La grève des battages, Eté 1943. Nord-Dordogne
Preface by Danielle Tartakowsky
Throughout the country in the summer of 1943, the wheat harvest was the subject of a showdown between the Resistance and the government. The stakes are bread, hunger and levies for Germany.
From July 30 to October 8, 1943, in a large northeast sector of the Dordogne, 49 actions were carried out against wheat threshing. Different processes are used, in addition to explosives or the withdrawal of parts, we sometimes find a simple paper affixed during the night and giving the order not to beat.
The FTPF resistance fighters of the Nord-Dordogne, in an original formula, will give these actions the name of "threshing strike". It is an episode in the history of the Resistance which may surprise the reader as it is so little known.
This work brings it out of oblivion, it exposes clandestine tracts, inscriptions left on threshing machines during sabotage, articles from the clandestine press of the Resistance at regional or national level.
Given the nature of the actions carried out, the very use of the term "strike" will raise questions. The many documents offered to the reader will allow him not to remain unanswered. Danielle Tartakowsky's preface provides valuable perspective. To take up only one aspect here, let us retain “the concern for the apparent spontaneity” that, as she notes, the clandestine leaderships of the Communist Party take care to give to actions that touch on questions of supply.
In any case, the detailed account of the facts shows that social issues are present in the Resistance and how episodes like this – even if they have remained discreet in its history – are an important component of it.
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