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Fleeing Hitler: France 1940 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Gives new insight into the significance of the trauma of 1940 for French people and makes plain the political fallout of rapid military defeat plain." H-France
"Diamond's book is an important resource."--Journal of Modern History
Top Customer Reviews
The result was a stupendous traffic jam unequalled to that point in European, if not human, history as people took flight in trucks, cars, carts, bicyles, and every other form of transportation imaginable. The situation was compounded by an oppressive summer heat, and the fact the war was still going on, e.g., the masses of refugees impeded the movement of the very troops who were trying to help them and their country (although admittedly the ranks of the refugees were not without significant numbers of deserting troops, not to mention government officials and police).
Ironically, many refugees, fleeing a predicted heavy bombing of the big cities (which did not take place), were killed by seemingly indiscriminate bombing and strafing by German planes (a feat which the Allies in turn later inflicted on German refugees many times over in 1944-45). There were also shortages of food, water, and housing as the refugees overwhelmed portions of southern and western France.
After France's defeat it is estimated that all but about a million refugees slowly returned to their homes within a year.Read more ›
Fleeing Hitler; France, 1940
Oxford, Oxford University Press
219 pp, plus endnotes, bibliography and index
ISBN 978-0-19--280618-5, May, 2007
I should note in starting my review of Prof. Diamond's excellent little book that it was Oxford University Press who sought out Prof. Diamond rather than the other way around; that in itself is striking evidence of her qualifications. She earned her DPhil (the British equivalent of the American PhD) at the University of Sussex. Her dissertation, which she successfully defended in July 1992, was entitled "Women's Experience during and after World War II in the Toulouse Area, 1939-1948;" after revising her dissertation, it was published as Women and the Second World War in France: Choices and Constraints," which was published in 1999 (New York: Longman's). She has also edited two books and made major contribution to 11 others, plus numerous journal articles. She was on the faculty of the Université de Paris X - Nanterre, the American University in Paris and has been on the faculty of the University of Bath since 1997.
Based on her work to date, she is an extremely promising young scholar.
Much has been written on the tragic French military disaster of May - June 1940 as well as on the neo-Nazi/Fascist Vichy Government, late June 1940 through the liberation of Paris on August 22, 1944. But until now, nothing (that I know of) has been written on the flight of millions of Frenchmen from Paris and other parts of the interior.
The French Government had plans in place to accept and relocate refugees from Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the departments of northern France (eg, the Nord).Read more ›
Diamond unfolds the events with liberal use of direct quotes from about a dozen people who left excellent accounts, published and private. The first few chapters describe the build-up to war, invasion, the "phony war" and finally the Exodus itself. Diamond has a novelists sense of building a story so that by the time the Nazi's invade you feel ready to flee along with everyone else. Then there is an excellent history of how and why the French government split into the Vichy government and the government in exile - this has always been a confusing for me, but now I understand it was largely in direct consequence of the Exodus.
'Fleeing Hitler' can be enjoyed on many levels, from WWII history of a largely forgotten and unknown but major event, to personal stories of survival, to general lessons about evacuations and what happens when a modern western industrial society breaks down.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The said book was arrived as described and on time....Thank you.Published 12 months ago by karim29007
A fascinating look at a chapter in history that is probably forgotten by many: how French citizens fled the Nazis as the war approached their cities and towns in the early 1940's.Published on October 14, 2013 by Joe K.
This book helps fill a gap in English language literature about the fall of Paris and the defeat of France early in World War II. Read morePublished on September 24, 2013 by Mike C.
"Fleeing Hitler" by Hanna Diamond is the history of the actions and lack of actions by French officials before the Nazi invasion of France, and the subsequent chaos and events... Read morePublished on September 22, 2013 by K. Kennedy
very good eyewitness accounts of the "exodus" in france,
a part of the story not normally very well covered in ww2 history books.
Finally finished. An interesting study on the French during the start of WWII. I found this book informative yet not too bogged down in details.Published on June 16, 2013 by Sylviemom01
This informative book provides an insightful and moving account of how the Exodus affected ordinary people in France. Read morePublished on June 8, 2013 by Pen Name
I was thrilled to know there was even a book written about this topic "The Exodus" since I had never studied about it when I was in school many years ago. Read morePublished on April 26, 2012 by C. Hayes