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Les Parisiennes

Author: Anne Sebba
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1250048591
Size: 71.27 MB
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"What did it feel like to be a woman living in Paris from 1939 to 1949? These were years of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation and secrets until--finally--renewal and retribution. Even at the darkest moments of Occupation, with the Swastika flying from the Eiffel Tower and pet dogs abandoned howling on the streets, glamour was ever present. French women wore lipstick. Why? It was women more than men who came face to face with the German conquerors on a daily basis--perhaps selling them their clothes or travelling alongside them on the Metro, where a German soldier had priority over seats. By looking at a wide range of individuals from collaborators to resisters, actresses and prostitutes to teachers and writers, Anne Sebba shows that women made life-and-death decisions every day, and often did whatever they needed to survive. Her fascinating cast of characters includes both native Parisian women and those living in Paris temporarily--American women and Nazi wives, spies, mothers, mistresses, and fashion and jewellery designers. Some women, like the heiress Béatrice de Camondo or novelist Irène Némirovsky, converted to Catholicism; others like lesbian racing driver Violette Morris embraced the Nazi philosophy; only a handful, like Coco Chanel, retreated to the Ritz with a German lover. A young medical student, Anne Spoerry, gave lethal injections to camp inmates one minute but was also known to have saved the lives of Jews. But this is not just a book about wartime. In enthralling detail Sebba explores the aftershock of the Second World War and the choices demanded. How did the women who survived to see the Liberation of Paris come to terms with their actions and those of others? Although politics lies at its heart, Les Parisiennes is a fascinating account of the lives of people of the city and, specifically, in this most feminine of cities, its women and young girls"--From publisher's website.

Les Parisiennes

Author: Anne Sebba
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 0297870998
Size: 13.35 MB
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WINNER OF THE FRANCO-BRITISH SOCIETY BOOK PRIZE 2016 June, 1940. German troops enter Paris and hoist the swastika over the Arc de Triomphe. The dark days of Occupation begin. How would you have survived? By collaborating with the Nazis, or risking the lives of you and your loved ones to resist? The women of Paris faced this dilemma every day - whether choosing between rations and the black market, or travelling on the Metro, where a German soldier had priority for a seat. Between the extremes of defiance and collusion was a vast moral grey area which all Parisiennes had to navigate in order to survive. Anne Sebba has sought out and interviewed scores of women, and brings us their unforgettable testimonies. Her fascinating cast includes both native Parisiennes and temporary residents: American women and Nazi wives; spies, mothers, mistresses, artists, fashion designers and aristocrats. The result is an enthralling account of life during the Second World War and in the years of recovery and recrimination that followed the Liberation of Paris in 1944. It is a story of fear, deprivation and secrets - and, as ever in the French capital, glamour and determination.

Doctor To The Resistance

Author: Hal Vaughan
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
ISBN: 161234271X
Size: 78.78 MB
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Maine-born Dr. Sumner "Jack" Jackson joined the British Army as a volunteer physician during World War I. After the Battle of the Somme, he married a beautiful French Red Cross nurse. When the war was over, Jackson joined the staff of the American Hospital in Paris, where he quickly became a favorite physician of such Lost Generation figures as Hemingway and Fitzgerald. During World War II, Jackson, his wife, and their teenage son joined the French Resistance. They hid and treated wounded Allied flyers and Resistance fighters, used the hospital as a cover for Resistance activities, photographed the German submarine base at Saint-Nazaire, and helped smuggle plans for the V-1 rocket to England. Just before the Americans liberated Paris, however, the family was betrayed to the Gestapo and deported to German concentration camps. The day before the war ended, tragedy struck. Doctor to the Resistance is based on recently declassified records of the French Resistance, the National Archives, family letters and diaries, and the author's interviews with Dr. Jackson's son. Hal Vaughan recounts the Jacksons' remarkable true story for the first time. It will captivate history buffs, World War II aficionados, and anyone interested in the Paris of that fascinating era.

