Sisters in the Resistance: How Women Fought to Free France, 1940-1945by Margaret Collins Weitz
Sisters in the Resistance "I was in my early twenties when the Germans invaded our country. To this day, when I read about a rape trial, I am reminded of the Occupation. This was really violationviolation of my country. It was impossible to remain passive." Lucienne Guezennec In Sisters in the Resistance, noted scholar and historian Margaret Collins
Sisters in the Resistance "I was in my early twenties when the Germans invaded our country. To this day, when I read about a rape trial, I am reminded of the Occupation. This was really violationviolation of my country. It was impossible to remain passive." Lucienne Guezennec In Sisters in the Resistance, noted scholar and historian Margaret Collins Weitz weaves a remarkable collection of first-person interviews into a unique oral history of the women who fought for the French Resistance. The result is a vivid portrait of defiance and endurance that captures the unsung heroism, quiet courage, and ultimate triumph of the women in "the army of the shadows." Candidly, calmly, and modestly, the women speakmany for the first timeabout the driving forces behind their struggle, the ideals that motivated them, and the daily hardships and bitter realities of life in occupied France. It was a life of unimagined privations in which food, fuel, clothes, and other daily necessities were both scarce and rationed. Newspapers became precious insulation against the cold, and posters appeared on city streets warning the population about the dangers of eating rats. Yet, despite the exigencies of day-to-day existence, the women persevered, serving as couriers, translators, and medics, and they proved indispensable to the creation and distribution of the Resistance’s most effective weapon: the underground press. Sisters in the Resistance also reveals how and why women operatives often had a decided advantage over their male counterparts in clandestine operations. As the war intensified, the stakes grew higher, the risks greater. Living with the constant danger of discovery, there was no margin of error for the résistantes. Relentlessly pursued by the Gestapo and their collaborators, a slight lapse in judgment could lead to imprisonment, torture or even death. During her research, Margaret Collins Weitz was given unprecedented access to volumes of previously classified materials and memoirs. As a result, Sisters in the Resistance offers fresh insights into the social and cultural fabric of occupied France, revealing the stifling paternalism and patriotic obsessions that would relegate these women’s contributions to the back pages of history for decades. It is a haunting, dramatic, and long overdue addition to the written history of the Second World War.
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- 6.54(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.30(d)
Meet the Author
MARGARET COLLINS WEITZ is Chairman of the Department of Humanities and Modern Languages at Suffolk University in Boston, and is a Senior Affiliate at Harvard. She is the author of Femmes: Recent Writing on French Women, coeditor of Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars, and has written numerous articles about women in France.
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