THE FRANCISCAN OF BOURGES by Marc Teledano

THE FRANCISCAN OF BOURGES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this slight and unpretentious memoir Toledano relates his experiences during World War II in the French Resistance and his encounter with a German guard in the prison at Bourges who worked in behalf of the French. In September of 1943 Toledano and his brother Yves were arrested and tortured by the Gestapo. They came under the care of Alfred Stanke, a lay brother in the Order of St. Francis, who had been drafted as a medical orderly and guard in the German Army. He revived their bodies and their spirits, carried messages and parcels to the prisoners from their homes and was, in general, a liaison between the French prisoners and their outside contacts. The risks he ran were considerable but evidently he was never suspected by his superiors for in April '44 he was promoted and transferred. After the liberation he was captured and sent to the U.S. as a P.O.W. but the Toledanos and the numerous Frenchmen who owed their lives to Brother Alfred obtained his release and brought him back to Bourges. The translation by B. B. Rafter seems a little awkward at times but that is doubtless to quibble about an otherwise moving testament to quiet courage.

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 1968
Publisher: Grossman