Young widow Yvonne Roques worked with Bishop Paul Rémond in Nice to hide approximately a hundred Jewish children during World War II. Yvonne’s home served as a way station before more permanent hiding places were found. Unable to remember the names of all the children she saved, Yvonne shared the photos above with Yad Vashem in hopes of identifying these children. If you recognize any of these children or are interested in seeing more of Yvonne’s unidentified photos, visit Yad Vashem’s website.
How to see Lee Miller? Much of her life would be a negotiation between the act of seeing and the act of being seen.
This woman sounds like a firecracker. She was a model, artist, photojournalist, writer, lover to Man Ray, artist’s muse, wife, mother, and more …Her life story is begging for a film treatment.
Némirovsky writes with tremendous compassion, particularly for the utterly blameless Michauds, but she is unsparing in her assessment of her crueler and more thoughtless characters. Following the exodus in “Storm in June,” the second-oldest Péricand child — Hubert, a teenager — sits in a church and contemplates his family’s behavior during their flight from the city:
He judged his family with bitterness and a painful harshness. His grievances whirled around in his mind in the form of brief, violent images, without him being able to express them clearly: …their cars full to bursting with fine linen and silver caught up among the refugees, and his mother, pointing to women and children forced to walk with just a few bits of clothing wrapped in a piece of cloth, saying, “Do you see how good our Lord Jesus is? Just think, we could be those unfortunate wretches!” Hypocrites, frauds!
It’s a cliché to say that times of disaster and upheaval reveal us for who we are, but I believe there’s some truth to it. Irène Némirovsky’s characters are variously revealed by war and dangerous politics to be weak, courageous, venal, or honorable, and she knew of what she wrote.
She was Jewish, born in Russia, the daughter of a fantastically successful banker. The Némirovskys had fled the Bolsheviks and arrived in a country where they believed they’d be safe. Irène Némirovsky embraced France completely, and for a time, at least, France seemed to embrace her. She found fame as a novelist at twenty-six and was catapulted into French literary society. But by the time she began Suite Française in 1941, the same editors and critics who’d celebrated her before the war had turned away. Her letters went unanswered. Anti-Semitic tirades were published by her former friends. Her books were removed from her first publisher’s catalogue.
Words written in her notebook in 1941: “My God! What is this country doing to me? Since it is rejecting me, let us consider it coldly, let us watch as it loses its honor and its life. And the other countries? What are they to me? Empires are dying. Nothing matters.” The betrayal was absolute.
Excerpted from Emily St. John Mandel’s “Irène Némirovsky, Suite Française, and The Mirador” which was nominated for the 3 Quarks Daily Literary Award.
In case you missed this Storycorps recording of Frank Curre (NPR played it on Veterans Day). It’s one of the most memorable episodes I heard this year.
What happened that day is tattooed in my soul.
“THIS IS NOT A DRILL”
At 7:55 a.m. December 7, 1941, Japanese bombers and torpedo planes attacked the U.S. Pacific fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor, catapulting the United States into World War II. In less than 2 hours, the U.S. Pacific Fleet was devastated, and more than 3,500 Americans were either killed or wounded.
Just finished reading “The Book Thief”
Just as I had been warned it would do, it made me cry.
As the Stanford historian Norman Naimark explains in Stalin’s Genocides, the UN’s definition of genocide was deliberately narrow: “Acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” This was because Soviet diplomats had demanded the exclusion of any reference to social, economic, and political groups. Had they left these categories in, prosecution of the USSR for the murder of aristocrats (a social group), kulaks (an economic group), or Trotskyites (a political group) would have been possible.
“Germans in the Woods” [StoryCorps » Animation]
Of course everyone has seen this LIFE photograph. It is unfathomably famous. Today, it hit the news that Edith Shain, the woman who many believe is the nurse in the photo, has died at the age of 91. That’s not the whole story:
In the 65 years since LIFE’s Alfred Eisenstaedt captured this scene amid the joyous chaos of August 14, 1945, his “V-J Day in Times Square” has become one of the most famous photographs ever made. Showing a sailor planting a kiss on the lips of a nurse as happy New Yorkers look on — shortly after the surrender of Japan effectively, finally ended World War II — the image has entered America’s and the world’s popular, shared consciousness in a way that very few photographs ever have. Today, it remains the picture that, for millions, serves as an elegant visual shorthand for the notion, “War is over!” On June 20, 2010, Edith Shain, the woman in the photograph (or, at least, the woman widely believed to be in the photograph … read on!), died in Los Angeles at the age of 91. But the story of the picture, and of the remarkable man who took it, never grows old.