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Cover Art
Author Lewendel, Isaac, 1936-

Title Not the Germans alone : a son's search for the truth of Vichy / Isaac Levendel ; with a foreword by Robert O. Paxton.

Published Evanston, Ill. : Northwestern University Press, 1999.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  940.5318 LEWE    AVAILABLE
Physical description xvi, 341 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 327-341).
Contents He Who ... -- 1. The Cherry Season -- 2. The Waltz of Names -- 3. Inside My Little Circle -- 4. Marechal, Here We Are! -- 5. The "Foreign" Jews of 1942 -- 6. Les Francais parlent aux Francais -- 7. David and Goliath -- 8. He Is Not Like the Rest of Us -- 9. Claire -- 10. The Steltzers -- 11. He Who Saves One Single Life ... -- 12. The Liberation -- 13. Back to the Steltzers -- 14. The Soldier's Tale -- 15. Back to Normal -- 16. The Family Souret -- 17. In My Mother's Shoes -- 18. A Souret or a Lewendel? -- 19. It's Hard to Be a Jew -- In the Meantime ... -- 20. Do Not Turn Around -- 21. "Political" Deportee Number 23925 -- 22. Close Calls -- 23. The Train of Memory -- 24. "The Germans Did It!" -- 25. The "Papon" of Avignon -- 26. The Victim and the Hangman All in One -- 27. The Cherry Farm -- 28. The French Connection -- 29. The Anatomy of National Amnesia.
Summary 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 chapter of French history, this book should be read by anyone interested in the literature of the Holocaust or the story of World War II.
Subject Lewendel, Isaac, 1936-
Lewendel, Sarah, 1904-1944.
Jewish children in the Holocaust -- France -- Avignon -- Biography.
Jews -- France -- Avignon -- Biography.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- France -- Avignon -- Personal narratives.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Collaborationists -- France -- Avignon.
Holocaust survivors -- Biography.
France -- History -- German occupation, 1940-1945.
Avignon (France) -- Biography.
ISBN 0810116634 (alk. paper)