Mixed marriages between French citizens and German or Austrian women fleeing the Hitlerian regime were not numerous. Nevertheless, they aroused much attention from the French authorities. As the threat of war arose in Europe, the naturalization of alien women through marriage was increasingly viewed with suspicion. After 1938, French citizenship could be denied to alien women who married Frenchmen. For the French administration, the « Germanness » of the female refugees from the Third Reich made of them « anti-mothers » who could never create a French foyer or bear French children, and who might, in the worst case scenario, act as spies who used their husbands to furnish military information. The articulation of this double category of gender and nationality is crucial to understanding the issues raised by the German exile in France from 1933 to 1945.
By Aurélie Audeval