*** Village of Secrets by Caroline Moorehead

Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France tells the story of the village of Chambon-Sur-Lignon, in central France, during the Nazi occupation of France. I wrote about this before, when I reviewed the auto-biography of a grandson of one of the main character in the vast cast that sheltered Jews and other so-called undesirables against the Nazis while the French government was busy helping round up the same demographics. The history recounted here talks about terrible times but is quite inspiring as the author paints the portraits of many of the helpers, some well known and others anonymous, who, at great danger to themselves, took in many children and adults, provided food in times of rationing, created false papers, and helped spirit away many outside the French borders.

I was surprised and dismayed to find multiple factual (small) errors throughout the text. There is no “Rue Montee des Carmelites” in Lyon (no “s” in Lyon for the French): it’s “Montee” alone. There is no such town as Aix-en-France (Provence, probably!) And some names just seem mistranscribed. It casts a shadow on the overall story.


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