On June 14, 1940, German tanks rolled into a silent and deserted Paris. Eight days later, a humbled France accepted defeat along with foreign occupation. While the swastika now flew over Paris, the City of Light was undamaged, and soon a peculiar kind of normalcy returned as theaters, opera houses, movie theaters, and nightclubs reopened for business. Shedding light on this critical moment of twentieth-century European cultural history, And the Show Went On focuses anew on whether artists and writers have a special duty to show moral leadership in moments of national trauma.
The East Wall was where the final battles for the stricken Third Reich were fought, amid scenes of utter carnage. Beginning life at the end of World War I, the wall became a pet project of Adolf Hitler's, whose ascent to power saw building work accelerated, with plans for a grand, 'Maginot-style' defence put in place. But with a characteristically erratic change of heart, Hitler began to systematically strip the wall of its best defensive assets to bolster the Atlantic Wall, never dreaming that he would face an attack on two fronts. Despite belated and somewhat bungled reinforcements later in the War, the Eastern Wall would face a monstrous challenge as it became the Reich's last redoubt in the face of the mighty Soviet war machine.
Neil Short brings his expert knowledge to bear with an analysis of different stages of the wall's construction, the years of neglect and decay and the hasty, drastic redevelopment in the face of the looming Soviet threat.
After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages. With animal names for these guests, and human names for the animals, it's no wonder that the zoo's code name became The House Under a Crazy Star. Best-selling naturalist and acclaimed storyteller Diane Ackerman combines extensive research and an exuberant writing style to re-create this fascinating, true-life story--sharing Antonina's life as the zookeeper's wife, while examining the disturbing obsessions at the core of Nazism. Winner of the 2008 Orion Award.
A visceral and momentous narrative of the first twenty-four hours of D-Day on Omaha Beach: the most dramatic Allied landing of World War II.Before World War II, Normandy's Plage d'Or coast was best known for its sleepy villages and holiday destinations. Early in 1944, German commander Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took one look at the gentle, sloping sands and announced "They will come here " He was referring to "Omaha Beach"--the prime American D-Day landing site. The beach was subsequently transformed into three miles of lethal, bunker-protected arcs of fire, with seaside chalets converted into concrete strongpoints, fringed by layers of barbed wire and mines. The Germans called it "the Devil's Garden." When Company A of the US 116th Regiment landed on Omaha Beach in D-Day's first wave on 6th June 1944, it lost 96% of its effective strength. Sixteen teams of US engineers arriving in the second wave were unable to blow the beach obstacles, as first wave survivors were still sheltering behind them. This was the beginning of the historic day that Landing on the Edge of Eternity narrates hour by hour--rom midnight to midnight--tracking German and American soldiers fighting across the beachhead. Mustered on their troop transport decks at 2am, the American infantry departed in landing craft at 5am. Skimming across high waves, deafened by immense broadsides from supporting battleships and weak from seasickness, they caught sight of land at 6.15. Eleven minutes later, the assault was floundering under intense German fire. Two and a half hours in, General Bradley, commanding the landings aboard USS Augusta, had to decide if to proceed or evacuate. On June 6th there were well over 2,400 casualties on Omaha Beach - easily D-Day's highest death toll. The Wehrmacht thought they had bludgeoned the Americans into bloody submission, yet by mid-afternoon, the American troops were ashore. Why were the casualties so grim, and how could the Germans have failed? Juxtaposing the American experience--pinned down, swamped by a rising tide, facing young Wehrmacht soldiers fighting desperately for their lives, Kershaw draws on eyewitness accounts, memories, letters, and post-combat reports to expose the true horrors of Omaha Beach. These are stories of humanity, resilience, and dark humor; of comradeship and a gritty patriotism holding beleaguered men together. Landing on the Edge of Eternity is a dramatic historical ride through an amphibious landing that looked as though it might never succeed.
New York Times Bestseller
A haunting account of bravery, friendship, and endurance. -Marie Claire
The riveting and little-known story of a group of female members of the French resistance who were deported together to Auschwitz, a remarkable number of whom survived.
In January 1943, 230 brave women of the French Resistance were sent to the death camps by the Nazis who had invaded and occupied their country. This is their story, told in full for the first time--a searing and unforgettable chronicle of terror, courage, defiance, survival, and the power of friendship.
Caroline Moorehead, a distinguished biographer, human rights journalist, and author of Dancing to the Precipice and Human Cargo, brings to life an extraordinary story that readers of Mitchell Zuckoff's Lost in Shangri-La, Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts, and Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken will find an essential addition to our retelling of the history of World War II. A Train in Winter is a riveting, rediscovered story of courageous women who sacrificed everything to combat the march of evil across the world.
The inspiring story of Joe Sacco and his part in the greatest battles of World War II, from Omaha Beach to the liberation of the concentration camp at Dachau, Germany.
In his riveting debut, Where the Birds Never Sing, Jack Sacco recounts the realistic, harrowing, at times horrifying, and ultimately triumphant tale of an American GI in World War II. Told through the eyes of his father, Joe Sacco--a farm boy from Alabama who was flung into the chaos of Normandy and survived the terrors of the Bulge--this is no ordinary war story. As part of the 92nd Signal Battalion and Patton's famed 3rd Army, Joe and his buddies found themselves at the forefront--often in front of the infantry or behind enemy lines--of the Allied push through France and Germany.
After more than a year of fighting, but still only twenty years old, Joe was a hardened veteran, but nothing could have prepared him for the horrors behind the walls of Germany's infamous Dachau concentration camp. Joe and his buddies were among the first 250 American troops into the camp, and it was there that they finally grasped the significance of the Allied mission.
Surrounded and pursued by death and destruction, they not only found the courage and the will to fight, they discovered the meaning of friendship and came to understand the value and fragility of life. Told from the perspective of an ordinary soldier, Where the Birds Never Sing contains first-hand accounts and never-before published photos documenting one man's transformation from farm boy to soldier to liberator.
A New York Times bestseller, The Conquerors reveals how Franklin Roosevelt's and Harry Truman's private struggles with their aides and Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin affected the unfolding of the Holocaust and the fate of vanquished Nazi Germany.With monumental fairness and balance, The Conquerors shows how Roosevelt privately refused desperate pleas to speak out directly against the Holocaust, to save Jewish refugees and to explore the possible bombing of Auschwitz to stop the killing. The book also shows FDR's fierce will to ensure that Germany would never threaten the world again. Near the end of World War II, he abruptly endorsed the secret plan of his friend, Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, to reduce the Germans to a primitive existence -- despite Churchill's fear that crushing postwar Germany would let the Soviets conquer the continent. The book finally shows how, after FDR's death, President Truman rebelled against Roosevelt's tough approach and adopted the Marshall Plan and other more conciliatory policies that culminated in today's democratic, united Europe.