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on 22 July 2017
This is my third reading of this book. It continues to haunt me. It's content is powerfully personal as well as national/European/world stage in terms of WW2. It is a triumph of research & intelligence by Callil- the ultimate in the personal is political. She has delivered AD the ultimate in respect & gratitude by this book. It's detail is hefty but never daunting - a masterpiece in determined following of trails and finding the truths in the deliberate puzzles created at the time & postwar in France. An important read.
Macron in Israel recently hit headlines saying clearly that Vichy was a French construct, the fascism and antisemitism was theirs (France's) and theirs alone and again he apologised on behalf of the country's government. Callil put her finger on so much information showing this to be true by highlighting D's 'story'
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on 23 December 2013
After the first 100 pages, I realised that I'd read this book before!! Truthfully, there is an amount of text that is largely superfluous. But it does paint a true picture of the extent of the collaboration and anti-Semitism that existed in Occupied France from 1940 onwards.
Brilliantly researched and in great--too great??--detail, the reader should be left with an incredulity that the main character actually died in his bed some 20 years after the end of the war, having escaped to the security of Franco's Fascist Spain.

It does put the reader in the place of the "average " French citizen during the Occupation. If you wanted to live, eat, survive and your family too, what would you have done? Read Suite Francaise Irene Nemirovsky
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on 8 July 2016
A "must read" for anyone who wants to understand the depths obliquity and sheer wickedness to which an ordinary couple may go.
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on 8 July 2015
Bought as a present. The receiver of the book loves it.
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on 18 March 2012
Carmel Callil has written an extraordinary well researched book. This powerful book tells the story not only of the paid French collaborator spy and anti-semite Louis Darquier but also shines a strong light on the Vichy government and its responsibility for the deaths of thousands of French and non French innocents in the gas chambers. The growth of French anti-semitism is well treated. Anti-semitism was well rooted in French society even among high ranking Catholic Clergy and wealthy business men. The contention that the battle between extreme right and other forces , during and after the war, was a continuation of the French Revolution is well made. The human story and the anguish of some members of the Darquier family and those close to the family was to live on long after the war. The evil perpetrated by the main protagonists, Petain, Weygand, Laval etc remained buried for years. This story needed to be told lest we forget. People who live in dark rooms planning their next utopia and their neighbours hell need to be reminded that they will be called to account if not in this world certainly in the next. This book has done such a complete job on uncovering the evil that men do that one would hope that humans might learn. My thanks to Carmel Callil for a great masterpiece.
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on 6 June 2015
This is a brilliantly researched book. The central monstrous character is brought to life in hideous detail. For those who don't know much about what happened in France before and during Occupation this is a thoroughly good introduction.
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on 10 January 2015
Excellent well researched book,enjoyed it from start to finish
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on 4 March 2016
Great delivery and good book.
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on 29 September 2016
its a must read, what an extraordinary story, beats the hell out of any fiction!
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on 12 December 2012
The incredible and fascinating history of a despicable, unrepentant man who somehow flourished while France floundered, even though he was seemingly without a single redeeming quality or legitimate professional ability.

If you're interested in the Second World War, France or the Holocaust, then this must be on your bookshelf.
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