The Unfree French - Life Under the Occupation by Richard Vinen Penguin, HK$167 Life in France under German occupation was harsh and hunger was widespread. With most of the men prisoners of war or forced labourers, many women became involved with German soldiers, with an estimated 200,000 babies born as a result. When France was liberated, those women had their heads shaved and were spat on in the streets as 'collabos' - collaborators. Black market profiteering was rampant and largely ignored post-war. Richard Vinen's speciality is Vichy France, a Gaullist joke about the puppet government that had based itself in a spa town. The Unfree French - Life Under the Occupation is about the French and how they behaved during the second world war, based on first-hand accounts and statistics. The reader is being asked what he or she would do if faced with the same circumstances. Vinen finds much that is moving and dreadful, but also brave. Although 4,000 Jewish children under 12 years old were rounded up for the Auschwitz death camp, there were villages that hid Jews and a passive resistance helped save 250,000 lives. A priest puts a yellow star on an image of baby Jesus at Christmas 1942. A column of Jews is led through Place des Vogues by a policeman with tears streaming down his face.