Jewish Youth and Identity in Postwar France

Jewish Youth and Identity in Postwar France

Rebuilding Family and Nation
Doron, Daniella
Distribution: World
Publication date: 09/28/2015
Format: Hardback 3 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-01741-3
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At the end of World War II, French Jews faced a devastating demographic reality: thousands of orphaned children, large numbers of single-parent households, and families in emotional and financial distress. Daniella Doron suggests that after years of occupation and collaboration, French Jews and non-Jews held contrary opinions about the future of the nation and the institution of the family. At the center of the disagreement was what was to become of the children. Doron traces emerging notions about the postwar family and its role in strengthening Jewish ethnicity and French republicanism in the shadow of Vichy and the Holocaust.

Author Bio

Daniella Doron is Lecturer in Jewish history at Monash University where she teaches courses on modern Jewish history, the Holocaust, and the history of the family.


Doron's deftly argued and well researched book is an important intervention into a growing body of scholarship on the postwar decade. She convincingly documents the central role that the rehabilitation of Jewish children and the reconstruction of Jewish families played in post-war French Jewish reconstruction and underscores the importance of the decade following the war in shaping Jewish historical evolution in France.Jewish Youth and Identity in Postwar France tells the story of the Holocaust and its aftermath from a strikingly original vantage point: through the lens of the children who survived. In reconstructing how French Jews mobilized around children and families after the Second World War, Daniella Doron demonstrates the centrality of children to the broader project of reconstruction and remembrance in the aftermath of genocide. This gripping and powerful history should be read by anyone interested in the history of the Holocaust, the family, and Jews in Modern France.

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
1. "Their Children? Our Children!:" Holocaust Memory in Postwar France
2. "A Drama of Faith and Family:" Custody Disputes in Postwar France
3. Notre Vie en Commune: The Family Versus the Children’s Home
4. The Homes of Hope?: Trauma, Universal Victimhood, and Universalism
5. From Competition to Cooperation: Redefining Jewish Identities
Works Cited

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