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An unforgettable World War II memoir set in Nazi-occupied France and filled with romance and adventure: a former Eastern European Jew remembers his flight from the Holocaust and his extraordinary four years in the French underground. Justus Rosenberg, now 98, has taught literature at Bard College for the past fifty years. In 1937, as the Nazis gained control and anti-Semiti An unforgettable World War II memoir set in Nazi-occupied France and filled with romance and adventure: a former Eastern European Jew remembers his flight from the Holocaust and his extraordinary four years in the French underground. Justus Rosenberg, now 98, has taught literature at Bard College for the past fifty years. In 1937, as the Nazis gained control and anti-Semitism spread in the Free City of Danzig, a majority German city on the Baltic Sea, sixteen-year-old Justus Rosenberg was sent to Paris to finish his education in safety. Three years later, France fell to the Germans. Alone and in danger, penniless, and cut off from contact with his family in Poland, Justus fled south. A chance meeting led him to Varian Fry, an American journalist in Marseille helping thousands of men and women, including many artists and intellectuals—among them Hannah Arendt, Marc Chagall, Andre Breton, and Max Ernst—escape the Nazis. With his German background, understanding of French cultural, and fluency in several languages, including English, Justus became an invaluable member of Fry’s refugee network as a spy and scout. The spry blond who looked even younger than his age flourished in the underground, handling counterfeit documents, secret passwords, black market currency, surveying escape routes, and dealing with avaricious gangsters. But when Fry was eventually forced to leave France, Gussie, as he was affectionately known, could not get out. For the next four years, Justus relied on his wits and skills to escape captivity, survive several close calls with death, and continue his fight against the Nazis, working with the French Resistance and later, becoming attached with the United States Army. At the war’s end, Justus emigrated to America, and built a new life. Justus’ story is a powerful saga of bravery, daring, adventure, and survival with the soul of a spy thriller. Reflecting on his past, Justus sees his life as a confluence of circumstances. As he writes, “I survived the war through a rare combination of good fortune, resourcefulness, optimism, and, most important, the kindness of many good people.”


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An unforgettable World War II memoir set in Nazi-occupied France and filled with romance and adventure: a former Eastern European Jew remembers his flight from the Holocaust and his extraordinary four years in the French underground. Justus Rosenberg, now 98, has taught literature at Bard College for the past fifty years. In 1937, as the Nazis gained control and anti-Semiti An unforgettable World War II memoir set in Nazi-occupied France and filled with romance and adventure: a former Eastern European Jew remembers his flight from the Holocaust and his extraordinary four years in the French underground. Justus Rosenberg, now 98, has taught literature at Bard College for the past fifty years. In 1937, as the Nazis gained control and anti-Semitism spread in the Free City of Danzig, a majority German city on the Baltic Sea, sixteen-year-old Justus Rosenberg was sent to Paris to finish his education in safety. Three years later, France fell to the Germans. Alone and in danger, penniless, and cut off from contact with his family in Poland, Justus fled south. A chance meeting led him to Varian Fry, an American journalist in Marseille helping thousands of men and women, including many artists and intellectuals—among them Hannah Arendt, Marc Chagall, Andre Breton, and Max Ernst—escape the Nazis. With his German background, understanding of French cultural, and fluency in several languages, including English, Justus became an invaluable member of Fry’s refugee network as a spy and scout. The spry blond who looked even younger than his age flourished in the underground, handling counterfeit documents, secret passwords, black market currency, surveying escape routes, and dealing with avaricious gangsters. But when Fry was eventually forced to leave France, Gussie, as he was affectionately known, could not get out. For the next four years, Justus relied on his wits and skills to escape captivity, survive several close calls with death, and continue his fight against the Nazis, working with the French Resistance and later, becoming attached with the United States Army. At the war’s end, Justus emigrated to America, and built a new life. Justus’ story is a powerful saga of bravery, daring, adventure, and survival with the soul of a spy thriller. Reflecting on his past, Justus sees his life as a confluence of circumstances. As he writes, “I survived the war through a rare combination of good fortune, resourcefulness, optimism, and, most important, the kindness of many good people.”

