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Books

The Girl Under the Flag

The Girl Under the Flag

Monique would do anything to live.

 

Running for her life from the Nazis, Monique, a seventeen-year-old Jewish girl, escapes through the streets of Paris, searching for a place to hide.

In a dark basement deep within the city, Philip, a man of the Resistance, offers her a deal in order to save her life by changing her identity. In return, she needs to provide information about the Germans by becoming acquainted with them.

Torn between her feelings for Philip and her fear of Herr Ernest, a German officer who shows special interest in her, Monique steps deeper and deeper into the jaws of the Nazi beast. But with every day that passes, she knows that it is only a matter of time before she makes a mistake and becomes discovered by the Germans – the price for that being her life.

Through her own eyes, Monique tells of her efforts to survive within occupied Paris, torn between the cafés bustling with people and the poor citizens endlessly waiting in lines, food-ration stubs in hand. But above all, this is a story about a girl who has to fight for her freedom during those dark and dreadful days, fervently refusing to give up, while the German soldiers march through the streets of Paris, stomping the ground with their hobnailed boots.

 

The Soldier's Hobnailed Boots

The Soldier’s Hobnailed Boots

The last time Monique laughed was September 12, 1940. A prequel to ‘The Girl under the Flag.’

Although the Germans arrived a few months ago and occupied Paris, so far nothing has changed in the life of Monique, a fifteen-year-old Jewish girl. But in recent days the Germans have begun to hang orders on billboards, instructing all Jews to mark themselves with a yellow badge on their clothes.
Now, with the yellow badge, everyone is starting to walk away from her and treat her with suspicion. Did things really stay the way they were before the war broke out?
Walking down the street to meet her father, Monique sees a German soldier standing on the street corner for the first time, and must decide whether to continue on her way or retreat.

In this short story, Alex Amit brings to life the world of a fifteen -year-old Jewish girl in Nazi-occupied Paris, describing her thoughts with great sensitivity. Step by step, we can feel Monique’s dilemmas, the fear of walking down the street, the conspicuous feeling of wearing the yellow badge, the difficulty of dealing with life changing before Monique’s eyes, and the fear of the future to come .

Four Franc Coins

Four Franc Coins

Sometimes, four Franc coins can buy you a dream.

Monique needs to be careful when she goes out. It is dangerous for a sixteen-year-old Jewish girl to walk the streets of Paris. A German soldier might see her.

Despite her fear, Monique heads down the stairs of her apartment every morning. She has no choice – she has to get food for her family, to stand in line for hours at the grocery store, hoping that there will be some rations left. But this morning, she leaves earlier than usual – Monique has a private dream that she wants to fulfill. She hides it from everyone, even from her mother, since she would never understand.

But as the day progresses, Monique’s dream is jeopardized by the reality of winter 1941 in Nazi-occupied Paris and the dire need for food. Monique must sacrifice everything that she has, knowing that it might not be enough and that she will most likely have to give up her dream.

In this short story, Alex Amit brings to life the world of a sixteen-year-old Jewish girl in Nazi-occupied Paris, describing her thoughts with great sensitivity. Step by step, we become acquainted with Monique’s dilemmas, her fear of walking through the streets, the disturbing feeling when wearing the yellow badge, and her need to struggle within the harsh reality, refusing to give up. But above all, we witness Monique’s desire to be just like any other girl her age.

The Christmas of 1943

The Christmas of 1943

For months now, Monique has been the mistress of a German officer. For months now, Monique doesn’t know who she is anymore.

 

Monique is living under a false identity in German-occupied Paris. No one knows that she is Jewish.

Since last summer, Monique has been involved with a Nazi officer, and she knows that she will pay with her life if anyone discovers her secret, but she has no other choice.

In the days leading to Christmas, Monique and Herr Ernest, the German officer she lives with, are preparing for a German officers’ reception which they plan to attend. Monique ardently continues to hide her secret. Still, she can’t ignore the signs of her past, and as the evening of the reception progresses, Monique finds it increasingly difficult to keep her true identity a secret, fearing that some may suspect her of hiding something.

Monique must keep her secret, but can she continue to deny her identity and heritage?

With the backdrop of illuminated Christmas trees and Hanukkah candles, Alex Amit’s short story illuminates the simple and extraordinary acts of courage by a young woman, fighting for her life and identity during those dark and dreadful days, and continuing to believe that next year will bring with it winds of change and hope.