Review of the book "France under Fire: German Invasion, Civilian Flight, and Family Survival during World War II," by Nicole Dombrowski Risser


In 1939 and 1940, France faced a displacement crisis. Following the declaration of war in September 1939, the government of the Third Republic selectively evacuated citizens whom it considered to be at risk as a result of the pending war. With the outbreak of hostilities the following May, millions of citizens spontaneously fled the advancing German army during the period known as the exode. Then, with the signing of the armistice in June 1940, repatriating these internally displaced refugees became the responsibility of the new Vichy regime. These three themes of evacuation, flight, and repatriation structure Nicole Dombrowski Risser’s study of civilian wartime experiences.


History and Political Science

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1558-5271; 1537-6370

Document Type

Review - Book

Document Version


File Type





© 2014 The Institute of French Studies at New York University and The Minda de Gunzberg Center for European Studies at Harvard University, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2014