30 review for The Art of Resistance

  1. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    Dr. Rosenberg, a 98 year old retired university professor, has an amazing story to tell. He went from the free city of Danzig, to the Sorbonne in Paris, to working for the French Resistance, with many amazing adventures along the way. This is a memoir that reads like fiction, a page turner which offers a bonus history lesson. Highly recommended. Thanks to the publisher and to Edelweiss for the opportunity to read this advance copy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah-Hope

    The At of Resistance offers an interesting, if somewhat rambling, look into life in World War II France. The author originally traveled to France to attend the Sorbonne, but found himself working to help "decadent" (aka surrealist) artists and left-wing writers escape France to safer locations. This title lacks the narrative power of novels set in occupied France, but that is clearly a result of its being based in fact, with a goal of recording actual happenings, rather than entertaining readers The At of Resistance offers an interesting, if somewhat rambling, look into life in World War II France. The author originally traveled to France to attend the Sorbonne, but found himself working to help "decadent" (aka surrealist) artists and left-wing writers escape France to safer locations. This title lacks the narrative power of novels set in occupied France, but that is clearly a result of its being based in fact, with a goal of recording actual happenings, rather than entertaining readers with imagined happening set in the same locale and time period.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. If you're going to read any World War II memoir this year make sure it's Justus Rosenberg's The Art of Resistance. Rosenberg is currently a 98 year old retired university professor and his life during the war was something else. In fact, he's a Jewish survivor of the war who has been cut off from his family and has found himself working with the French Resistance during the occupation. His memoir reads like fiction and it's very a I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. If you're going to read any World War II memoir this year make sure it's Justus Rosenberg's The Art of Resistance. Rosenberg is currently a 98 year old retired university professor and his life during the war was something else. In fact, he's a Jewish survivor of the war who has been cut off from his family and has found himself working with the French Resistance during the occupation. His memoir reads like fiction and it's very accessible, but it's not exactly an easy read knowing that he was constantly dealing with and the danger around every corner. Highly recommended for those interested in historical adventure and real life stories that deserve to be more widely known.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chris Dietzel

    Not bad by any means but every WWII account / biography / memoir I've read has been better. Rosenberg writes with a detached coldness that makes most of the events seem bland, and many of the stories he tells just don't compare to other WWII books. Not bad by any means but every WWII account / biography / memoir I've read has been better. Rosenberg writes with a detached coldness that makes most of the events seem bland, and many of the stories he tells just don't compare to other WWII books.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    What an engaging, interesting and ultimately moving book. This memoir is very direct and plain, telling the story of Rosenberg's years in France during WWII. This is another view into the many ways in which people resisted during the war and us quite fascinating. It is told in modesty without great sentiment or emotion and that makes it stand out. An excellent read. I'm glad that, at age 98, Rosenberg wrote this to better inform the world. What an engaging, interesting and ultimately moving book. This memoir is very direct and plain, telling the story of Rosenberg's years in France during WWII. This is another view into the many ways in which people resisted during the war and us quite fascinating. It is told in modesty without great sentiment or emotion and that makes it stand out. An excellent read. I'm glad that, at age 98, Rosenberg wrote this to better inform the world.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    THE ART OF RESISTANCE This was a terrific memoir. Written by 99 year old Justus Rosenberg, he tells the story of his youth as a Jewish survivor during WWII serving in the French Resistance. Born in the Free City of Danzig, a seaport on the Baltic, Justus is a student at the Sorbonne in France when the war breaks out. Unable to join the regular army in France because of his background, he becomes involved with the French Underground. Working his way south in Vichy France, he joins up with the Ame THE ART OF RESISTANCE This was a terrific memoir. Written by 99 year old Justus Rosenberg, he tells the story of his youth as a Jewish survivor during WWII serving in the French Resistance. Born in the Free City of Danzig, a seaport on the Baltic, Justus is a student at the Sorbonne in France when the war breaks out. Unable to join the regular army in France because of his background, he becomes involved with the French Underground. Working his way south in Vichy France, he joins up with the American Emergency Rescue Committee in Marseille helping surrealist intellectuals, artists, and writers in their efforts to leave Europe. Later he works as a recruiter for the Resistance in Grenoble and as a guerrilla fighter with the Maquisards. He was briefly attached with the Tank Destroyer Battalion Reconnaissance Company 636 in the American army. He also spends time as a logistics officer with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UN) working after the war with displaced persons and on denazification. This memoir reads like an adventure story with a terrific amount of historical information provided along the way. The writing is fantastic in that his explanations of situations and events are so simply and clearly described; you get a great understanding of what it means to be part of a resistance. The learning is easy and the story of this young man’s eventful time during WWII is fascinating. Very enjoyable to read. I would like to thank NetGalley, Justus Rosenberg, and Harper Collins Publishers Inc. for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    The Art Of Resistance was a stunning autobiography by Justus Rosenberg, a man who stumbled into the French Resistance during World War II. After reading A Woman Of No Importance, I’ve been really interested in reading more stories about the people who helped with the resistance because I find their bravery to be very inspiring. The book read like a spy thriller and told of his amazing life! Here, as a young man, Justus was in Paris when Hitler’s occupation changed the direction of life for French The Art Of Resistance was a stunning autobiography by Justus Rosenberg, a man who stumbled into the French Resistance during World War II. After reading A Woman Of No Importance, I’ve been really interested in reading more stories about the people who helped with the resistance because I find their bravery to be very inspiring. The book read like a spy thriller and told of his amazing life! Here, as a young man, Justus was in Paris when Hitler’s occupation changed the direction of life for French citizens. When he met some friends who recommend him to the resistance, he embarked on a challenging job that proved very rewarding. Justus had a boyish face and blond features, and so he was often ignored by German officials, which proved to be an asset he used to gather information about the Nazi’s movements. He risked his life a number of times, and even had to undergo an unnecessary appendectomy to save his life! I was so impressed by everything he did and how he was able to help so many people. His interactions with the notable artists and intellects of the time was clearly a source of pride for him. That took up a bit of the book, and wasn’t necessarily my favorite part, but after he helped them escape occupied France, I could see the impact this made on his life. Every part of this was interesting, especially his part as a Guerrilla fighter in the French countryside. He wrote this book when he was 98, after receiving a Purple Heart, among many other honors. This was a great book that was very interesting to read. He ended it with this poignant words: We need to champion the notion that all human beings are equal and deserve to be treated as such

