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This article by Charles Chadwyck-Healey was originally published in The Book Collector in March 2015.

The Literature of the Liberation 1944-1946

After the Normandy landings in June 1944 the world’s press prepared for the liberation of Paris. Ernest Hemingway made sure that he reached Paris ahead of his war correspondent wife Martha Gellhorn, and he was followed by his friend the photographer Robert Capa who had been one of the first photographers on the beaches in June1.  But French journalists and photographers were equally quick to appreciate the significance of the liberation of the world’s most important occupied city. When the uprising started on 19 August French writers, photographers and artists were out on the streets recording the guerrilla warfare, the barricades, the columns of German prisoners and the French and German bodies lying in the streets. The triumphant arrival of the F.F.I., (Forces françaises de l’intérieur) and the Americans, together with General de Gaulle walking through the crowds to the Arc de Triomphe with ‘the light of inspiration in his face’2, created a feel-good factor that, after the years of occupation, newspaper, magazine and book publishers were quick to appreciate.

The liberation of Paris had effectively brought to an end the restrictions imposed by the German occupation of France even though the German army was not driven out of France until February 1945. The German administration of France was based in Paris and when this administration broke down censorship ended – until it was re-imposed, with more benign conditions, by the new government of France.

The books, pamphlets and magazines that were published in the weeks and months that followed have not been well documented but this is beginning to change. The substantial catalogue of an exhibition held in Paris in 2011 ‘Archives de la vie littéraire sous l’Occupation’ (1), includes some books and manuscripts from and immediately after the liberation of Paris and the  bibliography Eyes on Paris. Paris im Fotobuch. 1890 bis heute (2) contains descriptions of some of the books of contemporary photographs. An important exhibition of photographs and films of the liberation of Paris at the musée Carnavalet in Paris in 2014 ‘Paris liberé, photographié, exposé’ with an authoritative large-format catalogue (3) only contains a few books and magazines. An exhibition held at Cambridge University Library from May to October 2014 of a collection of books that I have donated to the Library, entitled ‘Literature of the Liberation, the French Experience in Print 1944-1946’ contains a broad selection of illustrated books and magazines about the liberation of Paris and has a catalogue with the same title published by the Library (4). While the exhibition celebrates the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Paris its scope, like that of the collection, extends well beyond it, to include all books published in French, primarily in France, on the subjects of the Second World War, the Occupation and the Liberation. The starting date is the liberation of Paris, and the end of 1946 is the cut-off date, which happens to coincide with the end of the Third Republic. The purpose of the collection is to help understand how the French used the medium of the book to express their immediate response to the tragic events which had affected the lives of every French man and woman. It is a collection as much for the history of the book as for the history of the period.

In 2001 Michael Dawson, the Los Angeles antiquarian bookseller, sold me a copy of À Paris sous la botte des Nazis (5) for my photographic books collection. No book could have been a more appropriate starting point for the ‘Liberation Collection’. The quality of the design, the photographs, and the printing of a hard-cover book that had only been published a few weeks after the liberation of Paris is extraordinary and I started to buy more photo books from this period. A week spent in the Bibliothèque nationale searching for such books convinced me that I should not confine myself to photo books but to try to collect everything. Now the collection includes not only  books of photographs, historical accounts, military books and biographies but also novels, plays, poetry, books of jokes and cartoons, and books of songs. It totals over 750 books with many more still to be found. One of the most interesting discoveries has been that so many high quality books were published in conditions that were known to be so difficult. France was at war until May 1945, there were shortages of everything, especially fuel and food, there were strikes and civil unrest in a country which teetered on the brink of civil war as the ‘Épuration’ or ‘Purge’ took place, yet printers and publishers were able to produce beautiful books on the finest papers.  So what motivated the French to go to the effort and cost of publishing these books? Part of the answer lies in the observation of a contemporary American academic Howard C. Rice in January 19453, quoted by Matthew Cobb in Eleven Days in August (6):

In France, more than in any other country, the popular imagination transforms the present into history with extraordinary rapidity. Events and collective experiences are miraculously crystallised into symbolic dates and emotion-laden myths. Already ‘La Libération’ is such a myth . . . and it would seem that French thinking must, in order to face the future, first review and digest the recent past.

