France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Holocaust denial and related subjects.
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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:05 pm

After a discussion with Hitler on 26 April 1944, that is, very late in the Final Solution, on the eve of the Hungarian action, Goebbels wrote in his diary,
If anything, the Führer's hatred of Jews has grown, not diminished. . . . Wherever we can get our hands on them, they won't escape our retaliation.

Quoted in Wachsmann, p 479, diary entry 27 April 1944

As Alon Confino's example of the Corfu action shows, along with events in the Netherlands and what I've described as taking place in France, here's another example undermining Bloxham's thesis that the FS was considered complete in the East.
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Jeff_36 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:20 pm

{!#%@} that's good stuff.

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:47 am

More from Wachsmann on the scope/extent of the genocide:

First, following Orth, Gerlach & Aly, and Pressac & van Pelt, Wachsmann argues that Himmler probably issued an order for the destruction of the gas chamber complexes at Auschwitz. As many have argued, Wachsmann reiterates that Himmler's actions during this period need to be seen in the context of his "plan to negotiate a secret peace with the west."

Second, Wachsmann contends that it is a mistake to think of the Final Solution as identical with gas chambers and as thus ending with the termination of gassings at Birkenau. For example, in Stutthof where a gas chamber utilizing Zyklon B went into operation in late 1944, "the main weapons of the Stutthof SS were deadly injections and shootings," including a revival/copy of the neck-shooting apparatus that camp SS men had used to kill Soviet POWs in 1941. "In practice, the SS never abandoned the Final Solution, and in Auschwitz itself, murders of Jews and other prisoners continued, even after the gassings stopped."

Wachsmann extends this thought with discussion of the way that the gas chambers and crematoria were destroyed. In part, he says, the destruction was to prevent another situation like at Majdanek, where the murder installations had been abandoned much intact. Also, the SS "hoped to salvage the murderous hardware." In fact, crematoria equipment was packed and shipped to a site near Mauthausen "where the SS planned to rebuild at least two of the Birkenau crematoria." The SS "also dispatched some of the Birkenau killing experts to Mauthausen." (This episode is also covered in by Haunschmied, Mills, & Witzany-Durda, St. Georgen - Gusen - Mauthausen. Concentration Camp Mauthausen Reconsidered.) Wachsmann, relying on an article by Perz & Freund entitled "Auschwitz neu? Pläne und Maßnahmen zur Wiederherrichtung der Krematorium von Auschwitz-Birkenau in der Umgebung des KZ Mauthasen im Februar 1945," in Dachauer Hefte and on an unpublished dissertation, concludes that the rebuilt complexes would have included gas chambers as well (I've seen the counter-speculation that the expansion of cremation capacity at Mauthausen may have been intended to deal with the increasing volume of deaths, and corpses, among inmates at Mauthausen). This plan was not completed, and the installation near Mauthausen was not constructed.

Wachsmann's argument is that the course of the war and the chaos engulfing the SS and the KL system blocked the intention and effort to keep the mass murder going in a systematic manner. (Wachsmann, pp 552-553)
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am

more discussion of France starting here; let's keep French topics in this thread
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:45 pm

Lozowick describes 17 July through late November 1942, of course, as “the high period for deportations from France” – when the Germans came close to hitting the 40,000 adjusted target set in June. He makes the point, as we've seen in this thread, that during this time, “French collaboration was . . . less unequivocal and more complex. . . . [T]he French had reservations. They did not demand that it not be done at all, but were consistently reluctant to take part. . . . [T]he SS men sometimes used threatening language. . . . In mid-July the French were prepared to participate in the arrest, concentration and deportation of non-French Jews from the occupied zone; the fate of non-French Jews in the free zone was somewhat more vague, and Jewish citizens of France seemed to be protected from deportation throughout France.” It is “hard to determine” who knew the ultimate fate of deportees.

This question of what the French knew about where the Jews were being sent is pertinent, of course, to understanding the nature of Vichy's complicity. Note that whilst Lozowick says that the end point/result of deportation was "vague," Bazyler & Tuerkheimer, shifting to 1943, argue that after the Allied statements of December 1942 (Eden in House of Commons, BBC broadcasts) Laval and others must have been aware; Laval's postwar prison notes admit that he knew conditions in camps were lethal (Laval's notes say "likely to suffer and die," p 325; also in Lozowick, p 198).

According to Sébastien Laurent ("The French Military Secret Services and the Holocaust: 1940-1945: Omission, Blindness or Failure?" in David Bankier, ed., Secret Intelligence and the Holocaust, the French gendarmerie (a hybrid military-state police force), which participated in roundups during 1942, especially in rural areas (e.g., 26 August 1942 in Ardèche region; the gendarmerie, 500 strong, also assisted 4,000 French police officers in the Vel d'Hiv roundup 16-17 July 1942, pp 178-179). Laurent quotes an order to the gendarmerie for the "ramassage" (collection) of foreign-born Jews, in which the force was instructed as follows regarding the operation: "Foreign Israelite people could be informed that they will be transferred to Poland (Lublin), a territory devoted to a Jewish State, Germany assuring the French administration that they will not be ill-treated."

There was, of course, no "Jewish State" in Lublin or anywhere in 1942. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_ ... eath_camps shows transports of French Jews going to Auschwitz during August 1942, not to a supposed "Jewish State" in Lublin . . . ; http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org ... hjews.html has 1943 transports of French to Majdanek, Kranz reports 51 French Jews in Majdanek as of July 1943)

Laurent further states that the files of the intelligence service of Vichy (Service de renseignements under Colonel Louis Rivet) show "no trace or hint regarding the fate of European Jewry" (p 181) but that 2 documents from the Vichy Armistice Army intelligence service (Bulgaria and Hungary stations) - among 1000s upon 1000s of intelligence reports on various matters - mention the extermination and a BCRA escapee report (summer 1943) described Auschwitz without mentioning gas chambers whilst another escapee report (3 August 1944) did mention rumors in the camp about the gas chambers. Laurent's study of the French intelligence tends to confirm Lozowick's conclusion.

The more interesting aspect of this material, for the purposes of this thread, is the German "cover story," that the French gendarmes were instructed to communicate that the operation aimed to move Jews to a non-existent Jewish State in Poland, specifically a state in Lublin, at a time when trains were taking nearly 40,000 Jews from France to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Even Laval, as we saw above, understood that the round-up and deportation involved, well, "ill treatment," of course. Perhaps Eric Hunt has a movie that will explain to us why the cover story was necessary and how all this worked, including a description of how the 51 French Jews at Majdanek prospered in the Lublin Jewish State? Or, barring Hunt's return here, perhaps Nessie - who reached "the conclusion that [Hunt] makes a very good case that [Majdanek] was not a death camp where people were gassed in homicidal gas chambers" - could help with this conundrum?
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Jeff_36 » Sun Feb 07, 2016 5:33 pm

"Foreign Israelite people could be informed that they will be transferred to Poland (Lublin), a territory devoted to a Jewish State, Germany assuring the French administration that they will not be ill-treated."


There are a number of other reports describing a so-called "Jewish Territory" in Lublin (Wolff, Gazenmuller ect.) and it does not mesh with the resettlement in the east dogma that deniers expect us to swallow.

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:07 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:
"Foreign Israelite people could be informed that they will be transferred to Poland (Lublin), a territory devoted to a Jewish State, Germany assuring the French administration that they will not be ill-treated."


There are a number of other reports describing a so-called "Jewish Territory" in Lublin (Wolff, Gazenmuller ect.) and it does not mesh with the resettlement in the east dogma that deniers expect us to swallow.

Especially when the transports in question appear to have gone to Auschwitz!
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:44 am

NY Times story on a different aspect of the Holocaust in France, the Varian Fry network and one of its survivors, Justus Rosenberg.
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:55 pm

hmmm . . . seems to have gone quiet . . .
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:06 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:hmmm . . . seems to have gone quiet . . .


I haven't seen Monstrous, David or Mary Q in awhile.

I've been trying to come up with something original to post but I've been busy. I did find some older posts that I found interesting, I resurrected some of those.

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby scrmbldggs » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:07 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:hmmm . . . seems to have gone quiet . . .

Yeah, we've tried to get the Rizolis to join and chime in here. But it seems that besides English, French is another language they don't know exists.
Hi, Io the lurker.

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:29 pm

scrmbldggs wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:hmmm . . . seems to have gone quiet . . .

Yeah, we've tried to get the Rizolis to join and chime in here. But it seems that besides English, French is another language they don't know exists.


I don't know if I can take either one of them quoting Gringauz at me again.
:roll:

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Jeff_36 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:08 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
scrmbldggs wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:hmmm . . . seems to have gone quiet . . .

Yeah, we've tried to get the Rizolis to join and chime in here. But it seems that besides English, French is another language they don't know exists.


I don't know if I can take either one of them quoting Gringauz at me again.
:roll:


They just keep spamming the same quote over and over gain after having been proven incorrect.

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:28 pm

Jeff_36 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
scrmbldggs wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:hmmm . . . seems to have gone quiet . . .

Yeah, we've tried to get the Rizolis to join and chime in here. But it seems that besides English, French is another language they don't know exists.


I don't know if I can take either one of them quoting Gringauz at me again.
:roll:


They just keep spamming the same quote over and over gain after having been proven incorrect.



Apparently this will no longer be a problem...........

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby scrmbldggs » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:37 pm

Ha, I see DianeKayKing and JimRizoli suspended at ISF. I noticed Diane pasting a whopper again after having been informed of posting etiquette - not that I expected that to be properly processed and to sink in, though, it hadn't before - but HDenier still seems up and running. His mouth, that is...
Hi, Io the lurker.

