Those Who Didn't Sleep
Number of pages
The 37-day diary of a woman awaiting news from her husband, a member of the French Jewish resistance, during the last months of the Nazi occupation in Paris
Jacqueline Mesnil-Amar comes from a wealthy family. André, her husband, is a banker and a member of the Jewish resistance. They live in a bourgeois neighborhood of Paris and are liberal, highly cultured, and totally assimilated.
It is the summer of 1944, and Paris is about to be liberated by the Allied forces. Yet for Jacqueline the joyful anticipation is overshadowed by worry and fear because she has been without news of her husband since the evening of July 18, 1944, when he did not come home. That same night, to calm her distress, Jacqueline began to write a journal. It ends 37 days later when she learns that André was able to escape from what was the last train to the extermination camps.
This diary, an exceptional testimony on the period, combines one woman’s memories and reflections on the “final solution” and an eyewitness account of the last moments of the occupation of Paris, a unique consideration of how the French were feeling at that time, and for the author, a renewed interest in her own Jewish roots.
At the end of the volume are a few articles relating the long, desperate wait of the families of deportees.
Jacqueline Mesnil-Amar : Jacqueline Mesnil-Amar was born in 1909 and she died in 1987. The book was first published in 1957 by Editions de Minuit. This new edition from Edition Stock adds a preface by acclaimed author Pierre Assouline.