Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Chrétiens et Juifs Sous Vichy (1940-1944): Sauvetage et Désobéissance Civile

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Chrétiens et Juifs Sous Vichy (1940-1944): Sauvetage et Désobéissance Civile

Article excerpt

Chrétiens et Juifs sous Vichy (1940-1944): Sauvetage et désobéissance civile. By Limore Yagil. [Histoire religieuse de la France, 26.] (Paris: Éditions du Cerf. 2005. Pp. 766. euro59 paperback.)

This massive volume has four especially noteworthy features. First is the importance of the politically charged question which it poses: why was it that France, in sharp contrast to her neighboring counties, had such a high rate of survival (75% approximately) of its Jewish population, despite the harsh exterminationist policies of both the Nazis and their Vichy counterparts.

The key to the originality of this study is the richness of its sources. The archival fruitfulness especially from departmental and local sites is particularly impressive. Even more striking is the extensive use of the extraordinarily detailed material of the Department of the Righteous at Yad Vashem. This second asset has opened up a whole new avenue of inquiry concerning help to the Jews of France during the Nazi occupation.

The approach which the author adopts in utilizing her wide array of sources constitutes the third characteristic of this volume.The author first examines the administrative and ecclesiastical background of each region, department, and diocese prior to making a specific assessment of conditions in each locality under investigation. …

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