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:45 pm

scrmbldggs wrote:Ha, I see DianeKayKing and JimRizoli suspended at ISF. I noticed Diane pasting a whopper again after having been informed of posting etiquette - not that I expected that to be properly processed and to sink in, though, it hadn't before - but HDenier still seems up and running. His mouth, that is...


I need to head over there, Jim complained about it on FG's blog.

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby scrmbldggs » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:06 pm

I'm sure he did and does. Society's rules of engagement apparently don't apply to Rizoli and friends and their sense of entitlement. Yep, they are special... :jester:
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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:54 pm

again, on such a critical topic, where so much was promised, nada . . .
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Balsamo » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:07 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:again, on such a critical topic, where so much was promised, nada . . .


Hi Statmec,
Actually we have been through a lot of point on the topic.
Even though that was almost two years ago! Time flies...

So i was a bit surprise that you were still promoting Paxton in the "What does deniers deny?" thread.
As you might guess, i have a lot of disagreement with the Paxton/Marrus old views which has a taste of the 80's.

There is still a lot of points that can be disgusted on the case of France, but where should one starts from here?
I have recently read Alain Michel's book ( Vichy et la Shoah), quite virulent against the established vision. Not that i agree with everything, but like Brayard's work, it has the merit to exist...Hum, seems that those kind of works have difficulties to reach a broad public, and even less the scientific community, that is a sad thing.

As i doubt it has been translated, just like Brayard is not, you'll still be in disadvantage. The whole situation is almost pathetic that France is force to endorse the thesis of an american historian - Paxton - while its own historians don't even get translated, despite the fact that new archives had been open, and new sources discovered. It is probably too early for the archives, but a new source has emerged, called " L'inedit de Clervaux" written by Lucien Rebatet who was one of those Vichy's antisemite intellectuals, among others like Brasillach, who follow the storm up to the end.
Almost unknown, Rebatet is the author of THE bestsellers in France during the occupation, a book called "Les decombres" ( or "the rubble" or "the ruins") which is an amazing insight on what i call the "Zeitgeist" during the Vichy regime.
While it really opens new perspectives, again, i doubt it has been translated or that it will ever be...

It is a tough read, longer that Hilberg's three volumes...over 1000 pages in such small characters that it reveals to me i needed glasses...
Nevertheless, it sold very well in France when published last year. And that is kind of scary.

Anyway, one extract made a real buzz, and spread through the press boasting " Brasillach knew about the extermination of the Jews".
As you know, i often repeated that it all depended on how one source was read and interpreted, well this is a very good example. When an article titles "Knew about the extermination of the Jews", the first reaction is ...ok so they knew what was going on from the start while they were putting tens of thousands of Jews in trains to be deported...

Actually, this is not what the extract is telling us:

in his inedit de Clervaux, Rebatet recalls a meeting he had with his friend Brasillach. It is if i remember summer 43. Rebatet writes that Brasillach came to him to state :
- " we can no longer speak about the Jews, it has become useless and chocking!"
- " Come on, this is going to far!" Rebatet replies
Brasillach continues:
-" I have been in Poland this spring, I have seen the Ghettos. I know what is happening in those of Lodz, Lwow and Warsaw. It is a massacre or an extermination through starvation. We cannot look like we are supporting that!"
- " But Robert, what about our doctrine? What is left if antisemitism is removed? it seems to me that is quite a fundamental part of if!
- " I am not saying that we cannot be antisemitic anymore, but that there is a tone that we cannot use anymore when speaking about the Jews, besides, there are much more urgent matter that we have to deal with*".


This visit by Brasillach on the Eastern Front, under the the lead of Fernand de Brinon. Besides the Ghettos, the high point of the visit was Katyn. Another interesting point is that his famous brother in law, Maurice Bardeche, was with him.

This is quite important stuff. How one does conclude that Brasillach knew about the fate of the Jews depòrted from France is beyond me. here is how i understand it:
- Brasillach did not know anything prior his visit in Poland, organized by the Germans, that is in spring 1943.
- Brasillach - despite all his virulent diatribes in his writings - is shocked by the view of what remains of the Ghettos. It is not like he visited Birkenau or even less some of killing centers.
- What he saw of the Ghettos was enough to convince him that some kind of extermination was going on and that it was enough to stand back, despite habing visited Katyn. It is also to be noticed that he will leave his post as redactor in chief around this time.
- Rebatet reaction also shows the fundamental strength of his antisemitism. like "the fact that Jews a dying in Ghettos in Poland does not mean therre are no reasons to hate them, and to want them out of France and will keep working along with the even more AS Cousteau after Brasillach left.

Ironically, Brasillac will the the only one executed at the Liberation, while Rebatet, although sentenced to death will be commuted, as well as Cousteau, even more extremist but released in 1953 or so.

Now if those propagandists, supported by the Germans, only discovered part of the truth by spring for some or summer 1943, it is fair to suppose that the ignorance even at the highest level of the Vichy regime in 1942 was total, that is at a time when the most important terms of the deportation were negotiated.

EDIT: It is important to point out that when he came back from the East, Brasillach learned about the deposition of Mussolini. According to Rebatet, his first words when he stepped out of the train at the station were "It is {!#%@} up, the war is lost", ( "c'est foutu, la guerre est perdue") and by "more important matters" he meant the fall of the Duce and Fascism.

to be continued.

EDIT 2 : "Le dossier Rebatet" Eddited by Benedicte VERGEZ-CHAIGNON, Robert Laffont, Paris 2015, pp 854-855
Last edited by Balsamo on Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:12 pm

That is very interesting, Balsamo.

It is a shame that so much is not translated for the English audience.

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:38 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:again, on such a critical topic, where so much was promised, nada . . .


Hi Statmec,
Actually we have been through a lot of point on the topic.
Even though that was almost two years ago! Time flies...

So i was a bit surprise that you were still promoting Paxton in the "What does deniers deny?" thread.

Well, that was about a year ago, so I don't know what you mean by "still." The book has some basic arguments that IIRC someone in that thread wasn't aware of - it's all vague by this point.

Balsamo wrote:the established vision

Not sure that I know what this is.

Balsamo wrote:As i doubt it has been translated, just like Brayard is not, you'll still be in disadvantage.

I am pretty sure it has not - not listed on Amazon, in English or French. So I agree not to discuss the book as a work!

Balsamo wrote:The whole situation is almost pathetic that France is force to endorse the thesis of an american historian - Paxton

Of course not. But that is not where this thread left off - the arguments in this thread were not, to my recollection, a debate on Paxton.

Balsamo wrote:Almost unknown, Rebatet

He is - and his works are - discussed by Julian Jackson, IIRC, which doesn't substitute for reading his works themselves, of course.

Balsamo wrote:, one extract made a real buzz, and spread through the press boasting " Brasillach knew about the extermination of the Jews".
As you know, i often repeated that it all depended on how one source was read and interpreted, well this is a very good example. When an article titles "Knew about the extermination of the Jews", the first reaction is ...ok so they knew what was going on from the start while they were putting tens of thousands of Jews in trains to be deported...

Perfectly reasonable, I should expect that many of us here would have a similar reaction. We'd ask what the knowledge was, how it was obtained, what was specific, what was general. As what I've read, including, er, Paxton & Marrus, suggest that knowledge of the fate of the deported Jews was not known, in the sense of specific knowledge of the murder operations in Auschwitz, Sobibór, or Majdanek, I'd be doubly careful.

Balsamo wrote:in his inedit de Clervaux, Rebatet recalls a meeting he had with his friend Brasillach. It is if i remember summer 43. Rebatet writes that Brasillach came to him to state :
- " we can no longer speak about the Jews, it has become useless and chocking!"
- " Come on, this is going to far!" Rebatet replies
Brasillach continues:
-" I have been in Poland this spring, I have seen the Ghettos. I know what is happening in those of Lodz, Lwow and Warsaw. It is a massacre or an extermination through starvation. We cannot look like we are supporting that!"
- " But Robert, what about our doctrine? What is left if antisemitism is removed? it seems to me that is quite a fundamental part of if!
- " I am not saying that we cannot be antisemitic anymore, but that there is a tone that we cannot use anymore when speaking about the Jews, besides, there are much more urgent matter that we have to deal with".


This visit by Brasillach on the Eastern Front, under the the lead of Fernand de Brinon. Besides the Ghettos, the high point of the visit was Katyn. Another interesting point is that his famous brother in law, Maurice Bardeche, was with him.

This is quite important stuff. How one does conclude that Brasillach knew about the fate of the Jews depòrted from France is beyond me.

This is really interesting. I'd be curious about what year. But this seems in line with other material I've read that suggests that enough information to hint at a dark - even shocking - fate was available. But what is dark/shocking? A lot depends on context, expectations, etc. The reason that the year is of interest to me is that, of course, by December 1942 that Allied Declaration would have been made (as above).

Balsamo wrote:here is how i understand it:
- Brasillach did not know anything prior his visit in Poland, organized by the Germans, that is in spring 1943.
- Brasillach - despite all his virulent diatribes in his writings - is shocked by the view of what remains of the Ghettos. It is not like he visited Birkenau or even less some of killing centers.
- What he saw of the Ghettos was enough to convince him that some kind of extermination was going on and that it was enough to stand back, despite habing visited Katyn. It is also to be noticed that he will leave his post as redactor in chief around this time.
- Rebatet reaction also shows the fundamental strength of his antisemitism. like "the fact that Jews a dying in Ghettos in Poland does not mean therre are no reasons to hate them, and to want them out of France and will keep working along with the even more AS Cousteau after Brasillach left.

