Histoire Through Histoires

Another perspective on D-Day: from the French side

Evelyne Holingue


In French, the word “histoire” means both “history” and “story.”

Now that I’m an adult I realize how fortunate I have been to have several French teachers and professors who taught histoire through histoires.

The best histoires I heard about French histoire, however, came from my parents.

Today marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day.


My dad is no longer here to tell me another story about the war he never forgot.

Both my parents grew up in small villages in Normandy, an hour away from the coast. Children during WWII, they understood early on the meaning of the words “enemy” and “occupant” and the need to be resourceful, but they remained children, acting like children, despite the war.

My dad and his friends invented their own coded language that they used when passing German soldiers on their way to school. With polite smiles and nods, they were in…

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