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Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945-1955$
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Seán Hand and Steven T. Katz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479835041

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479835041.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

Lost Children and Lost Childhoods

Lost Children and Lost Childhoods

Memory in Post-Holocaust France

(p.85) 5 Lost Children and Lost Childhoods
Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945-1955

Daniella Doron

NYU Press

This chapter traces how the symbol of the child victim aggravated a case of historical amnesia among postwar Europeans who preferred to divert attention from guilt and complicity toward the far more comfortable subject of victimhood. The raw suffering of children exposed the indiscriminate cruelty of the Nazis, and the category of victim that they inhabited included entire families that had been torn apart by the war. For these reasons, nations across the continent appealed for victim status by harnessing the image of the child victim as a metaphor for all they had suffered and endured. Europeans thus found themselves not united by their wartime experiences, but at odds and building competing hierarchies of victimhood with their own children.

Keywords:   child victim, postwar Europeans, victimhood, Nazi cruelty, wartime experiences, victimhood hierarchies

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