The French Who Fought for Hitler: Memories from the Outcasts

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $19.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 78%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $19.99   
  • New (8) from $63.76   
  • Used (3) from $19.99   


Thousands of Frenchmen volunteered to provide military help to the Nazis during World War II, fighting in such places as Belorussia, Galicia, Pomerania, and Berlin. Utilizing these soldiers’ memoirs, The French Who Fought for Hitler examines how these volunteers describe their exploits on the battlefield, their relations to civilian populations in occupied territories, and their sexual prowess. It also discusses how the volunteers account for their controversial decisions to enlist, to fight to the end, and finally to testify. Coining the concepts of “outcast memory” and “unlikeable vanquished,” Philippe Carrard characterizes the type of bitter, unrepentant memory at work in the volunteers’ recollections and situates it on the map of France’s collective memory. In the process, he contributes to the ongoing conversation about memory, asking whether all testimonies are fit to be given and preserved, and how we should deal with life narratives that uphold positions now viewed as unacceptable.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Philippe Carrard’s The French Who Fought for Hitler offers a sensitive, intelligent, and thorough analysis of an important – and until now taboo – subject: the memoirs and other writings of those misguided Frenchmen who chose to fight for Hitler and Nazism during World War II. In addition to filling a crucial gap in our understanding of the French experience during the war, Carrard’s study serves as a cautionary tale and a grim reminder of the dangers of political idealism and military virtue gone astray.” – Richard Golsan, Texas A&M University

“Based on a close textual and thematic reading of a set of memoirs by former combatants, Philippe Carrard tells the largely ignored, unsettling story of Frenchmen who chose to join the Nazis in World War II and who typically present themselves as unsung heroes of genuine political and ideological commitment. With an insistent desire to tell their stories, often with unrepentant bravado, they legitimate decisions, vindicate a fighting resolve, and conveniently excise knowledge of discomfiting dimensions of the past (notably genocidal policies and actions). The ‘je-ne-regrette-rien’ terms in which they testify may well surprise or scandalize readers. Carrard’s book is a model of its kind and a basic contribution to a critical, rhetorically sensitive study of memory and witnessing that successfully conjoins literary and historical analysis.” – Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University

“This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking book on a subject that has never been treated at length before. The project is of real interest and importance, and I admire Philippe Carrard for the courage to undertake it, and to successfully complete it.” – Susan Rubin Suleiman, Harvard University, author of Crises of Memory and the Second World War

"Carrard has written an insightful book on a little-discussed body of memoirs." -Donald Reid, The Journal of Modern History

"...Carrard’s focus on texts that are dubious in provenance and in moral position makes this an important contribution to the literature on memory and to that of war and occupation experience." -Julia S. Torrie, German Studies Review

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521198226
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/13/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 3.20 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Educated in Switzerland, Philippe Carrard has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of California at Irvine, and the University of Vermont and is currently a Visiting Scholar in the Comparative Literature Program at Dartmouth College. Over the past twenty years, his research has mainly concerned factual discourse - the discourse that claims to represent actual events and situations. In this area, he has published Poetics of the New History: French Historical Discourse from Braudel to Chartier (1992), as well as numerous articles and book chapters that analyze conventions of writing in nonfiction.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Backgrounds; 2. Authenticity; 3. Veracity; 4. Textualization; 5. Frameworks; 6. Bearing witness; 7. From the outcasts' point of view; Conclusion.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)