Ironically, Brasillac will the the only one executed at the Liberation, while Rebatet, although sentenced to death will be commuted, as well as Cousteau, even more extremist but released in 1953 or so.

Now if those propagandists, supported by the Germans, only discovered part of the truth by spring for some or summer 1943, it is fair to suppose that the ignorance even at the highest level of the Vichy regime in 1942 was total, that is at a time when the most important terms of the deportation were negotiated.

to be continued.

That's what I understand as the "traditional" view of things. In my mind, on this issue, which was a bit of a tangent I raised as the thread lingered, Bazyler & Tuerkheimer were somewhat outliers, whilst I read Laurent's argument to reinforce Lozowick's that it is really difficult to say who knew/whether it was known what the fate of the Jews was within Vichy. By the way, I've since my post on this made in February (!) been corrected that the document cited by Laurent says Galicia, not Lublin.

Anyway, what we'd been focused on in this thread was very different to this question. Although this interests me a great deal, where the main thrust of the thread was, was on German intentions for the Final Solution in France and the relationship of the case of France to the larger Final Solution. That's why I bumped the thread.
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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Balsamo » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:03 pm

Hi Statmec,

I am personally glad that we can at last go back to more serious subject.

You asked
Not sure that I know what this is.


God knows, and i guess you as well, knows that i hate the expression of "official narrative" so often promoted by Hanover and friends, but the case of France and its past history is a bit different. So indeed, i should have mentioned "IN FRANCE".
France has a very strange status among the victorious powers, as we all know that the "official State" was not part of the war. So in order to build a new national history, the new France, the victorious free one, had to create a couple of myths in order to establish itself, without really having engaging into some form of debates that did not turn into some form of political tainted fight. And the topic remained a taboo for at least one generation.
It is quite understandable, and i am not judging it.

then came Paxton and his famous Vichy et les Juifs, which as incredible as it may seem, was basically the first scholar work on Vichy and the Holocaust, beside the works of serge Klarsfeld. Both thesis, although opposing themselves on crucial points, were in the mood of their times.
The subject of Vichy in France has always been a very political one, and therefore a very sensitive one. Was Vichy the legal expression of the French State or not? and in fine down to the question did France or the Vichy regime did participated in the Holocaust? If yes, was it France or was it a bunch of opportunist politicians who did a kind of coup in order to seize power and destroy the Republic? With the final and deadly question, is France responsible or not?

Well all those questions is not the topic, but they contributed to prevent any serious debates from taking place at within the scholars of the country concerned, that is France.
Paxton's work came out, IIRC, in the early 70's and was just a bomb! Until then there no works on the role of Vichy and the Holocaust, just like there had been no serious work on Belgium and the Holocaust until the late Maxime Steinberg who dedicated his Phd on that in the early 80's(?)...

Until Paxton, the "established version" of those events in France, obsessed with the will to turn the page was, "well Petain was not a nice guy, but well it was war and he did what he could"...And here comes Paxton writing that no, "the French State, through the Vichy Regime was essential to the implementation of the Final Solution in France, guilty of the murder of the Jews.

As there were basically no national scholarly works to oppose (with some exception like Poliakov, etc), well the idea went through, reluctantly during president Mitterand (14 years 1981-1995!!!), and openly when president Chirac was elected.
In between, we had Serge Klarsfeld who basically summed up by "Yes the French State under Vichy is responsible for the death of 75.000 Jews, while the French people is responsible for the saving of the rest".

And that was about it.
The sum of the two approaches with the myths of the Liberation (Paxton and Klarsfeld) is that :
- The Vichy State was not France. Essential part! The Vichy regime was composed of opportunists who hi-jacked the Republic, and collaborate in their own name.
- The Vichy regime contributed to the success of the Final Solution in France.
- The Eternal France, through the Church, the vast majority of its population, and the righteous managed to save the majority of the Jews in France, despite the efforts of the Vichy Regime to deport them.
- Since 1995, France, through the Vichy Regime, is guilty and responsible for the murder of 75.000 Jews from France.

As an important side line, i am not pronouncing myself on the validity of these assertions. I just want to point out that it is not welcomed to reconsider them.
Any "reconsideration" of the nature of the Vichy Regime, its actions and behavior, will be suspected to be a attempt to "rehabilitate" the Vichy Regime and the Marechal, the author who would make such a reconsideration would or be a fool or suspected to have far right sympathies.
As i said, the last victim was Alain Michel. Who cares if he his an historian (Phd) living in Israel and has worked for Yad Vashem! As he cannot be suspected to be close to the Front National, he will just become a fool to be ignored.

So yes, unfortunately, in France there is an "established vision" and any reconsideration is not welcomed.

I am pretty sure it has not - not listed on Amazon, in English or French. So I agree not to discuss the book as a work!


Of course, and this is what i denounce.
Actually, his crime is indeed to defend the thesis that Vichy contributed to the limited success of the Final Solution in France (compared to the Netherlands) because of its reluctance to hand over the French Jews. Nothing new there.

But Contrary to our "friend" David, Michel is not ignoring the documents that are used to prove the contrary, he just interprets them with a different view.

He is - and his works are - discussed by Julian Jackson, IIRC, which doesn't substitute for reading his works themselves, of course.


This is why i said "Almost", but again through an american historian...lol...

This is really interesting. I'd be curious about what year. But this seems in line with other material I've read that suggests that enough information to hint at a dark - even shocking - fate was available. But what is dark/shocking? A lot depends on context, expectations, etc. The reason that the year is of interest to me is that, of course, by December 1942 that Allied Declaration would have been made (as above).



Of course, we have already talked that it is by the end of 42 that rumors really started to leak, and will amplify during 1943.
What is strange in this case is that the "revelation" took place during a "!propaganda tour" organized by the Nazis. What seems obvious is that the information only concerns the Ghettos in Poland, and that the term "extermination through starvation" refers to specific cases, not a whole policy. But i agree that things are not clear, and i do not know enough about Brasillach to draw a conclusion.

What is interesting is the discrepancies between what he wrote - his antisemitic rants - and his reaction when he got a concrete example of what the "results" of those rants could be.

Now, given that those guys were convinced Fascists, it is not surprising that they did not believed what the Allies said about it.

it is really difficult to say who knew/whether it was known what the fate of the Jews was within Vichy.


Well it is nevertheless important. Because, in the context of Vichy, how can one "convict" someone or some institution of being responsible for "murder" if they did not know of the murderous finality of the deportation? And this is only one issue - quite essential in the case of France and the way it considers its past - but there are many others. That does not mean that the regime did not commit any crimes, of course, as several thousands Jews did die in those French camps, just to take on example.

But there are lots of blanks left in the relation between Vichy and the Jews, and sadly - given the circumstances, and the absence of translation of crucual works, it will be hard to have this debate.

Anyway, what we'd been focused on in this thread was very different to this question. Although this interests me a great deal, where the main thrust of the thread was, was on German intentions for the Final Solution in France and the relationship of the case of France to the larger Final Solution. That's why I bumped the thread.


Indeed, but as we did agree on German intentions, while we did not talk much about Vichy.
There is still a link, because David tried to use the relative "saving" of purely French Jews in order to contest the German policy of extermination.
I personally think that there are still gap to be filled in order to answer why those relative failures in the implementation of the Final Solution in some western countries. I have more knowledge about the case of Belgium as i have for France, but in both case, i sense that there is still a "Why?" to be asked.

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:25 pm

Balsamo wrote:Hi Statmec,

I am personally glad that we can at last go back to more serious subject.

You asked
Not sure that I know what this is.


God knows, and i guess you as well, knows that i hate the expression of "official narrative" so often promoted by Hanover and friends, but the case of France and its past history is a bit different. So indeed, i should have mentioned "IN FRANCE".
France has a very strange status among the victorious powers, as we all know that the "official State" was not part of the war. So in order to build a new national history, the new France, the victorious free one, had to create a couple of myths in order to establish itself, without really having engaging into some form of debates that did not turn into some form of political tainted fight. And the topic remained a taboo for at least one generation.
It is quite understandable, and i am not judging it.

then came Paxton and his famous Vichy et les Juifs, which as incredible as it may seem, was basically the first scholar work on Vichy and the Holocaust, beside the works of serge Klarsfeld. Both thesis, although opposing themselves on crucial points, were in the mood of their times.
The subject of Vichy in France has always been a very political one, and therefore a very sensitive one. Was Vichy the legal expression of the French State or not? and in fine down to the question did France or the Vichy regime did participated in the Holocaust? If yes, was it France or was it a bunch of opportunist politicians who did a kind of coup in order to seize power and destroy the Republic? With the final and deadly question, is France responsible or not?

I just read Seibel's book on France, which takes a different view from that of Paxton. It is very pertinent to this thread, with the focus on German intentions and policies. Seibel places more burden on the Germans than on the French, and has an interesting (somewhat positive but from the pov of collaboration and anti-Semitism) slant on Catholic leaders who collaborated with Pétain, who collaborated with Germany. Seibel is a very calm and straightforward writer, yet the narrative abounds with ironies.

