cover image Agents for Escape: Inside the French Resistance, 1939-1945

Agents for Escape: Inside the French Resistance, 1939-1945

Andre Rougeyron, Author, Marie-Antoinett McConnell, Translator Louisiana State University Press $27.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8071-2019-4

Privately published in France in 1947, this memoir by a self-effacing resistance hero offers continuous suspense and excitement. Rougeyron, an auto engineer living in Normandy, risked his life throughout the war rescuing downed Allied airmen, supplying them with clothes and identity papers and launching them down the underground escape pipeline. Caught by the Gestapo in 1944, he was charged with Feindsbegunstigung (abetting the enemy) and sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp. With verve and even humor, he tells the story of his struggle to survive and his spectacular escape during the camp's evacuation. Wearing prisoners' striped pajamas, his head shaven, unable to speak German and ignorant of local topography, he managed to evade capture and starvation until he made contact with advancing British troops. Rougeyron's jaunty narrative voice and powers of description add a fresh perspective on the resistance in Normandy at the time of the D-Day landings and on conditions at Buchenwald during the final months of WWII. He died in 1967 at the age of 68. Illustrated. (Jan.)