Rescue and Resistance

From Suite Française:

“And the humanity of his words, his gesture, everything proved they were not dealing with some bloodthirsty monster but with a simple solider like any other, and suddenly the ice was broken between the town and the enemy, between the country folk and the invader.” (pg. 100)

I started reading Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky on one of my long flights home yesterday, and I was stuck how the novel portrays resistance in the French countryside during the invasion and occupation by the Nazis. I’m taking a graduate-level class taught by one of my favorite professors next semester entitled Rescue and Resistance during the Holocaust. The class examines the popular postwar perception by Europeans of the Nazi period that their resistance to Nazism had saved the honor of their country.

Admittedly, while the class does sound interesting, I signed up to take the class because I love this professor and she invited me to the course. But after reading Suite Française, which was written by a Russian Jew during World War II and not published until the twenty-first century, I really am more intrigued by the subject and looking forward to read all fourteen books assigned for the class on the subject.

Book Mentioned:

  • Némirovsky, Irène. Suite Française. New York, NY: Vintage, 2006. Print. 431 pgs. ISBN: 9781400096275. Source: Purchased.


  1. I listened to Suite Francaise a just over a year ago and was interested especially in the second part, which deals with the occupied village. Your class sounds like it could be quite fascinating, and I look forward to seeing what’s on the reading list.


    • I’m planning on doing a vlog of all the books when I get back to school in January and have them all in my possession. It’s a lot easier to order them online and have them mailed to school than buying them at home and hauling them back with me.


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