Human triumphs and failures shown

A GOOD PLACE TO HIDE<b>How one French community saved thousands of lives in World War 2<br><b>Peter Grose</b><br><i>Allen & Unwin</i>
A GOOD PLACE TO HIDE<b>How one French community saved thousands of lives in World War 2<br><b>Peter Grose</b><br><i>Allen & Unwin</i>
Australian scribe Peter Grose, the author of two previous acclaimed World War 2 books with publishers (An Awkward Truth: the bombing of Darwin 1942 and A Very Rude Awakening: The night the Japanese midget subs came to Sydney Harbour) has penned another piece of intriguing World War 2 history, this one of French resistance and Oscar Schindler-like deception.

It documents the story of a community in the upper Loire Valley, in what was the Southern Zone after German occupation in 1940 and administered by the Vichy Government until November 1942 with the arrival of German forces to the area.

Grose details the triumphs and failures of humans in wartime, from the ruthless nature of the occupying forces and their dehumanising resolve in shipping Jews and people they deemed threats, to death camps, to those in the village of Le Cahbon-sur-Lignon, who united in deceiving their occupiers by offering sanctuary to an estimated 5000 men, women and children. These villages not only offered shelter and a place to hide, but villagers shared their meagre supplies of food and clothing.

Grose has penned a work full on detail and meticulously researched. He documents a number of key figures such as the local pastor Andre Trocme and teenager Oscar Rosowsky, who after his own daring escape from German hands, went on to play a key role in forging identity papers for those sheltering in and around the village.

- Wayne Parsons is an ODT editorial and production assistant.

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