Sex and the stormtroopers: How French women fell for the Nazi invaders during the Second World War

The birth rate boomed in 1942 with an estimated 200,000 children born to Franco-German couples.

A brothel in Paris in wartime – one of many that flourished during the Nazi occupation

A kiss and collusion: how Nazis liberated love-hungry French girls

A new coffee-table book Erotic Years is set to embarrass France with wartime photographs of French women frolicking with Nazi invaders

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by Matthew Campbell Published: 2 October 2011, Sunday Times

Couples cuddle and smile shyly at the camera, like young lovers anywhere.

But a new book of hitherto unpublished wartime photographs is threatening to embarrass the French with its focus on women frolicking with Nazi invaders.

Erotic Years, as the coffee-table volume is provocatively entitled, will shock a country still struggling to come to terms with its troubled history of collaboration with the Nazis.

“We’ve had a difficult time facing up to what is not the most glorious page in our history,” said Patrick Buisson, a historian, who collected the images.

“A lot of what we are taught is mythology. The reality is that people adapted to the occupation.”

The photographs, many of which were taken by German soldiers and acquired in car-boot sales and flea markets in Germany, show French women making eyes at the enemy as enthusiastically as they welcomed the allies who liberated them.

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Sex and the stormtroopers: How French women fell for the Nazi invaders during the Second World War

  • Unpublished pictures produced in new book title The Erotic Years
Previously unpublished pictures of French women cavorting and partying with Nazis have emerged, heaping fresh shame on the troubled wartime history of occupied France.

Images show women kissing SS officers in bars and cabarets, posing in bikinis on the beach and enjoying strolls under the Eiffel Tower.

The book, 1940 – 1945: Erotic Years by historian Patrick Buisson, is set to further embarrass the French who have never forgotten life living in close quarters with the enemy under the Vichy regime

The birth rate boomed in 1942 with an estimated 200,000 children born to Franco-German couples. Up to 30 per cent of births were illegitimate in some parts of Paris.

On June 14, 1940, the Hitler army marched into Paris and stayed for four years. Patrick Buisson, director of France’s History Channel, TF1 and an advisor to President Sarkozy, admits that much of what happened during occupation in France has been brushed under the carpet.

He told the Sunday Times: ‘We’ve had a difficult time facing up to what is not the most glorious page in our history.’A lot of what we are taught is mythology. The reality is that people adapted to the occupation.’

The photographs for Mr Buisson’s book were mainly found at car-boot sales and flea markets across Germany having mainly been taken by Nazi soldiers during their time in France.

During an exhibition of similar images in Paris a few years ago, the deputy mayor of the city said he wanted to be sick on seeing the pictures of well-dressed citizens shopping next to a market piled high with fruit and veg, giving no inkling of the wartime hardship France usually likes to complain about.

There was also a theory that French prostitutes were the first rebels against the invaders by refusing to service their needs. However many of the photographs show soldiers cuddling with women in brothels and clubs

Nazi officers took over control of the brothels and expected them to have high standards of hygiene.

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Coco Chanel and her German officer lover Baron Hans Guenther von Dincklage

Perhaps the most high-profile of Franco-German affairs was between the designer Coco Chanel and the dashing 44-year-old German officer, Baron Hans Guenther von Dincklage.

It was von Dincklage who arranged that Chanel, then 57, stay at the Ritz to manage her business – even though she had closed her designer stores at the beginning of the regime change.

She was recently accused of having worked for German military intelligence during the war.

Chanel was one of many celebrated personalities, including the singers Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier, the writer Jean Cocteau and the late president Francois Mitterrand, who  remained in her native country following its occupation by German forces in the summer of 1940.

The aged Marshal Petain, who ran the Vichy government, was convicted of collaboration after the war.

He was originally sentenced to death for treason but this was changed to life imprisonment.

He was known to have shamelessly seduced younger staff during the war, while recommending the motto ‘work, family, country’ to the rest of the nation.

Photos in Paris during german occupation, extracted from  “Erotic Years” book by Patrick Buisson

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After the Allies liberated France, the french men – who had never fought to defend France in the first place – showed their bravery by taking it out on women in public – stripped of clothes, beaten, humiliated and so on. Same happened in all other western countries.

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