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Assignment Rescue: An Autobiography
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Assignment Rescue: An Autobiography

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  78 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
In 1940, all Varian Fry knew about being a secret agent was what he'd seen in the movies. But soon he was undercover in France, smuggling people blacklisted by Hitler to freedom. Told in his own words, this is the exciting story of one man who had the courage to try to change history. Originally published in 1969. Photographs.
Paperback, 183 pages
Published April 1st 1993 by Scholastic (first published 1968)
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Annie
Jul 14, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
found this book in my neighborhood mini library. What is a mini library, you ask? A neighbor has a little book shelf with a door and roof set up in their front yard; then you take book, leave a book.
Noah
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was about a man named Varian Fry, who was selected by the United States to go to France during World War 2 to help save the victims of the Holocaust. The U.S. had given him a list of the most important people, who were Jewish artists, musicians, or anybody who had openly protested the Nazis. While he was there, he assembled a staff to help him with this assignment, he saved a lot of people by setting up connections for them get out of France. The entire time, the Gestapo is looking for ...more
Pam
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Assignment Rescue is a great autobiography. Varian Fry was the first American to be awarded the Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for his role in helping Jews during the Holocaust. His story is fascinating mainly because of his perseverance in spite of all the obstacles put in his way.
Seth owens
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kasra Nassirpour
Assignment Rescue: An Autobiography by Varian Fry is an intriguing and eye-opening book that was written by Varian Fry himself. The author wrote this novel to convey his experiences as a secret agent during World War II, and to also inform the readers on how difficult this task really was. Fry did an outstanding job visualizing his experiences in Nazi controlled France, to make the reader feel as if he were there alongside him. He explains each one of his rescues and the trouble he encountered e ...more
Ryan Ballinger
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Assignment Rescue by Varian Fry is a story about an American, Varian Fry, who before WW2 had plans to go to France. He tried to get some of the people that fled from Nazi Germany into France and then into Spain where they could go to the United States and be safe from the Nazi’s.

Varian Fry’s purpose was to tell his story and the story of the people that he saw and saved during that time. In the book, he would talk about other people who were trying to escape. For example, Hilferding was a well-
...more
DaKota Kitowski
Assignment: Rescue by Varian Fry was about how he managed to help thousands of Jews and anti-Jews who were being hunted by Hitler escape France from 1940 to 1941. He tells the tales of his plans and how difficult it was to get all the passports, visas, update everyone in New York City about everything that was happening, and everything else they needed, without giving it away to the German officers that they were doing illegal transports of wanted people.
The theme of this autobiography was to
...more
Michael
Mar 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Holocaust historians, fans of Schindler's List
Recommended to Michael by: Martha Grutchfield
Shelves: memoirs, fascism
This is the autobiography of a lesser-known figure in the Holocaust - a man who became a professional rescuer. Far less compromised than the better-known Oskar Schindler, Fry was an American who acted out of conscience, not from any motivation of profit, and from his base in France, worked to get as many people out of Germany and occupied Europe as possible. Of course, he knew he couldn't save everyone, and doubtless had to make torturous ethical decisions about whom to help and how, but he save ...more
Jennifer Plummer
This books tells the story of Varian Fry, the only righteous gentile to come from the United States throughout WWII. This book was assigned as a discussion point in a class called America and the Holocaust. It is hard to talk about such a situation without mention Mr. Fry and the people he worked with to help Jews escape the Gestapo. Originally, he was sent over to help a certain list of people the Gestapo were out to get. In the end, he helped rescue many, many more than even he really expected ...more
Mel
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up when I was fifteen on a whim once, and years later still remembered it enough to go hunting for it again. Glad I did, because it's an excellent view into a small but important part of history. Mr. Fry is a journalist, so his prose comes off as both interesting and also a bit understated, because at the time news stories weren't all overblown ratings-fodder. So the story is easy to read and compelling without being overdramatic or full of hyperbole. As for the events of the ...more
Jaide
Jun 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i liked it. it was really interesting at first, but then i got a little bored with it toward the end, but it was only 180 pages, so i decided to finish it since i had 30 pages left. it was hard to imagine it as a non-fiction book, but then after reading it i went into my mind and thought of all these people as if i had helped them today. there was a wide range of characters, some irrelevant and others relevant based upon the job fry was doing. overall it was good, and saddens me to think of all ...more
Judy
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This is the interesting true account of how American Varian Fry helped rescue thousands of Europeans who were hunted by the Nazis after the Nazi occupation of Europe. Fry was sent to Marseilles, France in 1940 to head the American Rescue Center which was charged with getting as many of Europe's great artists and intellectuals out of Europe as possible. For thirteen months, Varian and his staff worked diligently to locate and transport these people to safety. In late 1941, he was forced to return ...more
Marilyn
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Varian Fry sent to France in 1940 by American Emergency Rescue Committee with a list of a thousand or more names of artists, writers, musicians, scientists, professors, political figures that the Germans wanted to arrest through Article 19 which stated that the French (Vichy) government must "surrender on demand" all refugees from the Greater German Reich including Germans, Austrians, Czechs, Poles.
He obtained official exit documents for some and had them escape through Pyrenees to Spain and by
...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
More like looked through, to compare to the previous version, Surrender on Demand. This has some minor factual corrections and additions, but it lacks an index. (This edition does, anyway. I can't speak to later ones.)

If I were in a position to only read one, I'd read Surrender on Demand. If I had access to both, and were only reading for interest or curiosity, I'd look at Assignment: Rescue to see the minor updates. But I get the impression that Surrender is the better read.
Cince
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think Assignment Rescue an autobiography by Varian Fry is amazing it starts out with Varian Fry going to Merceilles to try and help the people in trouble by the nazis. He goes through a series of challenges throughout his campaign almost getting caught by the nazis multiple times. And this is why I like this book because it's a true story that has a lot of action.
Marcia Russell
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book and historical account of what happened in France before and during the Second World War. Sad to think of all the great artists and writers, scientists, etc. that were lost to the world be-
cause of the evil in some people's minds! The book was an easy read and can be read in an evening. Loved it!
Connie Wallace
This story is amazing. The men and women that helped all the refugees were so unselfish. However this was not an easy reading book for me. It seemed more like a text book and it was hard to keep track of all the people. I did like to learn about it though it was very informative.
Rachel N
Feb 20, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Intriguing story, from the perspective of one very involved American, of the rescue of refugee artists from France during the German occupation. Writing style is hard to follow. Readers, unless familiar with French towns & 1940s artists, will get lost in the innumerable names of places & people.
Carolanne
My seventh grade history teacher gave me this book because the authors his last name (duh) and because I was obsessed with books about the Holocaust.
Nora
Directly told by the man who lived it and with humility. Amazing plotting to rescue refugees thru Vichy France and out thru Marseille. Very little said about this bold series of events.
Trebledb
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Without nuance this autobiography starkly lays down the facts of the 13 months Fry spent in Vichy France in 1940.
Cristina
Feb 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting autobiography about WWII and the Holocaust.
Maria
Jul 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a brave man Varian Fry was. Too bad he is one of the least known of the World War II Nazi time.
Erika Schoeps
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