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Outwitting the Gestapo Paperback


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Outwitting the Gestapo + The Wolves at the Door: The True Story of America's Greatest Female Spy + Sisterhood of Spies: The Women of the OSS
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 241 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press; New edition edition (November 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803259239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803259232
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The stirring memoir of a French Resistance member was a BOMC and a History Book Club selection in cloth.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A suspenseful rendering of Aubrac's experiences as a French Resistance fighter during WW II. This memoir owes its existence to the 1983 extradition to France of Klaus Barbie, the ``Butcher of Lyon'': In order to refute Barbie's defenders and former collaborators, Aubrac told her story publicly for the first time- -and it became a bestseller in France. Focusing on a nine-month period that begins with the conception of her second child, Aubrac looks back 40 years at experiences of enduring intensity. During the war, the author, her Jewish husband Raymond, and other ``resistants'' published and distributed underground newspapers, found new identities and homes for fugitives, forged permits, stole guns, and blew up roads and bridges--all routine Resistance activities. What makes this account special, however, is Aubrac's irrepressible energy and resourcefulness, and the graceful way in which she interweaves her separate but parallel lives. As a mother and wife struggling in a wartime economy, she bartered for hard-to-find items; as a devoted schoolteacher, she applied the lessons of history to current events; as a secret member of the Resistance, she couldn't disclose her true identity even to her most trusted colleagues, switching names and identities like a quick-change artist. Three times, she helped free her husband from prison. The last incarceration was the most harrowing: Walking into a trap, Raymond was arrested, tortured, and sentenced to die by Barbie himself. Despite her anguish, Aubrac tricked her husband's captors into meetings and masterminded an intricate rescue. The Aubracs' escape by airlift to London, where their baby was born, is tremendously exciting. A breathtaking account that feeds the soul as much as it satisfies the appetite for vicarious danger. (Seven b&w photographs--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
 I don't know the truth of these stories but this was one good book.
Buddha Baby
Highly recommend for anyone interested in history, biography, or just plain good reading.
Kelly Alwood
Modest as Aubrac's memoir is, her story is far more thrilling than the very best fiction.
Dr. Frank Stech

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Gibby VINE VOICE on April 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
Lucie Aubrac's first hand account of her "career" as a key member of the French resistance in the city of Lyon can't help but evoke an emotional connection between the author's gripping story and the reader sitting in comfort at home. I mostly second all that the previous reviewer lauded. The story itself is compelling, and the glimpse that it offers of a woman's struggle to balance the cares of wife, mother, "girlfriend," "fiancee," patriot, etc., provides a much needed balance to our understanding of the total effects of a conflict such as WWII. The personalness of the book is perhaps its greatest strength.
The translation is extremely fluid and detracts not at all from the author's tale.
Some criticism to keep in the back of the mind: it could simply be the author's purpose, however, I was struck by the seeming lack of concern of being caught -- until the end of the book (I won't spoil it for you). Lucie's life seems to be minimally impacted by her resistance ties. Like I said, maybe she left out those details on purpose, I don't know. The other thing the "bothered" me was the unconvincing account of how she was able to arrange for the purchase of silencers in Switzerland, travel to Switzerland to pick up the silencers, and then recross the border the same day without arousing suspicion. I doubt she was able to pick up the telephone and call a gun dealer to arrange the transaction -- maybe I missed it. Whatever, just something to consider.
On the whole, I heartily endorse this book; it is exciting without being Bond-ish, and it is personal without being too proximate. Furthermore, it convincingly demonstrates the various motives of resistance, and it illustrates the fact that even a single person can make a difference in a struggle as vast as a world at war.
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57 of 68 people found the following review helpful By N. Page on April 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
..Set in Lyon after the Germans had invaded the southern 'zone libre' this book purports to be a diary, written during a nine month period of 1943 by one of the most France's most famous resistance 'personalities'. Claude Berri's acclaimed 1995 film 'Lucie Aubrac' was based on the events described. As a number of reviewers have already remarked , many scenes in this account appear to have been directly conjured up from the author's imagination and the Aubracs themselves, subject to media scrutiny as France's resistance history is increasingly put under the microscope have admitted that this book is indeed part novelisation. Translated from the French 'Ils partiront dans l'ivresse' the author revels in her self portrayal as mother, heroine, & machine gun toting guerilla fighter and resistance cell leader. No where does she state that she and her husband were leading lights in a communist resistance grouping and no light is shed at all on what their role might have been in the capture by the Gestapo of De Gaulle's envoy and resistance unifier Jean Moulin in Caluire, a suburb of Lyon during June 1943. One of the main espisodes of the book is Aubrac's attempt to liberate her husband, captured at the same time as Moulin and held by Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie. The facility with which she is able to come and go from Gestapo headquarters in Lyon has led more than one writer to question whether or not the Aubracs were indeed on Barbie's payroll; either that or many elements of Raymond Aubrac's subsequent escape are pure invention. Of course Klaus Barbie muddied the waters somewhat at his trial in the late 80's but the brutal portrayal of him here simply begs the question...how could he possibly have been taken in as Aubrac suggests.Read more ›
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "iloveprovence" on June 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Outwitting the Gestapo is the real life experience of one woman's determination, at all costs, to save her husband, her true other half, from execution by the infamous Klaus Barbie, "Butcher of Lyon." That is what makes it so compelling. I was drawn to this memoir, written in diary form, from May 14, 1943 through February 12, 1944, because I had seen the French film, * Lucie Aubrac *. A gorgeous film, that follows the same experience as this book, I was left wanting more. I was richly rewarded by reading this intimate revelation of the French Resistance and the couple who are equally committed to each other and the freedom of France. This story is a vivid portrait of devotion and fortitude. Raymond, Lucie Aubrac's husband, and the father of her young son and the child she carries in her womb, is arrested and sentenced to die. Lucie has been involved with the resistance since its beginning, but with the advent of this new ordeal, she masterminds a terrifying attempt to free her beloved husband. With her "buddies" in the resistance, a plan is orchestrated that involves the increasingly expanding Lucie to have almost daily contact with Klaus Barbie. Singlehandedly, she attempts to convince this monster to allow a contact with Raymond, making Barbie believe that she is an unwed mother who must marry Raymond to give her child a name. Constantly changing names and domains, Lucie and the other members of the resistance live with the constant fear of being caught, yet nothing inteferes with their goals. Their unflinching resolve is what makes for true heroism; their dedication to each other redefines friendship for me. The film is indeed beautiful, but it is in many ways short-sighted. There is so much more to this story than is presented on celluloid.Read more ›
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