Seibel had some interesting things not in my notes already on knowledge about the deportations/fate of deportees and destinations of the transports. For example, in mid-1942 (months prior to the Allied declarations) the Vichy authorities who participated in the planning and execution of the summer-fall deportations to Auschwitz did not know/understand the destination and fate intended for those Jews removed from France. Seibel discusses a 3 July 1942 meeting of the Vichy Council of Ministers which I don't recall reading about before. The brief protocol has a handwritten note added by Laval. This note says,
Il faut distinguer entre Juifs francais et déchets expédiés par les Allemandes eux-méme. L'intention du Gouvernement allemand serait de faire un état juif à l'Est de l'Europe. Je ne serais pas déshonoré si j'expédiais un jour vers cet état juif les innombrables des juifs étrangers qui sont en France.

(pp 123, 344) This note makes Laval complicit but in what? Unlike with the Slovakian government, I have not seen evidence of the Vichy authorities inquiring after the actual fate of Jews deported to this chimerical eastern state for Jews, its locations, conditions there, etc. That is, until your post on the Brasillach trip east, which makes it doubly interesting. Laval's confident prediction that his agreeing to remove foreign Jews from France to the east would not dishonor him was, of course, mistaken on many levels.

Probably another widely known document but new to me (at least as far as I recall) is a written protest, germane to the point above concerning "what was known" in 1942, made by the Consistoire to Pétain himself on 25 August 1942, in advance of the 26-27 August deportations from the Free Zone. Among the issues raised by the Consistoire was the fate of the Jews sent to the east. The protest referenced two points on this issue: 1) the Führer's prophecy which foresaw the annihilation of the Jews in the world war and 2) the deportation of people regardless of age or physical condition which eviscerated the "labor" justification and confirmed the exterminatory intent. (Seibel, pp 159-161, citing Klarsfeld's Le Calendrier, which I don't have a copy of, pp 867-868) This protest suggests that the extermination - after all summer 1942 saw reports in the west on mass killings in Poland - could not have been completely obscure to the Vichy authorities. And this came in late summer 1942. But it is indicative and in line with what I posted earlier about a dark fate, it is not specific. And Pétain may have rejected it, along with the Allied announcements, as propaganda.

On 18 May 1942 Dannecker remonstrated with Eichmann, Kohl having promised rail transport, concerning preparations within the RSHA for deportations of Jews from France, writing in a telex “whether and within what time frame a large number of Jews could be received and what camp could admit them.” (No hint of resettlement but rather the need for camps to be able to "admit" the deported Jews, in a German police internal discussion.) (Seibel, p 104)

Another one: in a meeting which Himmler had with Oberg on 8 June 1943, according to Hagen's note, the RFSS pressed for redoubled efforts to get the French to publish the denaturalization law with the 1927 cutoff date which the Germans sought, to enable a large-scale round-up and deportation from France of Jews that month. Himmler said that those affected by the hoped-for law were to "be deported to the Reich by 15.7 at the latest. . . ." (Seibel, p 237) This comment came weeks after the last of 4 transports of Jews from France to Sobibór, during one of the transport hiatuses; the remainder of the deportations from France would be to Auschwitz, the first of these coming about 2 weeks after this meeting - but the large-scale operations, based on a denaturalization law and a joint Franco-German police action didn't materialize. "To the Reich" when Jews had been going to Auschwitz or Einsatz Reinhard camps from western Europe for almost a year - this suggests that among the Germans a kind of language of destinations (various, interchangeable end points0 was being used.

During their meeting on 2 July 1942, BdS Knochen felt that Bousquet, the chief of the French police, speaking for Pétain, was expressing Vichy’s recalcitrance on the Jewish issue. When Bousquet offered that the German forces should execute the planned roundups in occupied France - “the French police should not conduct the arrest in the occupied zone. Instead [Pétain] wishes to leave the conduct of these arrests to the occupation forces.” As a corollary, in the Free Zone, said Bousquet, the French would assent to the arrest only of “the Jews of foreign nationality.”

The first point contradicted the goals of the Germans. According to Hagen’s notes, Kochen proceeded therefore to help Bousquet to grasp the problem from the German perspective: "Therefore, the BdS declared in turn that the Führer for his part in his most recent speeches had stressed nothing more clearly than the unconditional necessity of a conclusive resolution of the Jewish Question. That is why this attitude alone will govern our measures, not that of the French government. Should the French government oppose the conduct of the arrests, this will certainly not meet with the approval of the Führer.” (Seibel, pp 116-117)

With the Führer card thus played, eventually Knochen was to engineer the compromise agreement to focus for the interim Jewish arrests on the foreign born and stateless whilst the French would supply police forces to join the Germans in the roundups and arrests.

A version of Knochen’s formula - regarding the wishes of the Führer - would reoccur from time to time (Seibel, p 272) in further negotiations over the revision of the French naturalization law and deportations. On 15 August 1943 Röthke would write, for Knochen, a four-page review of his meetings with Laval and Bousquet that contained the following explanation: When Laval continued to state Vichy objections to the 2nd draft naturalization law, "I responded to Laval the the Führer has issued a clear order on the Final Solution to the Jewish Question throughout Europe. To my knowledge, it had already been agreed a year ago with the French government that the solution to the Jewish Question in France was supposed to proceed by stages."

Now the French were reneging: “The French government,” wrote Röthke, “no longer wants to work with us in the Jewish Question.” (Sieibel, pp 254-255)

Balsamo wrote:The sum of the two approaches with the myths of the Liberation (Paxton and Klarsfeld) is that :
- The Vichy State was not France. Essential part! The Vichy regime was composed of opportunists who hi-jacked the Republic, and collaborate in their own name.
- The Vichy regime contributed to the success of the Final Solution in France.
- The Eternal France, through the Church, the vast majority of its population, and the righteous managed to save the majority of the Jews in France, despite the efforts of the Vichy Regime to deport them.
- Since 1995, France, through the Vichy Regime, is guilty and responsible for the murder of 75.000 Jews from France.

As an important side line, i am not pronouncing myself on the validity of these assertions. I just want to point out that it is not welcomed to reconsider them.

Seibel's book most certainly has things to say about the various perspectives!

Balsamo wrote:Any "reconsideration" of the nature of the Vichy Regime, its actions and behavior, will be suspected to be a attempt to "rehabilitate" the Vichy Regime and the Marechal, the author who would make such a reconsideration would or be a fool or suspected to have far right sympathies.
As i said, the last victim was Alain Michel. Who cares if he his an historian (Phd) living in Israel and has worked for Yad Vashem! As he cannot be suspected to be close to the Front National, he will just become a fool to be ignored.

Well, he's German, but Seibel probably needs to be added to the list of the inglorious then.

Balsamo wrote:But Contrary to our "friend" David, Michel is not ignoring the documents that are used to prove the contrary, he just interprets them with a different view.

With regard to both Vichy and German policies and actions?

Balsamo wrote:
This is really interesting. I'd be curious about what year. But this seems in line with other material I've read that suggests that enough information to hint at a dark - even shocking - fate was available. But what is dark/shocking? A lot depends on context, expectations, etc. The reason that the year is of interest to me is that, of course, by December 1942 that Allied Declaration would have been made (as above).

Of course, we have already talked that it is by the end of 42 that rumors really started to leak, and will amplify during 1943.
What is strange in this case is that the "revelation" took place during a "!propaganda tour" organized by the Nazis. What seems obvious is that the information only concerns the Ghettos in Poland, and that the term "extermination through starvation" refers to specific cases, not a whole policy. But i agree that things are not clear, and i do not know enough about Brasillach to draw a conclusion.

This is all very interesting and I think important. I cannot find enough on the issue to satisfy me. This Brasillach trip is a very good thing to know about. I agree with Paxton (?) that a lot of information was out and around, a "dark" fate should have been (and seemingly was, judging by a remark made by Laval) discernible . . . and of course we do not know what was said among the partners and left unrecorded, thinking especially of '42.

Balsamo wrote:Now, given that those guys were convinced Fascists, it is not surprising that they did not believed what the Allies said about it.

And even "mere" collaborationists, for Laval after all announced he supported German victory; being on the side of the Axis would predispose him to discounting claims of the Allies. And yet . . . for sure there was a lot of evidence around AND unlike the Slovakians, AFAIK, we don't have Laval asking specifics about the fate of the deportees. See no evil?

Balsamo wrote:Because, in the context of Vichy, how can one "convict" someone or some institution of being responsible for "murder" if they did not know of the murderous finality of the deportation?

This sounds almost flippant - but by way of "criminal negligence." Which doesn't supplant our wanting to know more. As it is, Jews were being sent somewhere (fill in the blank) to the east, for something bad. Which may have led to deaths of many of them.

Balsamo wrote: given the circumstances, and the absence of translation of crucual works, it will be hard to have this debate.

So it is your formal and assigned - unpaid! - task to bring to our attention important information and arguments! Like the Brasillach trip.

Balsamo wrote: Indeed, but as we did agree on German intentions, while we did not talk much about Vichy.

"We" - leaving out a certain member of the forum. LOL

Balsamo wrote:I personally think that there are still gap to be filled in order to answer why those relative failures in the implementation of the Final Solution in some western countries. I have more knowledge about the case of Belgium as i have for France, but in both case, i sense that there is still a "Why?" to be asked.

This is the focus of Seibel's important (IMO) book, along with German/Vichy interactions. En anglais. Aus der Deutsch.
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Balsamo » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:38 pm

Hi,

Before i read your relply more deeply, would you mind gtiving me the reference of Siebel's work?

Thanks

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:50 pm

Balsamo wrote:Hi,

Before i read your relply more deeply, would you mind gtiving me the reference of Siebel's work?