This can be seen in many of the books in the collection which contain references and images that link the events of the war and the liberation to France’s glorious past. The book dealer Henri Vignes who specialises in clandestine literature and books of the post war period writes that words like, ‘liberté’, ‘gloire’, ‘délivrance’ and ‘victoire’ occur in many titles4, but so do ‘oppression’ and ‘ombre’. By 1944 ‘occupation’ and ‘oppression’ had become synonymous and the phrase ‘sous la botte’ (under the boot) is used in many titles including À Paris sous la botte des Nazis. It is a book of photographs (with captions) by Roger Schall, a well-known international photographer who had run a large studio in the 1930s and had also taken photographs for Vu and Vogue, and it was published by his brother Raymond Schall. They were able to publish the book so soon after the liberation of Paris because, as the colophon at the front of the book states, they had started work on the book in May 1944 as they awaited the liberation.

An equally elegant colophon at the end of the book gives details of the different numbered editions that were also to be published, some with original photographs, but none can be found in French libraries and it seems likely that they were never published. The book is also enhanced with a belly band with the legend, ‘Ce que les Français ne doivent jamais oublier’. It was a tremendous commercial success, at one time selling 1,000 copies a day yet its frank depiction of life in Paris in the Occupation which showed only too clearly the extent to which the French had learned to live comfortably with their conquerors was not well received in all quarters and Schall no longer exhibited his photographs in post-war national shows, though he continued to work in advertising and fashion until the 1970s. He himself had survived four years of occupation by publishing photographs of monuments and buildings in Paris, and landscapes in France with captions in German for the German market, under the imprints, René Kremer, Odé, and Verlag Schall. His brother published two more books on the back of his first success – Un An (7) and Victoire des Français en Italie (8) and these three books were then packaged in a slip case and sold as a set.

Un An is a more measured sequel to the first book; it is a book of photographs with captions about France in 1945 coming to terms with the aftermath of the liberation, including the trial and execution of Pierre Laval. One of the most telling photographs is a double page spread view over the roofs of Paris on Christmas Day 1944. The view stretches to the distant horizon, only because there is no smoke coming from any of the chimneys – in one of the coldest winters of the century. Schall’s last book, again with photographs, mainly by Roger, taken in Germany before the war, was Les Hommes Verts (9) the Germans in their green army uniforms, a deeply ironic view of the German people, examining their culture and lifestyle in order to understand them better. They are, ‘La génération des robots vivants’ and ‘Ces “braves gens” ont tué . . . torturé, massacré’. It was to be the first in a series ‘Histoire et témoignages de notre époque’ but no other books in the series were published. The copy in the collection was specially printed for Raymond Schall which he subsequently inscribed to a friend.

Amongst the many books of photographs and the important and very personal accounts of the liberation of Paris, one book stands out, La Grande délivrance de Paris by François Boucher (10). Published in 1945, it is the catalogue of an exhibition held at the musée Carnavalet from November 1944 to January 1945. Boucher was Director of the museum, which is the museum of the history of Paris. He was also a resistance leader who recognised the symbolic importance of the liberation of the city. He wrote to everyone asking for photographs and documents but was selective in his choice of material, only including items that showed the liberation of Paris in its best possible light. The handsome large-quarto catalogue was published in an edition of 1,000 numbered copies on vélin du Marais but does not include photographs of the exhibition itself, only documents and photographs shown in the exhibition. The 2014 exhibition at the museum commemorates this earlier exhibition and includes much material about it from its archives.

Amongst the photos that Boucher rejected were photographs of ‘femmes tondues’, the women accused of collaboration whose heads were shaved and who were paraded through the streets, partially unclothed, with the cross of Lorraine painted on their foreheads. In protest the artist Anna Prinner wrote and published La femme tondue, (11) a prose poem written in the coarsest language of the streets, a cry of outrage against the abuses suffered by these women. Prinner (1902-1983), who was born Anna Prinner in Budapest, and came to Paris in 1928, changing her name to Anton, was a painter, illustrator and sculptor, and a friend of Picasso, André Breton and Jean Paulhan. Her text is accompanied by eight plates which are equally disturbing. She published the edition of 600 copies in 1946 and it includes 100 numbered copies with sets of eight plates. It has never been republished.

