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Memory, the Holocaust, and French Justice
The Bousquet and Touvier Affairs
Richard J. Golsan, ed.; Lucy B. Golsan, trans.; Richard J. Golsan, trans.

Available only as an ebook.


Contemporary French Culture and Society

Dartmouth College Press
1996 • 253 pp. 6 x 9"
Jewish Studies


$19.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-057-7

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



Two cases involving World War II-era crimes against humanity reopen a disturbing chapter in France's Vichy past.

In the introduction to this collection of essays on the cases of two former Vichy officials charged with crimes against humanity in the 1980s, Richard J. Golsan observes that for five decades the French have had great difficulty confronting their relationship with the Nazis during the Occupation. The Vichy Regime's anti-Semitic character, Golsan writes, "was swept under the rug in the postwar years, when the Gaullist myth of Resistance held sway, and the French preferred to think of themselves as a people who had opposed Nazi ideology and hegemony." But the facts and implications of the René Bousquet and Paul Touvier affairs revealed not only each man's participation in the deportation and deaths of Jews during the war, but also Vichy's "willingness, and indeed eagerness, to do its part in forwarding the aims of the Final Solution in exchange for an illusory autonomy." As these essays by prominent French and American scholars and journalists show, judicial delays, official obstruction, and questionable decisions in the proceedings raise sweeping political, legal, and social questions about the complicity of a government unwilling to come to terms with its own troubled past.

CONTRIBUTORS: Jean-Denis Bredin, Sorj Chalandon, Bertram Gordon, Pierre Laborie, Annette Lévy-Willard, Robert Paxton, Denis Peschanski, Henry Rousso, Tzvetan Todorov

From the Book:

"When Bousquet was shot in June 1993, many believed the nation had lost the opportunity to sort out the tangled history of Vichy and its legacy in postwar France, and mete out a more thorough and comprehensive form of justice than the Purge courts had managed to do. In short, the trial of Bousquet was to have been the trial of Vichy as well as a corrective to the flawed justice of the Purge . . . Therefore, when the trial of Touvier for crimes against humanity opened in Versailles in March 1994, the feeling that Vichy and its crimes would finally be tried was palpable. The 'Trial for Remembrance,' as the Parisian daily Libération put it in their front page headlines, was about to begin." -- from the Introduction



RICHARD J. GOLSAN is Professor of French at Texas A&M University, editor of Facism, Aesthetics, and Culture (1992), and editor of South Central Review.






Sun, 5 Oct 2014 14:58:51 -0500