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And There Was Light

The Autobiography of a Blind Hero in the French Resistance

Jacques Lusseyran Elizabeth R. Cameron

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Floris Books
15 June 1985
Biography; Autobiography: historical, political & military; True stories of heroism, endurance & survival
'Light is in us even if we have no eyes.' It is a rare man who can maintain a love of life through the infirmity of blindness, the terrors of war, and the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp. Such a man was Jacques Lusseyran, a French underground resistance leader during the Second World War. This book is his compelling and moving autobiography. Jacques Lusseyran lost his sight in an accident when he was eight years old. At the age of sixteen, he formed a resistance group with his schoolfriends in Nazi-occupied France. Gradually the small resistance circle of boys widened, cell by cell. In a fascinating scene, the author tells of interviewing prospective underground recruits, 'seeing' them by means of their voices, and in this way weeding out early the weak and the traitorous. Eventually Jacques and his comrades were betrayed to the Germans and interrogated by the Gestapo. After a fifteen month incarceration in Buchenwald, the author was one of thirty to survive from an initial shipment of two thousand.
By:   Jacques Lusseyran
Translated by:   Elizabeth R. Cameron
Imprint:   Floris Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 216mm,  Width: 138mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   334g
ISBN:   9780863155079
ISBN 10:   0863155073
Pages:   250
Publication Date:   15 June 1985
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Out of Print

Jacques Lusseyran later became a university professor in the United States. He died in a car accident in 1971.

Reviews for And There Was Light: The Autobiography of a Blind Hero in the French Resistance

Surely here is one of the most extraordinary of the participants in the French Resistance. Jacques Lusseyran was totally blinded in an accident at the age of seven. Owing to his parents' sympathetic awareness of his need to be accepted in a world of sighted people, he learned to live a normal life. He was a brilliant student and had a wide circle of friends when, during the first Nazi spring in Paris, he experienced intense revulsion at the cruelties inflicted upon Jews and other undesirables , and transformed his friends into lieutenants in a resistance movement. He was seventeen years old. At the beginning, they circulated a secret newspaper, but in time the organization grew and then affiliated itself with other underground groups dedicated to aiding fugitives, downed Allied airmen, etc., escape. Lusseyran's handicap became a blessing for he was accustomed to relying on his memory rather than written records, and his special status as a blind person had given him an invaluable sixth sense about people. Still, in July of 1943, he and a dozen close co-workers were betrayed and sent to Buchenwald. He alone survived. More striking even than the author's conquest of his handicap, endurance in the face of suffering, restraint in recounting iniquity, is the strong spirit of optimism and joy in life that pervades this story of real and metaphorical darkness. (Kirkus Reviews)


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