Amidst the despair, anger and regret in many of the books there is an ironic humour which is so French. Often the humour is in the titles themselves: Francis Ambrière’s Les Grandes Vacances 1939-1945, (12) the French name for family summer holidays refers to his five years in a German prisoner of war camp – in 1946 his book won him the Prix Goncourt for 1940. Rieux’s Le meunier en smoking: Poèmes d’un chansonnier (13)(The miller in a dinner jacket: poems of a cabaret singer). The title is inspired by a saying that the cabaret singers were the last millers of the windmills of Montmartre – many of his poems are about the war and the liberation. The poems that Jean Garamond, the pseudonym of Guy Lévis Mano, wrote in his prison camp were published by his friends in Images de l’homme immobile (14) while they awaited his release at the end of the war. The copy in the collection, no. 99 of the numbered edition of 270 copies, has a dedication by Lévis Mano, ‘à Jean Jacques Sergent ces images de l’homme immobile du mauvais hazard et reprises par l’amitié’ (these images of a man made immobile by misfortune and reprieved by friendship). Lévis Mano (1904-1980) was an important poet, printer, book designer, typographer and publisher who published a whole series of books of his poems written in the prison camp. Few prisoners of war can have published so many books inspired by that one experience. Three books of his poems were published in 1945; an earlier book of poems was published in 1943 and a folio volume with illustrations in 1947; he was deeply affected by his five years in a German prisoner of war camp and the experience became the inspiration for these creative works in which he wrote the poems, and after his return in 1945, produced the books entirely himself under the imprint G.L.M.

Lévis Mano’s Homme exclu (15) is dedicated to Albert Pardoen ‘who made captivity into an adventure’ and the importance of these bonds made between men in prison camps is exemplified in another self-published book, L. –G. Villeroy’s Comme l’an 40! (16). It is a remarkable publication, in its extent, 300 pages, the quality of the printing, and the ten hand coloured plates protected by tissues, by four artists who were fellow prisoners. It is dedicated to 16 prisoners whose nationalities range from Australian to Indo-Chinese. The edition of 1,000 copies, of which 300 had hand coloured plates, were to be signed by the author, but each of the three copies I have seen contains a slip explaining that Captain Villeroy cannot sign them because he has been sent to Germany as part of UNRRA (a UN relief agency). It is his anecdotes that make the book so interesting. He was released early to return to France. As he stood on the station platform embracing his family one of his bags was stolen; it contained chocolates that he had brought for his children. There is something incongruous about the theft from a returning prisoner who is bringing presents for his children, presumably from Red Cross parcels that were available to prisoners in Germany but not to civilians in occupied France. A very different book is the more modestly produced paperback Vingt mois à Auschwitz (17) by the Polish communist Pelagia Lewinska which includes a poem by Paul Éluard.

It was the first book by an Auschwitz survivor to be published in France and on 23 September 1945 Roger Martin du Gard, Nobel laureate, wrote to André Gide:

‘Avez-vous lu le livre de Mme Lewinska sur Auschwitz? Il faut avoir vécu avec elle “là-bas”. On oublierait trop vite, sans cela; il ne faut pas, on n’a pas le droit d’oublier’ 5 (Have you read the book by Madame Lewinska on Auschwitz? You must read it. We have to come with her ‘into the depths’. Otherwise it will be too quickly forgotten. That cannot be, we do not have the right to forget).

Lewinska’s insights into survival in ‘la frontière du pays de la mort’ (the frontier of the country of death) are memorable; she realised that the system in the camp was designed to break the spirit as much as the body and then saw survival as a ceaseless battle, against violence, for human dignity, and for what she called, ‘the honest beating of the human heart’. After the war she became a member of the Central Committee of the Polish Communist Party. Even more remarkable are the books containing illustrations and portraits made in the camps. Léon Delarbre’s drawings made in Dora, Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen were published in an elegant edition on heavy paper by Michel de Romilly (18) only a few weeks after Lewinska’s book. Delarbre had to conceal his drawings which were on scraps of paper or he would have been killed and it is difficult to imagine how he was able to do this as he was moved in forced marches from camp to camp. This is in contrast to the very formal portraits made by A. Favier, P. Mania and Boris Taslitzky in Buchenwald. They were shown openly to other prisoners. After a group of 23 French, Canadian and English parachutists had been hanged (from the so-called ‘Goethe’s oak’ in Buchenwald) Favier’s drawings of them were passed amongst the prisoners in the evenings.

