About Living With The Enemy and the German Occupation of the British Channel Islands
During the Second World War the Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by German forces. Living with the Enemy tells the unique and true story of life in the Islands under Nazi rule. With eyewitness accounts from both Islanders and German soldiers this book gives an accurate insight into this ill-assorted community at war and portrays how it felt to be living in the shadow of a foreign power. A sample of what the United Kingdom would have experienced should it have fallen. The book is 224 pages and includes over 125 original war time photographs of the Islands under Nazi rule and has a foreword by international best seller Jack Higgins.
by Jack Higgins, Master thriller writer and international bestseller
The Channel Islands hold a unique place in British history, not least because during the Second World War they were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by the Nazis. For five long years the Swastika flew here in place of the Union Jack and all the worst excesses of Nazi rule were present in some form or other.
The iron fist in the velvet glove policy did not last long. The Secret Field Police employed Gestapo operatives on secondment and many Islanders soon experienced the horror of the early morning knock on the door leading to brutal interrogation in a manner familiar elsewhere in occupied Europe.
Only those who experienced the Occupation know the anguish of it and it has always been particularly distressing to those who lived through it when outsiders complain that there was no resistance movement in the Islands.
Logic alone makes it clear that such action was simply not possible in so small an area and yet many thousands of Channel Islanders received prison sentences of one kind or another for contravening the law of the jackboot.
To be a Jew was a crime under the anti-Semitic laws and even keeping a radio to listen to the BBC news broadcasts meant a stiff prison sentence.
Many Islanders went further, assisting Russian slave workers and others on the run, eventually being sentenced to terms in French prisons or concentration camps such as Ravensbruck and Belsen. In some cases they died there.
As in all occupied countries a small number of people collaborated with the enemy. That fact is meaningless when considered in the context of the unfailing loyalty of the vast majority of Channel Islanders who stubbornly persisted in the face of armed might and brute force in fighting their own war of non co-operation. They never lost faith in their belief that one day liberation would come.
Living with the Enemy is a stunning account of how a small population with a belief in themselves, their own integrity and loyalty to the Crown were able to stand up to a country which at the time controlled the whole of Europe but most importantly played their own part in the eventual destruction of the Third Reich.
About Jack Higgins
Jack Higgins was a soldier and then a teacher before becoming a full-time writer. The Eagle Has Landed turned him into an international bestselling author and his novels have since sold over 250 million copies and been translated into fifty-five languages. Many of them have also been made into successful films.
Jack Higgins has lived in Jersey for over 30 years, in which time he has taken a special interest in the German Occupation of the Channel Islands. He is also Patron of The Jersey Film Society.