  8. 5 out of 5

    melhara

    I was initially going to give this book 3 stars but the epilogue ended on such a strong and powerful note, I felt compelled to boost the rating to 4 stars. Justus Rosenburg is one of the very few surviving WWII veteran and Holocaust survivors left. He wrote this book at the age of 98! (He's 99 right now) His ability to be able to recall the events of what happened nearly 80 years ago is really impressive. I would have preferred more personal accounts rather than chapters that were bogged down by I was initially going to give this book 3 stars but the epilogue ended on such a strong and powerful note, I felt compelled to boost the rating to 4 stars. Justus Rosenburg is one of the very few surviving WWII veteran and Holocaust survivors left. He wrote this book at the age of 98! (He's 99 right now) His ability to be able to recall the events of what happened nearly 80 years ago is really impressive. I would have preferred more personal accounts rather than chapters that were bogged down by historical details but, again, seeing as Justus wrote the memoir based on events that happened so long ago, I imagine it was difficult to recall certain events and easier to just toss in some historical facts to help jog the memory. I'll let it slide. Rosenburg's journey and involvement with the French resistance is a story full of impressive and heroic feats. tl;dr - This was a very interesting memoir about a young Jewish student working for the Resistance during WWII. I definitely learned a lot from this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Justus Rosenberg was a very determined man who was wise beyond his years during World War II. Today, in his upper 90’s, he has an awesome memory with details that are fascinating about his role in the Resistance movement. After reading the introductory pages, I wanted to stay with that storyline, so I jumped ahead to part three where he is hospitalized for appendicitis. I appreciate the education and knowledge about the Resistance groups in southern France.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Corin

    It's an interesting and important story, but it's told very clinically and I had a hard time empathizing with the author. Any feelings he had or has seem very remote - he tells us he cares, but the reader doesn't feel it. He also thinks quite highly of himself in a way that I found uncomfortable. It's almost as though he blames the victims of the Shoah for not surviving because they weren't as clever as he was, when truly it was about luck. Plenty of clever people were murdered. Rosenberg's atti It's an interesting and important story, but it's told very clinically and I had a hard time empathizing with the author. Any feelings he had or has seem very remote - he tells us he cares, but the reader doesn't feel it. He also thinks quite highly of himself in a way that I found uncomfortable. It's almost as though he blames the victims of the Shoah for not surviving because they weren't as clever as he was, when truly it was about luck. Plenty of clever people were murdered. Rosenberg's attitude seems perilously close to blaming the victims.

  11. 5 out of 5

    DEBORAH SHAW

    Very well written. I didn't want to put it down. Very well written. I didn't want to put it down.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    2.5 stars. It was a bit full of bragging, especially his way with women. Dr. Rosenberg is a bit full of himself. Not a very fluid story telling.