One of these portraits is of Robert Benoist, a celebrated pre-war racing driver who had twice parachuted into France. Both Favier and Boris Taslitzky drew Julien Cain (1887-1974), the former director of the Bibliothèque nationale, who survived Buchenwald, returned to France and took up his post again. In his introduction to Taslitzky’s book Cain compares him to Daumier, Géricault and Goya. Taslitzky himself wrote, ‘Si je vais en enfer, j’y ferai des croquis. D’ailleurs, j’ai l’expérience, j’ y suis déjà allé et j’ y ai dessiné! (If I go to Hell I will make drawings there. Besides, I have the experience, I have already been there and I have drawn there). Taslitzky’s 111 dessins faits à Buchenwald, 1944-1945 (19) is a portfolio of 111 square plates which are loose, some in colour, in boards with paper flaps, published in a large edition of 3,240 copies with captions in French, English and Russian.  Favier and Mania’s portraits and paintings of life in the camp are reproduced in Buchenwald: scènes prises sur le vif des horreurs nazies,(20) a folio book containing 78 loose plates which is now difficult to find.

Another interesting genre is the programmes produced in 1944 and 1945 for galas celebrating victory and raising money for different groups. Artists and writers contributed to the programmes and they are often substantial publications on expensive papers, printed in colour, with ribbons, and embossing, intended to be kept as souvenirs. They are another example of the willingness of the French to produce high quality publications to celebrate victory and liberation after the years of defeat and occupation. A programme, (21) probably published in 1945, for a gala to raise money for architects who had been in prison in Germany contains one of Jean Garamond’s (Guy Lévis Mano)  poems which faces one of the most evocative images of this period, a lithograph by the surrealist artist Valentine Hugo (1869-1951). Another image by the same artist, two doves in a cage, is the loose frontispiece to a small book which must be amongst the first to be published after the liberation of Paris. À Fresnes by Madeleine Legrand (22) was printed on 31 August 1944 and according to the colophon was prepared during the Occupation but printed for the Liberation. It also includes a poem by Paul Éluard, a friend of the author and her husband. She was imprisoned in Fresnes Prison on the outskirts of Paris for a few months and then released by the Gestapo without explanation. Her husband Jean had been accused of distributing Communist leaflets but it was his wife who was arrested. The Germans abandoned Fresnes Prison during the liberation of Paris and it was immediately taken over by the French. The journalist Henri Calet (Raymond-Théodore Barthelmess, 1904-1956) went into the prison and recorded the graffiti scratched both on the walls of the cells and on metal utensils. The messages of both French and allied prisoners are published in his book Les murs de Fresnes, (23) and are the subject of one of the poems by the most famous prisoner in Fresnes prison after the Liberation, the collaborator Robert Brasillach (1909-1945). A journalist and novelist, Brasillach was the editor of Je suis partout, (24) an extreme pro-Nazi, anti-semitic magazine. He shared cell 344 with his brother in law Maurice Bardèche (1907-1998), who had run a Fascist bookshop in Paris. Calet does not include the graffiti on the walls of this cell but it must have existed because Brasillach wrote a poem called ‘Les noms sur les murs’ (the names on the walls), one of a collection of poems that he wrote while awaiting trial.  In spite of pleas for clemency from many writers and artists, he was executed by firing squad on 6 February 1945. He was 35.

His poems were first published in September 1945 in Barreaux (25) (prison bars) under the pseudonym ‘Robert Chénier’ in the series ‘Voix d’outre-tombe’ (‘a voice from beyond the grave’ and a reference to Chateaubriand’s Mémoires d’outre-tombe) published by Édition de Minuit et Demi (a pun on the clandestine publisher Éditions de Minuit). It is an example of ironic humour by the publisher, in spite of the tragic circumstances in which the poems had been written. The pseudonym was inspired by André Chénier, a monarchist poet who had also written poetry while in prison during the French Revolution, and was Robespierre’s last victim. A second edition entitled Poèmes de Fresnes (26) in Brasillach’s name was published a month later in Louvain in Belgium with no publisher.  When he was 21 Brasillach had published an article criticising André Gide and suggesting that Gide was now an old man with nothing more to offer and might as well be dead. It became known as ‘Gide’s obituary’ and Brasillach reprinted it in 1944. The copy in the collection was specially printed for André Gide on a different paper from all the other copies and may have come from Gide’s library. It is more than just a book and as a posthumous gift to an old adversary becomes an object with a particular resonance. In his memoir Souvenirs, (27) Bardèche writes that he published ‘les deux premiers tirages des Poèmes de Fresnes’ and this presumably included the first pseudonymous edition.

