The Holocaust, the French, and the Jews


The Holocaust, the French, and the Jews

Susan Zuccotti

392 pages
Illus., map


April 1999


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Many recent books have documented the collaboration of the French authorities with the anti-Jewish German policies of World War II. Yet about 76 percent of France’s Jews survived—more than in almost any other country in Western Europe. How do we explain this phenomenon? Certainly not by looking at official French policy, for the Vichy government began preparing racial laws even before the German occupiers had decreed such laws. To provide a full answer to the question of how so many French Jews survived, Susan Zuccotti examines the response of the French people to the Holocaust. Drawing on memoirs, government documents, and personal interviews with survivors, she tells the stories of ordinary and extraordinary French men and women. Zuccotti argues that the French reaction to the Holocaust was not as reprehensible as it has been portrayed.

Author Bio

Susan Zuccotti teaches modern European history at Barnard College and Columbia University. She is the author of The Italians and the Holocaust: Persecution, Rescue, and Survival (Nebraska 1996), which won the National Jewish Book Award in 1987.


"A book on the French occupation needs to point out that a lot of Jews were saved and a lot of Frenchmen acted well. Susan Zuccotti . . . accomplishes exactly that."—Forward

"Valuable and lucid . . . Susan Zuccotti’s book is admirable in many important ways."—New York Times Book Review

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