Philip Nord’s After the Deportation is a compelling and ambitious account of ‘deportation memory’ in France.  It revises the dominant silence-to-voice story that historians have nuanced and contested, but never fully dislodged.  As the story goes, the French imagined deportees as anti-fascist, patriotic victims of the Nazi regime until the 1960s and 70s, when a younger generation questioned French complicity in the Holocaust along with French racism and colonialism.  The student rebels of 1968 unearthed long-repressed memories about Jewish persecution and the Vichy regime that had been buried by both Gaullist and Communist accounts of French heroic martyrdom, and the earlier celebration of Resistance gave way to an emphasis on Jewish suffering.  Although he does not question the turning points of this narrative, including the Gaullist myth of the Resistance, the 1961 Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, and the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, he treats them as important but insufficient explanations for the ‘repression’ or emergence of Holocaust memory in France.

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