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RENDEZ-VOUS 127: THE DIARY OF MADAME BRUSSELMANS, M.B.E.: SEPTEMBER 1940-SEPTEMBER 1944.

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Ernest Benn (1954)
  • ASIN: B000XY60IO
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,836,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Mme. Brusselmans kept this humble diary while she saved the lives of hundreds of Allied airmen in Belgium during World War II. It was translated by one of the men who benefited from her bravery, in 1954. In an incredibly fast-reading 172 pages, you find out about how she was approached and asked for assistance, how she jumped in without a second thought, and how quick thinking saved her numerous times, while many around her lost their freedom and their lives to the Gestapo.

Some portions of the diary, while continuously fraught with stress, are actually quite funny. She discusses one young man who stays with her and spends most of the time talking about how much better things are in Canada. She makes an aside that she hopes to get him back there just as soon as possible. In one memorable sequence, one of her supposed helpers backs out, and her anger at his cowardice is palpable. It rises off the pages in such a white-hot fury that it almost burns one's fingers when holding the book.

In the frontispiece, it is mentioned that the translator wanted some background from Mme. Brusselmans regarding where and how she hid her diary, and in her brief response, she expresses surprise that anyone would be interested in her words. My reaction upon reading them is that I'm amazed anyone wouldn't be.
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