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Sandra Jean Ott
University of Nevada, Reno (Reno, NV 89557-0001)
The Vicissitudes of Purge Justice: An Ethnographic Approach to the Trials of Collaborators, France 1944-1946

The proposed work seeks to assess the justice of judgments made in post-Liberation trials in the borderlands of the Basque Country and Bearn during 1944-1946. I will analyze the backgrounds of the judges, prosecutors, jury members and witnesses; the internal political conflicts between communists and their opponents; and public reactions to the trials in the local press. I will conduct archival research on Germans involved as trial witnesses and will develop further the conceptual, interdisciplinary framework of a book project. The most serious acts of collaboration included treason, espionage and threats to the external security of the nation; and the trial dossiers contain a wealth of information about the people involved in the purge process. These documents raise important questions about human dignity and degradation, the morality of capital punishment, the appropriate exercise of mercy, and the questionable justice of judgments made during the often politicized purge trials.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2009 – 7/31/2009