“THE SPARK OF JOURNALISM THAT WOULD NEVER DIE”: A PARIS SOUS LA BOTTE DES NAZIS, 1944, WITH OVER 225 PHOTOGRAVURES OF PARIS UNDER NAZI OCCUPATION, A UNIQUE COPY WITH TIPPED-IN ENGLISH TEXT AND LAID-IN LETTER DATED MARCH 1945
EPARVIER, Jean. A Paris sous la botte des Nazis. [Paris Under the Boot of the Nazis]. Paris: Raymond Schall, (1944). Quarto, original photographic paper-covered boards. $2800.
First trade edition, published only three months after the Liberation of Paris, with over 225 black-and-white photogravures, many secretly documenting the Nazi-occupation of Paris from June 1940 to August 1944, this unique copy with a laid-in typed letter dated “22 March 1945” and written regarding this copy’s distinctive tipped-in English translations of the French text, notifying the recipient that “your book” is being hand carried from France to Washington, D.C. by Colonel Knowles, then serving with the Under Secretary of War.
In this extraordinary photobook published only three months after the Liberation of Paris, the city’s four-year occupation by German forces is recorded in over 225 black-and-white photographs attributed to leading photographers such as Roger Schall, Robert Doisneau, Pierre Vals, Maurice Jarnoux, Pierre Jahan, and the Seeberger brothers. The book’s striking images show Nazis marching through the Arc de Triomphe in June 1940, streets littered with smashed barricades, sightseeing German officers, underground prisons with the handprints of tortured prisoners dug into walls, and a series documenting an execution by firing squad. The book closes with the triumphant return of Général de Gaulle through the crowded streets of Paris. Published by Raymond Schall, whose brother Roger Schall, one of the leading photographers of the day, provided the cover image and many uncredited photographs within. When Nazi forces required all photojournalists to register their work, Schall complied but withheld many negatives until their first printing here in book form. In 1962 the editor of Paris Match praised Schall and those like him “who kept alive the spark of journalism that would never die.” Featuring facsimile of de Gaulle’s announcement declaring the Liberation of Paris. Introduction by Jean Eparvier. Text in French. Published simultaneously with a limited edition of 1525. Without scarce original printed book band. Censor stamp. This copy with numerous tipped-in English translations of the French text, along with a laid-in typed letter dated “22 March 1945,” notifying the letter’s recipient that this copy has been carried from “this side” to Washington D.C. by a Colonel Knowles (then serving with Under Secretary of War Julius Amberg). The letter writer, signed “Lou,” apologizes for sending the book along without a translation of the Introduction-but “I let the book get out of print before I tried to buy one for myself.”
Images fresh and clean, tiny stapler marks to upper edge of printed front free endpaper, light edge-wear, faint soiling to bright photographic boards. Near-fine condition.