This introductory chapter provides an overview of the first ten years of political and social reconstruction in France after the end of World War II. It is a period that was crucial to the restoration of a Jewish population and cultural presence in France after years of persecution and destruction, and it involved such immediate tasks as the reunification of families and communities, restitution of property and resources, and reestablishment of revoked rights. However, equally it is a decade that involved major developments that came to challenge the notion of a restoration of order, to the extent that it changed the enshrined and understood relationship between France and the Jews. One of these major developments is the implementation of anti-Semitic policies, which distinguished the particular French model of Jewish emancipation sometimes called Franco-Judaism.
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