  13. 4 out of 5

    John McDonald

    " . . . [w]e need to champion the notion that all human beings are equal and deserve to be treated as such. "We need to be alert to the dangers and nip them in the bud." Justs Rosenberg, The Art of Resistance, page 273. So Justus Rosenberg, the blond-haired jewish boy who became an active member of the French Resistance, later an academic, ends his wonderful memoir, giving us the lesson his lifetime as someone fearful but unafraid, extroverted but made cautious by war, compassionate and sensitive " . . . [w]e need to champion the notion that all human beings are equal and deserve to be treated as such. "We need to be alert to the dangers and nip them in the bud." Justs Rosenberg, The Art of Resistance, page 273. So Justus Rosenberg, the blond-haired jewish boy who became an active member of the French Resistance, later an academic, ends his wonderful memoir, giving us the lesson his lifetime as someone fearful but unafraid, extroverted but made cautious by war, compassionate and sensitive in a way that makes his story almost poetic. He promises us more of his life in books to come. I hope he is true to his promise and live long enough to meet that goal. For our sakes. Many, if not most, memoirs are written, in my opinion, to reinforce an author's fame or to justify a well-known author's next career move. My experience has been, unfortunately, that within the first 50 pages, the brain loses focus, the eyelids become heavy, and thoughts of 'what's for dinner' appear. None of this applies to this gift of a memoir Rosenberg offers here. Rosenburg is hardly a household word, except to those knowledgeable about the Gaullist Resistance during the Second World War and he has never held political office or been a television news commentator. During his work life, he held professorships in English and foreign languages at Swarthmore and Bard, among other professional credits. In 2017, though, at age 95, Rosenburg was awarded the French Legion d'Honneur, the highest honor awarded by France, for his underground activities with the 636th tank destroyer battalion, an American unit which invaded France with the goal of seizing France and the world's beloved city of Paris back from the Nazis. But Rosenburg's skills and what he calls the confluence of circumstances permitted him to survive the War when everyone he knew (he was Jewish, living in Danzig) was threatened with extinction as would he have been had he not taken advantage of every opportunity presented him to engage in Resistance. Rosenberg asks what I believe is the most important question about Hitler's unresisted ability to implement the horrors of the Holocaust, a question I have been trying to find certainty about since my days as a college history student 50 years ago: "What was it about this man (Hitler) that could inspire such hatred?" (page 39). He does not, indeed he cannot, answer this question if my experiences are relevant, but he does show that Hitler, by his theatrics and cult-like appeal reversed German democracy and, unabated and unresisted, carried out atrocities against Jews and Roma that is unimaginable, all under the colour of the fiat laws Hitler imposed and judges Hitler appointed. The work is a beautiful work of prose and Rosenberg's fondness for people and life shines through. For example, he describes his first sexual experience with a friend of his mother, in a way I have never read before never once describing the sexual act itself, but as fond memory that seems to grow fonder as age advances. When I read this early in the book (pages 20-23), I recognized instantly that I was about to be treated to some very captivating writing and an extraordinary story. This assumption was reinforced when he wrote about the "flanerie" of Paris, that "attitude of curiosity and open-mindedness--not taking anything for granted. . . . [F]lanerie was not at all about detached observation, for when I lost touch with my own feelings" (page 62). Rosenberg's statements about flanerie describe him, too, I believe. It was his extroversion and his openness to observations that gave him the tools to do his work in the Resistance. I recommend this book to anyone. People who want to experience or learn what good writing is should study this book for its style, clarity, and purposefulness. Rosenberg, at 98, promises 3 more work. Hurry up, Gussie, I'll be first in line to read them.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    I wasn't left with entirely positive feelings about this book. I chose to read it because the area of France where I used to live was a Resistance hot-spot, and I was keen to understand more. But somehow, this account never got into the detail of what being in the Resistance really entailed. This non-observant Jewish boy was sent to Paris by his parents when it became clear that staying in Danzig (now Gdansk) was no longer a safe option. He completed his school education and entered the Sorbonne I wasn't left with entirely positive feelings about this book. I chose to read it because the area of France where I used to live was a Resistance hot-spot, and I was keen to understand more. But somehow, this account never got into the detail of what being in the Resistance really entailed. This non-observant Jewish boy was sent to Paris by his parents when it became clear that staying in Danzig (now Gdansk) was no longer a safe option. He completed his school education and entered the Sorbonne before the German occupation of France really kicked in. When it did, his career as a Resistance worker began, and saw him in various locations, in various roles at different times. His linguistic skills and Aryan appearance stood him in good stead, and he finished the war unscathed, his path to a future in American mapped out. I realise Rosenberg was very elderly when he wrote this book, but the story seemed to lack telling detail. And though his achievements were many, and deserve to be recognised and celebrated, he did rather spell them out. There's a fuller story here that deserves to be recorded.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    The Prologue of this book is the best part of the whole book. Justice Rosenberg had slipped out of one line at a Nazi internment camp and wandered over to a very long time. He found out that it was for prisoners who wanted to see a doctor for their ailments. He thought maybe it would be an easier way to escape! He questioned a young woman who was able to tell him what kind of diseases are so serious that he would have to be admitted. He knew how to heat up a thermometer and he had acting experie The Prologue of this book is the best part of the whole book. Justice Rosenberg had slipped out of one line at a Nazi internment camp and wandered over to a very long time. He found out that it was for prisoners who wanted to see a doctor for their ailments. He thought maybe it would be an easier way to escape! He questioned a young woman who was able to tell him what kind of diseases are so serious that he would have to be admitted. He knew how to heat up a thermometer and he had acting experience to feign pain. It worked. But the next morning, he woke up to find that the doctor had operated on him for appendicitis! The next part on the one page prologue was even more exciting and surprising. I think I read the Prologue four times! Unfortunately the rest of the book winds around and around his story. I was very interested in his parents but not so much in his social life with his friends in college. There was much of that in his book and not enough depth about his feeling of not knowing it his parents were still alive. The author has had a very long and meaningful life. I just wish that he had a good writer alongside him to ask questions. His experiences in the French Resistance were amazing but I think more questions from another person at his side would made his experiences much more memorable. His life is amazing but his story meanders. I received an Advanced Review Copy from the publisher as a win from FirstReads. My thoughts and views are entirely my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Reagan Schweppe

