French diary from WWII

I found a stack of these small diaries at the marché aux puces at Saint-Ouen on the northern edge of Paris.  They begin in late-1940 after Paris had already fallen to the Nazis, so serve as an informal record of the rhythm of life during the occupation.  The cribbed hand suggests a shortage of paper, the lists of groceries and prices paid gives a sense of the scarcity of money, and the mysterious lines of letters and numbers hints at the development of a rudimentary code for private communication; but, mostly, these diaries are a reminder that life went on, lovers met, cinemas remained open, and friends gathered.  This is why I collect journals, diaries, and agendas: the author does not think of them as History, only as something personal, but they reveal a moment in time that will never return.


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