Critical acclaim for Sisters in the Resistance<br> <br> "Often moving . . . always fascinating . . . women in the French Resistance is a key subject. Margaret Weitz has gathered personal testimonies . . . and set them in an intelligible context that helps us understand how all French people--men and women--experienced the Nazi occupation." --Robert Paxton, Mellon Professor of Social Sciences, Columbia University, and author of Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order, 1940-1944.<br> <br> "Compulsive reading . . . a valuable book which vividly portrays the intricacies of resistance within France, written in an easy but serious style." --Times Literary Supplement (London).<br> <br> "An absolutely stunning and compelling chronicle of dauntless courage and unflagging patriotism." --Booklist.<br> <br> "[Margaret Collins Weitz's] well-researched, thoughtful study. . . has filled a gap in the history of World War II." --Publishers Weekly.<br> <br> "Balancing absorbing narrative and astute analysis, Margaret Collins Weitz has integrated the unsung achievements of women into the history of the French Resistance." --Carole Fink, Professor of History, The Ohio State University, and author of Marc Bloch: A Life in History.<br> <br> "Fifty years after the end of World War II, Sisters in the Resistance renders homage to the courageous women of the French Resistance. It is high time for their contributions to be fully acknowledged, and fortunate indeed that they have found such a sympathetic, scholarly, and lucid chronicler in Margaret Collins Weitz." --Marilyn Yalom, author of Blood Sisters: The French Revolution in Women's Memory.
An oral history of women who served courageously and well in a variety of roles in the French Resistance in WW II. Weitz (Humanities and Modern Languages/Suffolk Univ.), who has coedited a volume about the role of gender in the two world wars, now turns her attention specifically to France in WW II. Weitz contends that most French citizens tried simply to avoid trouble and survive during the occupation. Only a few aided the Nazis, she says; likewise, only a small minority of French participated in the Resistance. Here she interviews over 70 of these courageous resistantes. Since about two million Frenchmen, including POWs, were deported to do labor in Nazi war industries, young men were few and aroused suspicion. Thus, as the war progressed, women went beyond mundane but necessary support tasks (such as searching for and distributing scarce food, doing laundry and finding shelters for refugees) to riskier activities. These included carrying coded underground messages, distributing newspapers, and tracts; coding and decoding reports; relaying intelligence; guiding escaped prisoners and downed Allied airmen - all in the shadow of the Gestapo and the French Vichy collaborationists. Many were caught, tortured, imprisoned, or executed. A potential problem in oral histories is verification, especially in a history of a secret organization. Understandably, few records were kept, and Weitz contends that many of the women's secret activities were omitted even from those records we have. The author also finds the French authorities still sensitive to scholarly probing of les armees noires of 1940-44, and some files are accordingly still closed. Despite this lack of documentation, Weitz tells a good story of some obscure heroines of France's dark years. (Kirkus Reviews)
Women and the War-within-a-War.
France under German Occupation.
French Women under the Vichy Regime.
Organizing Resistance in France.
Resistance: A Family Affair.
Young and Alone.
War Is a Man's Affair.
Support Services: Women's Eternal Vocation.
Room and Board: Critical Concerns.
Conclusion: Women and the Legacy of the Resistance.