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Fleeing Hitler: France 1940

by

Fleeing Hitler: France 1940 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

As Hitler's victorious armies approached Paris, panic gripped the city and the roads heading south filled with millions of French citizens, fleeing for their lives, with scant supplies and often no destination in mind. All hoped, as famed author Simone de Beauvoir wrote in her diary, "not to be taken like a rat in Occupied Paris."

In Fleeing Hitler, historian Hanna Diamond paints a gripping picture of the harrowing escape from Paris, highlighting the hardships people suffered in their desperate flight, and underscoring the impact this exodus had on life under Vichy rule. Using eyewitness accounts, memoirs, and diaries, Diamond shows how this ordeal became for civilians and soldiers alike the defining experience of the war. She tells how, in the Paris region alone, close to four million people left their homes and fled south, swelling the numbers of refugees until is was impossible to direct the flow of humanity. The result was total chaos with an enormous price to pay in terms of human misery and suffering. Many lost their lives as this vast caravan of predominantly women, children, and the elderly faced truly harsh conditions, and even starvation. Then, after the German offer of peace, as the traumatized population returned home, preoccupied by the desire for safety and bewildered by the unexpected turn of events, they put their faith in Marshall Pétain who was able to establish his collaborative Vichy regime largely unopposed, while the Germans consolidated their occupation.

The first time this important story has been told in English, Fleeing Hitler captures in moving detail the devastating flight and early days of occupation after the fall of France.

Review:

"In France, it is called l'exode, or 'exodus': the flight from their homes of up to seven million residents before and during the German invasion of the country in May and June 1940 (events described in the bestselling novel Suite Franaise). Diamond, who specializes in modern French history at the University of Bath, combed dozens of memoirs and diaries about the flight for this first major study in English. She notes a number of reasons for the mass internal migration, including a belief in the 'atrocity propaganda' about Germany from WWI; fears that the Germans would bomb Paris and other cities; a desire to avoid working for the Nazi war machine; and the flight of the French government itself from Paris. She captures how an initial 'holiday spirit' gave way to a sense of displacement, loss and impoverishment for some and separation of families. Diamond also shows how the host communities, predominantly in France's south and west, often were overwhelmed by a doubling or tripling of their populations virtually overnight. Perhaps most important and interesting is her exploration of how Marshall Ptain exploited the exodus to discredit the government of the Third Republic. While Diamond's treatment of some topics, like fatalities during the exodus, is cursory, this is a solid work on a socially convulsive episode of WWII. 22 b&w photos. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Hanna Diamond is Senior Lecturer in French History in the Department of European Studies at the University of Bath. She lived and taught in Paris for many years and has spent her career researching into the lives of the French people during the twentieth century. Her previous book, Women and the Second World War in France is also based on personal narratives and oral history. It was the first to explore the range of women's experiences of the war.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Part One: Flight

1. Towards Disaster

2. On the Road

Part Two: Alternatives

3. The Government's Alternatives

4. The People's Alternatives

Part Three: Returning Home

5. Summer-Autumn 1940

6. 'Home' again?

Conclusions: Remembering and Forgetting the Exodus

Bibliography

Product Details

ISBN:
9780192806185
Author:
Diamond, Hanna
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Hanna
Subject:
Europe - France
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
General History
Subject:
History, World | European | France
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Refugees
Subject:
Germany
Subject:
World War, 1939-1945 - Refugees - France
Subject:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- France.
Subject:
Military-World War II General
Edition Number:
revised
Publication Date:
20070731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
21 b/w halftones
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
5.400 x 8.400 in 0.750 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » France » World War II
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » World History » France » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Fleeing Hitler: France 1940 New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$57.25 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780192806185 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In France, it is called l'exode, or 'exodus': the flight from their homes of up to seven million residents before and during the German invasion of the country in May and June 1940 (events described in the bestselling novel Suite Franaise). Diamond, who specializes in modern French history at the University of Bath, combed dozens of memoirs and diaries about the flight for this first major study in English. She notes a number of reasons for the mass internal migration, including a belief in the 'atrocity propaganda' about Germany from WWI; fears that the Germans would bomb Paris and other cities; a desire to avoid working for the Nazi war machine; and the flight of the French government itself from Paris. She captures how an initial 'holiday spirit' gave way to a sense of displacement, loss and impoverishment for some and separation of families. Diamond also shows how the host communities, predominantly in France's south and west, often were overwhelmed by a doubling or tripling of their populations virtually overnight. Perhaps most important and interesting is her exploration of how Marshall Ptain exploited the exodus to discredit the government of the Third Republic. While Diamond's treatment of some topics, like fatalities during the exodus, is cursory, this is a solid work on a socially convulsive episode of WWII. 22 b&w photos. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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