When Paris Went DarkExcerpted from the book When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 by Ronald C. Rosbottom. Copyright © 2014 by Ronald Rosbottom. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company.

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June 14, 1940, German tanks entered a silent and deserted Paris and The City of Light was occupied by the Third Reich for the next four years. Rosbottom illuminated the unforgettable history of both the important and minor challenges of day-to-day life under Nazi occupation, and of the myriad forms of resistance that took shape during that period. Slowly, as the Occupation became increasingly onerous, underground resistance efforts became more and more muscular. Groups and individuals of all stripes—French and immigrant Jews, adolescents, communists, Gaullists, police officers, teachers, concierges, and landlords—endeavored to remind the German authorities that Parisians would never accept their presence. Cultural icons such as Josephine Baker, Picasso, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Colette, and Camus developed their own strategies to resist being overpowered by an invidious ideology.

This August marks the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of Paris, perfect timing for Ronald C. Rosbottom’s riveting history of the period: When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation 1940–1944 (August, 2014; Little, Brown and Company). (Purchase) Continue reading »