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Editorial Reviews

This diary captures the remarkable wartime experience of Agnes Humbert, a French art historian who found her spirit working against the Nazis for the French Resistance, only to have that spirit nearly crushed by years of forced labor in a Nazi factory. Narrator Joyce Bean captures the steely will and intelligence that animate this invaluable document. "Who could understand what we have suffered?" Humbert writes. "Only those who like us have descended into the murderous depths of the Nazi abyss." More than 60 years after its first publication in France, Resistance stands as a monument to the understanding, the defiance, and the hope this remarkable woman was able to rescue from the abyss.

Publisher's Summary

Agnès Humbert was an art historian in Paris during the German occupation in 1940. Though she might well have weathered the oppressive regime, Humbert was stirred to action by the atrocities she witnessed. In an act of astonishing bravery, she joined forces with several colleagues to form an organized resistance - very likely the first such group to fight back against the occupation. (In fact, their newsletter, Résistance, gave the French Resistance its name.)

In the throes of their struggle for freedom, the members of Humbert's group were betrayed to the Gestapo; Humbert herself was imprisoned. In immediate, electrifying detail, Humbert describes her time in prison; her deportation to Germany, where for more than two years she endured a string of brutal labor camps; and the horror of discovering that seven of her friends were executed by a firing squad. But through the direst of conditions and ill health in the labor camps, Humbert retains hope for herself, for her friends, and for humanity.

Originally published in France in 1946, the book was soon forgotten and is now translated into English for the first time. Résistance is more than a firsthand account of wartime France; it is the work of a brave, witty, and forceful woman, a true believer who refused to go quietly.

©2004 Tallandier Editions; (P)2008 Tantor

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  • Overall
  • Anne
  • Montgomery Village, MD, United States
  • 12-06-08

Great listen

An excellent, first person account of resistence to the Nazi occupation of Paris in particular and France in general. It gives a moving picture of the fate of political prisoners in the hands of the Nazi conquerors.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joseph
  • manhattan, NY, USA
  • 10-23-08

Resistance

Griping...incredible..The strenght of the human spirit never ceases to amaze me...

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Captivating

If you are interested in the history of les annees noires and the resistance movement in France - this will keep you spellbound for hours

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • MENLO PARK, CA, United States
  • 12-22-08

Interesting first person accounts

I was reading this book as tangential research for a class I'm teaching next summer, but enjoyed it more than I expected.

The author has a talent for putting you in her shoes. As she had such an interesting story to tell, and it is told so well in her first-person experience, I'm glad I read it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ron
  • Lecanto, FL, USA
  • 12-20-08

interesting oral history of a Nazi prisoner

This was an interesting account of a woman's experience as a nazi political prisoner. However the account of her time in the resistance is rather short and not very detailed. Having read the accounts of concentration camp survivors, she really had it better than others. She still faced brutality and this account should still be listened to, but as a history of the resistance it doesn't measure up.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dale
  • Atlantic Beach, FL, United States
  • 08-01-10

great book, horrible narrator

The narrator's French accent is so bad that it gets in the way of enjoying a superb book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful