An American Heroine in the French Resistance: The Diary and by Judy Barrett Litoff, Virginia d'Albert-Lake

By Judy Barrett Litoff, Virginia d'Albert-Lake

This attention-grabbing publication tells the awesome tale of a standard American woman's heroism within the French Resistance. Virginia Roush fell in love with Philippe d'Albert-Lake in the course of a trip to France in 1936; they married quickly after. In 1943, they either joined the Resistance, the place Virginia positioned her existence in jeopardy as she sheltered downed airmen and later survived a Nazi legal camp. After the warfare, she stayed in France with Philippe, and used to be offered the Lgion d'Honneur and the Medal of Honor. She died in 1997.Judy Barrett Litoff brings jointly infrequent documents-Virginia's diary of wartime France till her seize in 1944 and her criminal memoir written instantly after the battle. Masterfully edited, they impart the compassion and durability of an almost forgotten heroine as they supply a useful checklist of the workings of the Resistance via one of many only a few American ladies who participated in it.An indelible portrait of striking power of personality . . . [D'Albert-Lake] is sombre, reflective, and aware of each detail.-The New Yorker A sharply etched and relocating tale of affection, companionship, dedication, and sacrifice. . . . This superbly edited diary and memoir throw an unique gentle at the French Resistance.-Robert Gildea, writer of Marianne in Chains: looking for the German career, 1940-1945 instantly a gorgeous self-portrait and dramatic narrative of a valorous younger American lady . . . an exhilarating and gripping tale, the most effective of the numerous wartime tales.-Walter CronkiteAn enchanting story which brims with courageous airmen and plucky heroines.-David Kirby, St. Petersburg occasions

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15705$ $CH1 12-13-05 10:38:08 PS PAGE 8 Having seen these planes disappear into the landscape and hearing that they were kept tunneled under the ground we decided to go exploring, so one day Philippe, Donald, Delille and I started off across the fields. When we were so tired of walking and not yet having found our destination we almost gave up, but a little rise showed us it was only a bit farther. There we found the planes, 22 of them dotting a field, the pilots being harbored in buildings connected with a beet refinery.

I think the morale of the men wonderful, especially in considering that they are going into this war with their eyes open. They do not hate the Germans and would kill only in self-defense. Philippe said that if he saw a German come out of a trench to go to the ‘‘Johnny’’ he would give him the wound that he himself wishes in the leg! The men laughed at the newspaper propaganda because they recognize it so easily, they are not being taken in! An American journalist at the front writing for the ‘‘Paris Soir’’ told how a lone Frenchman attacked forty Germans all by himself, Outbreak of War to the Fall of France [ 9 .................

Philippe, who presumably has to face war in an armored car knowing that shells are made these days expressly for cars and tanks, shells that pierce the metal sides and explode in the interior, blowing everything to pieces, is the perfect example of calmness and fortitude. ’’ I think that is wonderful. I really can’t say what my reaction would be were I in his shoes. Delille is the pessimist, the fatalist. Where Philippe knows in his heart of hearts that he is coming back, Andre´ is just as sure that he himself is not!

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