Author Eric Jennings in conversation
Only in recent years have historians rediscovered the critical role that French colonial troops played in the twentieth century’s two world wars. What is perhaps still deeply under-appreciated is how much General de Gaulle’s Free France drew its strength from 1940 to the middle of 1943 from fighting men, resources, and operations in French Equatorial Africa rather than London. Jennings tells the story of an improbable French military and institutional rebirth through Central Africa and gives a unique, deep look at the key role Free French Africa played during World War II to help the Allied cause.
Escape from Vichy
The story of the daring escape of Jewish refugees from Vichy France to the Caribbean. The origins of the Jewish Community in the Caribbean.
In the early years of World War II, thousands of political refugees traveled from France to Vichy-controlled Martinique in the French Caribbean, en route to what they hoped would be safer shores in North, Central, and South America. While awaiting transfer from the colony, the exiles formed influential ties—with one another and with local black dissidents. Escape from Vichy recounts this flight from the refugees’ perspectives, using novels, unpublished diaries, archives, memoirs, artwork, and other materials to explore the unlikely encounters that fueled an anti-fascist artistic and intellectual movement.
What began as expulsion became a kind of rescue, cut short by Washington’s fears that wolves might be posing in sheep’s clothing.
Also in the series:
Eric Jennings on his book Free French Africa in World War II: The African Resistance – Wednesday, February 9