Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Antisemitism in France in the 1930's - USHMM podcast

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is also on iTunes, with a veritable multitude of content. The audio that can be subscribed to over there are among others the scholarly lectures about Antisemitism (feed in iTunes, url to iTunes). Also the papers that go with the lectures are available.

The one I listened in on was by Professor Vicky Caron about the antisemitism in France in the 1930's, which turn out to be a prelude to the racial laws of the Vichy regime. (Caron's paper) Caron describes the connection between the mentality of the Dreyfus trial and the exclusion of the Jews by Vichy in the 1940's. In general the antisemitic sentiments in France go up and down, but there is a persistent stream coming from a public that is most of all upset with the French Third Republic and somehow vent their anger on modernity, that is internationalism, that is foreigners and especially the Jews among them.

But then, Jew becomes similar to foreign and untrustworthy for the French cause. This sentiment is widely held and even affects the French prime minister Leon Blum. Blum is pushed to such an extent he feels he must reply and he does so on the front page of one the French papers. The sheer fact he addresses the issue goes to show how severe the distrust of Jews is. Eventually Blum has to relinquish his political career. And so many Jews had to relinquish their French citizenship. Antisemitism appears with all its faces, the suspicion of foreigners, of internationalism albeit capitalist or socialist, the suspicion about Jewish loyalties and the plethora of methods of exclusion.

More Vichy:
La Resistance,
Heesters, Leopold en Petain achteraf (Dutch).

More antisemitism:
Moses Hess according to Isaiah Berlin,
Antisemitism in Germany before 1919,
Dan Carlin's Hardcore History about Adolf Hitler,
Only in America.

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