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Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille

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Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

France, 1940. The once glittering boulevards of Paris teem with spies, collaborators, and the Gestapo now that France has fallen to Hitler's Wermacht. For André Breton, Max Ernst, Victor Serge, Marc Chagall, Consuelo de Saint-Exupé ry, Remedios Varo, Benjamin Pé ret, and scores of other cultural elite denounced as enemies of the Third Reich, fear and uncertainty define daily life. One wrong glance, one misplaced confidence, could mean arrest, deportation, and death. Their only salvation is the Villa Air-Bel, a châ teau outside Marseille where a group of young people will go to extraordinary lengths to keep them alive.

Financed by the Emergency Rescue Committee, a private American relief organization, unlikely heroes— feisty graduate student Miriam Davenport, Harvard-educated classical scholar Varian Fry, beautiful and compelling heiress Mary Jayne Gold, and brilliant young Socialist and survivor of the Battle of Dunkerque Danny Bé né dite and his British wife, Theo— cajole, outwit, and use every means possible to stave off the Nazis and newly installed Vichy government officials circling closer with each passing day. The châ teau was a vibrant artistic salon, home to lively debates and clandestine affairs, to Sunday art auctions and subversive surrealist games. Relationships within the house were tense and arguments were common, but the will to survive kept the covert operation under wraps. Beyond the châ teau's luscious faç ade war raged, yet hope reverberated within its halls. With the aid of their young rescuers, this diverse intelligentsia— intense, brilliant, and utterly terrified— was able to survive one of thedarkest chapters of the twentieth century.

Villa Air-Bel is a powerfully told, meticulously researched true story. Rosemary Sullivan explores the diaries, memoirs, and letters of the individuals involved while uncovering their private worlds and the web of relationships they developed. Filled with suspense, drama, and intrigue, Villa Air-Bel is an excellent work of narrative nonfiction that delves into a fascinating albeit hidden saga in our recent history.

Synopsis:

France, 1940. The once glittering boulevards of Paris teem with spies, collaborators, and the Gestapo now that France has fallen to Hitler's Wermacht. For André Breton, Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry, and scores of other cultural elite who have been denounced as enemies of the Third Reich the fear of imminent arrest, deportation, and death defines their daily life. Their only salvation is the Villa Air-Bel, a château outside Marseille where a group of young people will go to extraordinary lengths to keep them alive.

A powerfully told, meticulously researched true story filled with suspense, drama, and intrigue, Villa Air-Bel delves into a fascinating albeit hidden saga in our recent history. It is a remarkable account of how a diverse intelligentsia—intense, brilliant, and utterly terrified—was able to survive one of the darkest chapters of the twentieth century.

About the Author

Rosemary Sullivan is the bestselling author of Labyrinth of Desire: Women, Passion, and Romantic Obsession and The Red Shoes: Margaret Atwood Starting Out. Her biography of Gwendolyn MacEwen, Shadow Maker, won the Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction. A poet and a professor of English at the University of Toronto, Rosemary lives in Toronto with her husband.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060732516
Author:
Sullivan, Rosemary
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Author:
by Rosemary Sullivan
Author:
French, Vivian
Subject:
Europe - France
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
Holocaust
Subject:
Jewish - General
Subject:
General History
Subject:
France - History - German occupation, 1940-
Subject:
Villa Air-Bel (Marseille, France)
Subject:
General Juvenile Fiction
Subject:
Military-World War II General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
The Tiara Club
Publication Date:
20071031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 1 to 4
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
8.02x5.34x1.19 in. .93 lbs.
Age Level:
from 6 to 9

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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 » Holocaust
Religion » Judaism » History
Religion » Judaism » Jewish History

Villa Air-Bel: World War II, Escape, and a House in Marseille Used Trade Paper
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Product details 496 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060732516 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , France, 1940. The once glittering boulevards of Paris teem with spies, collaborators, and the Gestapo now that France has fallen to Hitler's Wermacht. For André Breton, Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry, and scores of other cultural elite who have been denounced as enemies of the Third Reich the fear of imminent arrest, deportation, and death defines their daily life. Their only salvation is the Villa Air-Bel, a château outside Marseille where a group of young people will go to extraordinary lengths to keep them alive.

A powerfully told, meticulously researched true story filled with suspense, drama, and intrigue, Villa Air-Bel delves into a fascinating albeit hidden saga in our recent history. It is a remarkable account of how a diverse intelligentsia—intense, brilliant, and utterly terrified—was able to survive one of the darkest chapters of the twentieth century.

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