Book Review: The Night Will End-- Part 1

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Night Will End, by Henri Frenay, is the compelling story of the author’s role as a leader in the French Resistance in World War II. Frenay walks you down the road of memories into his “secret garden” where you will see the Resistance--conviction, courage, patriotism, loyalty, financial difficulties, mystery, moral dilemmas, pseudonyms, treachery, cowardice, arrests, torture, deaths, extreme sorrow, and unspeakable joy--and you sill find yourself sometimes laughing, sometimes crying. “Liberty or death…was also implicitly our own [motto],” the author tells us, “Most of us were young. Thus we were not only happy but joyous too. There could be no falser picture of the resisters than as clench-jawed, hawk-eyed sulkers along the walls.” So, who were they? and how did they get into this dangerous business? Let’s take a look.

Henri Frenay was an officer in the 43rd Army Corp. He was speechless and dismayed when they were beaten by the Germans and forced to surrender. Taken as a POW, Frenay decided to escape: he didn’t believe the early release rumors affirmed by the Germans. But not one commissioned officer would join him: all accepted the word of the victor. Finally, Frenay found a non-com willing to accompany him. They escaped by the skin of their teeth, while all their fellow POWs were to vegetate in German camps for 5 long years.

Lesson 1: Never believe anything your enemies tell you. Remember, the devil is the father of lies.

Part 2 of this review will be posted soon.