1st Edition

War and Displacement in the Twentieth Century Global Conflicts

Edited By Sandra Barkhof, Angela K. Smith Copyright 2014

    Human displacement has always been a consequence of war, written into the myths and histories of centuries of warfare. However, the global conflicts of the twentieth century brought displacement to civilizations on an unprecedented scale, as the two World Wars shifted participants around the globe. Although driven by political disputes between European powers, the consequences of Empire ensured that Europe could not contain them. Soldiers traversed continents, and civilians often followed them, or found themselves living in territories ruled by unexpected invaders. Both wars saw fighting in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East, and few nations remained neutral. Both wars saw the mass upheaval of civilian populations as a consequence of the fighting. Displacements were geographical, cultural, and psychological; they were based on nationality, sex/gender or age. They produced an astonishing range of human experience, recorded by the participants in different ways. This book brings together a collection of inter-disciplinary works by scholars who are currently producing some of the most innovative and influential work on the subject of displacement in war, in order to share their knowledge and interpretations of historical and literary sources. The collection unites historians and literary scholars in addressing the issues of war and displacement from multiple angles. Contributors draw on a wealth of primary source materials and resources including archives from across the world, military records, medical records, films, memoirs, diaries and letters, both published and private, and fictional interpretations of experience.

    Introduction: The No Man’s Land of Displacement  Angela K. Smith and Sandra Barkhof  Part 1: Military Displacement  1. Displacement and the Combat Soldier: Poetic Interpretations  Angela K. Smith  2. The French Resister in the Maghreb: French North Africa and the Formation of the Forces Aériennes Françaises Libres, 1940-41  G.H. Bennett  3. The Other Side of the Poison Cloud: Canadian Soldiers as English Patients After the First Gas Attacks  Martin Goodman  4. Diluting Displacement: Letters from Captivity  Oliver Wilkinson  5. A "Positive" Displacement?: Italian PoW in World War Two Britain  Marco Giudici  6. Exploitation of Displaced European Refugees and Axis Prisoners of War in Britain, 1939–49  J.M. Goodchild  7. A Period in Limbo: Placing People and Punctuation in E. E. Cummings’s The Enormous Room.  Hazel Hutchison  Part 2: Civilian Displacement  8. Renegotiating the Yellow Peril: Cultural and Physical Displacement in the German Colony in China During the First World War  Sandra Barkhof  9. "His Dearest Property": Women, Nation and Displacement in Storm Jameson’s Cloudless May.  Katherine Cooper  10. "Everything's in a Terrible Mess": Displacement in the Wartime Fictions of Elsa Triolet and Irene Nemirovsky  Krista Cowman  11. "When Most Relief Workers Had Never Heard of Freud": UNRRA in the French Zone of Occupation in Germany, 1945-1947  Laure Humbert  12. Fading Childhood Memories of World War II Displacement: Appropriation, Non-Appropriation and Misappropriation  Iris Guske and Niklas Guske  13. Prisoners of the Past?: German Refugee Associations Today  Karl Cordell


    Sandra Barkhof is a Lecturer at Plymouth University.

    Angela K. Smith is an Associate Professor (Reader) at Plymouth University.

    "This volume brings together historians and literary scholars in an ambitious exercise addressing the geographical, cultural, and psychological displacements that the editors argue were a universal experience of the twentieth century’s global wars...This volume stands out, however, in its foregrounding of the experience of war as the primary object of analysis."

    - Siobhan Peeling, University of Nottingham, UK