by Jean-Luc E. Cartron
Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2019. Pp. xxx, 210+.
Illus., maps., chron., gloss., appends., notes, biblio., index. $29.95. ISBN: 1640121021
Escaping the Reich
There are quite a number of accounts of Allied prisoners-of-war, Jews, Resistance fighters, and the other fugitives from the Nazi horror successfully escaping into Spain with the aid of the French Resistance. In So Close to Freedom, Prof. Cartron (New Mexico), a biologist who earlier penned a biography of the role his grandfather played in the Resistance, gives us something different
Cartron’s book does not end well. He tells the story of how the effort by two parties of Allied airmen and some others to escape France, aided by the Resistance ended tragically. Betrayed by supposed friends, most of the men and women in both parties were captured, and in many cases suffered grievous punishment.
Cartron weaves into his account an overview of the work of several “escape line” groups, showing how they were organized and operated. There also profiles of many of the Resistants and escapees, and some often gripping moments of sheer terror.
So Close to Freedom is a good read, well written, about a small part of the large, and complex history of the Resistance, as will prove rewarding reading for anyone interested in the Resistance or escape and evasion.
Note: So Close to Freedom is also available in several e-editions.
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