Writing French Judaism’s “Book of Martyrdom”

Laura Jockusch

in Collect and Record!

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199764556
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979578 | DOI:
Writing French Judaism’s “Book of Martyrdom”

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Chapter 2 discusses the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation (Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine; CDJC) in France from its founding in April 1943 through 1953, when it had become a permanent Holocaust research and memorial in Paris. Its activists were predominantly eastern European Jewish immigrants who saw themselves as part of French society. By documenting the suffering of the Jews at the hands of the Germans and the Vichy regime and stressing the Jewish involvement with the Résistance, they intended to show that Jews had made a significant contribution to the liberation of France and deserved to be accepted as equal citizens. While writing the history of the Jewish cataclysm proved a difficult and painful endeavor, the activists never doubted that their future was in France and that their documentation work would strengthen France’s return to liberal democracy and further the reintegration of the Jews into French society.

Keywords: CDJC; democracy; France; Holocaust memorial; immigrants; eastern European Jewish; liberation; reintegration; Résistance; Vichy

Chapter.  17344 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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