    Professor Rosenberg is a family friend. It was so great to hear him speak in depth about his experience in the French Underground. I myself was unaware of the extent to which France was complicit in WIII, and I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read about it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    Justus Rosenberg recounts his amazing life experiences growing up in Danzig amidst the rise of Nazism. Once goes off to study at the Sorbonne war erupts and he scrambles to survive in Paris without his parents' support. He helps to "smuggle" French and German writers and artists to Spain before becoming involved in sabotaging German troop movement in France. After DDay the US tank division stumbled upon Justis and then "hired" him to be an interpreter, especially after learning he knew German, Y Justus Rosenberg recounts his amazing life experiences growing up in Danzig amidst the rise of Nazism. Once goes off to study at the Sorbonne war erupts and he scrambles to survive in Paris without his parents' support. He helps to "smuggle" French and German writers and artists to Spain before becoming involved in sabotaging German troop movement in France. After DDay the US tank division stumbled upon Justis and then "hired" him to be an interpreter, especially after learning he knew German, Yiddish, French, English, and Russian. Amazing! What a life!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jade

    This memoir is incredible! Brilliantly and beautifully written, a story of a few years that lasts a lifetime. I literally could not put it down, and it followed me in my dreams... (I also did end up reading parts of it in the middle of the night when one of my kids woke me up). Justus Rosenberg’s journey from Danzig to the US via France and Germany during and after just WW2 is quite simply amazing. He left Danzig to study in Paris (a great decision made by his parents at the time), and after the This memoir is incredible! Brilliantly and beautifully written, a story of a few years that lasts a lifetime. I literally could not put it down, and it followed me in my dreams... (I also did end up reading parts of it in the middle of the night when one of my kids woke me up). Justus Rosenberg’s journey from Danzig to the US via France and Germany during and after just WW2 is quite simply amazing. He left Danzig to study in Paris (a great decision made by his parents at the time), and after the invasion of France in 1940 ended up in Marseille, then Grenoble, then various areas in the Drôme, before joining a US battalion and then the official refugee aid agency at the time (before it became the UNHCR). He spent time working to help refugees get out of France while being a refugee himself, escaped capture to then join the Résistance proper. I loved reading about his experiences making his way around France, living with Surrealists such as André Breton, working undercover in Grenoble (the city where I grew up), and his days as a flâneur in Paris. I really enjoyed the author’s descriptions of flânerie, descriptions that match my own personal way of discovering a new place I call home as well as old ones. I also loved how his memoir is peppered with his own personal thoughts and interpretations of events and possible future events, memories clear as day to both author and reader all these decades later. Justus Rosenberg knows his story of survival and resistance is incredible but also knows that it was very much a mix of circumstance, luck, place, time, his observation skills, his quick thinking, his education, and also due to how he looked (young for his age and blond with blue eyes). But to me Justus didn’t just survive, he made the most of his circumstances to help others as much as he could, even when his own situation was pretty dire. He is such as inspiration and I can’t wait to read about more of his life (those FBI files sound very interesting!). Justus Rosenberg will be 100 years old in 2021. His story is amazing, and in my opinion a must read, both in terms of how we need to remember the past, but also because his life philosophy is something that I think would bring hope to many, and maybe inspire many more to be like him. I am certainly inspired. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this amazing memoir in exchange for an honest review!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chickpea