Suite Francaise

Author: Irene Nemirovsky
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 9780307371201
Size: 18.14 MB
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Suite Française is both a brilliant novel of wartime and an extraordinary historical document. An unmatched evocation of the exodus from Paris after the German invasion of 1940, and of life under the Nazi occupation, it was written by the esteemed French novelist Irène Némirovsky as events unfolded around her. This haunting masterpiece has been hailed by European critics as a War and Peace for the Second World War. Though she conceived the book as a five-part work (based on the form of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony), Irène Némirovsky was able to write only the first two parts, Storm in June and Dolce, before she was arrested in July 1942. She died in Auschwitz the following month. The manuscript was saved by her young daughter Denise; it was only decades later that Denise learned that what she had imagined was her mother’s journal was in fact an invaluable work of art. Storm in June takes place in the tumult of the evacuation from Paris in 1940, just before the arrival of the invading German army. It moves vividly between different levels of society–from the wealthy Péricand family, whose servants pack up their possessions for them, to a group of orphans from the 16th arrondissement escaping in a military truck. Némirovsky’s immense canvas includes deserting soldiers and terrified secretaries, cynical bank directors and hapless priests, egotistical writers and hardscrabble prostitutes–all thrown together in a chaotic attempt to escape the capital. Moving between them chapter by chapter, this thrilling novel describes a journey hampered and in some cases abandoned because of confusion, shelling, rumour, lack of supplies, bad luck and ordinary human weakness. Cars break down or are stolen; relatives are forgotten; friends are divided; but there are also moments of love and charity. Throughout, whether depicting saintly forbearance or the basest selfishness, Storm in June neither sweetens nor demonizes its characters; unsentimentally, with stunning perceptiveness, Némirovsky shows the complexities that mean no-one is simply a hero or villain. The second volume, Dolce, is set in the German-occupied village of Bussy. Again, Némirovsky switches seamlessly between social strata, from tenant farmers to the local aristocracy. The focus, however, is on the delicate, secret love affair between a German soldier and the French woman in whose house he has been billeted; the passion, doubts and deceits of their burgeoning relationship echo the complex mixture of hostility and acceptance felt by the occupied community as a whole. Némirovsky is amazingly sensitive in her depiction of changing, often contradictory emotions, but her attention to the personal is matched by her sharp-eyed discussion of small-town life and the politics of occupation. In this myth-dissolving book, the French villagers see the Germans as oppressive warriors, but also as handsome young men, and occupation does nothing to remedy the condescension and envy that bedevil relations between rich and poor. Quite apart from the astonishing story of its survival, Suite Française is a novel of genius and lasting artistic value. Subtle, often fiercely ironic, and deeply compassionate, it is both a piercing record of its time and a humane, profoundly moving novel. From the Hardcover edition.

Fashion Under The Occupation

Author: Dominique Veillon
Publisher: Berg Publishers
ISBN: 9781859735435
Size: 13.36 MB
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Before the outbreak of WWII, French fashion represented the very pinnacle of style, and French women the epitome of chic. At home and abroad, couturiers wealthy clients eagerly awaited the latest collections, and design houses throughout the world looked to Paris for inspiration. Unparalleled for glamour and elegance, all things French were noted and emulated - and especially French fashion. One morning in September 1939, into this idyllic world of haute couture and Caf society came the shattering experience of war, followed by the German Occupation. French women, determined not to give way to the inevitable austerities, sought innovation: hats made from blotting paper or newspapers - the latter signalling political allegiances - and blouses made out of parachute silk, often obtained through dubious means. Not only did life go on, but creativity flourished - culottes, which enabled stylish bicycle journeys, became the vogue, and couturiers capitalized on deprivation with wit - dubbing designs Coal and Black Coffee, or naming an entire collection after Mtro stops. Fashion under the Occupation provides the only in-depth history of these blackest years in French history, long overlooked by fashion history because of the impoverished industry and deprivations that affected design. Widely acknowledged as the authoritative work on fashion during this period, it is available in English for the first time and will be essential reading for anyone interested in fashion, French cultural history, and particularly the German Occupation of France.

When Paris Went Dark

Author: Ronald C. Rosbottom
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 031621745X
Size: 38.28 MB
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The spellbinding and revealing chronicle of Nazi-occupied Paris On June 14, 1940, German tanks entered a silent and nearly deserted Paris. Eight days later, France accepted a humiliating defeat and foreign occupation. Subsequently, an eerie sense of normalcy settled over the City of Light. Many Parisians keenly adapted themselves to the situation-even allied themselves with their Nazi overlords. At the same time, amidst this darkening gloom of German ruthlessness, shortages, and curfews, a resistance arose. Parisians of all stripes-Jews, immigrants, adolescents, communists, rightists, cultural icons such as Colette, de Beauvoir, Camus and Sartre, as well as police officers, teachers, students, and store owners-rallied around a little known French military officer, Charles de Gaulle. WHEN PARIS WENT DARK evokes with stunning precision the detail of daily life in a city under occupation, and the brave people who fought against the darkness. Relying on a range of resources---memoirs, diaries, letters, archives, interviews, personal histories, flyers and posters, fiction, photographs, film and historical studies---Rosbottom has forged a groundbreaking book that will forever influence how we understand those dark years in the City of Light.