There are many other books of poetry in the collection, especially by prisoners. It is as if their experiences were so profound that they could only be expressed in poetry. Prisoners’ books in general are the largest category in the collection. Ruth Kitchen6 has written that, ‘the speed of production of mass witness writing was unprecedented.  . . . Buchenwald survivors published over 40 works of testimony including a poetry anthology7 . . .’ But,  ‘From the first months of 1946, it became apparent that a saturation point had been reached by the French public, who were becoming apathetic to survivor literature’. While there were many books by amateur poets, French poetry in both the occupation and the immediate liberation was dominated by the two surrealist, communist poets, Paul Éluard and Louis Aragon. Both had been published during the Occupation by Éditions de Minuit which started to reprint their clandestine editions soon after the liberation of Paris, reproducing the original bibliographic information including publication date but adding a note and a date to make clear that it is a later reprint.

Éluard’s Au rendez-vous allemand (28) was reprinted in December 1944 with a frontispiece portrait of the author by Picasso. Éluard responded to events in 1945 by writing new poems – on Auschwitz ‘Charniers’, on the Nuremberg Trials ‘Noël, les accusés de Nuremberg sont en vacances’ and including them in successive editions. The bibliography is complicated and there is a useful table of these editions in Éluard’s Oeuvres complètes, (29). It is striking how often Éluard’s poems are found in other books – including those by Madeleine Legrand and Pelagia Lewinska above, and in two luxury books below. He also published a very beautiful illustrated first edition of his poem ‘En avril 1944: Paris respirait encore!’ (30) in 1945. The book with the title of the poem reproduces it in his own hand  including deletions and additions, and  is illustrated with seven colour gouaches by Jean Hugo (1894-1984), husband of the artist Valentine Hugo and grandson of Victor Hugo. The Germans had threatened to blow up the bridges of Paris and in the poem Éluard writes,

Nul ne put briser les ponts qui nous menaient au sommeil et du sommeil à nos rêves et de nos rêves à l’éternité. Ville durable où j’ai vécu notre victoire sur la mort.

(No one can destroy the bridges which lead us to sleep and from sleep to our dreams, and from our dreams to eternity. Enduring city where I have lived our victory over death.)

Louis Aragon who had written during the Occupation under the pseudonym ‘François La Colère’ had published the violent satire Musée Grévin (31) in 1943 which was republished in October 1944 (32) by both Éditions de Minuit in Paris and Éditions de Revue Fontaine in Algiers. La Revue Fontaine (33) was an important poetry review published in Algiers by Max-Pol Fouchet  (1913-1980) and has been described as, ‘la tribune de la résistance intellectuelle française’ (the gallery for French intellectuals who resisted). But Michel Murat writes8 that the high point for the resistance poets was the soirée on 27 October 1944 hosted by General de Gaulle to mark the triumph of the ‘poésie de la Resistance’. From then on there was disillusion by the poets themselves who found the liberation and the peace that followed were not as heroic as they had hoped for and a public who had tired of their poetry and their ideology. Éluard and Aragon were suddenly old fashioned and less relevant. Their places were taken by new poets who reflected the new France – Paroles (34) by Jacques Prévert, published in 1945, became the fourth most widely read classic of the period, and is still required reading by French school children. Only a few of the 95 poems are about the war and in the poem ‘Barbara’, the line ‘Quelle connerie la guerre’, (the war, what damned stupidity) sums up what he felt about it.

