Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key


Tatiana De Rosnay

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Sarah’s Key: Chapter 36 Summary & Analysis

Julia and Bamber visit the cemetery at Beaune-la-Rolande. Seeing the graves of children makes Julia determined to uncover Sarah’s fate. On their walk back to town, Julia and Bamber meet an old man who recalls the “roar” that went through Beaune-la-Rolande on the day the mothers in the camp were separated from their children. Julia is unsettled by the man’s “indifference, his scorn.” Bamber and Julia drive to the site of the camp itself, where they find another monument to “the victims of the Nazis.” Bamber and Julia are both disturbed by the fact that the monument does not acknowledge that the camp was run by French police. As she contemplates the monument, Julia hears her cell phone ring. It’s her sister, Charla, who says, “I had a feeling I should call you.”
Both Julia and Bamber are unimpressed by the memorials at Beaune-la-Rolande, which seem to place blame for the horror that occurred there on the Nazis rather than on the French. Again, de Rosnay is pointing out the failures of not only the French government but also French society at large (represented by the scornful old man) to sufficiently grapple with the country’s role in the murder of Jews during World War Two. This chapter is also significant because it establishes the intense bond that Julia has with her younger sister, who knows she should call her seemingly by instinct. This intense sibling bond mirrors Sarah’s bond with Michel.
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