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The Rescue, Relief, and Resistance Activities of Rabbi Zalman Schneerson

Does it Count as a Rescue When a Jew Saves a Fellow Jew?

Harriet Jackson

This article explores the relief, rescue, and resistance activities of Rabbi Zalman Schneerson and the Association des Israélites pratiquants (AIP) in Vichy France. The rabbi's prior experience in clandestine activities and spiritual resistance in the Soviet Union served as a training ground for the resistance work he eventually undertook in Vichy. Schneerson and his family were able to shelter, feed, and educate more than eighty children during the war, save at least fifty-three children from deportation, and help smuggle at least thirty-five children to Switzerland. That Schneerson and his family survived and rescued Jewish refugees in Vichy France, a regime that willingly deported nearly half of its foreign Jewish population to death camps, demonstrates that he and his wife Sara were not novices in clandestine work. Indeed, their staunch resistance to Vichy antisemitism was largely a legacy of Hasidic resistance to antisemitism under Soviet rule.

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Globalization, the Confédération Paysanne, and Symbolic Power

Sarah Waters

The Confédération paysanne can be described as a marginal farmers' union that represents the vested interests of a tiny minority and that seems to swim against a tide of socio-economic change. At a time when France is increasingly integrated into a global economy, it calls for greater protectionism, a massive increase in state subsidies, and a closure of borders to trade. Yet, far from being dismissed as marginal or anachronistic, the Confédération, at the height of its influence, was hailed as a symbol of the “general interest” and gained the enthusiastic support of a majority of French citizens. In this essay, the author suggests that the success of the Confédération had little to do with conventional political or institutional patterns but was derived instead from its “symbolic power” and its capacity to transform its own cause into a metaphor for opposition to globalization. At a time of profound crisis, the Confédération was able to capture one of the nation's most enduring myths, laying claim to a whole symbolic universe linked to peasant farming. Whilst such symbolism is hardly new in the French context, the Confédération's particular skill was to counterpose this against a dominant image of neo-liberal globalization. It posited peasant farming as an antidote to all the evils of a globalizing world, one in which identity is reaffirmed, tradition is preserved and social bonds are restored.

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Andrée Salomon et le sauvetage des enfants juifs (1933-1947)

Georges Weill

This article, based mostly on unpublished material, deals with the life of Andrée Salomon (1908-1985), an Alsatian Zionist militant who became a legendary figure of the French Jewish Resistance. In 1938, she organized the reception of the German children in Alsace. As chief of the social service of the Œuvre de secours aux enfants (OSE) in the non-occupied zone, she directed the rescue of the children from the Vichy camps of Gurs, Rivesaltes and Les Milles to OSE homes. She was responsible for a secret network that hid children in non-Jewish institutions and saved more than 1,500 children and adults.

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Ethics and Violence

Simone de Beauvoir, Djamila Boupacha, and the Algerian War

Judith Surkis

This article situates Simone de Beauvoir's involvement in the case of Djamila Boupacha, an FLN militant who was tortured by the French Army in 1960, in the context of the repeated revelations of torture in course of the Algerian War. Drawing on Beauvoir's writings on ethics and other contemporary denunciations of torture, the essay illuminates how Beauvoir worked to overcome wide-spread public “indifference.” By focusing public attention on the Army's sexually degrading treatment of Boupacha, Beauvoir figured torture as a source of feminine and feminizing national shame.

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A Question of Silence?

Odette Rosenstock, Moussa Abadi, and the Réseau Marcel

Miranda Pollard

This article investigates one of the most successful Jewish rescue networks in Vichy France, the Réseau Marcel, and specifically how its history, and that of its co-founders, Odette Rosenstock and Moussa Abadi, was created within multiple gendered narratives that consistently emphasized his leadership and often silenced or muted her achievements. Based in Nice, the Réseau Marcel which saved over 500 children from deportation, consisted of just three people: its young Jewish co-founders and the local Catholic Bishop, Monsignor Paul Rémond. Although deported, Rosenstock, always Abadi's equal, survived the death camps. After the war, the reunited couple returned to Paris, where Rosenstock became a distinguished doctor in public health and Abadi a successful theater critic. At the end of their lives, the Abadi re-united with many of their hidden children, who in their honor formed a public Association that has played a key part in shaping the history of the Réseau Marcel.

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Beauvoir, Kinsey, and Mid-Century Sex

Judith G. Coffin

This essay considers the near simultaneity of The Second Sex and Alfred C. Kinsey's reports on sexual behavior. It shows how reviewers in both France and the United States paired the studies; it asks how that pairing shaped the reception of The Second Sex; and it situates the studies in their larger historical context—a moment in which sexuality commanded new and much broader attention. An ever-widening number of disciplines, institutions, sectors of mass culture, and representatives of an expanding consumer economy (from studies of the authoritarian personality or juvenile delinquency to advertising) insisted that sexuality was key to their concerns and enterprises. The ways in which sexuality might be understood multiplied—to the point where an allencompassing notion of “sex” collapsed, giving way, eventually, to a plurality of terms: sexuality, sex roles, and gender.

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Père Marie-Benoît and Joseph Bass

The Rescue of Jews in Marseille and Nice, 1940-1943

Susan Zuccotti

Père Marie-Benoît was a French Capuchin priest who helped rescue thousands of Jews in Marseille, Nice, and Rome during the Holocaust. Unlike most non-Jewish rescuers, however, he worked regularly with courageous, dynamic Jewish men who became close personal friends. This article examines his cooperation with his first Jewish associate, Joseph Bass, who set up the Service André for Jewish rescue in Marseille. With Bass and his assistants, Père Marie-Benoît hid Jews in small units throughout the region; created networks to supply fugitives with food, documents, money, and moral support; enlisted help from sympathetic local bureaucrats; and avoided dependence on large Jewish assistance organizations. Working together, the Jews and non-Jews were much more effective than either group could have been alone. Père Marie-Benoît later applied these techniques to rescue activities in Rome. This article also examines why Père Marie-Benoît became involved in Jewish rescue in the first place, and shows that his wartime experiences determined his subsequent lifelong dedication to Jewish-Christian reconciliation.

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Women's Lives in Colonial and Postcolonial Maghrib

Etty Terem

Over the past two decades, historical studies of France's colonies in the Maghrib have deepened our knowledge of the meaning of colonialism and its myriad legacies in the colonies and metropole. By employing new methodologies, adopting new