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Further themes

Literature of the Liberation

Further themes of the collection reflect the diversity of the material it contains. It was inevitable that Vercors’ Le silence de la mer, the most famous and widely read clandestine book published during the Occupation, would be republished after the Liberation. The two editions on display – one from 1943, the other from 1945 – demonstrate the transition from small plain books (but still elegantly printed) to much more lavish illustrated editions.

There are many books and single issue magazines on both the liberation and destruction (often by the Allies) of French cities. By the end of 1946 there were eight books and pamphlets published on Oradour-sur-Glane alone, the scene of the most serious war crime in France.

The Writer’s Response includes just three of the many books, written by important writers in response to the War and the Occupation which began to be published soon after the Liberation.