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PUBLIC LECTURE: “A Fate in Common?” by Nicholas Williams of Saarland University

PUBLIC LECTURE: “A Fate in Common? The Evacuation of German Saarland and French Lorraine at the Beginning of the Second World War”

In 1939, the German attack on Poland that marked the beginning of World War II also sparked the evacuation of more than one million civilians from so-called “Red Zones” along the German-French border.

Nicholas Williams of Saarland University and the Université Paris-Sorbonne will examine the different ways these evacuation measures were organized in democratic (French) and authoritarian (German) regimes, and what they meant for the people of the border areas. His lecture is sponsored by St. Thomas University’s Global and International Studies Initiative.

Williams, a scholar of comparative and transnational history, is completing his dissertation on civilian evacuations. This work forms part of a larger joint German-French research project on evacuations in the German-French borderland, 1939-1945. In addition to his research on civilian evacuations, Williams also has considerable expertise in oral history and has published a book exploring the tensions between public and private memories of the Cuban Revolution: Das Gedächtnis Kubas: die Revolution im Interview.

The lecture will be followed by a reception, co-sponsored by the Network for the Study of Civilians, Soldiers and Society at the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society, University of New Brunswick.