There is a group of books that is difficult to categorise but stands apart as beautiful books on high quality, sometimes hand-made, papers, usually large quarto or folio with the finest typography, design, and lavish illustrations. Several were published to raise money for good causes with contributions from famous writers. Jours de gloire: histoire de la libération de Paris (35) was published in 1946 to raise money for the Red Cross and has contributions by Paul Valéry, Colette and André Billy, and a poem by Éluard. It also has two illustrations by Picasso. The title ‘Days of Glory’ and in General Koenig’s introduction the reference to, ‘Le soleil d’Austerlitz’ (the sun of Austerlitz, Napoleon’s victory in 1805) are examples of the desire seen in so many books to couple recent events with France’s heroic past. Le sacrifice des Cadets de Saumur (36) by Pierre Nord, the pseudonym of André Brouillard, veteran of two world wars and a resistance leader, was published in 1947. It is included in the collection and exhibition because of the importance of its 35 illustrations by Guy Arnoux (1886-1951). The illustrations show the young cadets of the Cavalry School in Saumur bravely fighting the German army along the river Loire after the ceasefire that Marshal Pétain had ordered on 17 June 1940, while ghosts of France’s glorious past, from Charlemagne to Napoleon, look on. A book with equally fine illustrations is Épreuves dans l’ombre (37) published by the Groupe parisien de l’imprimerie clandestine to provide financial support for the families of ten named printers killed by the Germans or who had lost their lives in the camps, together with other unknown printers who had lost their lives. In the introduction François Mauriac states that while writers are praised for their courage it is the printers who took the real risk because what they did was so difficult to conceal. This too has a contribution by Éluard and striking illustrations by four illustrators, Jean Chièze, J. –G. Daragnés, D. Galanis, Ed. Georg, well known at the time but now almost forgotten. But equally luxurious large format books had been published during the occupation. Récits de Prisonniers (38) dedicated to Marshal Philippe Pétain (1856-1951), had been authorised for publication in September 1943 but was not published until 31 July 1944, on the eve of the liberation of Paris.

The raising of money for prisoners’ families had begun under Vichy. Sarah Fishman9 writes that, politically, the prisoners were central to the French state of Vichy. To a large extent they justified Vichy’s very existence . . . in nearly every speech, Pétain referred to the prisoners in Germany, who would be the vanguard of the national revolution’.  But the contributors and illustrators before the liberation are different from those who came after. They are collaborators, whose names disappear entirely or only begin to reappear some years after the end of the war. They include P. –A. Cousteau, brother of the explorer Jacques Cousteau, who after his release from prison in 1953 continued to write for extreme right-wing journals. While this book was published when liberation and a change of government was only a few weeks away a collection of articles by the Fascist writer Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, Le Français d’Europe (39) printed on 20 July 1944 was withdrawn. The copy in the collection has SP (Service Presse) printed on the spine and was a review copy that came from the library of the widow of the author.

If I were to choose just one book from the collection it would be Livre noir, 1939-1945 (40) by Jean-Louis Chancel. A portfolio of 30 loose folio plates between boards in a slipcase, with an introduction by Academician André Billy (1882-1971), it is the most visually powerful of all the books of this period. It starts and ends with images of ‘Doulce France’ (an archaic spelling of ‘douce’), the 28 plates in between chronicle the miseries of France, from engagement, defeat and occupation, to the Liberation. Each plate has a date, a title and a caption referring to an event or a situation. In ‘December 1940’ the caption to ‘Le chemin de croix’ is ‘collaboration’ – a bedraggled ‘Marianne’ bowed down under an enormous swastika is driven up a hill by a German soldier brandishing a whip. No other artist produced images of such excoriating passion but Chancel (1899-1977), a professional illustrator, is better known as a Resistance leader. He enrolled in the liberation movement in the South of France in 1942 after military service and helped create the intelligence network named Phratrie. He was arrested but talked his way out of it, and was sent to London to return as chief of Phratrie. By early 1944 it was such an extensive network that it had been divided into eight independent units. He returned to France at the time of the Liberation and afterwards worked on the repatriation of political prisoners. As well as winning the Croix de Guerre in both world wars, he was a commander of the Legion d’honneur and was awarded an O.B.E. by the British.

One image for ‘June 1945’ is entitled ‘Retour des Déportés’ with the caption ‘Les Tondus Inconnus’. They are the million shaven headed prisoners returning to France after the end of the war. Chancel’s caption is a direct reference to ‘les femmes tondues’, the women with shaven heads. In a single drawing he encapsulates the shame felt by the men who had fought, been defeated and then imprisoned. According to the French historian Fabrice Virgili10  the ‘tontes’, the public ceremonies in which 20,000 women had their heads shaved were aimed at redressing the loss of power and virility experienced by the population as a whole, particularly the men who were now in prison and separated from their families.

