Les Parisiennes

Les Parisiennes

How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved, and Died Under Nazi Occupation

Book - 2016
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"What did it feel like to be a woman living in Paris from 1939 to 1949? These were years of fear, power, aggression, courage, deprivation, and secrets until--finally--renewal and retribution. Even at the darkest moments of Occupation, with the Swastika flying from the Eiffel Tower and pet dogs abandoned howling on the streets, glamour was ever present. French women wore lipstick. Why? It was women more than men who came face to face with the German conquerors on a daily basis--perhaps selling them their clothes or travelling alongside them on the Metro, where a German soldier had priority over seats. By looking at a wide range of individuals from collaborators to resisters, actresses and prostitutes to teachers and writers, Anne Sebba shows that women made life-and-death decisions every day, and often did whatever they needed to survive"--From publisher's website.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2016
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781250048592
Characteristics: xxii, 457 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Call Number: 305.409443 SEB


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Jun 21, 2017

Journalist Ann Sebba takes on the ambitious task of documenting women of many persuasions during the Occupation of Paris in WW II. Her writing tells of choices made, knowing or unknowingly, too collaborate or resist, and the importance of the fashion industry to the city and the world once the war ends. Interesting.

Feb 01, 2017

Sebba has written a comprehensive social history of Parisian women from 1939 through 1949 in three parts -- War, Liberation, and Reconstruction. From high society women to working prostitutes, the author has detailed the stories of Nazi victims, Nazi collaborators, and those between the two extremes. As Sebba writes in the final paragraph, "But surviving in occupied Paris for many women demanded some sort of choice, some sort of decision, about how they would accommodate living with the Germans. It is not for the rest of us to judge but, with imagination, we can try to understand." Maps, illustrations, extensive notes, and a bibliography detail the amount of care and work that went into this book.


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