Rosies War

Author: Noel Holland
Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books
ISBN: 1843176467
Size: 27.13 MB
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Rosie, a young Englishwoman from a comfortable middle-class background, left her London home in 1939 to work as an au pair in Avignon in the South of France. Even the outbreak of war later that year did little to disturb her happy life there, until 1940 when Hitler launched an all-out assault on Western Europe. Trying to escape back to Britain, Rosie was only able to flee as far as Paris, where she was eventually rounded up as an 'enemy alien' and sent to a German-run prison camp in Eastern France. Desperate to escape, she eventually did so with an equally industrious friend, Frida. After many months on the run in France, the young women finally reached the unoccupied city of Marseille. From there, they continued to flee through France, Spain and Portugal, at last arriving in Ireland where they were able to catch a plane back to Britain. Moving, enthralling, and inspirational, Rosie's War is a book for all to enjoy.

The Power Of Solitude

Author: Marion Yorck Von Wartenburg
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 9780803249158
Size: 39.47 MB
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?Dearly beloved Child of my Heart, we are probably standing at the end of our beautiful and rich life together. Because tomorrow the People?s Court intends to sit in judgment on me and others. I hear that we have been expelled from the army. They can take the uniform from us, but not the spirit in which we acted.??Peter Yorck vonøWartenburg, in a letter to his wife. Marion Yorck von Wartenburg was involved in the Nazi resistance group known as the Kreisau Circle, whose cofounder was her husband, Peter. The Kreisau Circle participated in the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler on July 20, 1944. Peter?s cousin Claus Stauffen-berg and other members of the military resistance carried out the attempt. When they failed, hundreds of people were arrested, tried, and executed, including Peter. Marion and other members of the conspirators? families were also arrested and spent months jailed under miserable conditions. In this memoir Marion recreates the terrifying reality of her life as the wife of a resistance fighter and at the same time conveys the depth of the bond that existed between her and her husband.

Priscilla

Author: Nicholas Shakespeare
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062297058
Size: 12.29 MB
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Priscilla: The Hidden Life of an Englishwoman in Wartime France by Nicholas Shakespeare is a transcendent work of narrative nonfiction in the vein of The Hare with Amber Eyes. When Nicholas Shakespeare stumbled across a trunk full of his late aunt’s personal belongings, he was unaware of where this discovery would take him and what he would learn about her hidden past. The glamorous, mysterious figure he remembered from his childhood was very different from the morally ambiguous young woman who emerged from the trove of love letters, journals and photographs, surrounded by suitors and living the precarious existence of a British citizen in a country controlled by the enemy during World War II. As a young boy, Shakespeare had always believed that his aunt was a member of the Resistance and had been tortured by the Germans. The truth turned out to be far more complicated. Piecing together fragments of his aunt’s remarkable and tragic story, Priscilla is at once a stunning story of detection, a loving portrait of a flawed woman trying to survive in terrible times, and a spellbinding slice of history.

But You Did Not Come Back

Author: Marceline Loridan-Ivens
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
ISBN: 0802190650
Size: 26.92 MB
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“You might come back, because you’re young, but I will not come back.”—Marceline Loridan’s father to her, 1944 A runaway bestseller in France, But You Did Not Come Back has already been the subject of a French media storm and hailed as an important new addition to the library of books dealing with the Holocaust. It is the profoundly moving and poetic memoir by Marceline Loridan-Ivens, who at the age of fifteen was arrested in occupied France, along with her father. Later, in the camps, he managed to smuggle a note to her, a sign of life that made all the difference to Marceline—but he died in the Holocaust, while Marceline survived. In But You Did Not Come Back, Marceline writes back to her father, the man whose death overshadowed her whole life. Although her grief never diminished in its intensity, Marceline ultimately found her calling, working as both an activist and a documentary filmmaker. But now, as France and Europe in general faces growing anti-Semitism, Marceline feels pessimistic about the future. Her testimony is a memorial, a confrontation, and a deeply affecting personal story of a woman whose life was shattered and never totally rebuilt.