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.
Rescue of the Jews and the Resistance in France
From History to Historiography
The Shafia Young Women as Worthy Victims
This article focuses on the coverage of the murders of the young Shafia women. Based on an analysis of the coverage published in The Globe and Mail (July 2009 to March 2012), I argue that the young women were constructed as exceptional and worthy victims of a particularly heinous crime—honor killing—allegedly imported from Afghanistan by the Shafia patriarch. I interrogate the different threads that were interwoven to construct these young women's representations to make them intelligible as girls and young women. Within the coverage, the trope of culture clash anchored in an Orientalist framing worked to consolidate their representations as worthy victims and re-inscribe the national imaginary of Canadian society as egalitarian, tolerant and beyond gender violence. These different maneuvers served to accomplish a kind of posthumous rescue in a domestic context akin to the strategies of rescue implemented by Western powers in the War on Terror to save Afghan women.
"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.
From Jerusalem to Paris
The Institutionalization of the Category of "Righteous of France"
Although the title of "Righteous among the Nations" has been awarded in Israel since 1963, foreign governments did not show any interest in this commemoration until the late 1990s. Since then, however, a growing number of European governments have adopted the term. Of all the countries to which this commemoration has spread, the French government's appropriation of the Israeli terminology may have gone the farthest, forging a new national commemorative expression: the "Justes de France." This essay explores how the French lexical appropriation has taken place, paying particular attention to the role played by Jewish rescuers in this process. In doing so, it seeks to introduce a new perspective into the current debate on the transnationalization of memory: to what extent do the different states interested in the commemoration of the "Righteous," in this case Israel and France, speak the same language and whose language is it?
In Search of the Rescuer in the Holocaust
This article attempts to demonstrate that remembering the rescuer in genocide is fraught with conflict. Data taken from psychoanalytic practice and the arena of public discourse is presented to illustrate these crises in remembering. The forgetting of German rescuers in German public discourse is particularly thought provoking. The vicissitudes of memories of the successful Rosenstrasse demonstrations by the Gentile wives of the two thousand Jewish workers arrested in the Fabrikaktion in 1943 in Berlin is discussed in detail, including the present-day Historikerstreit regarding the “real merit“ of these demonstrations. Holocaust survivors' memories of being rescued by Germans are also addressed. Finally, a tentative psychoanalytic conceptualization of the conflict inherent in remembering and acknowledging such rescue behavior is attempted.
The Rescue, Relief, and Resistance Activities of Rabbi Zalman Schneerson
Does it Count as a Rescue When a Jew Saves a Fellow Jew?
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.
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
Rescuing Indigenous Land Ownership
Revising Locke's Account of Original Appropriation through Cultivation
S. Stewart Braun
As part of his account of original appropriation, John Locke famously argued that uncultivated land was open to acquisition. Historically, this account has played a large role in justifying the seizure of indigenous land. In this article, I contend that despite the past acts of dispossession Locke's account seemingly justified, a complete rejection of Locke's idea of original appropriation would be a mistake since a generalised account can be constructed that does not subvert indigenous ownership. I also contend that the revised account can be used to critique the current legal and political situation regarding native title in Australia.
Rescuing Early America from Nationalist Narratives
An Intra-Imperial Approach to Colonial Canada and Louisiana
Daniel H. Usner
The effort to compare and connect different French colonies in North America encounters some treacherous roadblocks, including the powerful impact of Canadian and United States nation building on the treatment of French colonial regions and the widely divergent approaches taken by scholars of New France and French Louisiana. This essay attempts to explain why these obstacles appeared in the first place and to suggest how they might be overcome in the future. At a time when historians of early America are vigorously seeking new analytical frameworks and meaningful historical narratives, intraimperial research on complex relationships and comparative issues in French North America constitutes an essential area of study. Whether examining the role of Canadian families in the founding of Louisiana, the influence of Acadian settlers on south Louisiana culture, or the character of Indian relations in French colonies—among other issues—a shared history of early Canada and Louisiana will significantly improve our understanding of North American peoples and places.
International Cooperation, Transnational Circulation
Escape, Evasion, and Resistance in France, 1940–1945
important this transnational rescue was and how little the principles of the nation-state factored into its conception. The borders of the nation did not contain this aspect of the Second World War. 1 A quick note is in order about the parameters of the