Thanks

I misspelled his name throughout my post! Fixed now, it is Wolfgang Seibel, Persecution and Rescue: The Politics of the “Final Solution” in France, 1940-1944 (University of Michigan Press, 2016).
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby nickterry » Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:23 pm

Balsamo wrote:As there were basically no national scholarly works to oppose (with some exception like Poliakov, etc), well the idea went through, reluctantly during president Mitterand (14 years 1981-1995!!!), and openly when president Chirac was elected.
In between, we had Serge Klarsfeld who basically summed up by "Yes the French State under Vichy is responsible for the death of 75.000 Jews, while the French people is responsible for the saving of the rest".

And that was about it.
The sum of the two approaches with the myths of the Liberation (Paxton and Klarsfeld) is that :
- The Vichy State was not France. Essential part! The Vichy regime was composed of opportunists who hi-jacked the Republic, and collaborate in their own name.
- The Vichy regime contributed to the success of the Final Solution in France.
- The Eternal France, through the Church, the vast majority of its population, and the righteous managed to save the majority of the Jews in France, despite the efforts of the Vichy Regime to deport them.
- Since 1995, France, through the Vichy Regime, is guilty and responsible for the murder of 75.000 Jews from France.

As an important side line, i am not pronouncing myself on the validity of these assertions. I just want to point out that it is not welcomed to reconsider them.
Any "reconsideration" of the nature of the Vichy Regime, its actions and behavior, will be suspected to be a attempt to "rehabilitate" the Vichy Regime and the Marechal, the author who would make such a reconsideration would or be a fool or suspected to have far right sympathies.
As i said, the last victim was Alain Michel. Who cares if he his an historian (Phd) living in Israel and has worked for Yad Vashem! As he cannot be suspected to be close to the Front National, he will just become a fool to be ignored.


I am not sure I entirely buy this. Firstly, a lot of historiography in French originates from elsewhere. Renee Poznanski's recent book on the resistance is pretty down on France; she is of course an Israeli but writes in French almost exclusively. Jacques Semelin's recent book might be considered a good example of the glass-75%-full school, but, well, that's the percentage. There are scores of studies of rescue, resistance, life in hiding and so forth published outside France; this is probably the dominant theme in the international historiography now that Americans don't berate 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys' like they did in 2003. And even back then American PhD students were finishing up multiple studies of mega-rescue networks.

Secondly, French historiography includes lots of studies of the unpleasant parts of the Vichy regime; e.g. Laurent Joly's enormous book on the CGQJ.

Thirdly, there are parallel debates regarding Belgium and the Netherlands; in Belgium the enormous report La Belgique docile seems to have taken a distinctly negative line (I've not digested the whole book so am happy to be corrected). Especially amusing was witnessing a Belgian historian criticise the German historian Insa Meinen for reassessing the true significance of collaboration; the Belgian historian thought it was more important but Meinen in a response shredded his arguments. There are well-known comparative examples, especially Antwerp vs Brussels and the decisions of the police in each city whether or not to cooperate. But similar decisions were made in France, and survival rates vary across both countries for a variety of reasons. In the Netherlands, the Dutch paradox offers the polar opposite picture to France: a society that was generally very tolerant and had significantly less domestic antisemitism than France did in the 1930s saw nearly all its Jews deported and killed.

All this said, you have more familiarity with the public history side of things.

I'll probably ILL Alain Michel's book; it is significantly overpriced for a 330-page volume (going by amazon.fr details), and one wonders how much can be fitted in to that space, when Semelin, Poznanski and others are producing 900-page monster tomes.

Thanks for highlighting the Rebetat reedition; I'll get that. I agree with you on the vagueness of what Brasillach reported from the east, and am especially grateful to you for spotlighting this, as I regard it as extremely telling, especially when juxtaposed alongside other sources.

Bear in mind that literally everyone in BdS Frankreich denied knowing explicitly that Auschwitz was an extermination camp, while only Harster and a few subordinates in BdS Niederlande admitted such knowledge; only a few in BdS Belgien-Nordfrankreich made such admissions, either. So pretty much everyone in western Europe was hoodwinked and was hoodwinking others; the levels of deception, self-deception, indifference and cover-up were utterly through the roof.

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Balsamo » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:58 pm

Nick Terry:

I am not sure I entirely buy this. Firstly, a lot of historiography in French originates from elsewhere.


You are right of course, and as i was about to reply to Statmec who made the same kind of remark, i should have mentioned "In France".
Alain Michel himself declared in an interview the absurdity that debates do take place abroad - i think he quotes USA, Germany and Israel - but not in France...More on this in the reply to his post...

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:04 pm

As we've been saying, Serge Klarsfeld, writing in 2011, "knowing that the Germans wanted to exterminate them [the Jews of France], it [Vichy] became an accomplice to the genocide." No word on how "Vichy" knew this . . .
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Jeff_36 » Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:30 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:As we've been saying, Serge Klarsfeld, writing in 2011, "knowing that the Germans wanted to exterminate them [the Jews of France], it [Vichy] became an accomplice to the genocide." No word on how "Vichy" knew this . . .


Everything I have read re Vichy points to them being out of the loop on the ultimate fate of the Jews. That does not excuse their treason and collaboration with the occupier, but it is a qualification that must be made.

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Balsamo » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:07 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Balsamo wrote:Hi,

Before i read your relply more deeply, would you mind gtiving me the reference of Siebel's work?

Thanks

I misspelled his name throughout my post! Fixed now, it is Wolfgang Seibel, Persecution and Rescue: The Politics of the “Final Solution” in France, 1940-1944 (University of Michigan Press, 2016).



I thought so,,, :)
Quite expensive book, while i still have some unread book on the subject, but it clearly does interest me.
Ironically, this is exactly what Alain Michel declared in an interview, that basically the debate is taking place - and he explicitly mentioned the USA, Germany and even Israel - but is impossible in France.

Seibel places more burden on the Germans than on the French, and has an interesting (somewhat positive but from the pov of collaboration and anti-Semitism) slant on Catholic leaders who collaborated with Pétain,


And i would agree, especially regarding the catholic church, which indeed was one of the main pillar of the Vichy regime - kind of taking its revenge for the law of 1905... It does not mean of course that part of it did not help the Jews, at least some of them, the same way it helped hiding collaborationists after the war...It had a courageous stands toward the Jews while calling up loud to stand up against Bolshevism.

The Church is one of the good example of the complexity of the situation that was facing the French societies - i mean societies because society is misleading. Petain was indeed very catholic as well as Antisemitic, the Church has also a resent against the Jews, but only up to a certain point, as it had also a sense of humanity, except for the communists.

The Communists who were sentenced to death ( if caught behaving like one) by the government of Paul Reynaud as soon as 1939, the same government -´at that time part of the Allies, which voted the law allowing the incarceration of "foreigners suspected to be anti-national" - the same law which was used to incarcerate the foreign Jews...

Your next quote - and i will look for it - is also important when quoting Laval you wrote:

Il faut distinguer entre Juifs francais et déchets expédiés par les Allemandes eux-méme. L'intention du Gouvernement allemand serait de faire un état juif à l'Est de l'Europe. Je ne serais pas déshonoré si j'expédiais un jour vers cet état juif les innombrables des juifs étrangers qui sont en France.


which for all should be translated by
One has to distinguish the French Jews from the rubbish that the Germans sent it to us by themselves. The German government's intention seems to to create a Jewish State in Eastern Europe. I would not feel dishonored if one day i would expel to this Jewish State the countless foreign Jews who are living in France"


By the rubbish went by the Germans themselves, Laval probably refers to the German Jews from Baden and Alsace-Lorraine expelled by the local Gauleiters without warning, but it also deeply refers to a sentiment that was to be found among the French Jewish Elite...That is to see those 100.000 Jews freshly immigrated to France from central and eastern Europe during the 1930's, as a political threat for the Fascists and as the source of the trouble for the second.

As admitted by Vidal Naquet, those "Eastern Jews" constituted the bulk of the "Jewish proletariat". They were despised by the French Jews who were mostly well settled and among the upper middle class, and indeed seen as vector of communism by the political class.
I may be going a bit far by stating this, but it seems to have had a consensus on the fact that those eastern Jews should leave, one way or another. As most of them came from Poland, to sent them back there in a supposed Jewish State did not hurt many feelings.

To understand this fracture, one just has to read the "brulot" - or the attack - of a book - again published once, and published only once, although prefaced by Vidal-Naquet, by Maurice Rajfus, " Des Juifs dans la collaboration" ( Jews within the collaboration)...quite angry toward the UGIF! His parents were Poles, although he was born in France, and lost both in 1942, while Vidal-Naquet, from a very ancient French Jewish family, lost his in 1944...Which quite sums it up, although facts say that Vidal Naquet was much more unlucky than Rajsfus...facts that the later never accepted.

He was not a historian, and never pretended to be one, but in France at least, he was the first to dig into the UGIF archives, in 1980! The book is not worth much if considered as a historian's work, but the sources he brought to lights are priceless. And Kudo to Vidal-Naquet to have accepted to endorse it, despite the content of the book.

In addition to the social differences - as well as the political ones (there were three Jewish newspapers published in Yiddish in Paris, one was sionist, the two others "Bundist" and communist - there is also the fact that out of the 90.000 "foreign Jews" living in Paris, half of them were from Poland, while the others were primarily from Russia and Romania, and 5000 were from Germany (Stateless).
Sending them to the East could therefore be perceived by some as "sending them BACK to the East.

