Alan Riding's new book on Paris during the Nazi occupation has just been published. Riding was European culture correspondent for the New York Times for 12 years; he is based in Paris. His book details the lives and contributions of artists and writers during this critical moment in 20th century history.
Order or read more here.
From the publisher: On June 14, 1940, German tanks rolled into a silent and deserted Paris. Eight days later, a humbled France accepted defeat along with foreign occupation. The only consolation was that, while the swastika now flew over Paris, the City of Light was undamaged. Soon, a peculiar kind of normality returned as theaters, opera houses, movie theaters and nightclubs reopened for business.
This suited both conquerors and vanquished: the Germans wanted Parisians to be distracted, while the French could show that, culturally at least, they had not been defeated. Over the next four years, the artistic life of Paris flourished with as much verve as in peacetime. Only a handful of writers and intellectuals asked if this was an appropriate response to the horrors of a world war.
See the book web site for And The Show Went On.