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Old 07-05-2013, 01:10 AM
 
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Looking at the occupation of the Channel Islands in WW2 (by the Nazis) it seems that some of the local residents collaborated and even cavorted with the German troops stationed there.

Is this a case of treachery or just 'doing what had to be done, to get by'?
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:59 AM
 
Location: SW France
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What would you have done?
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Jonesboro
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You wrote, "..it seems.." So, do think or know what you wrote to be the case?
Do you have any information or references in particular that can explain exactly what you are referring to here?
Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2013, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Lancashire, England
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Britain took the decision not to try to defend the Channel Islands because of their proximity to France so that being the case one can hardly blame any Channel Islander for what they may have done to survive. As for 'cavorting', I'd call that simply being realistic and making the best of the situation. If we're talking about collaborating what about Vichy France?

I'm not aware of any post-war charges of collaboration being brought against any Islander by the UK government although I'm happy to be corrected on that if I'm wrong.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
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A very interesting book about this historical period is Guernsey under Occupation - The second world war diaries of Violet Carey. It is edited by Alice Evans.

She was an ordinary woman, neither collaborator or rebel, and this is the diary she kept during the ordeal.

Another good compliation of the events is Living with the Enemy What really happened by Roy McLoughlin. It contains personal experiences from both sides. It's a good summary of the time to put other sources in place. Both books were found on Amazon and ordered from British sellers.

There was an interview with a group of survivors years ago on CBS, 60 minutes, I think. Even then, after so much time had passed, the ambivilance and sometimes the blame was still well remembered. I wish that was available somewhere to watch.


The people of the channel islands reacted in a spectrum of behaviors, from secret defiance, for which some died in concentration camps, to opportunistic cooperation. For some, cooperation allowed access to more which sold on the black market. Even for the Germans, food was rationed as the islands supplied themselves in part by trade which ceased. Later rations became drastically curtailed and at liberation medical teams were sent to treat the widespread results of near starvation.

I think you have to ask what you would have done if you were there. There was a concentration camp built for the mostly eastern european slave labor and British citizens were arrested and sometimes shipped away for the smallest of offences. After 1942, the army commander was replaced by an SS one and things grew dramatically worse. Its a fascinating little piece of history which really does leave you asking what you might have risked.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:10 PM
 
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The BBC t.v. series "Island at War" is an excellent look at this historical period. It was also shown in America on PBS years ago. Most of what occurs in the series is pretty factual. The Islanders had no way to defend themselves against Germany. A mistaken air raid at the beginning of the conflict resulted in a number of civilian deaths of people who had the misfortune to be present at the docks when a Luftwaffe plane attacked.

Resisting the Germans would have made no sense and would have resulted in much harsher treatment of the Islanders by the Germans.

As things went, the soldiers had orders to treat the English in a civilized way. For the most part they did. In fact, some of the Germans were actually quite nice.

Britain had no choice to abandon the Channel Islands because they were indefensible from a military point of view. The Islanders made the best of situation and with a decent German occupying force it was not too difficult. No one is really to blame here. Everyone was in a tough situation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5AGz...9177797CB25942
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
The BBC t.v. series "Island at War" is an excellent look at this historical period. It was also shown in America on PBS years ago. Most of what occurs in the series is pretty factual. The Islanders had no way to defend themselves against Germany. A mistaken air raid at the beginning of the conflict resulted in a number of civilian deaths of people who had the misfortune to be present at the docks when a Luftwaffe plane attacked.

Resisting the Germans would have made no sense and would have resulted in much harsher treatment of the Islanders by the Germans.

As things went, the soldiers had orders to treat the English in a civilized way. For the most part they did. In fact, some of the Germans were actually quite nice.

Britain had no choice to abandon the Channel Islands because they were indefensible from a military point of view. The Islanders made the best of situation and with a decent German occupying force it was not too difficult. No one is really to blame here. Everyone was in a tough situation.


Island at War-Episode 1/6-(Eve of the War)-Part 1/5 - YouTube
What I hate is that they didn't finish the series. I want to know what happened to those at the end of the last episode, given the reality. But the best part of it was how it suggested why and the extreme ambiguity of their situation.

***note correction, sorry about that. There is an older BBC series, Enemy at the Door, which follows the occupation to the end which I'd love to see. Looks like Amazon has it streaming.

Last edited by nightbird47; 07-05-2013 at 08:10 PM..
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jezer View Post
What would you have done?
I guess a form of passive resistance is all that one could have done.

But how about those islanders that feathered their own nests, ie: women that had relationships with the German officers, even informing on their own folk at the same time?

Weren't they traitors?
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Old 07-05-2013, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
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Originally Posted by Kenneth-Kaunda View Post
I guess a form of passive resistance is all that one could have done.

But how about those islanders that feathered their own nests, ie: women that had relationships with the German officers, even informing on their own folk at the same time?

Weren't they traitors?
That's the interesting part about the ambivilance. The merchants who also sold on the black market may have found a way to profit by their deals with the Germans but the Black Market was sometimes the only source of some foods. They gained but so did others. Some islanders also did clerical work for the Germans but where known to alter records to protect others. Some is human nature and some human choices. Some is greed. And some just survival.

Since nobody was ever publically accused, its hard to say what those who remained unknown had to say. If your neighbor was taken away and you think it might have been from a comment you made, would you feel okay accusing someone of being a traitor if by the defination you could have been?
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:25 PM
 
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Not really, but some of the actions seem very spineless to me.

How about the women, that took on successions of German officer boyfriends, whilst their hubbies were out on the front?

Were they wrong?
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