Peuple et Culture: A French Adult Education Association Working for The Democratization of West Germany after 1945

By Marie-Bénédicte Vincent

The Allies envisioned the denazification of Germany in 1945 as having not only a punitive dimension but also a pedagogical one, which was to democratize the German people. In this enormous undertaking, the civil servants of the French occupation zone cooperated with militants for public education such as those in the organization Peuple et Culture (PEC). Based on the archives of this association, this article aims to demonstrate the transfer of educational techniques in the immediate postwar era from France to the French occupation zone in Germany. In addition, it shows the impact of the German experience on the evolution of PEC itself in France, and analyzes how, in the sixties, the exportation of French teaching methods gave way to more even-handed exchanges between France and Germany, as the two societies converged.

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