The 8th Conference of the International Feuchtwanger Society (proceedings: Feuchtwanger und die Erinnerungskultur in Frankreich (Bern: Peter Lang, 2020)) was held in Paris from 11th-14th October 2017.

Lion Feuchtwanger’s account of his internment at the Les Milles camp near Aix-en-Provence, in English entitled The Devil in France, is available below (click on image for full digital edition).

The museum & memorial site at Les Milles was formally opened by French prime minister Jean Marc Ayrault on 10th September 2012, with an inaugural speech which included the following quote from The Devil in France:

“Of a man who was living well, the Germans used to say that he lived “like God in France.” […] But if God had a good time in France, […] the Devil didn’t have a bad time either. […] I do not think that the Devil with whom we had to deal in the France of 1940 was a particularly perverse devil who would taken sadistic pleasure in persecuting us. I am inclined to think that he was the Devil of Unthoughtfulness, of Sloth-in-Good-Will, of Conformity.”

In an earlier act of remembrance in January 2011, the city of Sanary-sur-Mer erected a plaque to commemorate the group of exiled German intellectuals who lived in Sanary between 1933 and 1940, among them Lion Feuchtwanger.


This chapter in the exile literature story has been covered in considerable detail, for example in Lion Feuchtwanger und die deutschsprachigen Emigranten in Frankreich von 1933 bis 1941. A New York Times piece on the subject, republished in a collection of essays in 2017, can be found here. For a full-length account in English, see Martin Mauthner, German Writers in French Exile 1933-1940 (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2007).

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