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They Shall Not Have Me: The Capture, Forced Labor, and Escape of a French Prisoner in World War II (Hardback)
  • They Shall Not Have Me: The Capture, Forced Labor, and Escape of a French Prisoner in World War II (Hardback)
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They Shall Not Have Me: The Capture, Forced Labor, and Escape of a French Prisoner in World War II (Hardback)

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£17.99
Hardback 448 Pages / Published: 31/05/2012
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In 1943, with the war still raging in Europe and the Pacific theater, the French artist Jean Helion first released the extraordinary story of his brutal experiences as a POW and his incredible escape from the Nazis. He dedicated the book to his "comrades in captivity, whom [I] have left in Germany digging potatoes on the farms, working for long hours as little as they can in factories". A moving and engrossing symbol of resilience and integrity, Helion's story is available again in this beautiful, new edition.

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
ISBN: 9781611455014
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 681 g
Dimensions: 140 x 140 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Jean H lion was one of France's leading modernist painters, even before his capture by the Germans in 1940 when he was 33. His account of his adventures in captivity is both terrifying and funny (one of his tormentors was the appropriately-names Kommandofuhrer Jurk), somewhat in the Vein of Tarantino's film Inglorious Basterds. A best-seller after it was published in America while the war was still raging, it has remained for many, including Helion's legions of admirers in both France and the United States, a one-of-a-kind classic. It's wonderful to have it back in print again. --John Ashbery
Jean Helion was one of France's leading modernist painters, even before his capture by the Germans in 1940 when he was 33. His account of his adventures in captivity is both terrifying and funny (one of his tormentors was the appropriately-names Kommandofuhrer Jurk), somewhat in the Vein of Tarantino's film Inglorious Basterds. A best-seller after it was published in America while the war was still raging, it has remained for many, including Helion's legions of admirers in both France and the United States, a one-of-a-kind classic. It's wonderful to have it back in print again. --John Ashbery
The French armistice with the Third Reich, signed by Vichy's aging Marshal Petain on June 22, 1940, stipulated the following: "The French armed forces in the territory to be occupied by Germany are to be hastily withdrawn into the territory not to be occupied, and be discharged." No wonder, then, that hundreds of thousands of exhausted French soldiers allowed themselves to be encircled by German troops and held in barbed-wire enclosures pending their expected demobilization. Most believed they would be going home.The German high command had a different agenda. Hitler, who would break his pact with Stalin and invade the Soviet Union within a year of signing the Vichy agreement, planned to replace the German manpower needed for the Russian front with the labor of the surrendered French army. Trains crammed with prisoners would soon make the four-day journey to hastily constructed barracks at dozens of sites near the former Polish border. Such was the fate of close to a million and a half French prisoners of war, most of whom would not see their home again for five years; 25,000 would never return.In New York, in 1943, a detailed eyewitness account of the conditions in German POW camps was published by a French escapee, Jean Helion (1904-87). Helion was by then an internationally known painter who had been living in New York at the outbreak of World War II. He returned to France for military service, only to be part of the debacle that followed the German invasion. At the request of E.P. Dutton publishers, he set down his experience in "They Shall Not Have Me," a meticulously observed description of the lives of French POWs as virtual slaves of the Third Reich, with vivid delineations of both captors and captives.Written in English and never published in France, the book became a best seller, and its author found himself in demand for lectures and interviews, trying, as he said, to tell Americans what it was like to be hungry, devoured by lice, worked to the bone, and

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