The end of the Occupation, which was much more violent than its beginning, dramatically affected the overall perception of Germans and Germany for many years in post-WWII France. This vision is of course reflected to a large extent in French literature. Yet, paradoxically, many novels—including the ‘best-sellers’ E ´ ducation europe´enne (1945) by Romain Gary, Mon Village a` l’heure allemande (1945) by Jean-Louis Bory or Les Foreˆts de la nuit (1947) by Jean-Louis Curtis—contain a ‘good German’ character. Firstly, this article will give an overview of the dominant representations of Germans in post-WWII France, before suggesting that the ‘good German’ character follows both a literary tradition and the humanist values of the French Resistance, to which these writers claim to subscribe. Finally, it will show how this character, far from blurring the Manichean ideology of the novel in which he appears, actually reinforces it.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science