Stories of Resistance and Escape
Par Elisabeth Wein. Le 04 avril 2014.
My Jewish great-grandparents made the fortunate decision to leave Europe in the first decade of the 20th century, so my closest personal connection to the Holocaust was through my high school French teacher, Annette Berman. Annette was a 15-year-old Jewish schoolgirl living in Paris when World War II began. As restrictions and fear mounted during the German occupation, she and her family hid for weeks in her best friend’s apartment; then, using borrowed identity cards, they traveled to a remote village where Annette spent the next two years disguised as a Roman Catholic, delivering messages and explosives for the French Resistance on her bicycle. Reading the heart-stopping journeys of the child survivors in “Hidden,” “Hidden Like Anne Frank” and “The Whispering Town” drove home to me that Annette’s incredible story is far from unique.
The fictional account of the French child Dounia Cohen in “Hidden” is the most achingly familiar. “Hidden,” written by Loïc Dauvillier, is a graphic novel, and the vibrant and respected tradition of that genre in France is well represented here by the illustrator Marc Lizano’s exquisite attention to period detail and the subtle, complementary shading of the colorist Greg Salsedo. Dounia, who is about 6, finds herself suddenly shunned by teachers and classmates the first time she wears to school the obligatory yellow star identifying her as Jewish. After the police take her parents away in a…