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

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A myth has grown up around the villages of France’s mountainous Massif Central and the part they played in aiding refugees and escaping Jews. While extraordinary acts of daring and bravery were carried out the history has become over-simplified and mythologized. Caroline Moorehead has unearthed the facts bringing us a far more fascinating and multi-layered account of the people who defied the Nazis and rescued Jewish refugees, keeping them hidden, in the most part very successfully; many people owing their lives to their bravery. With interviews with some of those involved, testimony and official records, this is an account of people working for good even when surrounded by evil. ~ Sue Baker

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Synopsis

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

This is a Sunday Times Top Five Bestseller Shortlisted For The Samuel Johnson Prize 2014. From the author of the New York Times bestseller A Train in Winter comes the extraordinary story of a French village that helped save thousands who were pursued by the Gestapo during World War II. High up in the mountains of the southern Massif Central in France lies a cluster of tiny, remote villages united by a long and particular history. During the Nazi occupation, the inhabitants of the Plateau Vivarais Lignon saved several thousand people from the concentration camps. As the victims of Nazi persecution flooded in - resisters, freemasons, communists and Jews, many of them children - the villagers united to keep them safe. The story of why and how these villages came to save so many people has never been fully told. But several of the remarkable architects of the mission are still alive, as are a number of those they saved. Caroline Moorehead has sought out and interviewed many of the people involved in this extraordinary undertaking, and brings us their unforgettable testimonies. It is a story of courage and determination, of a small number of heroic individuals who risked their lives to save others, and of what can be done when people come together to oppose tyranny.


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Reviews

'Brilliant... It is refreshing to read a book that so confidently abandons the rhetoric of heroism and tries to see its subjects for who they were... Moorehead has had to master a huge amount of background material, and she pulls it off with skill and a remarkable lightness of touch' -- Keith Lowe Mail on Sunday

'Riven with complexity... Stories of this weight could occupy several volumes and would still disorientate with all the possibilities - both altruistic and malevolent - of human nature' -- Sinclair Mckay Telegraph

About the Author

Caroline Moorehead

Caroline Moorehead wrote a column on human rights first for The Times and then for the Independent (1980-91) and made a series of TV programmes on human rights for the BBC (1990-2000). She has written the history of the International Committee of the Red Cross (1998); and has helped to set up a Legal Advice Centre for refugees in Cairo, where she has also started schools and a nursery. Currently she works as a volunteer on the legal team for the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, while also continuing to review and write on human rights in many different papers. Her latest book, a biography of Martha Gellhorn, is available in Vintage.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th July 2015

Author

Caroline Moorehead

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Publisher

Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Format

Paperback
384 pages

Categories

History
Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Second World War
European history
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000

ISBN

9780099554646

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