The entrance to the Department of History’s office in Sidney Smith Hall

Dangerous Liaisons: The Forbidden Love Affairs of French Prisoners of War and German Women in the Second World War

Start Date and Time:

Friday, November 15, 2019, 3:00PM

End Date and Time:

Friday, November 15, 2019, 5:00PM


Prof. Raffael Scheck (Katz Distinguished Teaching Professor Of Modern European History At Colby College In Waterville - Maine)

Tens of thousands of French prisoners of war (POWs) and German women had to stand trial in Nazi Germany for having engaged in a love relation with each other. The prisoner and the woman both faced severe punishment, and the woman had to suffer public shaming. What do the trials reveal about Franco-German relations in World War II? How did French POWs and German women perceive each other? How did German village and factory communities react to these international love relations? Why did the relations never become part of memory in either country? The project examines Franco-German collaboration and international relations from a new perspective grounded in the everyday life experience in wartime Nazi Germany.

Raffael Scheck is Katz Distinguished Teaching Professor of Modern European History at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. He has published five books and 40 articles on German right-wing politics and on French colonial prisoners of war. His book on the German army massacres of black French prisoners in 1940 was translated into French and German. He has completed a book manuscript on forbidden love relations between western prisoners of war and German women in World War II and is beginning to write a book on the German campaign in the West in 1940.


  • Centre for the Study of France and the Francophone World (CEFMF)
  • Glendon College

Contact Information

Rebecca Blanchard

Centre for the Study of France and the Francophone World


Munk School, Room 108N, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON, M5S 3K7 view full map


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Photo of French Prisoners of War in WWII
Photo: Weber, Robert | 1940 Mai - Juni