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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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Orphans of the Shoah and Jewish Identity in Post-Holocaust France

Orphans of the Shoah and Jewish Identity in Post-Holocaust France

From the Individual to the Collective

(p.118) 6 Orphans of the Shoah and Jewish Identity in Post-Holocaust France
Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945-1955

Susan Rubin Suleiman

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the Jewish children who had survived the war. At the end of World War II, more than 10,000 Jewish children in France found themselves without one or both of their parents. In the years following the war, some of these children left for Israel, especially those among the camp survivors who had no relatives in France; some who had family members in the United States immigrated to America; the large majority remained in France; and an impressive number grew up to become distinguished—even world-renowned—writers, intellectuals, and public figures, a number of whom have published autobiographical books and essays. The chapter then examines the psychological complications associated with a whole generation of Jewish children who had survived the war by being hidden in France by non-Jewish families, and for whom subsequent conflicts of emotional identification and narrative understanding remained unresolved, sometimes to the present day.

Keywords:   Jewish children, emotional identification, narrative understanding, hidden children, Jewish orphans

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