Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

Assignment: Rescue

Posted by nliakos on August 13, 2010

Varian Fry. Scholastic; original pub. date 1945.

Varian Fry was an American who traveled to Marseilles 1940 to set up a committee (Le Centre Americain de Secours) to coordinate the rescue of political figures, artists, writers, scientists, and others trapped when the Nazis took over France. He used his neutrality as an American citizen to save over 2000 refugees over a span of 13 months.  In this small book, he tells the story of how he became involved, of the others who helped him and of some of those he helped, and of how he was eventually forced out of France. Sadly, it was our own FBI that blacklisted Fry upon his return to the US, making it impossible for him to find work with the government.  He died in 1967, his heroism mostly unrecognized in his own country (although France and Israel both recognized his contributions before his death).   A fast read: it took me a little over a day.

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