“What Soldiers Do,” with Comment by Robert Faurisson
Published: 2013-07-17

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A book review in The Daily Mail, forwarded to Robert Faurisson by Arthur Butz, prompted the recall of an old memory by Faurisson.

(Excerpted from the Daily Mail Friday, 7 June 2013)

“A new book, What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France, has revealed the dark side of Europe’s liberation after the Second World War.

“Professor Mary Louise Roberts, from the University of Wisconsin, said within months of D-Day ordinary French women came to fear their American ‘liberators.’ She tells how, by the summer of 1944, large numbers of women in Normandy filed complaints about rapes by US soldiers.

"In the cities of Le Havre and Cherbourg, bad behavior was common.

“Le Havre’s mayor, Pierre Voisin, complained to Colonel Thomas Weed, the commander of US troops in the region. ‘This is a regime of terror, imposed by bandits in uniform. Scenes contrary to decency are unfolding in this city day and night . . . . it is not only scandalous but intolerable’ that ‘youthful eyes are exposed to such public spectacles.’

“The mayor suggested the Americans set up a brothel outside the city to avoid public outrage and contain the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. However, although US officers publicly denounced the behavior, they did little to curtail it.

“The book also claims the US army ‘demonstrated a deep and abiding racism,’ suggesting they pinned a disproportionate number of rapes on black GIs. Documents show that of 152 troops disciplined by the army for rape, 130 were black.”


Faurisson wrote in reply:

“I remember how afraid French women were of the GIs in Orléans, in September 1944. I was 15. One evening, at perhaps 7pm, at the house of our friends the Signeux, there was a lady of probably between 40 and 50 who realized it was time to go home but was afraid of running into American soldiers on the way. I decided to accompany her on foot. Suddenly along our way we found an American officer, obviously drunk. He stopped us. He wanted the lady. She screamed and ran. The American tried to catch her. I tried to stop him and we nearly had a fight. When I saw that the lady was far enough away I ran as well. I got to her house. I rang the bell. She and her husband didn't want to open the door. I turned to leave but I heard a noise. The door was half-open. I saw them paralyzed by fear. They never thanked me.

“The German soldiers had the reputation of being ‘korrekt’. One day, in Paris, I saw a French civilian, obviously drunk, who stopped a German officer on the sidewalk. He was insulting him. The German, trying to calm him down, told him that war was ‘un grand malheur’. He got down from the sidewalk and went his way. Thirty meters further on there was a ‘Commissariat de police’. He could have had the drunkard arrested by the police.

“Now, believe me, until the 8th of May 1945, when I was 16, I kept hating the Germans and loving the Americans, the British, and the Soviets. On the 8th of May 1945, when I heard the bells chiming for our ‘victory’, my father entered the room I shared with my brother Philippe, who was 14 (I was the eldest of seven). He asked me: ‘Robert, are you happy?’ Finding the question rather indiscreet I drily answered ‘Yes’. And suddenly I thought: ‘This very day of rejoicing for us must be, for those Germans who fought so courageously, a terrible day’. For the first time since 1939, when I was 10, I felt that my enemies were human beings.

“I mentioned our friends the Signeux. My father's best friend was Pierre Signeux, a physician in Orléans. My best friend was Christian Signeux (he was a year older than I). One day in 1940 Christian, who was 11 or 12, wrote on a wall (perhaps the wall of the Kommandantur itself): Hitler salaud (Hitler bastard). He was arrested. A German officer phoned Christian's father. He summoned him. He said to both, father and son:

“‘You might be against us and against Hitler but you have no right to consider Hitler a “bastard”.’ And he went on explaining what Hitler, in his opinion, had done for his Volk. The doctor went back home with his son without any more trouble.

“Best wishes. RF”


Additional information about this document
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Author(s): The Daily Mail
Title: “What Soldiers Do,” with Comment by Robert Faurisson
Sources: Smith's Report, No. 197, July 2013, p. 5
Contributions:
  • Robert Faurisson: Comments
Published: 2013-07-17
First posted on CODOH: Oct. 8, 2013, 7 p.m.
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