This note makes Laval complicit but in what? Unlike with the Slovakian government, I have not seen evidence of the Vichy authorities inquiring after the actual fate of Jews deported to this chimerical eastern state for Jew


The first question is a good one. And you second remark, pertinent. Mixing the two, well i think one of the flaw is to put the status of a even "puppet" State like Slovakia - which was on the German side, and Vichy State which was the representative of a defeated country, half occupied, that had upon it a Armistice agreement that forced them to "surrender all foreign enemies of the Reich". I don't remember that Slovakia asked many questions about the destination of the first wave of deportation of Slovakian Jews, they will ask when a second wave was asked, but that is another story. Funny thing is that i was thinking of talking about this episode in the other thread...

That being said, given the global ignorance about the destinations - when i said global i include the allies, the various government in exile, the free press, diplomatic corps, etc - i doubt any further inquiries would have had led to something.

I admit that i have no definitive position on that yet, but i do think that to conclude that anyone knew that deportation meant death is an abuse, especially by the summer 42. Another point often exaggerated, is the capacity of the Vichy - and that is valid for any other country occupied by the Germans, to have said " No"! especially when it comes to foreign citizens, even more when those people are Stateless. For example, when Romania does not oppose the deportation of their Jewish citizens, i don't see what kind of protection any occupied county could have given them.

This does not mean that i don't consider the Vichy regime as criminal, but this judgement should not become a premise when trying to analyze.
Laval and the Regime was complicit in deporting tens of thousands of foreign Jews. This was obviously a nice perspective for those fascists who have developed a virulent form of antisemitic vision of the world, putting a special effort in that task because of their inner fear of communism. But i think that at that time there were no reason to suspect that those deportees would be put to death. Of course, their situation would not be nice, under the hands of the Nazis, but it would have been a relative concern, as their main concerns (priority) was to get back the french PoW's. So sending a Polish Jews back to Poland, or more globally Eastern Jews back to Eastern Europe, well as he said was nothing to feel dishonored about (in Laval's view), assuming they had any honor in the first place.

That being said, it is absurd to even consider that the absence of knowledge did last until the end of the war. By mid 1943, and without even a doubt at the end of 1943, things were pretty obvious for all those still in charge.

Probably another widely known document but new to me (at least as far as I recall) is a written protest, germane to the point above concerning "what was known" in 1942, made by the Consistoire to Pétain himself on 25 August 1942, in advance of the 26-27 August deportations from the Free Zone. Among the issues raised by the Consistoire was the fate of the Jews sent to the east. The protest referenced two points on this issue: 1) the Führer's prophecy which foresaw the annihilation of the Jews in the world war and 2) the deportation of people regardless of age or physical condition which eviscerated the "labor" justification and confirmed the exterminatory intent. (Seibel, pp 159-161, citing Klarsfeld's Le Calendrier, which I don't have a copy of, pp 867-868) This protest suggests that the extermination - after all summer 1942 saw reports in the west on mass killings in Poland - could not have been completely obscure to the Vichy authorities. And this came in late summer 1942. But it is indicative and in line with what I posted earlier about a dark fate, it is not specific. And Pétain may have rejected it, along with the Allied announcements, as propaganda.


The consistoire on the 25th of August 1942? I will look into it, as it is also unknown to me. Even more curious as by then it was the UGIF who was in charge with the relations with Vichy as well as the German. will investigate this! I have unfortunately lost my copy of Klarsfeld...

As for the spread of knowledge rerarding eastern killings, in my memories, by that time it concerned the killing in Russia, and it is also true that Jewish and Polish sources started to try to warn about massacres of Polish Jews... I will search deeper about that too.
Also i don't remember the Allies - at that time - really spreading the news in their name. Massacres were reported and denouced, but if IIRC, without express mention of the victim being specifically Jews.
Will check.

During their meeting on 2 July 1942, BdS Knochen felt that Bousquet, the chief of the French police, speaking for Pétain, was expressing Vichy’s recalcitrance on the Jewish issue. When Bousquet offered that the German forces should execute the planned roundups in occupied France - “the French police should not conduct the arrest in the occupied zone. Instead [Pétain] wishes to leave the conduct of these arrests to the occupation forces.” As a corollary, in the Free Zone, said Bousquet, the French would assent to the arrest only of “the Jews of foreign nationality.”


From there it will come to the famous Oberg-Bousquet deal...which will be in force for a year or so. Many of those documents - mosty Germans - relating those negotiation are , i think, the roots of some misinterpretation. They became highly heavy charges if one considers that the two authorities were on the same level, which i think was not the case. Especially, because, contrary to Belgium, they had to negotiate directly with the SS.

This kind of quote illustrate what i mean here:
"I responded to Laval the the Führer has issued a clear order on the Final Solution to the Jewish Question throughout Europe. To my knowledge, it had already been agreed a year ago with the French government that the solution to the Jewish Question in France was supposed to proceed by stages."


in some negotiation, some "yes" may be given for diplomatic reasons in order to gain some times. When in fact, it meant "no and anyway we won't be able to do that." And as a matter of fact, even a bastard like Laval, afterward will veto any reconsideration of the denaturalization date, which contradicts a bit the substance of the document. And Bouquet would ultimately be replaced by an "Ultra" like Darnand.

In the end, the French police will indeed be in charge of the round up of the foreign Jews. Granted there were French Jews among the first deportees, but the adults had been arrested before the deal and the start of the Raffles, for various reasons, the others who were french were the born in France - hence french -children of foreigners.

This is all very interesting and I think important. I cannot find enough on the issue to satisfy me. This Brasillach trip is a very good thing to know about. I agree with Paxton (?) that a lot of information was out and around, a "dark" fate should have been (and seemingly was, judging by a remark made by Laval) discernible . . . and of course we do not know what was said among the partners and left unrecorded, thinking especially of '42.


Indeed, i focus on 1942 here, and IIRC, the remark made by Laval (depending which one you think of) is from 1943.

And even "mere" collaborationists, for Laval after all announced he supported German victory; being on the side of the Axis would predispose him to discounting claims of the Allies. And yet . . . for sure there was a lot of evidence around AND unlike the Slovakians, AFAIK, we don't have Laval asking specifics about the fate of the deportees. See no evil?


Yes this infamous declaration...which greatly contributed to be sentenced to death... But to be understood right, this declaration should be replaced in the perspective of the worst fear among collaborators, which was the fear of a Bolshevik victory over Europe. But that is a topic on its own,

This sounds almost flippant - but by way of "criminal negligence." Which doesn't supplant our wanting to know more. As it is, Jews were being sent somewhere (fill in the blank) to the east, for something bad. Which may have led to deaths of many of them.


Yes, i agree, but still there is a difference between "something bad" and "known extermination". As long as those victims are not nationals, well, it is quite close to "emigration policies". Some countries in Europe right now, especially in central and Eastern Europe facing this tragedy that is the "migrant crisis" also sent back those poor pals to "something bad", knowing that it will be bad. There is nothing to be proud of the state of some camps in Turkey or Greece, and even of the infamous "jungle" in Calais. To say that i am not proud to be a European these days is an euphemism.

the comparison may seem obscene, and it is when knowing the final fate of those people, hence the painful effort to stay focus on the year 1942 and the question of the knowledge of how bad "this something" was.

So it is your formal and assigned - unpaid! - task to bring to our attention important information and arguments! Like the Brasillach trip.


:lol:
oK,i'll do my best, but i don't have your talent for synthesizing other people works, and the time available to me is getting thinner - even if there is a kind of break now, hence this post.

My longest post in months, and it only flirted with some crucial point... grrr

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:36 am

Balsamo wrote:Another point often exaggerated, is the capacity of the Vichy - and that is valid for any other country occupied by the Germans, to have said " No"! especially when it comes to foreign citizens, even more when those people are Stateless. For example, when Romania does not oppose the deportation of their Jewish citizens, i don't see what kind of protection any occupied county could have given them.

But Vichy did say "No," when conditions differed in 1943 and Pétain refused to promulgate the denaturalization law and Bousquet withdrew police support in roundups. In 1942 the power-sharing relationship differed, however, and in all honesty I've not worked through what I think would have happened had they said "no" earlier. The Germans - at least Knochen and Himmler, if not Eichmann's men - were sensitive to and made a priority of French cooperation. And Seibel's thesis is that a first "no," a backing off, came in September 1942, following Saliège's protest.

Balsamo wrote:That being said, it is absurd to even consider that the absence of knowledge did last until the end of the war. By mid 1943, and without even a doubt at the end of 1943, things were pretty obvious for all those still in charge.

Which, perhaps not ironically, is about when Vichy finally more or less reneged.

Balsamo wrote:The consistoire on the 25th of August 1942?

Yes, discussed in Seibel's book.

Balsamo wrote:Polish sources started to try to warn about massacres of Polish Jews...

By June 1942 the Warsaw underground had gotten material to the Allies, and the BBC made broadcasts IIRC citing extermination of 700,000 Polish Jews. It was in November that the Polish Government finally prevailed on the Allies regarding the slaughter of Jews in Poland, leading to December's Joint Declaration. The "steam" thing I did for HC covers some of the Polish time line.

Balsamo wrote:From there it will come to the famous Oberg-Bousquet deal...which will be in force for a year or so. Many of those documents - mosty Germans - relating those negotiation are , i think, the roots of some misinterpretation. They became highly heavy charges if one considers that the two authorities were on the same level, which i think was not the case. Especially, because, contrary to Belgium, they had to negotiate directly with the SS.

Seibel implies that neither Bousquet nor the other Vichy authorities knew the details of the fate of the deportees.

