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Not the Germans Alone: A Son's Search for the Truth of Vichy (Memoir Holocaust Studies) Paperback – May 21, 2001

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Levendel moved from France to Israel in 1957 to study engineering, teach school, and live on a kibbutz. He married shortly after, and in 1974 he, his wife, and their children moved to the U.S. He is a computer scientist.

Robert O. Paxton is professor of history emeritus at Columbia University. A specialist in the history of western Europe in the era of the two world wars, he has written extensively on France under Nazi occupation, including VICHY FRANCE: OLD GUARD AND NEW ORDER (Columbia University Press, 2001) and VICHY FRANCE AND THE JEWS (Stanford University Press, 1995). His most recent work is THE ANATOMY OF FASCISM (Alfred Knopf, 2004).
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Product Details

  • Series: Memoir Holocaust Studies
  • Paperback: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press; 1 edition (May 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810118432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810118430
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,385,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
How does it feel to be left alone as a seven year old. Your mother is taken by the authorities and your father is away in an interment camp and you are left in a cherry orchard in southern France. Isaac Levendel captures his feelings and shares them with us in his spell binding book, "Not The Germans Alone" published by Northwestern University Press (ISBN 0-8101-1663-4).. The amazing reality of the roundups after the invasion of Normandy rings with the madness of the Germans and the French establishment. Levendel gives us insights into the workings of Vichy France and the large amount of collaboration. While we were led to believe that most French were in the resistance, Levendel's book makes it clear that very few Frenchmen were in the underground and very few Frenchmen helped Jews escape the Nazis. Those few that risked their lives were simple people acting honorably. What I found most interesting is the description of his emotions about his mother and the description of her actions are sometimes inconsistent. He shows her virtues and her flaws. He writes about her love, her intelligence, her caring, her stubbornness, her bad judgement in not fleeing sooner, her mistake not taking all her money with her, and then going back to get it. I got the whole picture of her and that makes the book rich and touching. Levendel describes the peasant family that adopted him. They were heroes who risked their lives to help. Some scatological material gives us an earthy feeling of these people struggling to feed themselves as they helped others and thought nothing of it. They were truly pious. l loved how Levendel writes about his experience during allied bombings, "The bombardment did not feel or sound like it does in the movies.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like so many other stories during WWII and the holocaust, this one is heartbreaking. It is hard to imagine those two innocent persons, a beautiful woman and her adorable little boy (as portrayed on the cover photos), being harassed and hunted down not because of any particular actions on their part, but just because "they are".

I am a fifty years old French woman married to an American man and now living in the USA since thirty years. My grandfather was not only a member of the French communist party (nothing like in Russia believe me!), but he also joined the French resistance with a few of his friends at the beginning of the war. All of them were caught early on and sent to varied places. None of them came back. My granddad was sent to the camp of Royaleu in Compiegne, a town above Paris and past the camp of Drancy. He was then sent to the concentration camp of Sachsenhausen next to Berlin, where he stayed for three years, and died of starvation and pneumonia at the liberation of the camp by the Russians. He was too weak to get better and make it home, so my grandma and mom never saw him again. My grandma continued some of his activities after he left, but alone with a little girl it became too scary and she stopped.

Nothing surprises me in Isaac Levendel's book, i already know all that. My grandma explained to me many times, that people, Jews, resistants, communists, homosexuals, gypsies and others, were mostly arrested by French men, called "la Milice". She knew all along who had denounced my grandfather and she recognized one of the men who arrested him. He was the husband of the woman cashier for the local movie theater where she would go with my mom sometimes.

The country was shared between the people who agreed with the Vichy government and the others.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very beautiful and honest book about what happened to the Jews in France during WWII. It gives rare details about the French quiet acceptance of the deportation of Jews. It also reveals how difficult it is to get basic information from the French archives 50 years after the facts.
A must read for everybody who desires to know.
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