It takes a special event to pull Sandy and myself away from the television when the British Open takes over our weekend. Yet, it happened this year. Right in the middle of the Open on Sunday, we spent over four hours watching a 1971 Oscar® nominated documentary film.
I’m deep into my research for the next book, Where Did They Put the GestapoHeadquarters? A Walking Tour of Nazi Occupied Paris (1940–1944). Right now I’m focusing on the French Resistance, its members, and the foreign agents that supported the resistance movement. As part of the research, I’m “meeting” many brave men and women who were real Résistants—not the ones who put the armband on when it became clear the Allies were close to liberating the country (and Paris) in the summer of 1944. These incredible people were the resistance fighters who knew what the ultimate penalty would be for being captured by the Nazis and turned over to the Gestapo.Read More Sorrow and Pity
The manuscript for the walking tour of medieval Paris is in the hands of my editor. This means I can turn my full attention to researching and writing the book, Where Did They Put the Gestapo Headquarters? – A Walking Tour of Nazi Occupied Paris1940–1944. I actually started writing the book’s introduction in February but have now begun the full-on research to determine the actual stops I’ll take you to. This has become a very different experience compared to the prior 3 books. Perhaps those themes were so far removed from a time perspective that the impact on me wasn’t as dramatic. Somehow the stories and brutality of the French Revolution and Middle Ages never affected me in a way the Nazi efforts to eradicate millions and millions of people have (and it wasn’t just the Jews that were targeted for extermination). Remember, it was only a short 75-years ago that the Germans marched down the Champ Élysées to begin their 4-year occupation of Paris.
It doesn’t matter which stop I’m researching, each has a story with an ending that makes me extremely sad. Frankly, in some cases I’ve had trouble sleeping thinking about a particular story and the people involved. So when I come across a story with a happy ending, I want to embrace it and share it with my friends. This particular story caught my attention because of the BBC headlines announcing the death on July 1, 2015 of a 106-year-old gentleman by the name of Sir Nicholas Winton (1909–2015).
Night of the Broken Glass
Shortly after Kristallnacht took place in Germany in November 1938, Mr. Winton traveled to Prague to assist in Jewish welfare work. He set up an organization to get Jewish children under the age of 17 out of Poland and resettle them with British families in England. He and others could see into the near future and the likely fate of Polish Jews. Britain had set up a program whereby they would allow refugees under the age of 17 to come to England provided they could prove they had a place to stay and £50 was deposited into a bank account assuring they could get back to Poland.Read More Kindertransport and Mr. Winton
Stew takes you on a walking tour of buildings, places, and sites significant to the theme of each of his books. But most importantly, you will learn the intricate stories of the people and places that many other tours do not.
Mr. Ross brings the streets of Paris to life, making it possible for you to stand on the very spots where the grand and tragic events of the French Revolution took place. If you are looking for more than just the typical tourist experience in Paris, then this book is must reading!
Dan Carpenter | Historian & Author
Stewart Ross’ book is full of interesting documents and research, it put you well on the tracks of Marie Antoinette, Danton, Robespierre and many more, whether in Paris or in Versailles, extremely interesting and easy to read!
Raphaelle Crevet | Certified Tour Guide, Paris, France