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Aspects économiques de l'occupation allemande en France, 1940-1944: l'exemple de l'industrie électrotechnique

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  • Heidrun Homburg

Abstract

[eng] Abstract A prerequisite to understanding economic collaboration, its outcome, reach, and limits is to take into account the particular regime that prevailed in an occupied territory and the fact that economic collaboration is a process shaped over time by the interactions between occupiers and occupied. The article tries to illustrate this basic assumption by a case study of the French and German electrical engineering industry. The peculiar features of this industry, its long-standing internationalism and the fact that all the major French and German companies were integrated into a network of multilateral relations that often included the giant American companies as third party, had an ambivalent impact. On the one hand, the existing relations made it easier for the German electrical engineering companies to employ the French resources for their own war effort and to integrate the French plants into their production schemes, thus fostering economic collaboration; on the other hand they limited its reach and destructive intensity, as both parties, the French and the German top managers alike, realized by 1943 that the balance of power was about to shift and that the future existence of their firms depended on the cooperation with the Americans after the end of the war. [fre] Résumé L'article tente d'illustrer, à travers l'exemple de l'industrie de la construction électrotechnique en France et en Allemagne, la thèse qu'étudier les conditions de la collaboration économique, ses effets et ses limites nécessite de poser le régime d'occupation et la collaboration économique comme un processus d'interaction entre l'occupant et l'occupé. Le caractère international de cette industrie et le fait que toutes les grandes entreprises françaises et allemandes étaient intégrées dans un réseau de relations multilatérales qui incluait souvent les firmes américaines géantes comme partie tierce eurent un impact ambigu. D'une part, les relations existantes facilitèrent pour les entreprises allemandes l'emploi des ressources françaises pour leur propre effort de guerre et l'intégration des usines françaises dans leurs capacités de production, nourrissant ainsi la collaboration économique. Mais, d'autre part, ces relations limitaient la portée et l'intensité destructrice de la collaboration, dans la mesure où les deux parties, aussi bien les dirigeants français qu'allemands, ont pris conscience en 1943 que le rapport de forces commençait à changer et que l'existence future de leur entreprise dépendrait de leur coopération avec les Américains après la fin de la guerre.

Suggested Citation

  • Heidrun Homburg, 2005. "Aspects économiques de l'occupation allemande en France, 1940-1944: l'exemple de l'industrie électrotechnique," Histoire, économie & société, Programme National Persée, vol. 24(4), pages 527-543.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:hiseco:hes_0752-5702_2005_num_24_4_2569 Note: DOI:10.3406/hes.2005.2569
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