AERI's aims
  AERI's actions
  An historical recollection of the french Resistance movement

Résistantes de l'ombre et à la lumière
By Rolande Trempé, directed by Cécile Favier
(cassette VHS)


For a very long time, Rolande Trempé, former female member of the French Resistance and history professor at the University of Toulouse, has been shocked by the lack of recognition of the role of women in the Resistance. Although Rolande is invited to official commemorations and historical conferences, she finds that they underestimate and undervalue the role of women in the Resistance by describing the actions of women as "auxiliary", which is always subordinated to the masculine directive, rather than autonomous.

Rita Thalmann, a historian, was moved in the same way as Rolande during a conference in 1992, in Besançon, France, on the role of foreigners in the Resistance. While she is pleased that some recognition has been given to the group who had said "no" to the collaboration, "no" to the wait-and-see policy and "yes" to military engagement to re-conquer the lost freedoms and dignity of the people, despite the danger it posed to their lives, there still remains an unmentioned and unacknowledged group of citizens, primarily which are women. The women of the Resistance even continued to fight and remained loyal to the Forces Françaises de l'Intérieur during the Libération in Toulouse, Nimes, and Lyon, nevertheless, their recognized role remains second.

The publication and the reading of these two works consolidates the intentions of Rolande Trempé :
"The forgotten of history", according to Albert Oriol-Maloire (a term used already by Rita Thalmann), author of a book written in the their memory, Les Femmes en guerre (1995) and especially in Chemins de dames dans la résistance bourguignonne, by Jeanne Gillot-Voisin (1999).

The desire to react against these facts is reinforced by the investigations undertaken following the two subject studies by the national Contest of the Resistance and the Deportation:
- The role of women in the Resistance (1996-1997)
- The representation of the actions of the resistance and the commemoration of the victims (1998-1999)

This historical group has worked for the continued recognized that the role of women in the Resistance, in 2000 the work of these women in the Resistance and those who suffered deportation was finally recognized by the Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

The time to recognize the role of women had finally come. In 2001 a series of commemorative meetings was arranged by a trade union of miners and their associates to create a day that would be dedicated to appreciating the accomplishments of the women who collaborated with the miners in the North and in Pas-de-Calais, in France, and to mark a place for a commemorative plaque for Emilienne Mopty, who was executed in Cologne, on January 18, 1943.

The reason why the role and place of women is undervalued, if not sometimes completely ignored is still not clear. Historically the roles of men and women would be considered highly traditional by today's standards and were also more heavily influenced by the judgement and criticism of the French public opinion. After the war, the affect that woman had had on the war was considerably undermined by the scandalous and perverse act of shaving the heads of women who had been with German men. Acts of such male design threw discredit on the women of the Resistance by defining Resistance by military means solely. The concept of the Resistance needs to be widened to include all aspects of combat (armed and not armed, civil and military, on French territory: in Europe and oversees) that were directed against the Germans in opposition of the occupation. It is certain that the restrictive recognition given to women is further minimized by the lack of commemorative ceremonies for them.

The lack of representation of female activists illustrates the total need for more monuments dedicated to both men and women of the Resistance. By creating these monuments we are showing our thanks and appreciation to the people of the Resistance. This project does not have the intention to rewrite history and give more credit than is due to the women of the Resistance, but to more simply evoke the diversity of the different forms of action and the intensity of the engagement of the women beyond the difference of classes, professions, opinions, nationalities and political cleavages.

This product is sold at our online boutique.


> Back


webmaster | contacts | Plan du site