No Place to Lay One's Head by Françoise Frenkel (Translated by Stephanie Smee) - review by Anne Sebba

Anne Sebba

Flight of a Bookseller

No Place to Lay One's Head

By

Pushkin Press 299pp £16.99 order from our bookshop
 

This is a most restrained memoir about a most painful subject: the cruelty of Nazi Germany in hunting down Jews and sending them to their deaths in the camps. Just when it seems there is nothing else to be said on this subject, here is a book of compelling freshness. It was written more than seventy years ago and had been forgotten until a copy of the first edition, published in 1945, turned up in a charity jumble sale only recently.

The book’s power derives partly from its controlled tone but also from the fact that much of the story told by Françoise Frenkel concerns good people – ordinary French who, when their country was occupied, risked their own lives by helping her survive until, at the third attempt,

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