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In Defiance of Hitler: The Secret Mission of Varian Fry
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In Defiance of Hitler: The Secret Mission of Varian Fry

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  22 reviews
On August 4, 1940, an unassuming American journalist named Varian Fry made his way to Marseilles, France, carrying in his pockets the names of approximately two hundred artists and intellectuals – all enemies of the new Nazi regime. As a volunteer for the Emergency Rescue Committee, Fry's mission was to help these refugees flee to safety, then return home two weeks later. ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 2nd 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Amanda
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
In defiance of Hitler: The secret Mission of Varian Fry was a really interesting story. I don’t think we hear about the heroes of WWII enough. We only hear about the horror of concentration camps, which is a very important thing to learn about, but also not the only part of the WWII history. While this book is a little longer and harder to read for children I still thought it would be a great story for them to hear. It would be a nice way to integrate the holocaust into a classroom where you wan ...more
Anthony Bracciante
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an easy, informative read telling of the rescue work that Varian Fry, an American, engaged in rescuing refugees from Nazi occupied Europe in Marseilles in Vichy France from August 1940 until November 1941. He was instrumental in rescuing over 2000 people including artists Marc Chagall, Max Ernst and Andre Breton; writer Heinrich Mann and his brother Thomas's son Golo; over 200 British soldiers; and several anti-Nazis wanted by the Gestapo. Varian's organization continued to assist refuge ...more
Ryan Barthelmess
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I gave this book 4 stars because I found it really interesting and the different things Varian did but I wasn’t blown away by it. The book was about a guy named Varian Fry who was on a mission to help the oppressed people of Europe escape the Nazis and he did whatever it took to make sure it happened even if he was told to leave by the US government because he was angering allies of the US. I would recommend this book to people who like learning about world war 2 and secret missions people went ...more
L
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
A worthwhile book to be read about Varian Fry’s remarkable rescue of over 2000 refugees and Jews from France under the noses of the Germans and Vichy.
Jennifer Porter
Dec 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
In Defiance of Hitler: The Secret Mission of Varian Fry by Carla Killough McCafferty, tells a completely different story of Hitler’s rule. This story tells us about Varian Fry, who saved many lives during the Holocaust. He was a volunteer for the Emergency Rescue Committee in Marseilles, France, where he helped chosen refugees flee to safety. He decided to interview refugees and determine who was in the most danger and had to make the hard decisions of who to help. His initial goal was to stay f ...more
Maureen
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book. It is very well written. It is the story of a man Varian Fry who applys for a job to go to France and help a number of notable people get out of France in 1940. He has a list of people he is to help. Some Jews and some not but mostly Jews. One of the people is Pablo Picasso. Some are artists. He finds after arriving there and setting up an office that there are a number of people that want to come to America but they need the right kind of papers. In order to leave France you n ...more
Fluxbrarian
Oct 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-school
Thirty-two year old American Varian Fry flew to Marseilles in 1940 to help refugees escape Nazi occupied France. He arrived with a list of names of prominent artists, scientists, writers, and musicians to look for and help out of the country, and a plan to return home two weeks later. But once he saw the situation, he stayed over a year until evicted and helped save over 2000 refugees. The narrative is compelling and very accessible, and enough context is provided to understand what is going on. ...more
Jessica Lee
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: t-l-307-books
This story tells us about Varian Fry, who saved many lives during the Holocaust. He was a volunteer for the Emergency Rescue Committee in Marseilles, France, where he helped chosen refugees flee to safety. He decided to interview refugees and determine who was in the most danger and had to make the hard decisions of who to help. His initial goal was to stay for two weeks to help the refugees, however, after seeing how dire the situation was, he decided to stay as long as he could and remained to ...more
Kaitlyn
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This true story of Varian Fry was inspiring and enlightening. As a lover of anything World War II, it piqued my interest quickly. Fry was a journalist who joined a group called the Emergency Rescue Committee. He lead an escape mission to extract as many refugees as possible. He quickly realized that the situation was worse than first believed. Fry helped as many people as hehe could and refused to leave until he was removed. Many Americans tried to make his life harder by taking away his papers. ...more
Merica
Nov 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
I've always been interested in Holocaust literature--both fiction and non-fiction. I am intrigued by the human ability to both love and hate without reason. Varian Fry is an excellent example of a person who chose to care more than was wise; the result was the rescue of more than 2,000 people. This is an excellent account of his efforts, which remains true to the historical records, but sacrifices some of the literary merit as a result. Check out McClafferty's other books! ...more
Aubrey Hitt
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reading-635
Again, I am not normally drawn to non-fiction books but I really enjoyed this book and the bravery of the main character. His courage to face countless dangers and save the lives of so many people was inspiring. He stopped at no cost and didn't stop until there was no other choice. I was very interested the entire time and did not have may normal non-fiction attitude of being bored. ...more
Kelley
Dec 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-non-fiction
Great historical resource for young adults. Explains the background well for those with little knowledge of it. Contains a lot of detail, perhaps more than sufficient for the average reader's attention span, but overall tells a compelling story. ...more
Deborah
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Phoebe, Skylar
Varian Fry was an American who predicted the murder of the Jews before the Holocaust really began and became an important part of saving many Jews during the Holocaust. Teens who have an interest in the Resistance, the Holocaust, and standing up for human rights will enjoy this account.

JHS/HS
Rosy
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Wow... this nonfiction story really shows the difference that one person can make! Mr. Fry was very brave in helping out refugees during WWII. Imagine how much all of us could make if we worked together against the problems that are currently happening around the world.
Pollopicu
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Amazing story about Varian Fry's heroic efforts to help many anti-fascist artists, writers, and jews escape from France during WWII. Fry helped about two thousand refugees escape Nazi occupied france.

I'm pissed at Andre Breton. Shame on him.
...more
Wendy
Mar 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very interesting short history of an American who went to France to help Jewish authors, artists, etc escape from the Nazis during world war 2.
Todd
Apr 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult-lit
Check the next issue of The Alan Review for a review of this book!
Melissa
good...maybe too pedantic for book club
Stephanie
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great story of someone who made a difference and helped many people escape France. It's sad to think that if the U.S. would have allowed more Jewish immigrants more lives could have been saved. ...more
Charles
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Everyone of us should make the time to read this.
Alex  Baugh
Nov 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA readers
Shelves: world-war-2
This is an excellent and informative book about a little known hero during World War II. An extensive review can be found at http://thechildrenswar.blogspot.com
...more
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Sep 09, 2009
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