Contemporary French Civilization

From “femme d’officier, mère de famille” to “grande dame de la Résistance”: Marie-Madeleine Fourcade during World War II

Contemporary French Civilization (2017), 42, (2), 171–188.

Abstract

This article explores the trajectory taken by Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, a woman of the extreme right, during World War II. Fourcade participated in the war at the helm of a major French resistance network, Alliance, and had under her command thousands of resistance agents. I pay particular attention to the ways in which Fourcade later described her wartime activities and contrast these narratives with the ways in which others represented her role. By looking at Fourcade’s own narrative of her wartime experiences, we might conclude that she was conscious of the fact that her activities disrupted gender stereotypes and that, in an attempt to protect herself from potential attacks because of those disruptions, she repositioned her discursive self in the realm of motherhood and femininity at key moments.

Cet article explore la trajectoire de Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, une femme d’extrême droite, au cours de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Fourcade était à la tête de “Alliance”, un important réseau de la résistance française pendant la guerre. Elle avait sous ses ordres des milliers d’agents de résistance. Dans cet article, je me concentre sur les façons dont Fourcade décrit ses activités de guerre et je compare ces récits à ceux que d’autres ont pu faire au sujet de son rôle de résistante. En examinant le récit personnel de ses expériences de guerre, nous pourrons conclure que Fourcade était consciente du fait que ses activités ont perturbé les stéréotypes de genre et que, dans une tentative de se protéger contre les attaques potentielles en raison du bouleversement des rôles des sexes, elle a repositionné son témoignage dans les domaines de la maternité et de la féminité à des moments clés.

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Deacon, Valerie