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Fleeing Hitler:

France 1940

Hardcover (271 pages), paperback, kindle
As Hitler's victorious armies approached Paris, panic gripped the city and the roads heading south filled with millions of French citizens, fleeing for their lives, with scant supplies and often no destination in mind.

Fleeing Hitler:

As Hitler's victorious armies approached Paris, panic gripped the city and the roads heading south filled with millions of French citizens, fleeing for their lives, with scant supplies and often no destination in mind. All hoped, as famed author Simone de Beauvoir wrote in her diary, "not to be taken like a rat in Occupied Paris."

In Fleeing Hitler, historian Hanna Diamond paints a gripping picture of the harrowing escape from Paris, highlighting the hardships people suffered in their desperate flight, and underscoring the impact this exodus had on life under Vichy rule. Using eyewitness accounts, memoirs, and diaries, Diamond shows how this ordeal became for civilians and soldiers alike the defining experience of the war. She tells how, in the Paris region alone, close to four million people left their homes and fled south, swelling the numbers of refugees until is was impossible to direct the flow of humanity. The result was total chaos with an enormous price to pay in terms of human misery and suffering. Many lost their lives as this vast caravan of predominantly women, children, and the elderly faced truly harsh conditions, and even starvation. Then, after the German offer of peace, as the traumatized population returned home, preoccupied by the desire for safety and bewildered by the unexpected turn of events, they put their faith in Marshall P├ętain who was able to establish his collaborative Vichy regime largely unopposed, while the Germans consolidated their occupation.

The first time this important story has been told in English, Fleeing Hitler captures in moving detail the devastating flight and early days of occupation after the fall of France.

The Fall and Liberation of France...

Related Scanning WWII dates...

  • 22 Jun 40: Defeated France signs armistice with Germany
  • 26 Aug 44: General Charles de Gaulle leads a parade to celebrate the liberation of Paris
  • 29 Aug 44: Resistance patrols continue to route out German snipers in Paris

French Resistance...

Related Scanning WWII dates...

  • 21 Aug 41: First violent act of resistance against the Germans in Paris
  • 22 Oct 41: Fifty local hostages are shot in Nantes in reprisal for Resistance assassination
  • 24 Oct 41: Jean Moulin meets in London with Charles de Gaulle
  • 01 Jan 42: Jean Moulin organizes French Resistance groups
  • 27 May 43: First unified meeting of French Resistance groups takes place
  • 21 Jun 43: French Resistance leader Jean Moulin is arrested
  • 08 Jul 43: French Resistance leader Jean Moulin dies from torturous interrogations
  • 19 Dec 43: French Resistance battles German troops in Bernex in eastern France
  • 10 May 44: French Resistance claims they have over 100,000 fighters
  • 20 May 44: Eisenhower broadcasts groups in preparation for the invasion
  • 01 Jun 44: BBC broadcasts first line of poem to signal invasion within two weeks
  • 05 Jun 44: BBC broadcasts second line of poem to signal invasion within 48 hours
  • 19 Aug 44: French Resistance fighters rise up in Paris against occupying troops
  • 29 Aug 44: French Resistance continues to route Germans following liberation of Paris

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