When contemplating World War II leaders, the name Charles de Gaulle may come to mind. He was a heroic French general who would later become the president of France. However, there is one de Gaulle family member who truly shines above them all: France’s unsung hero and Charles’ niece, Geneviève de Gaulle.
De Gaulle was loyal to her uncle and his work, wanting to help him in his efforts to resist the Nazis. At age 22, de Gaulle began risking her life to become one of France’s most dedicated foot soldiers. For the first time, English readers can learn about de Gaulle and her encounters during WW II in the new book The General’s Niece: The Little-Known de Gaulle Who Fought to Free Occupied France (Chicago Review Press, $26.99). Family interviews, former associates’ recollections, and never before read letters written by de Gaulle—who was a survivor of the Ravensbrück concentration camp—paint a vivid picture of her harrowing tale.
Author Paige Bowers holds a master’s degree in modern European history, a background on full display as she brilliantly tells the story of de Gaulle’s time fighting for the French resistance. A frequent contributor to Palm Beach Illustrated, Bowers has also written for TIME, USA Today, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. For her first nonfiction book, Bowers chose to highlight this often-overlooked French heroine and the horrors she faced in her pursuit of a free France.