Balsamo wrote:This kind of quote illustrate what i mean here:
"I responded to Laval the the Führer has issued a clear order on the Final Solution to the Jewish Question throughout Europe. To my knowledge, it had already been agreed a year ago with the French government that the solution to the Jewish Question in France was supposed to proceed by stages."


in some negotiation, some "yes" may be given for diplomatic reasons in order to gain some times. When in fact, it meant "no and anyway we won't be able to do that." And as a matter of fact, even a bastard like Laval, afterward will veto any reconsideration of the denaturalization date, which contradicts a bit the substance of the document. And Bouquet would ultimately be replaced by an "Ultra" like Darnand.

Well, the document shows how the Germans were trying to press their case and advance their goals. That is how I meant to be using it, too. The "proceed by stages" is IMO a clear reference to the initiation of deportations with foreign and stateless Jews, then the denaturalization and deportation of "1927" Jews, and finally moving to French Jews. From the German pov, this is what they'd won support for, but which was not ultimately fulfilled by Vichy. Of course, Bousquet and Laval may have left points fuzzy, for Pétain does seem to have had a "line" over which this "stages" approach was bound to encroach.

In the end, the French police will indeed be in charge of the round up of the foreign Jews. Granted there were French Jews among the first deportees, but the adults had been arrested before the deal and the start of the Raffles, for various reasons, the others who were french were the born in France - hence french -children of foreigners.

Balsamo wrote:Indeed, i focus on 1942 here, and IIRC, the remark made by Laval (depending which one you think of) is from 1943.

Correct. And to be clear, in contrast, I've been thinking about things through late 1943.

Balsamo wrote:Yes, i agree, but still there is a difference between "something bad" and "known extermination".

No dispute. on this, as Nick wrote, the levels of hoodwinking, self-hoodwinking, indifference, and deception in all this are mind-boggling.

Balsamo wrote:As long as those victims are not nationals, well, it is quite close to "emigration policies".

On one level. But the denaturalization law is starkly different to that. And, as a counter-factual, if the authorities knew about the mass murder, you have a different problem for this involved. Taken with the Jewish statutes and the Aryanization, the breakup of families, etc, it is to my mind not too close to emigration policies - it's dispossession and expulsion.

Balsamo wrote:the comparison may seem obscene, and it is when knowing the final fate of those people, hence the painful effort to stay focus on the year 1942 and the question of the knowledge of how bad "this something" was.

Well, it is a real and important question, legally, historically (how the Final Solution in France was accomplished, what the Germans did and how the operated, ditto for Vichy, and including the Church, resistance, etc), and for people's understanding of their country's past.

Which, again, is more interesting than trying to explain to David that the Germans had it in for the Jews of France and that his attempt to hide behind Vichy, as it were, is a bit of a dumb trick.
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Balsamo » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:55 pm

On one level. But the denaturalization law is starkly different to that. And, as a counter-factual, if the authorities knew about the mass murder, you have a different problem for this involved. Taken with the Jewish statutes and the Aryanization, the breakup of families, etc, it is to my mind not too close to emigration policies - it's dispossession and expulsion.


I don't know if you have heard about that, but more and more European States are considering adopting laws that would allow "denaturalization", so we are not that far today.

Of course, but the question was not "Was the Vichy Regime antisemitic, or not", it was!
The Jewish Status - both - are one of the main argument to accuse Vichy of having been a essential part of the Holocaust in France. And of course France does not like to remember how antisemitic it was even before the war, even more during the war.
But had Vichy not conceived his personal Status, the fate of the Jews would not have been much different, as basically the principles of the Nuremberg laws, and the following anti-Jewish decrees, had been imposed in every occupied countries.

As strange and misplaced it might seem, the fact that Vichy put its own legislation in place was a lesser harm. Of course, Jews were expelled from some profession, and indeed, their goods were nationalized - but contrary to what happened elsewhere, the nationalization of goods (enterprises, etc) were financially compensated - not at a good price, but at a fair one - the french version had no provision regarding the judicial right of a French Jew.

The decree creating the UGIF provisioned the members of its Administration board would be paid 15.000 francs per months ( in todays money, it's about 7500$), and the correspondence between those members and Xavier Vallat from the CGQJ is almost surrealistic!
To a point that i understand why some French Jewish personalities did testify IN HIS FAVOR at his trial!
And this are the reasons of the anger and grief of Rajsfus. And i understand him!
One does not sense any "holocaustish spirit" if you understand what i am trying to say, here. This is why i am surprised by the document mentioned by Seibel, quoting Klarsfeld.

Anyway, we seems to agree, but what i meant earlier, that such a topic would be impossible to debate on a purely french forum, and even less publically.


Nick Terry:

I'll probably ILL Alain Michel's book; it is significantly overpriced for a 330-page volume (going by amazon.fr details), and one wonders how much can be fitted in to that space, when Semelin, Poznanski and others are producing 900-page monster tomes.


Well, i got it as a gift.
And nope, it is not worth the price. What i said is that it has the merit to exist. In my opinion, while it means to shake the "doxa", it falls in its own passionate bias, and is basically another side of the reality that debating those matters is still difficult if not impossible within France. To make it worse, there are even factual error, or if not factual quite strange interpretations of documents. As is his affirmation that Laval or Bousquet were not antisemitic, contrary to Petain!
But, well, France and its intellectuals, are quite a strange phenomenon.

The issue seems to be "Did the Vichy Regime saved the French Jews?" And no one seems to be able to only reformulate the question, so they are stuck in a ideological nonsensical dilemma. Why using the word "to save" in the first place?
the question should be "Did the Vichy regime prevent deportation of French Jewish nationals?" then the answer is yes.
"Did it save them form antisemitic policies?" No.
There is just no way to figure out what would have been the ultimate fate of the purely french Jews had German won the war. French Ghetto's, some territory within the French Empire? Reading Rebatet, pages after pages, i am just stunned by the deeply rooted hatred of Jews, even after the war as his is writing from his cell in 1949. There is just no doubt for him that the Jews were responsible for the war, for destroying "European civilization", destroying nations, blah blah...even after Brasillach told him what he had learned in Poland, even after the full truth was exposed! He still think that the Jews somehow deserved it.
Can one seriously imagine a bright future for the "saved" French Jews in a country with such a spirit?

Again, to affirm that the Jews were "saved" implies that they knew what was going on. Which is what i focus on.

Nick Terry:

Thirdly, there are parallel debates regarding Belgium and the Netherlands; in Belgium the enormous report La Belgique docile seems to have taken a distinctly negative line (I've not digested the whole book so am happy to be corrected).


There have been very good works published both in Belgium and the Netherlands. As i said, Holocaust studies are very recent in Belgium as they were initiated by Maxime Steinberg - and i am a big admirer of him - we do not face the same "political problems" as in France. Belgians - at least when i left it - is probably the least nationalistic country in Europe, except for supporting our football team, and respecting our king...there is no historical taboo...Except maybe the period of the "epuration".
That being said, "Belgique docile" is a report more than a historical thesis. A huge work, but too huge basically, clearly ordered by the politicians, as too often the case in Belgium. A Helpful reference nevertheless, but it has its limits, especially regarding the "docility", being from a family who paid a heavy price for not being docile. Actually, when the MBH in Belgium will order that the police force should not be used in the future, the deportations will mostly be a relative failure. But it would be foolish to conclude that the MBH "saved" any Jews.

But in fact, there had been this tendency to share the guilt of the holocaust was widely as possible, and while i do not only accept, but promote the European guilt of Antisemitism, i cannot adhere to idea that the responsibility of the genocide is to be shared, at least not in most western countries, and that include France. (vs Romania, Croatia and even the Baltic States, etc.)

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:00 pm

Balsamo wrote:
On one level. But the denaturalization law is starkly different to that. And, as a counter-factual, if the authorities knew about the mass murder, you have a different problem for this involved. Taken with the Jewish statutes and the Aryanization, the breakup of families, etc, it is to my mind not too close to emigration policies - it's dispossession and expulsion.


I don't know if you have heard about that, but more and more European States are considering adopting laws that would allow "denaturalization", so we are not that far today.

Oh yes, remember, I live in the US (we deport, we threaten to deport, we threaten ideological and religious tests . . .). But that's not an argument about what the Germans tried to get Vichy to do - what Vichy did and that which in the end Vichy refused doing. Not to "defend" Vichy on this latter point, the government already having carried out actions that, according to the IMT charter and later international law, would today be considered crimes against humanity. IMT Charter, Art. 6c:
(c) CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.

Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.

Readers should be aware that the Jews expelled from France were in part dispossessed before deportation, and, from the German point of view, the deportation was for "murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against" the Jewish "civilian population" including "persecutions on . . . racial or religious grounds." From the Vichy point of view, this was "mere" persecution on the basis of race, including deportation and other inhumane acts.

Balsamo wrote:Of course, but the question was not "Was the Vichy Regime antisemitic, or not", it was!

My remark was only to communicate the limits of what is under discussion.

Balsamo wrote:But had Vichy not conceived his personal Status, the fate of the Jews would not have been much different, as basically the principles of the Nuremberg laws, and the following anti-Jewish decrees, had been imposed in every occupied countries.

But if the Germans had not carried out the Final Solution, the Jews of France would have been denied equality under the law, had their businesses and property taken for prices below value and in forced surrender, suffered exclusion from sectors of the economy, been kicked out of professions and occupations (military, civil service, medicine, press, most commercial activity), been plundered, endured punitive internment on the basis of religion and national origin, in deplorable conditions, etc. (for others who may be less familiar with the case of France.)

Balsamo wrote:As strange and misplaced it might seem, the fact that Vichy put its own legislation in place was a lesser harm.

