Book Launch @IHR: Laure Humbert, Reinventing French Aid: The Politics of Humanitarian Relief in French-Occupied Germany, 1945–1952 (CUP, 2021)

On Monday 21 June at 17h30 (London), we hosted our final Modern French History seminar of the academic year, where we were thrilled to launch Laure Humbert’s first book, Reinventing French Aid: The Politics of Humanitarian Relief in French-Occupied Germany, 1945-1952 (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

After a brief introductory talk by Laure Humbert, our three distinguished speakers Karen Adler (Nottingham), Peter Gatrell (Manchester), and Jessica Reinisch (Birkbeck) offered some thoughts on the book. There was then an opportunity for audience members to ask questions to the author and the commentators about the book. You can watch a recording of the event below:

Good news: Cambridge University Press have released a 20% discount code for the book RFA2021. Use it via this link to the press.

Humbert explores how humanitarian aid in occupied Germany was influenced by French politics of national recovery and Cold War rivalries. By rendering relief workers and Displaced Persons visible, she sheds lights on their role in shaping relief practices and addresses the neglected issue of the gendering of rehabilitation.

Laure Humbert is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Manchester. She is interested in the history of humanitarian aid, gender and population displacements. Her most recent work examines the everyday encounters between French officials, members of new international organizations, relief workers, defeated Germans and Displaced Persons, who remained in the territory of the French occupation zone in the aftermath of the Second World War.. This research has opened a number of key questions, which provided the impetus for her new research project on the history of the French external Resistance from the perspectives of its missionary dispensaries, international mobile surgical units, base and field hospitals in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.  She has recently been awarded an AHRC Early career grant to work with Bertrand Taithe and Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps on ‘Colonial and Transnational intimacies: Medical Humanitarianism in the French external resistance, 1940-1945’. (


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