows how policies in each country were shaped by events in the other. A truly cross-national comparison in a field dominated by accounts of one country or the other, this book provides a unique historical context for addressing current concerns about the impact of air raids and military occupations on civilians.

Julia S. Torrie completed her PhD at Harvard University and has taught European History at St. Thomas University in Canada since 2002.

Subject: History: World War II
Area: FranceGermany


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