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Marianne or Germania?Nationalizing Women in Alsace, 1870-1946$
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Elizabeth Vlossak

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199561117

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199561117.001.0001

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Alsatian Women and the Great War, 1914–18

Alsatian Women and the Great War, 1914–18

3 Alsatian Women and the Great War, 1914–18
Marianne or Germania?

Elizabeth Vlossak

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores Alsace's experience of the First World War. It describes Alsatian women's employment and daily lives on the home front and within proximity of the battle lines, and compares them to those of the women in the rest of Germany and in France. War also affected women differently than men, particularly in the ways it defined Alsatian women's shared identity and relationship to the nation-state. The chapter argues that the women of Alsace had a unique war experience they did not share with either the women of Germany or France. Their experiences also varied greatly within the region, especially between those who remained in German-controlled Alsace, and those who were ‘liberated’ by French troops in August 1914. What these women did share was a deep-seated uneasiness about a war beyond their control and in which they struggled to find a role.

Keywords:   First World War, home front, women's employment, shared identity, war experience

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