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When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, June 9, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1M2203
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$30 - Member
$35 - Non-Member
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Parade on the Champs Élysées, June 1940

On June 14, 1940, German tanks entered a silent and deserted Paris.  Eight days later, France accepted defeat and prepared itself for what would stretch into four years of foreign occupation. Ronald C. Rosbottom explores how, beneath the bustle of a newly configured urban daily life, resistance took a myriad of forms.

As the Occupation became increasingly onerous, a more muscular opposition rose that included Parisians of nearly every social, religious, and professional stripe, from Jews, immigrants, adolescents, Communists, rightists, and Gaullists to cultural icons such as Colette, de Beauvoir, Camus, and Sartre.  Alongside them, was an equally cautious population, waiting to see which side would win.

In this engrossing talk, richly illustrated with images of the period, Rosbottom describes this era from the pavement up, examining the first days of the Occupation through the last, evoking the detail of daily life in a wartime city under military and civilian occupation, and the brave people who fought against it.

Rosbottom is emerita professor of the Winifred L. Arms Professorship in the Arts and Humanities at Amherst College.

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