War, Exile, Justice, and Everyday Life, 1936-1946
Millions of Europeans experienced war, occupation, and exile in the turbulent years between the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and the end of World War II in 1946. The contributors to this volume focus on the lives of ordinary people ensnared in world events beyond their control. Well-known landmark events like the bombing of Gernika, the mass exile following the Spanish Civil War, France's sudden defeat in 1940 and its subsequent occupation by Germany, the French resistance, and the Allied invasion of France and liberation come to light through the people involved in them: A Tyrolean German soldier trying to make a life and ignore (and explain away) the difficult realities of his regime, Eastern European, mainly Jewish, resisters in occupied Paris, Basque nationalist priests persecuted by Franco regime, children exiled from their homes living in French and other refugee camps, even American newspaper readers. These are the unlikely protagonists in history that is usually seen from the top down, but here is explored from the bottom up.