Serious harms, as noted above, again, in my view.

Balsamo wrote:the document mentioned by Seibel, quoting Klarsfeld.

The document on the Consistoire?

Balsamo wrote:Anyway, we seems to agree, but what i meant earlier, that such a topic would be impossible to debate on a purely french forum, and even less publically.

You may recall my being warned not to read a certain book at a café about where rue de Buci and rue de Seine meet . . . ?

Balsamo wrote:There is just no way to figure out what would have been the ultimate fate of the purely french Jews had German won the war.

I would venture a guess: judging on late '43 and '44 events, with the war won, and Vichy no longer a military/etc calculation, the Germans would have pressed even harder for the Final Solution - and with more power in the relationship. Could Vichy have resisted in this situation? True, we don't know.
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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Balsamo » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:48 pm

Recall that the Jews were dispossessed before deportation, and, from the German point of view, the deportation was for "murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against" the Jewish "civilian population" including "persecutions on . . . racial or religious grounds." In my view.


Dispossession can be considered as criminal, of course. Again, that was part of the national french agenda, deportation was not at first - that was asked by the Germans. The Germans would have dispossessed the Jews anyway. In a French perspective, at least the confiscated wealth stayed in French hands. So the Nazi imposed a 1 billion fine on the Jewish Community, the CGQJ allowed them to take some money form the Caisse de Depot et de Consignation - which was managing the confiscated goods - in the end, the Germans only received a quarter of that money.

Anyway, i am not discussing the criminal nature of the policy, that is on the moral level, but dispossession, although criminal, cannot be put on the same level as Genocide.
Unfortunately, dispossession is nothing unusual. Russians were dispossessed by the Bolshevik revolution, natives population were "dispossessed" by colonization, owners from central and eastern Europe were also dispossessed by the Soviet liberators, European settlers were dispossessed by decolonization, Germans from eastern Europe were also dispossessed, etc.
Francois Mitterand also dispossessed many private industries when he nationalized what he considered as "vital national industries", so did Hugo Chavez.

I don't think any of them have ever been considered as crime against humanity.

You may then speak about the round ups of those foreign resident and their incarceration in concentration camps. Immoral, but as i have already said, the Vichy regime did not have to pass a new law allowing this, as the law already existed during the third Republic. It was voted in order to solve the problems posed by the refugees from Spain, most considered as potential "communists".
The same Communists who have been outlawed as soon as September 1939! whith any "communist activities being sentenced with the death penalty."

The same goes with expulsion of foreign residents. And i know what i am talking about as i have been one for the last decade. The Government from the country i live in can expel me whenever it wants, and it would not take many trouble for them to confiscate my properties would it feel like it.
Freezing "foreign goods", or properties belonging to "suspect" is still common. And even in the capitalist world, the list of motives allowing confiscation is getting longer on a daily basis.

I was personally shocked when i learn that under president Obama, 2.5 million immigrants had been expelled. I really did not realize that such a number could be achieved.

All those measures can be perceived as inhumane considering the situation, then and today, but there is no "crime against humanity" in there.

Again, i am not talking about the Nazis here, all i am saying is that their way of implementing their policy was a bit more summary (irony here) and brutal.

I am reading a lot of stinky stuff, right now written by an ugly - although brilliant writer - collaborationist; and i have ordered Brasillach own memoirs...nothing pleasant here, but one thing is obvious there are no racial or religious arguments in there. French antisemitism has nothing to do with race or religion, it is nevertheless disgusting.

What i mean here is that the Vichy Regime had a personal antisemitic agenda, and indeed was seeking of its own way to "resolve" the "Jewish Question", but that extermination had never been part of it. And of course, i fully realize that people like David and his friends like to use that facts to promote that this was the same with Germany.
But given the few times left to me, i have chosen to leave that kind of {!#%@} to others.

I know that the thread was originally initiated by David, and i admit that i even forgot his OP, and i know that we agree on the German intentions, even if we may still differ on the explanations of the why's involved, or to be more precise, in my sick mind your explanations raise a lot of further question i am still seeking. ;) ; as i think that the OP was pretty closed, if there are limits or open topics, please point them.

Now, you know, from my Wannsee threads both here as well as at Rodoh in the past, that i am trying to fill some blanks, often put forward by deniers, which are mostly related to the knowledge around the Final solution, and in fine a lot of issues related to that basic question.
I think Vichy is a very good field to be explored while Vichy is also one of those still very passionate subject, almost impossible to raise within its own country...
And this is a wonderful topic on its own.
I remember of course your adventure in Paris... :lol: And i was not even surprised, but the whole situation is really scary, because there is this feeling, quite abstract, and maybe a bit pessimistic, that the spirit of the french society today is quite similar to the one in vogue in the 1930's, with a "democratic" government completely overwhelmed by the situation, sticking to the official ideology while closing its eyes to what is happening.
France before 1939 held the strongest Jewish community in Western Europe (after Germany), and it is still hold the third strongest in the world.
But France is also today the country that hold the strongest Muslim community in Europe... And what can i say but things are not looking good.

I'll leave it for now, and hope to get some research done...

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:16 pm

Balsamo wrote:Again, that was part of the national french agenda, deportation was not at first - that was asked by the Germans.

The question I was addressing, though, isn't about the counterfactual (what would Vichy have done to the Jews without the armistice, occupation/etc - hell, would there have been a Vichy?) but about what Vichy carried out (on its own or in cooperation with the Germans).

Balsamo wrote:but dispossession, although criminal, cannot be put on the same level as Genocide.

Of course, different crimes. Also different histories.

Balsamo wrote:dispossession is nothing unusual. Russians were dispossessed by the Bolshevik revolution, natives population were "dispossessed" by colonization, owners from central and eastern Europe were also dispossessed by the Soviet liberators, European settlers were dispossessed by decolonization, Germans from eastern Europe were also dispossessed, etc.

And . . . ?

Balsamo wrote:Francois Mitterand also dispossessed many private industries when he nationalized what he considered as "vital national industries", so did Hugo Chavez.

I don't think any of them have ever been considered as crime against humanity.

Your examples are not dealing with religious or racial, for the most part, persecution, in a web of other persecutory actions.

Balsamo wrote:The same goes with expulsion of foreign residents. And i know what i am talking about as i have been one for the last decade. The Government from the country i live in can expel me whenever it wants, and it would not take many trouble for them to confiscate my properties would it feel like it.
Freezing "foreign goods", or properties belonging to "suspect" is still common. And even in the capitalist world, the list of motives allowing confiscation is getting longer on a daily basis.

The point in Art 6c is religious, racial (and IIRC political) persecution. A confiscation or "expulsion," to go to the benign extreme, for eminent domain is not of the same kind as a confiscation or expulsion on the basis of religious or racial persecution.

Balsamo wrote:I was personally shocked when i learn that under president Obama, 2.5 million immigrants had been expelled. I really did not realize that such a number could be achieved.

In this case, although I have serious criticisms of these deportations, first, they don't surprise me, second, the victims do not have legal entry documents, etc. So we are again comparing apples to cutlery.

Balsamo wrote:All those measures can be perceived as inhumane considering the situation, then and today, but there is no "crime against humanity" in there.

Yet I am sticking to the definition of the crime stated in Art 6c, not trying to apply that article to cases not within its ambit.

Balsamo wrote:And, i am not talking about the Nazis here, all i am saying is that their way of implementing their policy was a bit more summary (irony here) and brutal.

More important, the policy was a policy of racial and religious persecution.

Balsamo wrote:What i mean here is that the Vichy Regime had a personal antisemitic agenda, and indeed was seeking of its own way to "resolve" the "Jewish Question", but that extermination had never been part of it.

Dead horse. Pages ago.

Balsamo wrote:fill some blanks, often put forward by deniers, which are mostly related to the knowledge around the Final solution, and in fine a lot of issues related to that basic question.

Well, not mainly deniers. Based on my secondary source reading, for example, I have standard notations for 1) general knowledge, 2) knowledge among German authorities, and 3) knowledge among local authorities (where relevant, e.g., Slovakia, Hungary . . . ) for marking important passages, evidence, arguments. That's because the authors either raise or address the issue. So often that recording this has become standard in my reading notes.

Balsamo wrote:I think Vichy is a very good field to be explored

Each case/country needs its own study in my view.

Balsamo wrote:France before 1939 held the strongest Jewish community in Western Europe (after Germany), and it is still hold the third strongest in the world.

Walking through certain streets of the Marais was an eerie experience. Not in the past either, as armed soldiers were stationed here and there watching everyone.
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Balsamo » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:51 pm

Yes, discussed in Seibel's book.


Ok, i found it...very strange document to say the least...
The only form i have met is just a text on blank paper...no date, no place, no destination and no signature.
Worse, even its content and its style don't fit with the others correspondence of the Consistoire right before and right after.

Be back on that...

i can send the linkm but it is in French,

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:56 pm

That'd be great, my wife speaks/reads some French and will be happy, I hear (LOL), to look at it with me. Thanks.
Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97


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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:39 pm

Nazism conspired to create a sense of festival time. . . . Tragically for humanity, the party generating it was the type not associated with the coloured costumes of the Brazilian Carnival, but with the brown-shirted thuggery of the NSDAP. The contrast between the dance and the march, between the samba and the strains of the Horst Wessel Lied, points to the gulf separating a life-asserting community from a community which exists only by creating a demonized other. - RG '97

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Re: France '42-'44: La Grande Rafle & beyond

Postby Balsamo » Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:48 pm

de nada


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