Mondays at Beinecke: Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe with Jeffrey H. Jackson

Event time: 
Monday, May 3, 2021 - 4:00pm to 4:30pm
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Event description: 

Jeffrey H. Jackson, is the author of “Paper Bullets: Two Artists Who Risked Their Lives to Defy the Nazis,” based on research in the Beinecke Library for the book.
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Jackson is the first to tell a little-known WWII story of an anti-Nazi campaign undertaken by two French women in his gripping book. Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe were gender norm-defying artists, better known by their artist names Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, who used their art to courageously defy the Nazi occupation of their chosen home, the British Channel Island of Jersey. Over the course of four years, Schwob and Malherbe wrote and distributed anti-Hitler notes, insults and calls to desert – a tactic known as “Paper Bullets”- written under the disguise of a Nazi soldier called “The Soldier with No Name,” meant to sway other soldiers from believing in the Nazi rhetoric.
Schwob and Malherbe were braver for who they were: lesbian partners known for their provocative photography - Lucy was also half-Jewish and they had Communist ties. The pair were eventually betrayed by a neighbor in 1944 and sentenced to death for their actions; however even in jail, they continued to fight the Nazis by reaching out to other prisoners—including imprisoned German soldiers—to spread a message of hope. Jackson, a professor of History at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, and an expert on European history and culture, vividly tells the hidden history of these two heroines, uncovering never before seen research and accurately describing the day-to-day life of civilians living in occupied territories and the tough decisions and sacrifices they constantly had to make to survive.

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