No Way Out: The Irish In Wartime Franc 1939-1945

No Way Out: The Irish In Wartime Franc 1939-1945
Tags: Isadore Ryan

The experiences of the Irish in France during the war were overshadowed by the threat of internment or destitution. Up to 2,000 Irish people were stuck in occupied France after the defeat by Nazi Germany in June 1940. This population consisted largely of governesses and members of religious orders, but also the likes of Samuel Beckett, as well as a few individuals who managed to find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up in internment camps (or worse). The book examines the engagement of the Irish in various forms of resistance. It also reveals that the attitude of some of the Irish towards the German occupiers was not always as clear-cut as politically correct discourse would like to suggest.There are fascinating revelations, most notably that Ireland’s diplomatic representative in Paris sold quantities of wine to Hermann Goring that Irish passports were given out very liberally (including to a convicted British rapist) that, in the early part of the war, some Irish ended up in internment camps in France and, through the slowness of the Irish authorities to intervene, were subsequently sent to concentration camps in Germany and that a couple of Irish people faced criminal proceedings in France after the Liberation because of their wartime dealings with the Germans.