What would have happened if the Nazis had invaded Britain? How would the British people have responded—with resistance or collaboration? In Madeleine Bunting’s pioneering study, we begin to find the answers to this question. Though rarely remembered today, the Nazis occupied the British Channel Islands for much of World War II. In piecing together the fragments left behind—from the love affairs between island women and German soldiers, the betrayals and black marketeering, to the individual acts of resistance—Madeleine Bunting has brought this uncomfortable episode of British history into full view with spellbinding clarity.
|Publisher:||Random House UK|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Madeleine Bunting is a former editor and columnist at the Guardian.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations vi
Preface to the Paperback Edition xiii
Note on sources xxiii
Introduction.: An Island People 3
1 Ditched 11
2 Correct Relations 37
3 A Model Occupation 74
4 Survival 115
5 Les Rocbers Maudits 148
6 Resistance? What Resistance? 191
7 Had Britain Forgotten? 223
8 Liberation 246
9 Justice Done? 276
Epilogue: The Legacy 315
Appendix: The Jewish Question 337
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I really wanted to learn more about the German occupation of the Channel Islands. This book was the only one I could find in my library system that fit the bill. From the Home Office's confusing policy towards the islands at the beginning of the war (demilitarization without telling the Germans, which led to more than a little confusion and a bombing) to the horror of the Organisation Todt camps on the islands, this investigates the experiences of the islanders and OT laborers on the Channel Islands during World War II. Drawing heavily on interviews with survivors and records released in the early 1990s, this book focuses on both personal experience and political machinations during the occupation and after.It was definitely not easy reading, especially when it came to the experiences of those in the Organization Todt. The political stuff left my head spinning, and left me a little unsure of my footing. Being unfamiliar with the topic, I didn't know whether or not to agree with the author's take on events, such as whether or not destroying such-and-such a paper was deliberate cover-up. How am I to know? Overall, though, I was more than satisfied with the information I was given and impressed by the many interviews of survivors not only from the Channel Islands but also Russians who worked in the labor camps. Often using large blocks of quotes of survivor's recollection, the personal stories are the most compelling part of this history.