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Lobbyists and humanitarians French Jewish activism and networking in interwar Strasbourg, Nice and Paris, 1919-1939 / Meredith L. Scott

Publication | Library Call Number: DS135.F85 P3873 2011
Book cover

French Jews in the 1920s and 1930s fashioned a remarkably vibrant associational life. Through organizations, clubs, and newspapers, they created new social and political networks that provided for advocacy both in their own defense and in favor of other causes. Their efforts in the 1920s bore fruit and furthermore laid the foundation for what Jews accomplished in the 1930s, when France dealt with the rise in anti-Semitism, tensions with Germany, and the refugee crisis. Equipped with their experiences and the knowledge gained during the previous ten years of self-advocacy, Jews worked through their networks to fight anti-Semites and to provide refugees with aid and the tools necessary to survive. Ultimately, their activist backgrounds prepared Jews in France to find ways to survive the Second World War. Based on extensive research in archives and libraries in France, this comparative study of French Jewish activism and networking in Strasbourg, Nice and Paris underlines the importance of local circumstances and grass-roots efforts. Moving beyond conventional studies that examine national leaders and initiatives, this dissertation considers the efforts and motivations of Jews in three distinct interwar cities. With the close analysis that local-level examination affords, this research not only locates the ideals that drove Jewish activism but also the methods through which Jews created and maintained alliances that benefited them. Examining their activities expands historical understanding of how civil society and the political environment of interwar France enabled Jews to act in new and dynamic ways. This dissertation thus highlights the nature of cooperation between diverse individuals in the pursuit of common goals, and the benefits of these connections over time. By centering on Jewish activism, this study also applies more broadly to how politics, associational life, and influence operated in early twentieth-century France and the way particular groups were able to mobilize the public sphere and create opportunities for themselves.

Variant Title
French Jewish activism and networking in interwar Strasbourg, Nice and Paris, 1919-1939
Scott, Meredith L.
Includes bibliographical references
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Record last modified: 2018-06-05 12:06:00
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