Saturday, December 3, 2011

Five best books on the French Resistance

Caroline Moorehead's latest book is A Train in Winter: An Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship, and Resistance in Occupied France.

One of her five best books on the French Resistance, as told to the Wall Street Journal:
by Hélène Berr (2008)

When Hélène Berr began her diary in April 1942, she was 21, a clever young Jewish woman who had recently graduated from the Sorbonne and played the violin. Her father was a leading researcher in industrial chemistry. The family was more attached to French republicanism than to Judaism. What the Berrs did not grasp was that their assimilation would not protect them from the Germans. Her diary traces the spread of anti-Semitic measures—the orders for Jews to wear a yellow star, the round-ups and deportations. Berr also records the attitudes of the French—both good and bad—toward what was happening. As first foreign-born Jews, then French Jews, fall into German hands, her tone becomes more anxious. We witness in this diary a poignant mental journey from carefree youth to grim adulthood. Deported to Auschwitz on her 23rd birthday, Hélène Berr died five days before liberation.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue