From Ravensbrück to Algiers and Noisy-le-Grand

Dialogues with Deportation

in French Politics, Culture & Society
Author:
Donald Reid University of North Carolina

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Faced with a troubled past, national collectivities can negotiate identities through iconic figures. Prescient hero Charles de Gaulle and later Resistance martyr Jean Moulin played this role in France in the decades after World War II. More recently, other individuals from the same generation have come to the fore as exemplary actors through whom the French enact reconciliation with their nation’s wartime history. Marc Bloch, a Jew executed for his Resistance activity, has become a figure who allows French republicans to work their way out of what Henry Rousso terms the obsessive phase of the Vichy Syndrome.

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