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January 31, 2006

Press contact: Anneliesa Clump Behrend (202) 707-9822, aclump@loc.gov


Oral historian and author Hilary Kaiser will deliver a lecture titled, “The American Soldier and ‘Mademoiselle’: Love and Marriage after WWI and WWII,” at noon on Friday, Feb. 10 in the West Dining Room of the Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The program is free and open to the public.

Twice during the 20th century, millions of American soldiers took part in the Liberation of France. Some 6,500 American soldiers married French women after World War I and World War II. Ms. Kaiser will discuss the policies of the U.S. Army, the State Department and the French government with regard to these amorous relations and Franco-American marriages. She will examine the role the American Red Cross, the YMCA, the YWCA and other organizations played in discouraging or encouraging Franco-American encounters.

The lecture is sponsored by the Library’s Veterans History Project and Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region (OHMAR).

Hilary Kaiser is American by birth and the daughter of a GI who fought in Japan during World War II. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Paris-Sud and has conducted many oral histories of Americans living in France. Dr. Kaiser is the author of two books: “Des Amours de GI’s: les petites françaises du Débarquement” (Tallandier, 2004) and “Souvenirs de Veterans” (original version in English, “Veteran Recall: Americans in France Remember the War,” Bayeux, 2004). She is currently working on a third book about children of GI’s and French women after World War II.

The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center is a nationwide volunteer effort to collect and preserve oral histories from America’s war veterans. The collection is housed at the Library of Congress. To date the archive has received more than 40,000 individual submissions. Those who are interested in participating are encouraged to e-mail the Veterans History Project at vohp@loc.gov or to call toll-free (888) 371-5848 to request a free project kit. For more information about the Veterans History Project, visit http://www.loc.gov/vets/.

Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region (OHMAR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and improvement of oral history. OHMAR provides a forum for sharing information about the techniques and application of oral history, promotes standards of quality among practitioners, and assists those interested in the subject. For more information about OHMAR, visit http://www.ohmar.org/.

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