Not the Germans Alone

Not the Germans Alone

A Son's Search for the Truth of Vichy

Book - 1999
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On June 5, 1944, the eve of D day, eight-year-old Isaac Levendel's mother left the farm in southern France where she and her son had gone to escape the Nazis for what was to be a two-day visit to their home to pick up the last of their belongings. She never returned. For more than forty years Levendel remained silent about, and tormented by, her disappearance. Finally, in 1990, he began to look for answers. In this book, Levendel recounts his struggle to accept his mother's death and his search through secret government archives for her killers.

Levendel's search took him from his home in the United States to France more than twelve times over four years. Surprisingly, he had little trouble finding old neighbors who had witnessed his mother's arrest and deportation. But the official story was another matter: a controversial 1979 French law had sealed the official archives from the period of the Nazi occupation. But, with help from a sympathetic French senator, Levendel obtained access to key documents that helped him put together the pieces of his past.

What he found shocked him. For decades Levendel believed that the Germans had taken his mother away. In fact, the archives contained evidence of widespread French collaboration with the Nazis, from government officials who prepared deportation lists to members of a gang in Marseilles who arrested Jews -- including his mother -- and sold them to the Nazis. This book details the French collaboration and is steeped in Levendel's anger toward those who participated.

But there were also those who helped the young Isaac -- sometimes at great risk to themselves -- after his mother disappeared, and Levendel remembers them here as well. Hisresearch reunited him with several of these people, and his gratitude is palpable.

The heartbreaking story of a young boy taken from his mother and the man he becomes, as well as an alarming exploration of a shameful chap

Publisher: Evanston, Ill. : Northwestern University Press, 1999.
ISBN: 9780810116634
Branch Call Number: 940.5318 Lewe
Characteristics: xvi, 341 p. ; 24 cm.


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