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Villa Air-Bel : World War II, escape, and a house in Marseille

Author: Rosemary Sullivan
Publisher: New York : Harper Collins, ©2006.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"France, 1940. The once glittering boulevards of Paris teem with spies, collaborators, and the Gestapo now that France has fallen to Hitler's Wermacht. For Andre Breton, Max Ernst, Victor Serge, Marc Chagall, Consuelo de Saint-Exupery, Remedios Varo, Benjamin Peret, and scores of other cultural elite denounced as enemies of the Third Reich, fear and uncertainty define daily life. One wrong glance, one misplaced
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Rosemary Sullivan
ISBN: 9780060732509 0060732504
OCLC Number: 69332425
Description: xv, 476 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Responsibility: Rosemary Sullivan.
More information:

Abstract:

"France, 1940. The once glittering boulevards of Paris teem with spies, collaborators, and the Gestapo now that France has fallen to Hitler's Wermacht. For Andre Breton, Max Ernst, Victor Serge, Marc Chagall, Consuelo de Saint-Exupery, Remedios Varo, Benjamin Peret, and scores of other cultural elite denounced as enemies of the Third Reich, fear and uncertainty define daily life. One wrong glance, one misplaced confidence, could mean arrest, deportation, and death. Their only salvation is the Villa Air-Bel, a chateau outside Marseille where a group of young people will go to extraordinary lengths to keep them alive."

"Financed by the Emergency Rescue Committee, a private American relief organization, unlikely heroes - feisty graduate student Miriam Davenport, Harvard-educated classical scholar Varian Fry, beautiful and compelling heiress Mary Jayne Gold, and brilliant young Socialist and survivor of the Battle of Dunkerque Danny Benedite and his British wife, Theo - cajole, outwit, and use every means possible to stave off the Nazis and newly installed Vichy government officials circling closer with each passing day. The chateau was a vibrant artistic salon, home to lively debates and clandestine affairs, to Sunday art auctions and subversive surrealist games.

Relationships within the house were tense and arguments were common, but the will to survive kept the covert operation under wraps. Beyond the chateau's luscious facade war raged, yet hope reverberated within its halls. With the aid of their young rescuers, this diverse intelligentsia - intense, brilliant, and utterly terrified - was able to survive one of the darkest chapters of the twentieth century." "Villa Air-Bel is a powerfully told, meticulously researched true story. Rosemary Sullivan explores the diaries, memoirs, and letters of the individuals involved while uncovering their private worlds and the web of relationships they developed."--Jacket.

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