Der Teufel in Frankreich

An English translation of Lion Feuchtwanger’s Les Milles internment camp memoir is available below (full digital edition):

The following quote from the work was used in the speech by French prime minister Jean Marc Ayrault at the 2012 opening of the Les Milles museum & memorial site:

“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.”

For a detailed English-language account of the plight of the community of German intellectuals living in exile in the south of France before the outbreak of the war, see German Writers in French Exile 1933-1940 by Martin Mauthner (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2007).

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