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La survie des Juifs en France : une approche multifactorielle

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.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 6:31:32 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 1:59:53 PM

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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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