Friday, January 6, 2012

PART I: Life During Wartime

France fell to the German Blitzkrieg in six weeks.  A complete contrast to the four years of trench warfare of WWI.  From the invasion to the occupation to the Allies retaking Paris, I've collected several books on the French experience.

1.  Strange Victory: Hitler's Conquest of France, Ernest May (2000).  Details how Hitler believed in his victory over the French.  Bought new.

2. And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris, Alan Riding (2010).  During the Nazi occupation, cultural life in Paris continued to thrive.  Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf sang in night clubs, Picaso continued to paint, and Jean Paul Sartre wrote and produced plays.  Bought used at BJ's books in Warrenton.

3.  Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation,Glass, Charles (2011).  A fascinating series of accounts of Americans caught in Paris during the Nazi occupation.  Many heroic stories you've never heard including Sylvia Beach, owner of the famous English-language bookstore Shakespeare & Company, Clara Longworth de Chambrun, who maintained the American Library in Paris and Dr. Sumner Jackson, the American Hospital’s chief surgeon who helped downed American and British flyers.  Bought on Kindle. 

4.  Live with the Enemy: Collaboration and Resistance in Hitler's Europe 1939-1945, Werner Rings (1982).  Details life in France and elsewhere.  Describes the tension between the collaborators and resistors.  Bought used but can't remember where.

5.  Is Paris Burning, Larry Collins and Dominique LaPierre (1965).  The title takes its name from Hitler's quote when he asked whether his General had followed orders to destroy the City of Light.  Bought used but can't remember where. 

6.  The Battle of France 1940, Colonel A. Goutard (1959).  A French military historian, Colonel A. Goutard, writes that France learned nothing from World War I and that France lost its part of the Second World War as a direct result.

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