When Paris Went Dark

When Paris Went Dark

The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944

Book - 2014
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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.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, c2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316217446
Branch Call Number: 940.5344 ROS NVD
Characteristics: xxxii, 447 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm


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Jul 04, 2018

As an avid reader of WWII history, I am always happy to find a book with a unique perspective. I loved "Last Hope Island " and enjoyed this in depth look at the occupation of Paris, 1940 to 1945. Paris is / was unique for many reasons. There was no battle to take Paris as was the case for Oslo, Warsaw, and other European capitals. The Nazis quietly walked in and took over. The French army was already defeated and on the way to POW camps. The issue of what makes the difference between compliance with Nazi law and corroboration plagued the city for 5 years. When the Jews were arrested and sent to Drancy and ultimately to concentration camps, the Germans did not perform the "round-up" the French police did. Some Parisians protected the vulnerable and helped Allied pilots get out or Europe; some betrayed and denounced them. When the women who "corroborated horizontally" had their heads shaved after the end of occupation, the same did not happen to the prostitutes. They were simply conducting business. When I was last in Paris I was told as a joke that every French man over a certain age was in the resistance. This was obviously not the case. The communists who were ultimately the most organized of the resistance were at first put on the sidelines by the pact of non-aggression between Hitler and Stalin. The Vichy government was the puppet of the Nazis. This book looks at the fear, shame, anger, and helplessness that characterized the citizens of Paris for 5 years. Many Parisians did not know exactly how to feel about their country, their government and themselves. I highly recommend this book. Kristi & Abby Tabby

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