Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945-1955

Post-Holocaust France and the Jews, 1945-1955

Seán Hand and Steven T. Katz

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9781479835041

Publisher: NYU Press

Abstract

Despite an outpouring of scholarship on the Holocaust, little work has focused on what happened to Europe’s Jewish communities after the war ended. And unlike many other European nations in which the majority of the Jewish population perished, France had a significant postwar Jewish community that numbered in the hundreds of thousands. This book offers new insight on key aspects of French Jewish life in the decades following the end of World War II. How Jews had been treated during the war continued to influence both Jewish and non-Jewish society in the post-war years. The book examines the ways in which moral and political issues of responsibility combined with the urgent problems and practicalities of restoration, and it illustrates how national imperatives, international dynamics, and a changed self-perception all profoundly helped to shape the fortunes of post-war French Judaism. The book offers a variety of perspectives on Jewish studies, modern and contemporary history, literary and cultural analysis, philosophy, sociology, and theology. It establishes multiple connections between such different areas of concern as the running of orphanages, the establishment of new social and political organizations, the restoration of teaching and religious facilities, and the development of intellectual responses to the Holocaust.