This shame together with the knowledge of the extent of collaboration and French complicity in the persecution of the Jews resulted in what Henri Vignes has described as an ‘amnésie chauvine’ (chauvinistic amnesia) which blocked out so much of what happened during the Occupation and the violent responses that followed in the ‘Épuration’. It is perhaps for these reasons that there is no collection like this in France11 and that no one has wanted to collect or study these books until now.


  1. Tilar J. Mazeo, The Place on Place Vendôme (London: HarperCollins, 2014)

  2. Pierre Jean Jouve, L’homme du 18 juin (Genéve: Albert Kundig, 1945)

  3. Howard C. Rice, ‘Post-liberation publishing in France: a survey of recent French books’, The French Review 18:327-333 (1945)

  4. Henri Vignes, ‘La libération des livres’, Literature of the Liberation. The French Experience in Print 1944-1946 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Library, 2014)

  5. Étienne-Alain Hubert, ‘Éphémérides’, L’année 1945. Actes du colloque de Paris IV-Sorbonne (janvier 2002) (Paris: Honoré Champion, 2004)

  6. Ruth Kitchen, ‘The shame of incarceration and liberation’. Ibid 4

  7. Ors et gris: poèmes de prisonniers: eaux-fortes de Maurice l’Hoir (Paris: Éditions de Kérénac et Cie, 1945)

  8. Michel Murat, ‘La poésie de la Libération’. Ibid 4

  9. Sarah Fishman, We will wait: wives of French prisoners of war, 1940-1945 (Newhaven and London: Yale University Press, 1991)

  10. Fabrice Virgili, La France ‘virile’: des femmes tondues à la Libération (Paris: Éditions Payot & Rivages, 2004)

  11. Henri Vignes, ibid.  He writes that the Chadwyck-Healey collection has no equivalent in France.

List of Books and Journals cited in the article

  1. Paxton, Robert O.; Corpet, Olivier; Paulhan, Claire
    Archives de la vie littéraire sous l'Occupation, à travers le désastre
    Paris: Éditions Tallandier et Éditions IMEC, 2011

  2. Koetzle, Hans-Michael
    Eyes on Paris. Paris im Fotobuch. 1890 bis heute
    München: Hirmer, 2011

  3. Paris libéré, photographié, exposé
    Paris: Paris Musées, 2014

  4. Chadwyck-Healey, Charles
    Literature of the Liberation: the French Experience in Print 1944-1946.
    Cambridge: Cambridge University Library, [2014]

  5. Éparvier, Jean
    À Paris, sous la botte des nazis
    Paris: Éditions Raymond Schall, [1944]

  6. Cobb, Matthew
    Eleven Days in August: the liberation of Paris in 1944
    London: Simon & Schuster, 2013

  7. Babelay, Jean-Louis
    Un an/Jean-Louis Babelay; texte de A.-G. Leroux; photographies de Roger Schall, Maurice Jarnoux, Raymond Méjat, De Morgoli et reporteurs d’agences; gravure de Élie Bertillot
    Paris: Éditions Raymond Schall, [1946]

  8. Babelay, Jean-Louis
    Victoire des Français en Italie
    Paris: Éditions Raymond Schall, 1946

  9. Lennad, Roland
    Les hommes verts
    Paris: Éditions Raymond Schall, [1945]

  10.  Boucher, François
    La grande délivrance de Paris
    Paris: Jacques Haumont, [1945]

  11.  Prinner, Anton
    La femme tondue
    Paris: APR, [1946]

  12.  Ambrière, Francis
    Les grandes vacances, 1939-1945
    Paris: Éditions de la nouvelle France, c1946


  1.  Rieux, Jean
    Le meunier en smoking: poèmes d’un chansonnier 1918-1945
    Paris: Musy, 1945

  2.  Lévis Mano, Guy
    Images de l’homme immobile
    Neuchâtel: Éditions de la Baconnière, [1943]

  3.  Lévis Mano, Guy
    Homme exclu de la vie et de la mort
    Paris: G.L.M., 1945

  4.  Villeroy, L.-G.
    Comme de l’an 40! … : souvenirs & croquis sur ‘la drôle de guerre’ et la captivité/les illustrations sont de Jacques Bidault, Maxime Rihet, André Finot et Charles Pinson
    Compiègne (Oise): Imprimerie de Compiègne, 1945