    What a captivating true story of a Jewish born teenager/young adult, from Danzig, who is able to escape the horrors so many others faced and instead contribute so positively to the French Resistance using his bravery, quick wit, intelligence, charm, along with the luck of having blonde hair, blue eyes, and looking much younger than his true age. I was entranced from the beginning, where the author tells about his youth of growing up in Danzig during the turbulent times of Hitler's rise to power. What a captivating true story of a Jewish born teenager/young adult, from Danzig, who is able to escape the horrors so many others faced and instead contribute so positively to the French Resistance using his bravery, quick wit, intelligence, charm, along with the luck of having blonde hair, blue eyes, and looking much younger than his true age. I was entranced from the beginning, where the author tells about his youth of growing up in Danzig during the turbulent times of Hitler's rise to power. I have never heard of a true story, such as this one, a story the author describes as "a small miracle," but I would say is absolutely miraculous, hiding in plain sight. The author tells his story in a way that is both fast paced and provides so much detail, especially considering these events took place 80 years ago! There is a casualness in his writing, as if his actions were not a big deal, when in fact, they took so much bravery, so much risk, and true heroism. I also really appreciate the author's honesty throughout the book about not believing in an afterlife, a God, or that he was in some way special or saved. Truly a book everyone should read and can gain a new point of view of a time period that is often written about, but always needs new voices of bravery and truth to remind us of what humanity is capable of, both in the positive and negative. Of the type of people we should strive to be and the type of people we should make sure never come to power again.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    A powerful story of a Polish Jew who was sent to Paris to finish his education during the start of unrest in Poland. After war breaks out in France, he loses contact with his family in Poland. He winds up working with the French Resistance and the US Army. An amazing tale of danger, courage and good fortune. Gives a great personal point of view of the French Resistance. Well written and very enjoyable and entertaining.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nissa

    This was such an incredible story! The book sucks you right in, every chapter having its own twist that makes you want to keep reading. I enjoyed this story and the determination and strength this young man had to survive throughout the war was in itself a great feat. He was able to make great things of his long life. What an accomplishment. A true hero.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hinda

