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Journal Articles Revue d'histoire de la Shoah Year : 2020

La survie des Juifs en France : une approche multifactorielle

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Abstract

The survival of Jews in France : a multi-factorial approach -- In 1945, 75% of the Jewish population in France was still alive. Rather than look for a single explanation for this extraordinary figure, this article adopts a multi-causal approach, presenting a range of geographic, social, cultural, and political factors within an evolving international context. With respect to geography, many Jews in France were scattered throughout the countryside, especially in the “Free Zone,” rather than interned in camps. Regarding society’s response, non-Jewish citizens provided some aid to the persecuted, which marked a shift in public opinion beginning in the summer of 1942 (despite the anti-Semite ideology promoted by the French government). These measures became even more widespread when they were either not punished at all or punished very lightly. French Jews were able to access assistance more easily because of their networks of friends and family, which they had formed as a result of their secular integration with French society. Jewish and Christian organizations focused more on saving foreign Jews, and especially children. As a result, it is important to take cultural factors into account, whether they be rooted in religion or a sense of republican heritage and patriotism. French society seemed to act as a sort of “watchdog” (however weak) that prevented Vichy from fully implementing its criminal plans. Political and international factors played an outsized role during this period. The Vichy government was relatively autonomous. While it initially collaborated with Berlin, it partially distanced itself from the policy of deportation when the war began to shift.
Au sortir de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, les trois quarts des Juifs en France sont toujours en vie. C’est l’un des taux les plus élevés de survie des Juifs dans l’Europe nazie. Ainsi que le rappelle Laurent Joly dans son introduction, les partisans de Pétain ont fait valoir dès son procès en 1945 qu’un tel résultat était dû à l’action du régime de Vichy, qui avait été un « moindre mal », y compris pour les Juifs – en premier lieu ceux de nationalité française. Que certains encore aujourd’hui soutiennent une telle thèse relève de la falsification de l’Histoire. 2À cette explication monocausale aucun historien sérieux n’accorde crédit. Tout en ayant travaillé sur la genèse des crimes de masse, y compris ceux du régime de Vichy, j’ai eu à cœur d’élaborer une analyse multifactorielle de la survie des Juifs en France en pensant tout à la fois le double processus de leur déportation et de leur non-déportation. Cela revient à faire valoir un écheveau complexe de facteurs politiques, géographiques, sociaux, culturels, sans oublier le contexte international. En voici une présentation synthétique.
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Dates and versions

hal-03100834 , version 1 (06-01-2021)

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Jacques Sémelin. La survie des Juifs en France : une approche multifactorielle. Revue d'histoire de la Shoah, 2020, 2020/2 (212), pp.275 - 292. ⟨10.3917/rhsho.212.0275⟩. ⟨hal-03100834⟩
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