Marianne in Chains: Daily Life in the Heart of France During the German Occupation
In France, the German occupation is called simply the "dark years." There were only the "good French" who resisted and the "bad French" who collaborated. Marianne in Chains, a broad and provocative history drawing on previously unseen archives, firsthand interviews, diaries, and eyewitness accounts, uncovers the complex truth of the time. Robert Gildea's groundbreaking stu...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Picador
(first published March 22nd 2002)
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Good description of the WWII occupation of several departments along the Loire at the Atlantic Coast. Lots of excellent local observations and stories. I was disappointed in the summary and conclusions: he tried to mediate the complex forces at work without ranking them or discussing their relative importance morally and politically, as though the treatment of the Jews could be compared to the forced labor of young men and women, which, by the way, was more resisted by the government and police...more
Gildea sets out to present occupied France during WWII in a new light. He shifts focus away from the Resistance and attempts to dispel the commonly accepted notion that occupied France was not such a brutally repressive place. Gildea does not ignored the harsh treatment and reaction of the Germans and the hardships that the French endured during the years of occupations but he instead focuses on how the French people learned to adapt and survive. He traces the emergence of new relationships betw...more
Robert Nigel Gildea is professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford and is the author of several influential books on 20th century French history.More about Robert Gildea...