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Rescue of the Jews and the Resistance in France

From History to Historiography

Renée Poznanski

Two obstacles blocked the incorporation of the rescue of Jews in France into the Resistance movement. The first, which can be traced back to the sources of the social imaginary, had to do with the fear of stirring the old demon of the Jewish problem by referring specifically to the fate awaiting the Jews. The second was inseparable from the meaning attached to the Resistance ever since its inception, which focused on political opposition to Vichy and on the liberation of France and never included rescuing those whose lives were in danger. This double marginalization (from the History of the French people as a whole and from that of the Resistance) survived liberation and gave way to three different historiographies: that of the French Resistance, that of the rescue of the Jews, and that of Jewish resistance. The history of the rescue of the Jews in France should be studied through an integrated perspective that leads to thinking about the Resistance as a whole, organized and unorganized, Jewish and non-Jewish.

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The Rescue of Jews in France and its Empire during World War II

History and Memory

Robert O. Paxton and Shanny L. Peer

Amidst so many works devoted to the Shoah, the rescue of Jews is a relatively neglected subject. This is especially so in the case of France, for reasons explored by Renée Poznanski in her introductory essay to this special issue. The papers published here were presented at a conference on the rescue of Jews in France and the French Empire during World War II, held at the Maison Française of Columbia University on 24–25 March 2011.1

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Introduction

Globalizing the History of French Decolonization

Jessica Lynne Pearson

In the winter 2014 issue of French Historical Studies , David A. Bell evocatively wrote that over the course of the last three decades historians have “taken so many different historiographical turns as to leave us all staggering about dizzily

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Introduction

Valerie Deacon

highlight these same themes in their work. Whereas early histories focused on specific resistance groups, individual resisters, or the resistance activities of one region, newer work has expanded our focus. We continue to use the term French Resistance

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Introduction

France in the Age of Covid-19

Éric Touya de Marenne

What does Covid-19 reveal about France today? What are its effects on culture, politics, and society? One of the contentions of this special issue is that measuring its impacts takes on full significance when approached in the context of other

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Radio Broadcasting, Disability Activism, and the Remaking of the Postwar Welfare State

Rebecca Scales

In February 1947, when France was still reeling from the material destruction of the Second World War and the psychological trauma of the Nazi Occupation, a forty-year-old classical singer named Maurice Didier took to the airwaves to direct his

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To Bear Witness After the Era of the Witness

The Projects of Christophe Boltanski and Ivan Jablonka

Donald Reid

in France. He grew up and lives today in what he calls a society marked by a memory culture in which one is asked to reflect on and pay homage to the victims of the Holocaust. 3 But, he recognizes, this “duty to remember” can be stifling, a matter of

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Book Reviews

Alice L. Conklin Les Enfants de la colonie: Les métis de l’Empire français entre sujétion et citoyenneté by Emmanuelle Saada

Jason Earle Surrealism and the Art of Crime by Jonathan P. Eburne

Paul Jankowski Reconciling France against Democracy: The Croix de Feu and the Parti Social Français, 1927–1945 by Sean Kennedy

Jean-Philippe Mathy French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States by François Cusset

David Lepoutre La France a peur. Une histoire sociale de l'« insécurité » by Laurent Bonelli

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La Police de l'Air

Amateur Radio and the Politics of Aural Surveillance in France, 1921-1940

Derek W. Vaillant

As France wrestles over the uses and societal impact of digital media and the Internet, it is instructive to recall another era of communications innovation, namely the introduction of interwar radio to the French public, and the government's reaction to controversial applications by the citizenry. Recent scholarship has underscored the importance of interwar radio broadcasting to France and its territories. Less explored, however, is the work of amateur user/developers who shaped the radio medium as an instrument of speaking, as well as listening. Determined to manage applications of radio, the French Interior Ministry formed a Police de l'Air to monitor France's airwaves, including the activities of amateur radio users (i.e., hams), whose lawful (and sometimes unlawful) use of point-to-point and broadcast communication had begun to significantly disrupt the government's effort to dictate the future forms and uses of radio. Against a backdrop of political crisis and attempts to manage print and electronic communication and dissent, the skirmishes between the Police de l'Air and amateur radio users reveal historical aspects of contemporary debates over use, access, and qualifications to speak and be heard in mediated cultural and political settings.

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"The Best Avenue of Escape"

The French Caribbean Route as Expulsion, Rescue, Trial, and Encounter

Eric T. Jennings

Can exclusion and rescue constitute the two faces of a same coin? How did the door slam shut on maritime rescue schemes in 1941? How precisely did Varian Fry and HICEM spirit refugees stranded in Southern France to the new world? In answering these questions, this article delineates and analyzes the sinuous routes that led to the emigration of thousands of refugees from Marseille to the French Caribbean in 1940-1941. It exposes some of the ambiguities of this project—including the comparable conditions of refugee internment in Vichy France and in Martinique—and its ultimate undoing. It delves into the encounters and synergies that the exodus engendered, and explores the perspectives of some of the refugees and Martiniquais whose paths crossed.