  5.  Lewinska, Pelagia
    Vingt mois à Auschwitz/avec un avant-propos de Charles Eube et un poème de Paul Éluard
    Paris: Éditions Nagel, [1945]

  6.  Delarbre, Léon
    Dora, Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen: croquis clandestins
    Paris: Éditions Michel de Romilly, 1945

  7.  Taslitzky, Boris
    111 dessins faits à Buchenwald, 1944–1945/présentés par Julien Cain
    Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, [1945]

  8.  Buchenwald: scènes prises sur le vif des horreurs nazies: 78 planches/dessinées par A. Favier, P. Mania, Boris; préface de C. Pineau; textes de P. Mania
    Lyon: Imprimerie artistique en couleurs, [1946]

  9.  Gala au profit des architectes prisonniers et déportés/ce programme édité par Publidis a été conçu et réalisé sous la direction de Raymond Gid
    [Paris?]: Publidis, [1945?]

  10.  Legrand, Madeleine
    À Fresnes/témoignage précédé d’un poème de Paul Éluard; hors-texte de Valentine Hugo
    Paris: Éditions Stock, 1944

  11.  Calet, Henri
    Les murs de Fresnes
    Paris: Éditions des quatre vents, [1945]

  12.  Je suis partout : le grand hebdomadaire politique et littéraire.
    Paris: Je Suis Partout, 1930-1944

  13.  Chénier, Robert
    [France?]: Édition de minuit et demi, [1945]

  14.  Brasillach, Robert
    Poèmes de Fresnes
    Louvain: Imprimerie Sainte-Agathe, 1945

  15.  Bardèche, Maurice
    Paris: Buchet/Chastel, 1993

  16.  Éluard, Paul
    Au rendez-vous allemand
    Nouvelle édition revue, corrigée et augmentée de Poésie et vérité 1942
    Paris: Éditions de Minuit, 1945

  17.  Éluard, Paul
    Œuvres complètes. Préface et chronologie de Lucien Scheler. Textes établis et annotés par Marcelle Dumas et Lucien Scheler
    Bibliothèque de la Pléiade
    Paris: Gallimard, 1968

  18.  Éluard, Paul
    En avril 1944: Paris respirait encore !/poème de Paul Éluard illustrant sept gouaches de JeanHugo
    Paris: Éditions de la Galerie Charpentier, [1945]

  19.  Aragon, Louis.
    Le musée Grévin/François la Colère
    Paris: Éditions de Minuit, 1943

  20.  Aragon, Louis
    Le musée Grévin/François la Colère
    Alger: Éditions de la Revue Fontaine, 1944
    Paris: Éditions de Minuit, 1944

  21.  Fontaine: revue de la poésie et des lettres françaises
    Alger: Éditions de la revue Fontaine, 1940-1947

  22.  Prévert, Jacques
    Paroles/couverture de Brassaï
    Paris: Éditions du Point du Jour, [1945]

  23.  Jours de gloire: histoire de la libération de Paris
    Paris: SIPE: D. Lambusier, [1946?]

  24.  Nord, Pierre
    Le sacrifice des Cadets de Saumur/Pierre Nord (Colonel Brouillard, breveté d’état-major); illustrations de Guy Arnoux
    [Paris]: Librairie des Champs-Élysées, [1947]

  25.  Épreuves dans l’ombre/illustrations originales de Jean Chièze, J.-G. Daragnès, D. Galanis et Ed. Goerg
    [Paris]: Groupe parisien de l’imprimerie clandestine, [1946]

  26.  Récits de prisonniers
    Paris: Comité de la presse parisienne pour l’aide aux prisonniers et à leurs familles, [1944]

  27.  Drieu La Rochelle, Pierre.
    Le Français d'Europe.
    Paris: Éditions Balzac, 1944

  28.  Chancel, Jean-Louis
    Livre noir, 1939–1945: trente planches/préface d’André Billy
    Paris: Éditions de la Nouvelle France, [1945]