In the autumn of 1943, André Boulloche became de Gaulle's military delegate in Paris, coordinating all the Resistance movements in the nine northern regions of France only to be betrayed by one of his associates, arrested, wounded by the Gestapo, and taken prisoner. His sisters carried on the fight without him until the end of the war. André survived three concentration camps and later became a prominent French politician who devoted the rest of his life to reconciliation of France and Germany. His parents and oldest brother were arrested and shipped off on the last train from Paris to Germany before the liberation and died in the camps. Since then, silence has been the Boulloches' answer to dealing with the unbearable. This is the first time the family has cooperated with an author to recount their extraordinary ordeal.
©2015 Charles Kaiser (P)2015 Tantor
"At once heroic and heartbreaking, this story leaves an indelible mark." (Kirkus)
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is the exciting story of Jacques and Helene Boulloche and their four children Robert, Andre, Christiane and Jacqueline. Kaiser’s uncle was billeted with the Boulloche family in Paris when he was in the U.S. Army in 1944.
The story starts in 1939, and follows the Boulloche family, who were prosperous Parisians, throughout WWII. The book covers each of the family member’s roles in the French Resistance throughout the War. The book reads like an action packed thriller as it follows each member of the family in risking death to impede the Nazi war effort. The French Resistance played a vital role in the War. Theirs is the “Courage” in Kaiser’s title; the greatest cost fell on the family members. The parents and eldest son Robert were arrested and deported on the last train to Germany near the end of the war and were sent on to the camps. The rest of the family continued to fight on.
The book is beautifully written, meticulously researched and reads like a thriller. Interviews included Francois Delattre, the former French Ambassador to the United States and current French Ambassador to the United Nations. He is the great nephew of Andre Boulloche. The book is a mixture of history, biography and memoir. The author manages to bring the French Resistance to life. When I finished the book I asked myself “Could I ever be that courageous?” The author narrates his own book.
The author did a fabulous job of writing the book, but it would benefit greatly from a professional narrator.
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