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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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Jewish Children’s Homes in Post-Holocaust France

Jewish Children’s Homes in Post-Holocaust France

Personal Témoignages

(p.139) 7 Jewish Children’s Homes in Post-Holocaust France
Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945-1955

Lucille Cairns

NYU Press

This chapter studies the experience of young Jewish girls who, having survived the Shoah as hidden children sheltered by French opponents of the collaborationist Vichy regime, found themselves orphaned and placed in Jewish children’s homes. Orphanages could have distinct regimes, aims, and therapeutic practices, whether because of a director’s personality or because of the different secular, religious, and ideological identities of the organization involved. Beyond this, though, there were also broader implications relating to the source of financial support and even to the fact that the French Jewish community, perhaps regarding the orphaned child as an unwelcome link to the past or simply as an impossible additional burden, itself sometimes displayed a negligence of duty. Thus, the accounts analyzed in this chapter suggest that the immediate postwar period provided no accessible psychological framework for recovery and rehabilitation.

Keywords:   Jewish orphans, Shoah, hidden children, Vichy regime, Jewish orphanages, French Jewish community

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