    riveting, written in a way that compels the continual turning of pages and the inability to put it down. I find that I am drawn to the young DR Rosenberg in a way I haven't been to other memorists from this era. riveting, written in a way that compels the continual turning of pages and the inability to put it down. I find that I am drawn to the young DR Rosenberg in a way I haven't been to other memorists from this era.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Given to me as a Christmas gift by my son and his wife, this was a fascinating memoir of what it was like to be a part of the French Resistance during WWII. Justus Rosenberg, a Polish-Jewish resident of Danzig, a mostly German city on the Baltic Sea, witnesses early Nazi led rioting and violence against the Jewish community there in 1937. As a sixteen year old at the time, his parents send him to Paris to escape what they know is coming and continue his education there. Three years later, the Ge Given to me as a Christmas gift by my son and his wife, this was a fascinating memoir of what it was like to be a part of the French Resistance during WWII. Justus Rosenberg, a Polish-Jewish resident of Danzig, a mostly German city on the Baltic Sea, witnesses early Nazi led rioting and violence against the Jewish community there in 1937. As a sixteen year old at the time, his parents send him to Paris to escape what they know is coming and continue his education there. Three years later, the Germans come to Paris and he escapes to southern France, which at the time was unoccupied France. There he meets up with an American and joins a clandestine organization helping thousands of men and women, including well known artists and intellectuals, escape to Spain and eventually, America. As the Nazis expand their control of all of France he is now in danger and is arrested. He escapes while feigning an illness and becomes a member of the French Resistance and eventually served in the US Army in France. He ended up moving to America, where he still lives at age 98, and was a Professor of Literature at Bard College. We have all heard of Resistance fighters and members of the Underground waging a guerrilla war against the Nazis and Fascists in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Greece, just to name a few. But Rosenberg takes us deep into what it was like to have been recruited, what his duties were and how he had to learn his new identity and recall all the details perfectly in case he was questioned by Nazi or French police. It helped him tremendously to know French and German culture and to speak those languages, including Polish and Russian. And it didn’t hurt that for a Polish-Jewish young man, he had blonde hair and blue eyes and could pass himself off as a German citizen. Rosenberg doesn’t just only describe his training. He also describes his combat experiences and his close encounters with death. He acknowledges that luck and fortune had much to do with his survival. A wonderful memoir by a humble man who truly was a hero in his time.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    "Parfois l'hazard fait bien les choses" "Sometimes chance itself occasions good fortune" Professor Rosenberg's The Art of Resistance offers a captivating insight into the journey he took from his home city of Danzig (now called Gdansk), his studies in Paris to his efforts in the resistance to the Nazi occupation of France. We encounter a range of characters he meets on his journey whom he describes with such detail that one can actually visualize his conversations and interactions with these peop "Parfois l'hazard fait bien les choses" "Sometimes chance itself occasions good fortune" Professor Rosenberg's The Art of Resistance offers a captivating insight into the journey he took from his home city of Danzig (now called Gdansk), his studies in Paris to his efforts in the resistance to the Nazi occupation of France. We encounter a range of characters he meets on his journey whom he describes with such detail that one can actually visualize his conversations and interactions with these people. When we think of the Resistance, we automatically picture the French Resistance organized in camps in forests and using successful guerilla tactics to resist the occupation, however we learn of author's role in the Emergency Rescue Committee, an American funded organization dedicated to facilitating the escape of anti-Nazi and Jewish refugees from the tyranny of Nazi Germany to the United States. The author describes frequent close calls with the Nazis and the Vichy Collaborationist regime and the bravery of the author does strike home. We join the author on his journey from a teenager witnessing the rise of antisemitism in his home city to facing head on the might of the Nazi war machine through his numerous activities eloquently described in this memoir. Many reviewers will look for a favorite section of a book to focus on, but with this memoir it is very difficult as each chapter is an important part of the chain of events that lead to where Professor Rosenberg is today. However, I do believe that after reading the epilogue, his own words will resonate and stay with you forever. For anyone interested in the Second World War and looking for a memoir from that era, then this book is for you. I can guarantee that you will not want to put this book down.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shirley McAllister

    life in the Resistance Justus Rosenberg tells the story of his time working in the resistance against the Nazi’s during WWII. Written in first person it is told as he lived and experienced it. Much of the book covers the politics involved in that time period and the different groups and kinds of people that believed in those particular beliefs. Where he felt the most comfortable and with the groups of people with whom he felt the most uncomfortable. He tells about the different countries and nation life in the Resistance Justus Rosenberg tells the story of his time working in the resistance against the Nazi’s during WWII. Written in first person it is told as he lived and experienced it. Much of the book covers the politics involved in that time period and the different groups and kinds of people that believed in those particular beliefs. Where he felt the most comfortable and with the groups of people with whom he felt the most uncomfortable. He tells about the different countries and nationalities he worked with in the resistance. He recalls how his knowledge of several languages came in handy during this time in his life. He was a young student when it all started, he grew along the way in life and in knowledge. At times it appeared that he was unsure of the future, but he forged ahead anyway. With courage and fortitude he helped in whichever way he could against the Nazi’s to avenge the wrongs they had done and to stop them from spreading and causing more harm. He very often put his life at Fisk to carry out these objectives. It was an interesting book. There were many concepts I didn’t understand. It took me a while to read the book because I kept looking up those things I did not understand because I wanted to know what he was talking about, not just read on past. I think I know a bit more now than when I started reading the book. It was a interesting book about this time in history, and I would recommend It. Thanks to Justus Rosenberg, HarperCollins Publishers, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review and advance copy of this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rellim

