Timeline of Events

Related to Lisette's List


Camillle Pissarro born.


Pascal Roux (a fictional character) born.


Pascal works in the Bruoux Mines in Gargas, near Roussillon.


Pascal works in the ochre factory of Usine Matthieu, Roussillon.


Pascal (at age 22) trades frames for a painting by Pissarro (age 44).


Maurice (a fictional character) born.


Jules (Pascal's son) born.


Cézanne paints five versions of "Card Players" in Aix.


Pissarro dies.


Cézanne dies.


The Armory Show introduces Post-impressionism and Cubism in NYC.


André Roux (a fictional character) born.


Lisette (a fictional character) born.


Black American Josephine Baker dances in La Revue Nègre at the Thèâtre des Champs-Élysées, and later at the Folies Bergère.


Erich Maria Remarque publishes All Quiet on the Western Front from the German perspective of World War I.


Ernest Hemingway publishes A Farewell to Arms about an American ambulance driver in Italy during WW I.


Josephine Baker introduces her song, "J'ai deux amours."


Édith Piaf "discovered" singing on the streets of Pigalle.


German troops occupy the Rhineland.

July 18, Civil War erupts in Spain.


André and Lisette move to Roussillon.

Exposition Universelle in Paris. Picasso's "Guernica" commemorates German bombing of the Basque town of Guernica.


Rina Ketty records "J'attendrai," "I will wait," inspired by the humming chorus of Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly."

November 8-9. Kristallnacht, destruction of synagogues and Jewish businesses in Germany. 30,000 Jews taken to concentration camps.


March 15-16. Germany takes Czechoslovakia.

Pascal dies in April, age 87.

Popular songs in England:"Hang Out the Washing on the Siegfried Line" and "The Last Time I Saw Paris."

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck published.

June 30. Art auction in Lucerne of paintings from German museums.

September 1. Nazis invade Poland.

September 3. Britain, France declare war on Germany.


Movie, Grapes of Wrath released with Henry Fonda as Tom Joad. Steinbeck receives the Pulitzer Prize.

Spring. The Chagalls come to Gordes.

May 10. Nazis invade Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands.

May 13. Battle of France, Meuse River where André and Maxime fought.

May 15. The Netherlands surrenders.

May 26. Evacuation of Allied troops at Dunkerque begins.

May 28. Belgium surrenders.

June 3. German Air Force bombs Paris.

June 14. German troops enter Paris.

June 16. Marshal Pétain becomes French Prime Minister of the Provisional government in Vichy.

June 22. France signs armistice with Germany, dividing France into Occupied and Unoccupied Territory.

July 4. All paintings of the Jewish art dealers Wildenstein and Seligmann are confiscated and taken to the empty Louvre.

September. Near Montignac, France, four teenagers following their dog down a narrow entrance to a cavern in Lascaux stumble upon cave paintings 15,000-20,000 years old: Approximately 600 painted and drawn representations of horses, deer, stags, cows, cats, mythical creatures, and a bird-headed man, done with ochre.

October. Marshall Pétain and Vichy government adopt anti-Jewish laws.


Henry Moore's drawings of refugees in London air raid shelters.

March. Varian Fry heads an escape operation for Jewish artists ad writers, and visits Chagall in Gordes.

April. Chagalls leave Gordes for Marseille.

May 7. Chagalls cross Pyrenees into Spain.

December 7. Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor.

December 8. US declares war on Japan.


Aaron Copland composes "Rodeo," and Irving Berlin composes "White Christmas."

Popular song, "The White Cliffs of Dover."

Hitler orders his armies to take over Unoccupied France.

Irène Némirovsky, a Russian Jew living in Paris, begins writing her novel, Suite Française, about the exodus of French people to the South.

From her notes: "My God! what is this country doing to me? Since it is rejecting me, let us consider it coldly, let us watch as it loses its honour and its life."

July 13. Irène Némirovsky arrested by Gestapo and later deported to Auschwitz, then Birkenau.

July 16. La Rafle de Vélodrome d'Hiver, the Roundup of 13,000 Jews by French police on German orders are locked inside a sports arena. Three days later they are taken to concentration camps; the most horrific stain on French history.

August 17. Irène Némirovsky dies. I have given Lisette the middle name of Irène in commemoration of her.


Édith Piaf performs for German forces during the Occupation. To exonerate herself she poses for pictures with French prisoners of war with the understanding that those photos would be cut out and used on fake passports.


Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma" reaches 2,248 performances in NY, wins Pulitzer Prize.

Robert Frost wins the Pulitzer Prize.

Martha Graham dances in New York.

Tennessee Williams' first production of "The Glass Menagerie."


Painters Bonnard and Matisse guide escapees over the Pyrenees to Spain.

Rose Valland, employed by the Jeu de Paume, risks her life to keep a secret record of more than 20,000 works of art looted from Jewish collections.


June 6. D-Day. Allies land on beaches of Normandy.

June 27. U.S. troops liberate Cherbourg, France.

August 15. Allied invasion of Southern France.

August 19. Resistance uprising in Paris.

August 25. Liberation of Paris.

French Provisional Government issues ration coupons for bread, sugar, oil, and meat.


Ernie Pyle, American war correspondent dies.

The trial of Hans van Meegeren, the Dutch painter who forged Old Masters.

Frank Lloyd Wright submits design for the Guggenheim Museum.

Prokofiev produces "Cinderella" ballet, Moscow.

Rogers and Hammerstein's "Carousel" produced in New York.

January 20. President Franklin D. Roosevelt is inducted into office for his fourth term.

January 27. Auschwitz is liberated by Soviet troops.

March 7. Anne Frank dies in the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen, age 14.

April 12. American troops liberate Buchenwald.

April 29. US 7th Army liberates Dachau.

April 30. Adolf Hitler commits suicide.

May 7. German military leaders unconditionally surrender to General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

May 8. Victory in Europe Day.

July 2. Lights go on in Britain for the first time since September 3, 1939.

July 23. Marshal Henri Pétain goes on trial, is condemned to death but his sentence is commuted. He died in prison July 23, 1951.

August 6. Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima; August 9 on Nagasaki.

August 14. Japan unconditionally surrenders, ending World War II.

Between 100,000 and 200,000 Franco-German babies were born during the Occupation.


Édith Piaf records "La vie en rose."

October, ten top German Nazi war criminals hanged in Nuremberg.


The term, "the cold war" enters the national vocabulary.

The United Nations authorizes the creation of the state of Israel.