FRANCOISE FRENKEL    Book Number: 90782    Product format: Hardback

A French equivalent to the anonymous 'A Woman In Berlin' (which we stock code 91513), and a non-fiction counterpoint to Suite Française, the author who died in 1975 writes that it is 'the duty of those who have survived to bear witness to ensure the dead are not forgotten.' Her remarkable story of resilience and survival does just that. In 1921, the author, a Jewish woman from Poland, fulfils a dream and opens La Maison du Livre, Berlin's first French bookshop, and a haven for artists and diplomats, celebrities and poets. But Nazi ideology soon begins to poison the culturally rich city, and frequent police visits and book confiscations become the norm. Françoise's dream finally shatters in November 1938 as hundreds of Jewish shops and businesses are destroyed on Kristallnacht. The bookshop is miraculously spared, but fear of persecution forces her on a desperate, lonely flight to Paris, then across Southern France. Although she witnesses countless horrors and sacrifices, she survives at the hands of heroic strangers risking their lives to protect her. When the city is bombed and she flees, she sees children torn from their parents, mothers throwing themselves under buses and she is secreted away from one safe house to the next. There is the heroic tale of Mme. and M. Marius, the comedy of the glamorous refugee who hoodwinked the Germans into saving her son, the tragedy of the young man accused of murdering his wife, and the melodrama of hardened prison guards. Detailed, emotional and careful, it is a compelling account of crushing oppression. Published quietly in 1945, then rediscovered nearly 60 years later in an attic, this is a remarkable story of human cruelty and the human spirit. Hardback, 269pp.
Published price: $26
Bibliophile price: £8.50

Additional product information

ISBN 9781501199844
Browse these categories as well: War Memoirs, Modern History/Current Affairs

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