In France, Jerry kept a close eye on what news he could find. He heard that six people had been killed in Munich on November 8, 1939, when a bomb exploded in a packed hall of Nazi veterans. The bomb had been intended for Hitler, but he had left the hall 15 minutes earlier than was expected. In Prague, on November 24, the Gestapo executed 120 students they accused of anti‑Nazi plotting.
Jerry felt frustrated and disappointed that the U.S. hadn't joined the war. Back in the States a group of "isolationists" formed what they called the America First Committee. This group had among its members, high-profile figures such as the famed Charles Lindbergh, and Robert McCormick, the publisher of the Chicago Tribune, as well as a few senators. Their powerful voices opposed U.S. intervention in what was referred to as "the European war," yet Jerry knew that if the Western nations banded together, only then could they defeat fascism. It was this knowledge, and the first speech by Britain's new Prime Minister that made Jerry want to stay in France and do all he could to stop the onslaught of Nazism. As he tuned into the BBC, he heard the distinctive sound of Winston Churchill say,
"I have nothing to offer, but blood, toil, tears and sweat." His voice moved something deep in Jerry's heart. When he decided to wait in Paris and join the French resistance, he thought that his mother would protest his decision, but she understood. After some discussion, both Jerry and Lilian decided that it would be wise for their mother to return to Texas and take over the farm. They would stay in Paris for a while then join her after the war.
The French were not as welcoming as Jerry and Lilian had hoped. Many were bitter that the United States had stayed out of the conflict. Despite attempts they made to contact the Resistance, they were futile. As far as the French were concerned, any American who had just come from living in Germany shouldn't be trusted. Jerry couldn't blame them for having such an attitude. Paris crawled with both Germans and Frenchmen who would betray the Resistance for a price.
To be continued.