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Fighters in the Shadow: Paris at War 1939-1944

Monday 4 April 2016

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Two experts on French history and culture, Professor Robert Gildea and David Drake, discuss France under Nazi occupation. They look at the hardships faced by ordinary people and the choices they faced to collaborate or resist.

Gildea’s new book, Fighters in the Shadows, is a story of the French resistance. He goes back to the testimonies of the resisters to find out who they were, what they believed in and what compelled them to fight against the Nazi occupation. He shows how many endured arrest, torture and deportation and highlights the female resisters neglected by history. Gildea is professor of modern history at the University of Oxford and author of Marianne in Chains, winner of the Wolfson History Prize, and Europe’s 1968, Voices of Revolt.

Drake’s Paris at War 1939-1944 looks at life in Paris under the Nazis. He contrasts the life of working-class Parisians with the relative comforts of the rich, exposes activities of collaborationists and tracks the growth of resistance. His account is drawn from the diaries and reminiscences of people from all walks of life. Drake is a former head of French and modern languages at Middlesex University and former teacher at Paris VIII University. He has an international reputation as a Sartre scholar and is a former president of the UK Sartre Society. He was made a Chevalier dans l’ordre des palmes académiques for his contribution to promotion of French culture.

Here they talk to military historian Andy Robertshaw.

This event is part of the festival’s leadership programme sponsored by HSBC.