Inner Voice (inner_v0ice) wrote in little_details,
Inner Voice

Languages in WWII; Slavery in Tokugawa-era Japan

I have two unrelated questions for you all today:

1) I need an Englishman working together with the French Resistance in WWII to have a conversation with a German officer. What language would they be using?
I know that Britain sent men fluent in French to work with the Resistance, but I have no idea what languages the German officer would speak. Would he know French or English? If so, how well? (Even limited knowledge would work--it's a very short conversation. XD)
I already Googled variations on the theme of "education under Hitler," since the officer is very young and would have received a lot of his education when the Nazis were already in power. There wasn't anything about foreign languages being taught in schools (although I suspect that might have stopped due to rabid German nationalism...?).
(EDIT: Thanks for the help on this one. I think maybe I'll go with French, since they're actually in France.)

2) Does anyone know anything about slavery in Tokugawa-era Japan?
According to Wikipedia, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and his successor Tokugawa Ieyasu abolished slavery in the 16th century. However, my fandom, set in the 19th century, canonically contains slavery. Presumably, then, it's illegal slavery--but both books I have on Japan don't mention slaves at all, illegal or otherwise.
Ideally, I'd like to know what these illegal slaves were used for (field labor? house servants? um...prostitution?), but frankly I'll be happy if anyone can even prove that they existed and the fandom's creator didn't just goof. XD
Tags: japan: history, ~world war ii

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