This week in the War, 28 Dec 1942–3 Jan 1943: New Year’s Day & the Diary of Helene Pitrou

Dans Paris occupe: Journal d'Helene Pitrou-----by Paule du Bouchet (Gallimard Jeunesse, 2005) [Photograph by Edith-Mary Smith]

Dans Paris occupe: Journal d’Helene Pitrou—–by Paule du Bouchet (Gallimard Jeunesse, 2005) [Photograph by Edith-Mary Smith]

“The New Year is starting well: People are talking about a possible landing by the Allies.”

So begins the entry for New Year’s day in Dans Paris occupé: Journal d’Hélène Pitrou—the fictional diary of the fictional French schoolgirl, created by writer Paule du Bouchet.

Hélène has three wishes for the New Year:

That her mother be freed by the end of the month. (Her mother has been arrested for her work in the Resistance and an earlier diary entry describes Hélène’s visit to the prison to see her mother, thin, pale, but still in good spirits.)

That she hear news from her father (who had been languishing in a German P-o-W camp but has escaped).

That she become stronger and more courageous.

Hélène’s diary, like the war, will continue. As for ‘a possible landing by the Allies’: Dieppe had proved a disappointment and Normandy was more than a year away.

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