White Bird: Deeping the Impact of a Graphic Novel




White Bird is a gripping and moving fictional depiction of one Jewish girl’s experience of hiding in France. Within six weeks of Germany’s invasion of France and the Low Countries, the French government signed an armistice agreement. By terms of the armistice, northern France came under German military occupation while southern France came under control of a collaborationist regime, known as the Vichy government. Jews residing within both sectors of France were subjected to the same antisemitic laws as Jews who resided in occupied countries in Eastern Europe. In 1942, Germans, along with French police, began systematic deportations of Jews to transit and concentration camps within France before ultimately being sent to extermination camps in Eastern Europe. By the cessation of deportations in August 1944, 77,000 Jews living on French territory died in concentration and extermination camps. One third of these victims were French citizens.


As part of the IndyPL Shared System, the Jewish Community Library has complied BiblioCommons resources available for checkout through the library system. 


The video resources below provide survivor accounts and historical context surrounding the main themes of White Bird.

The Holocaust in France

“If I Ever Come Back"

France 24 news segment on the recently discovered letters of a french schoolgirl from the Holocaust

Jewish Children of Paris

This video details the experience of the 4,000 French-Jewish children deported to Auschwitz.



Finding Safety in Italy

Holocaust survivor Esther Bem describes the people in Northern Italy who protected her and her family during World War II.


Testimony - Charles Roman

Survivor Charles Roman talks about being hidden in the Chateau de Chabannes children's home

French Complicity

The Vel d'Hiv Roundup

Survivors from Paris describe their arrest by French police and imprisonment in Vel d'Hiv (7/1942)

Testimony Szwieca Sisters

Sisters Rosa and Suzanne recount their and their mother's experience during the Vel d’Hiv roundup.

Questions of Complicity

This video from Facing History and Ourselves discusses the creation of the collaborationist French government and their role in the deportation of Jews.


Weapons of the Spirit, via Facing History and Ourselves

This video details the story of the ordinary citizens of Le Chambon,  France, who saved 5,000 Jews during WWII.

The Rescuers: Hiram Bingham in Marseille, France, via Facing History and Ourselves

This video tells the story of Hiram Bingham, American Vice Consul at the American Consulate in Marseilles, France, who chose to save French Jews fleeing Nazi persecution.

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