Heroes in the Shadows
Humanitarian Action and Courage in the Second World War
- Dr Brian Fleming
15th April 2019
Heroes in the Shadows focuses on extraordinary examples of heroism during the Second World War away from the battlefield. It specifically considers the actions of individuals in five Allied escape lines set up to help those on the run. The author's research provides the most complete picture of how these routes operated. He also shows the qualities of the people involved, whose courage held out against all kinds of adversity.
Diplomats who assisted those on the run, often in defiance of the authorities at home.
A rescue organisation in Marseille helping fugitives through Vichy France to the port and on to freedom.
A group in Belgium transporting downed airmen through occupied France, over the Pyrenees, through Spain and back to Gibraltar.The community in Assisi that housed and hid fleeing Jews.
A Capuchin priest in Marseille and Nice who worked with people from many backgrounds to save Jewish fugitives, then continued his work in Rome.
Brian Fleming uses contemporary diaries and memoirs of former POWs and refugees to describe individual experiences within the bigger story of the escape lines. He explains how the lines operated across Europe helping different kinds of persecuted people. Heroes in the Shadows illustrates the consequences of manmade horrors but also the best of humanity in dark times.