    This book is exactly as described. It is truly a memoir from a specific time in Justus Rosenberg’s life – when a series of circumstances and his desire to enact change led him from college student to becoming a member of the resistance. I love this format, because it very much feels like sitting around with parents or grandparents and hearing stories from their various experiences. Even in what he seemed to perceive as mundane was a slice of life that someone of my generation living in the US is This book is exactly as described. It is truly a memoir from a specific time in Justus Rosenberg’s life – when a series of circumstances and his desire to enact change led him from college student to becoming a member of the resistance. I love this format, because it very much feels like sitting around with parents or grandparents and hearing stories from their various experiences. Even in what he seemed to perceive as mundane was a slice of life that someone of my generation living in the US is unlikely to experience. We meet and become friends with so many of those he encountered along the way. Other students, poets, artists, soldiers, nurses, and farmers all hold a special place in his heart. Ultimately, while he does come to some conclusions about acts, politics, and particular people – there is an overwhelming sense of compassion and understanding for everything that he endured. Rob Shapiro is amazing narrating this. Rosenberg travels through many countries and one of is personal accomplishments is having learned several languages. Shapiro handles these accents with fluidity. His voice manages to be poignant and comforting throughout what can sometimes be a harrowing tale.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    I don't read a lot of memoirs, mostly because I don't really want to read random people's thoughts about their lives. And this book, unfortunately, lived up to that. The first third of the book was about his younger years, primarily how many women he slept with, how he was more successful with women than his friends, going to Paris for school, and oh, yeah, Nazis. The second third was about him working with a group that wasn't exactly the resistance but they definitely did some illegal things to I don't read a lot of memoirs, mostly because I don't really want to read random people's thoughts about their lives. And this book, unfortunately, lived up to that. The first third of the book was about his younger years, primarily how many women he slept with, how he was more successful with women than his friends, going to Paris for school, and oh, yeah, Nazis. The second third was about him working with a group that wasn't exactly the resistance but they definitely did some illegal things to help a lot of people. The last part was actually about the resistance. I've read books about the resistance and really enjoyed them, but the authors did a lot of research. This one is someone's memories and so it lacks the details that I want. It was interesting, but there was so much more going on that he didn't cover in his book. He didn't even go into many details about his work, and I was really wanting that. I may be done with memoirs.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    This is a fascinating book. I listened to it as a audio book on my Overdrive App from my local library. The protagonist is a young Jewish Polish boy who tells his story of escaping from his homeland in the late 1930's to France and eventually to America after the war. He is quite detailed in his telling of his story and I must say, I couldn't stop listening. This gentleman is still alive, 99 years old and he penned this story when was 98! Many books concerning WW II are about Hitler and his camp This is a fascinating book. I listened to it as a audio book on my Overdrive App from my local library. The protagonist is a young Jewish Polish boy who tells his story of escaping from his homeland in the late 1930's to France and eventually to America after the war. He is quite detailed in his telling of his story and I must say, I couldn't stop listening. This gentleman is still alive, 99 years old and he penned this story when was 98! Many books concerning WW II are about Hitler and his campaigns or about the ordeal of the many prisoners of war and the concentration camps. This one gives a different perspective of what it was like to live through war torn Europe through the eyes of a Jewish boy / young man who managed to escape the authorities and circumvent the system to stay alive. Many compassionate people helped him along the way. It definitely is a GOODREADS!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ebb

    A fantastic memoir by a very brave resistance fighter during World War II. Justus Rosenberg was a resistance fighter throughout France. His excellent skill set helped him to become a valuable asset to the French resistance and the allied armies during World War II. He managed to navigate through many different obstacles and acclimate to any environment he was thrown in. His wartime experience was very interesting to read about and his impact on others throughout the war shows within the memoir. A fantastic memoir by a very brave resistance fighter during World War II. Justus Rosenberg was a resistance fighter throughout France. His excellent skill set helped him to become a valuable asset to the French resistance and the allied armies during World War II. He managed to navigate through many different obstacles and acclimate to any environment he was thrown in. His wartime experience was very interesting to read about and his impact on others throughout the war shows within the memoir. Highly recommended to anyone with an interest in World War II and the French Resistance. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Kroger

    This book is beyond amazing and so insightful. I picked up the book anxiously waiting to see what was written inside, and i was amazingly pleased to have won this book because the amazing story of Justus and his trials as well as his triumphant travels took me back to an era that causes allot of pain and sorrow. It provides an inside view from a person who had to go through this and he so graciously allows us a peak into his mind. Absolutely amazing read and one i truly believe should be a requi This book is beyond amazing and so insightful. I picked up the book anxiously waiting to see what was written inside, and i was amazingly pleased to have won this book because the amazing story of Justus and his trials as well as his triumphant travels took me back to an era that causes allot of pain and sorrow. It provides an inside view from a person who had to go through this and he so graciously allows us a peak into his mind. Absolutely amazing read and one i truly believe should be a required read for high school students! The education this book can provide goes beyond just school history but puts a real life spin that is needed for all. Mr. Rosenberg i want to thank you for honoring me and millions of others who will read this.

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