New novel set against the backdrop of Dunkirk and the massacre at Le Paradis: The secrets we left behind by Soraya M. Lane

A British nurse gets stranded at the evacuation from Dunkirk and two French girls witness the Massacre at Le Paradis. Will they be able to survive? Will their male friends?

It is pleasantly written novel. The trouble is I was aware of the real historical facts around Le Paradis and that threw me off the storyline. That also brings me to the only flaw I saw in this story: The Germans are pictured as all beast. While the massacre was seen even by fellow SS officers and regular army (remember it is at the beginning of the war so souls are not iced over yet) as a terrible crime and the perpetrator is challenged to duels and threatened to a court marshal. To stick to the historical facts would have made the story more layered.

This title will be released on May 20, 2021.


 PS I do not get the title.

4 stars out of 5

The Le Paradis massacre was a war crime committed by members of the 14th Company, SS Division Totenkopf, under the command of Hauptsturmführer Fritz Knöchlein. It took place on 27 May 1940, during the Battle of France, at a time when troops of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) were attempting to retreat through the Pas-de-Calais region during the Battle of Dunkirk.

Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Norfolk Regiment, had become isolated from their unit. They occupied and defended a farmhouse against an attack by Waffen-SS forces in the village of Le Paradis. After running out of ammunition, the defenders surrendered to the German troops. The Germans led them across the road to a wall where they were murdered by machine gun fire. Ninety-seven British troops were killed. Two survived, with injuries, and hid until they were captured by German forces several days later.

After the war, Knöchlein was convicted by a war crimes court, with the two survivors acting as witnesses against him. For his part in the massacre, Knöchlein received the death penalty and was executed in 1949. 



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