The Rescue of French Jews during the Second World War as Reflected in Two Novels: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and the Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman

Nitsa Dori


Two primary concepts are usually mentioned when analyzing the attitude of the French towards the Jews during the Second World War: anti-Semitism and rescue. Paldiel divides the types of help offered by the rescuers during the Second World War into four: a hiding place, impersonating a non-Jew, escape, and helping children. The two novels, The Nightingale and The Velvet Hours were written at around the same time and share many common themes: rigid father-daughter relations, becoming orphaned, unwanted pregnancy, and pioneering women leaders. The ethnic origin of both authors is also the same, but the primary purpose of this article is to discuss the setting of both novels: the Second World War; in France, and the heroic deed occurring in the two books: saving Jews from the threat of the Nazi invader. We will examine each book separately and then discuss the points common to both – points that will evolve into a discussion and conclusions.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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