Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France by Caroline Moorehead

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Read Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France Online Free - From the author of the runaway bestseller A Train in Winter comes the extraordinary story of a French village that helped save thousands, including many Jewish children, who were pursued by the Gestapo during World War II.

Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a small village of scattered houses high in the mountains of the Ardèche. Surrounded by pastures and thick forests of oak and pine, the plateau Vivarais lies in one of the most remote and inaccessible parts of Eastern France, cut off for long stretches of the winter by snow.

During the Second World War, the inhabitants of the area saved thousands wanted by the Gestapo: resisters, freemasons, communists, downed Allied airmen and above all Jews. Many of these were children and babies, whose parents had been deported to the death camps in Poland. After the war, Le Chambon became the only village to be listed in its entirety in Yad Vashem's Dictionary of the Just.

Just why and how Le Chambon and its outlying parishes came to save so many people has never been fully told. Acclaimed biographer and historian Caroline Moorehead brings to life a story of outstanding courage and determination, and of what could be done when even a small group of people came together to oppose German rule. It is an extraordinary tale of silence and complicity. In a country infamous throughout the four years of occupation for the number of denunciations to the Gestapo of Jews, resisters and escaping prisoners of war, not one single inhabitant of Le Chambon ever broke silence. The story of Le Chambon is one of a village, bound together by a code of honour, born of centuries of religious oppression. And, though it took a conspiracy of silence by the entire population, it happened because of a small number of heroic individuals, many of them women, for whom saving those hunted by the Nazis became more important than their own lives.

Title : Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0062202472
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 384 pages


David rated it ★★★★☆

September 19, 2014

Village of Secrets is a long and often complex book about how the people of the mountainous area of the south Massif Central in France helped to protect the Jews from the Nazis and helped many of them to escape to safety. It is so thoroughly researched that it is just about the book's only weaknes...

Nancy rated it ★★★★☆

October 15, 2014

here's how far behind I am -- I finished this book the end of last month and am just now getting to it here. aarrghh! Village of Secrets begins with the coming of the Nazis to France in 1940 and the establishment of the Vichy government under Pétain. It wasn't long until measures of repression aga...

Holly rated it ★★★★★

July 14, 2016

The second in Moorehead's proposed trilogy of French Resistance histories. What I had assumed might be a sweetened story of rescuers and goodness in the midst of the Holocaust turned out to be a complicated story - the truth is not so black and white. It's also the story of the Nazi occupation of...

Richard rated it ★★★★★

February 09, 2016

This is not the first time that an author has told the story of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon - an Alpine French community that was among those that hid Jewish children and adults during the Second World War, but it is the first account I have read. Caroline Moorehead is intent on correcting what she see...

Melinda rated it ★★★★☆

August 09, 2016

Nazi opposition succeeds surrounding the small eastern French village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in the mountains of Adèche. Village of Secrets tells of the large number of French who resisted in some form involving themselves to save Jews, particularly the children from transportation to death camp...

Jill rated it ★★★☆☆

May 01, 2015

I am a bit ambivalent about this book. The subject matter is interesting as it describes the valiant attempts by the people of the Plateau Vivarais-Lignon in Vichy France to protect and hide Jews fleeing from arrest by the Germans and the Vichy government. It appears that a tremendous amount of r...

Elizabeth rated it ★★★★★

March 13, 2018

It can be difficult to comprehend all that happened in France during World War II—fighting against Germany, surrendering, collaborating, resisting, starving, running black markets, and of course bring up families and trying to stay alive. This book tells the stories of the people who lived in the...

Lynn rated it ★★★★★

September 17, 2014

Today’s nonfiction post is on Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France by Caroline Moorehead. It is 384 pages long including notes and a bibliography. The cover is a picture of village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon. The intended reader is someone who is interested in War World 2 history a...

Neil rated it ★☆☆☆☆

November 25, 2014

The story is truly inspiring, but it's not the first time it's been told, even in English, and the book has been severely criticized for its distortions and many inaccuracies. The criticisms have been made by three people the author sought assistance from while researching her book, who feature s...

Angela rated it ★★★★★

August 03, 2016

I found this book fascinating, and although it is factual, it is written in an easy narrative style. Being about France during the war, I had to have my map open as I was reading and I now have a new area of the country to visit - and I will do so at some future date. The area in question is on th...

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