Historians estimate that between 80, to , Franco-German babies were born during the war. In , France purged its uneasy feelings about the Occupation in general by making scapegoats of these collaborateurs horizontales. With shaven heads, they were forced to parade semi-naked, admitting their sin.
First American Edition. Minabel Records. The violent scenes thrust security to the fore of campaigning after nine months of relative calm. Photos for concert programme, booklet:. This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve.
There were other totemic sacrifices. But other women, faced with the German occupiers, chose different, riskier paths. She came close to being arrested. Later, she forged ID cards. Jeanne Bucher, the avant garde Parisian galleriste, dared to show Kandinsky and other despised — often Jewish — abstract artists. German soldiers often visited to poke fun at the works and sometimes to buy them, all the same. Now, more than 70 years later, that attitude is shifting, slightly but perceptibly.
Before that, the only woman honoured there had been Marie Curie. After six years of fighting, most women simply wanted to push the horrors they had witnessed to the back of their minds. Other mothers went to extraordinary lengths not to give in, queuing several hours each day for food, sometimes rushing off to find butter in an antiquarian bookseller or sending a child on a long journey to the country for a single cauliflower.
G etting enough to eat was a form of resistance, showing the Germans that Parisians were not to be starved into submission. Food was the constant topic of conversation.
What can you eat, how to cook it and where can you get it? In the same way, dressing well became a point of stubborn pride. Whatever the shortages, they were determined to retain some chic. But even before the war was over, women were already being cast as scapegoats for the Occupation. Women, he argued, had neglected their duty through coquetry, frivolity and egoism.
Vichy therefore demanded a national revolution: women were to have lots of babies and glory once more in the domestic.
They were officially banned from wearing trousers too masculine and could hold neither jobs nor bank accounts without the permission of a father or husband. B ut while Vichy tried to reverse the small, liberal steps made in the Thirties, the facts of the war pulled the other way.
Paris was emptied of men: almost two million were prisoners of war; others had fled to be with General de Gaulle and the Free French in London; thousands more were missing in action or in hiding. To be a young man in occupied Paris was so unusual that it was dangerous and invited questions. Because women did not attract the same attention, they became useful for carrying weapons and incriminating documents.
For the first time, women found themselves truly in charge of their own lives.
M any of the women I interviewed were teenagers when they began their resistance work, something they played up to pass unnoticed. Incredibly, both survived the death march. The women who resisted came from a variety of backgrounds: working-class communist as well as aristocratic, young and middle aged. There were also a number of Americans who refused to leave Paris. She was far too sick to leave on her own - she must have been abducted.
What does she know that is so important it is worth killing for? And will Aimee be able to find her before it is too late and the medication keeping her alive runs out?
Set in the seventh arrondissment , the quartier of the Parisian elite, Murder on the Champ de Mars takes us from the highest seats of power in the ministries and embassies through the city's private gardens and the homes of France's oldest aristocratic families. Aimee discovers more connections than she thought possible between the clandestine Gypsy world and the moneyed ancient regime, ultimately leading her to the truth behind her father's death. After all, for Aimee, murder is never far from home.