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“Not the Germans Alone”

Winner of the 1997 Prix Franco-Européen & Runner-up in the 2000 Koreth Jewish Book Award


Not the Germans Alone

A Son's Search for the Truth of Vichy

by Isaac Levendel



Version Française : Un Hiver en Provence – Éditions de l’Aube


               A journey into a shameful chapter of French history         .   

On June 5, 1944, the eve of D day, eight-year-old Isaac Levendel's mother left the farm in southern France where she and her son had gone to escape the Nazis for what was to be a two-day visit to their home to pick up the last of their belongings. She never returned. For more than forty years Levendel remained silent about, and tormented by, her disappearance. Finally, in 1990, he began to look for the answers. In this book, Levendel recounts his struggle to accept his mother's death and his search through secret government archives for her killers.

Levendel's search took him from his home in the United State to France more than twelve times over four years. Surprisingly, he had little trouble finding old neighbors who had witnessed his mother's arrest and deportation. But the official story was another matter: a controversial 1979 French law had sealed the official archives from the period of the Nazi occupation. But, with the help of a sympathetic French senator, Guy Penne, Levendel obtained access to key documents that helped him put together pieces of his past.

What he found shocked him. For decades Levendel believed that the Germans had taken his mother away. In fact, the archives contained evidence of widespread French collaboration with the Nazis, from government officials who prepared deportation and census lists to members of a gang in Marseilles who arrested Jews - including his mother - and sold them to the Nazis. This book details the French collaboration and is steeped in Levendel's anger toward those who participated.

But there were also those who helped the young Isaac - sometimes at great risk to themselves - after his mother disappeared, and Levendel remembers them here as well. His research reunited him with several of these people, and his gratitude is palpable.

The heartbreaking story of a young boy taken from his mother and the man he becomes, as well as an alarming exploration of a shameful chapter of French history, this book should be read by anyone interested in the literature of the Holocaust or the story of World War II.

ELIE WIESEL: "Highly readable and deeply moving, this book is an important contribution to Holocaust literature, It raises many questions and opens many gates leading to the abyss of darkness and despair of these years. Reading it is in itself a commitment to memory."

ROBERT O. PAXTON: "A vivid picture of collaboration at the village level ... one of the most convincing and moving of its kind."

June 1999

6X9/340 pages

ISBN: 0-8101-1663-4 cloth/list $25.95

June 2000

6X9/341 pages

ISBN: 0-8101-1843-2 Paperback/list $15.95

 to order by phone, call 1-800-621-2736

A few samples of “Not the Germans Alone”

Quelques extraits de « Un Hiver en Provence »

Explore the role of Vichy in the persecution of the Jews in France (documents about state discrimination, census, asset confiscations, denunciations, arrests, internment, deportation)

Explorez le rôle de Vichy dans la persécution des Juifs de France (documents sur la discrimination d’état, les recensements, la spoliation, les dénonciations, les arrestations, l’internement, la déportation)

What the press said

Ce qu’en a dit la presse

AMEJD du Vaucluse

   Site de l'Association pour la Mémoire des Enfants Juifs Déportés du Vaucluse : Cliquez ici.

    Site of the Association for the Remembrance of Jewish Children Deported from Vaucluse: Click here.

Nous recherchons


We are seeking

Des proches de Jeannine (ou Janine) Helbronner, née Dreyfus en 1920, dont les parents, Claire et Jacques, le frère, Jean Pierre, et la sœur, Francine, furent arrêtés à Mormoiron (Vaucluse) en juillet 1943, et déportés à Auschwitz.

Contactez nous - Contact us

Close relatives of Jeannine (or Janine) Helbronner, née Dreyfus in 1920, whose parents, Claire and Jacques, brother, Jean-Pierre, and sister, Francine, were arrested in Mormoiron (Vaucluse) in July 1943, and deported to Auschwitz.

Nous recherchons


We are seeking

Des témoignages sur des Juifs (arrêtés) résidents à Villeneuve lès Avignon en 1942, 1943 et 1944. Pour contacter Nelcya Delanoe :

Cliquez ici - click here

Testimonies about (arrested) Jews residing in Villeneuve lès Avignon in 1942, 1943 et 1944. To contact Nelcya Delanoe :

Nous recherchons


We are seeking

Des témoignages sur la famille de Bernard NARWER, né le 14 novembre 1927 à Paris et déporté par convoi 73 à KAUNAS/REVAL. Son père Samuel avait été déporté avant lui par convoi 60 à Auschwitz. Ils habitaient à Avignon.

Contactez-moi - Contact me

Testimonies about Bernard NARWER, born on November 14, 1927 in Paris and deported by convoy 73 to KAUNAS/REVAL. His father Samuel had been deported before him by convoy 60 to Auschwitz. They were living in Avignon.

Nous recherchons


We are seeking

Des informations sur Tiziano FEROLDI, né le 24 juillet 1904 à Sathonay (Ain - mais aujourd’hui rattaché au Rhône). Il avait un frère, Garibaldi, et une sœur, Monica. La famille était originaire de Brescia (Italie).

Contact me - Contactez-moi

Information about Tiziano FEROLDI, born on July 24, 1904 in Sathonay (Ain - but currently attached to the Rhône). He had a brother, Garibaldi, and a sister, Monica. The family originated in Brescia (Italy).

Nous recherchons


We are seeking

Des proches de déportés du Vaucluse qui voudraient assister à la pose d’une plaque commémorative (cliquez ici pour voir la liste de noms) le 23 avril 2010 à côté du Palais des Papes à Avignon.

Contact me – Contactez-moi.

Relatives of deportees from Vaucluse who would want to attend the unveiling of a commemorative plate (click here to see the list of names) on April 23, 2010 near the Palais des Papes in Avignon.


Other relevant books or links

D'autres livres ou liens importants


Page prepared by Isaac Levendel. Click here to contact me.

Page preparée par Isaac Levendel. Cliquez ici pour m’écrire





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