Date Awarded

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Tuska Benes

Committee Member

Leisa Meyer

Committee Member

Kathrin Levitan


In Nazi Germany and Vichy and Nazi-Occupied France during World War II, women were involved in numerous activities that fell upon a spectrum of resistance and collaboration. Although these two categories appear at first glance to be complete opposites, women were able to maneuver their society by going back and forth along the spectrum. Individuals were motivated by their families and loved ones, survival, and ideologies to participate in both resistance and collaboration. Women in particular were able to play upon societal expectations in order to navigate the spectrum. They took a role, often following societal ideas of women being mothers, being overly sexualized, or being less intelligent in order to follow their own agendas. Women also were able to utilize their race in following with the racial expectations of the Nazis to help them reach their goals. Ultimately, the lines between resistance and collaboration become increasingly blurred as women traversed the spectrum, sometimes doing both simultaneously.



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