Introduction – Beyond de Gaulle and Beyond London: The French External Resistance and its international networks

Charlotte Faucher, Laure Humbert

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The aim of this special issue is to explore the history of the French external Resistance through its international networks. This introduction argues that we should think about the ‘Resistance’ as an international phenomenon, played out in a number of sites across the world, both within and beyond the Free French capital cities of London, Brazzaville – which declared its adhesion to Free France on 28 August 1940 – and (later) Algiers. Our study takes into account official members of Free France, the French National Committee (September 1941–June 1943) and the French Committee of National Liberation (June 1943–June 1944), as well as ‘unofficial’ members of the Resistance who gravitated around Free France, such as members of the Free French committees scattered throughout the world. Studying the activities of these networks can offer historians a framework through which to reconsider the role of cultural propaganda as well as the tensions and antagonisms that traversed the external Resistance notably anti-Gaullism and anti-Semitism. By ‘de-centering’ the history of the External Resistance, we argue, we can better understand the multiplicity of exiles’ identities that were shaped and transformed outside the metropolitan territory and had long lasting consequences in the post-war period.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Review of History: Revue europeenne d'histoire
Issue number2
Early online date27 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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