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Americans in Paris:
Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation

by Charles Glass

Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation

When the German army marched into Paris on June 14, 1940, approximately 5,000 Americans remained in Paris. They had refused or been unable to leave for many different reasons; their actions during the course of the German occupation would prove to be just as varied. Glass interweaves the experiences of some of the individuals who belonged to this unique colony of American expatriates living in Paris. Among the stories highlighted are those of Charles Bedaux, an American millionaire determined to carry on with his business affairs as usual; Sylvia Beach, owner of the famous English-language bookstore Shakespeare & Company; Clara Longworth de Chambrun, patroness of the American Library in Paris and distantly related to FDR; and Dr. Sumner Jackson, the American Hospital’s chief surgeon. These fascinating tales reflect the complicated network of choices—passive compromise, outright collaboration, patient retreat, and active resistance—that existed for Americans caught in the German web.

Americans in Paris recounts tales of adventure, intrigue, passion, deceit, and survival under the brutal Nazi occupation through the eyes of the Americans who lived through it all. Renowned journalist Charles Glass tells the story of a remarkable cast of five thousand expatriates--artists, writers, scientists, playboys, musicians, cultural mandarins, and ordinary businessmen--and their struggles in Nazi Paris. Glass's discovery of letters, diaries, war documents, and police files reveals as never before how Americans were trapped in a web of intrigue, collaboration, and courage.