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When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 (Paperback)
When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 by Ronald C. Rosbottom. What is life like for ordinary citizens when their beloved city is occupied by foreign troops? Amherst College professor Ronald Rosbottom delves into this question through the lens of the Nazi occupation of Paris. The answers are complex and disturbing. France had surrendered before the Germans reached Paris and the city was spared the intense bombardment and destruction which other cities suffered. However, the Nazis step by step tightened the noose around Parisians. Food shortages, long lines for staples, severe restrictions on foreign and French Jews, appropriation of businesses and apartments, curfews, Jews from the age of six forced to wear yellow stars, imprisonment, interrogations, and deportations made life difficult for most Parisians and desperate for many. Rosbottom gathers evidence from a variety of sources and presents a disturbing story of the Nazi occupation.— From Joan's Picks
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, deportations, 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.
About the Author
Ronald C. Rosbottom is the Winifred L. Arms Professor in the Arts and Humanities and Professor of French and European Studies at Amherst College. Previously, he was the Dean of the Faculty at Amherst, Chair of the Romance Languages Department at The Ohio State University, and taught at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.