The Choice of the Jews under Vichy: Between Submission and Resistance
The Choice of the Jews under Vichy: Between Submission and Resistance
University of Notre Dame Press

The Choice of the Jews under Vichy: Between Submission and Resistance


Regular price $16.02 Sale price $47.91

Attention: For textbook, access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.

It is France that, along with Germany, has persecuted the most Jews. Spoken at the beginning of 1943, this phrase was not a denunciation, but an unashamed assertion by Andr Lavagne, the chief of Marshal Ptain's civil cabinet. Indeed, France's leadership stood prominently among the governments of occupied Europe in its initiative and zeal in collaborating with the Nazis. Yet nearly three-quarters of the Jews living in France at the beginning of the war survived the Final Solution. How was this possible?

And what considerations motivated many prominent representatives of French Jewry, at least initially, to submit to the antisemitic measures of Vichy? Adam Rayski addresses these and other important questions in The Choice of the Jews under Vichy. He writes from the joint perspective of a historian and a participant in the events he describes. An organizer of the communist faction of the Jewish resistance in France, Rayski buttresses his analysis of war-era archival materials with his own personal testimony.

Based on extensive research into previously unpublished sources, including the archives of the military, the Central Consistory of the Jews of France, police prefectures, and Philippe Ptain, Rayski clearly demonstrates the Vichy government's role as an accomplice in the Nazi program of genocide. He also explores the sizeable prewar divide between French-born and immigrant Jews. This manifested itself in cultural conflicts and mutual antagonism as well as in varied initial responses to the antisemitic edicts and actions of the Vichy government. Rayski reveals how these communities eventually set aside their differences and united to resist the Vichy-supported Nazi threat.

Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

More from this collection

Customer Reviews