The Burden of Conscience

The Burden of Conscience

French Jewish Leadership during the Holocaust
Richard I. Cohen
Distribution: World
Publication date: 6/1/1987
ISBN: 978-0-253-11364-1
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“This sober and restrained work . . . carries conviction by dint of its measured tone and its depth of archival research. It provides a welcome corrective . . . ” —New York Times Book Review

“This book will become the definitive history of the Jewish experience in France during the Holocaust.” —Paula Hyman, Jewish Theological Seminary

“ . . . Richard Cohen has written the definitive book about the UGIF and filled an important gap in the historiography of French Jewry.” —Patterns of Prejudice

“ . . . judiciously balanced . . . a laudable effort, at once thoughtful and thought-provoking.” —Dimensions

“Richard I. Cohen’s important contribution to the study of French Jewry during the Vichy years provides a necessary corrective to less scholarly earlier writings on the topic. Meticulously researched and objectively argued . . . ” —American Historical Review

By investigating the real-life dilemmas of French Jewish leadership, Cohen offers an important corrective to simplistic, judgmental interpretations of Jews under Vichy.

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Table of Contents


I. French Jewry on the Eve of WWII
The Interwar Period
On the Eve of War

II. The Fall of France: German Occupation and French Jewry, 1940-1942
French Jewry Enters the War
The Fall of France, The Statut des Juifs, and French Jewry’s Response
Jewish Organizational Response to the German Occupation
The Comite de Coordination inTransition
Jewish Organizational Response to the Fall of France in the Unoccupied Zone
CCOJA: Between Community and Indivdualism

III. The Establishment of UGIF
The Initiative
Vallat Meets the Jewish Leaders
Deliberations in the Community
UGIF, Vallat, and the Jewish Leaders
Parisian Jewry and UGIF

IV. UGIF North under the Anvil of German Occupation, 1942-1944
The First Months
UGIF and the Deportations of Summer 1942
UGIF and the Authoritites: The Economic Perspective
1942- 1943
Radicalization of German Policy: Summer 1943
UGIF Services 1942-1944
UGIF North: An Appraisal

V. UGIF in Southern France, 1942-1944
The Dissolution of the Welfare Societies
The UGIF South Council: Character, Orientations, and Patterns of Activity 1942-1944
Relief and Welfare Activity of UGIF South, 1942-1944
UGIF-S: Conclusion

VI. Conflicting Strategies: UGIF North and South, 1942-1944
Dismissal of the Immigrant Staff 1942-1943

VII. The Struggle over Community Leadership, 1942-1944: The Central Consistory and UGIF
The Period of Polemics
Toward Cooperation, 1942-1944