Lynne Taylor

Associate Professor


Lynne Taylor

I am an Associate Professor of History at the University of Waterloo. I received my PhD from the University of Michigan and my MA from the London School of Economics, University of London. I did my BA (Hons) at the University of Western Ontario. I taught for one year at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster PA before coming to Waterloo.

My research interests, briefly put, focus on state/society relations in the context of war, using the history of Europe during WWI and WWII, and the immediate post-WWII years, as my vehicle for exploring this topic. My first book was a study of the Nazi occupation of northern France during WWII and the local population's response to that occupation (Between Resistance and Collaboration, Palgrave). I have edited two memoirs, one of a Polish air force officer shot down over Poland in the first days of WWII who was incarcerated in Sachsenhausen, a forced labour camp outside of Berlin, for the duration of the war. The book, Liebe Mutti (Rowan & Littlefield), is the story of his experiences in the camp. The second memoir, After the Shooting Stopped, is the story of Susan Pettiss, a child welfare worker with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration who worked with the displaced persons in Germany from 1945 to 1947. Polish Orphans of Tengeru (Polskie Sieroty z Tengeru) was released in English in January 2010 (Dundurn Press) and in Polish in April 2010 (Rebis).  It is the story of a group of 143 Polish Catholic children who come to Canada in 1949 from East Africa as part of the settlement of the postwar DP crisis. They arrived in East Africa in a mass exodus of Poles out of the prison camps of Siberia in 1942 and 1943. 

My most recent book, published in 2017 (University of Toronto Press) and entitled In the Children's Best Interests: Unaccompanied Children in American-Occupied Germany, 1945-1952, is a study of the displaced persons crisis in Germany after WWII, focussing on one particular group of DPs, known as unaccompanied children.  Of every nationality and every age, some 20,000 to 30,000 of them moved in and out of the DP camps in the US occupied zone of Germany. These children posed a myriad of practical, legal, political and ethical problems for the international agencies caring for them. The book explores how the various agencies responsible for the children's care and disposition handled these challenges.

My newest project, recently launched, explores the physical reconstruction of Belgium in the aftermath of WWI - the challenges faced by both the government and the individuals who lost their homes and businesses in their attempt to rebuild the physically shattered country.


  • B.A. (Hons) University of Western Ontario
  • M.A. London School of Economics, University of London
  • PhD University of Michigan 

Recent publications

  • Polish Orphans of Tengeru, Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2009 (Polskie Sieroty z Tengeru, Posnan, Poland: Rebis Publishing, 2010).

  • “ ‘Please Report Only True Nationalities’: the classification of Displaced Persons in post-WWII Germany and its implications”, in J.D. Steinert (ed.), Justice, Politics, and Memory in Europe after the Second World WarEdgeware, UK: Valletine Mitchell, 2010 (publication pending).

  • “Unaccompanied DP Children in Germany, 1949-1952: Lost in the Shuffle”, in J.D. Steinert and I. Weber-Newth (eds.),Beyond Camps and Forced Labour: Current International Research of Survivors of Nazi Persecution. Proceedings of the international conference, London, 11-13 January 2006OsnabrueckSecolo Verlag, 2008.

  • Liebe Mutti: Fragments from KZ-Reports Sachsenhausen, 1939-1946. ed. Lynne Taylor, Landham MD: University Press of America, Inc. 2004 (now with Rowan & Littlefield)

  • “Occupied France Remembered: review essay,” Contemporary European HistoryVol. 13, No. 3, August 2004, pp.357-365.

  • "The Role of  Information Technology in the Transformation of Work:  A Comparison of Post-Industrial, Industrial and Proto-Industrial Organization," (co-authored with Dr. Susan Winter, University of Victoria), Information Systems ResearchVol. 7, No. 1, March 1996, pp. 5-21.  (Reprinted in G. DeSanctis and JFulk (eds.) Shaping Organization Form:  Communication, Connection and Community.  Thousand Oaks, CA:SAGE Publications, Inc., 1999 (pp101-128) and in JoAnne Yates and J. Van Maanen (eds),Information Technology and Organizational Transformation:  History, Rhetoric, and Practice, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2001 (pp7-34). (see below)

  • Between Resistance and Collaboration: Popular Protest in Northern France, 1940-1944. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan Press, 1999 (co-published by St. Martin's Press, NY, 1999; now with Palgrave).

  • “The Black Market in Occupied France, 1940-1944,” Contemporary European HistoryVol. 6, No. 2, July 1997, pp. 153-176.

  • “Collective Action in Northern France, 1940-1944,” French HistoryVol. 11, No. 2, June 1997, pp. 190-214.

  • “Food Riots Revisited,” Journal of Social HistoryVol. 30, No. 2, Winter 1996, pp. 483-496.

  • "The Parti Communiste Français and the French Resistance in the Second World War," in Tony Judt (ed.), Resistance and Revolution in Mediterranean Europe, 1939-1948, London:  Routledge, 1989, pp. 53-79.

University of Waterloo
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