Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research

Login

Register

Help

Skip to main content

Humanitarian relief and rescue networks in France, 1940-1945 / by Kelly D. Palmer

Publication | Library Call Number: D809.F7 P37 2010
Book cover

This dissertation investigates the connections among the collaborationist Vichy state, with its complex political identity, and the humanitarian aid agency network. The Nazi initiative to purge Europe of its "undesirable" populations during World War II set into motion a series of massive deportations of civilians. Out of the approximately 330,000 Jews in France in 1940, 24 percent were deported and/or died during the Holocaust. Conversely, 76 percent of the Jewish population survived the war. The majority of Jews who survived the war were naturalized French citizens while almost all those deported were foreign born. This striking disparity is partially explained by the activism of a network of Jewish and non-Jewish humanitarian organizations. Humanitarian aid organizations including the International Red Cross (ICRC), the YMCA, the Society of Friends (Quakers), Comité inter-mouvements auprès des evacués (CIMADE), Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE), and the Jewish Joint Distribution Agency worked together and independently to find ways to minimize the issues arising from the deportations; these ranged from finding space for displaced persons to saving individuals from the death camps. Some of these organizations had relationships with local and Vichy officials providing leeway in the distribution of aid to the same people that Vichy was persecuting. Between 1939 and 1945, Vichy citizenship policies became radically more restrictive while simultaneously aid agencies continued their work contradicting many of the newly created racial and citizenship laws. Although these agencies could not prevent the massive deportations to the Eastern European camps, they were given access and permitted to provide aid to displaced persons for the duration of the war. Although the Vichy government was generally recognized to be non-Republican, the universalistic model of government so strongly identified with France could not be wholly erased; this created contradictions for deportees, policy-makers and aid agencies. I seek to understand the disparity between French and non-French Jewish deportations through the lens of humanitarian relief efforts. I ask how did Vichy, with more restrictive racial laws than Germany, make allowances for humanitarian aid to those whose rights were being stripped? How did the humanitarian network adapt to the growing needs of refugees? What do the actions of humanitarian organizations say about Vichy political institutions?
This dissertation investigates the connections among the collaborationist Vichy state, with its complex political identity, and the humanitarian aid agency network...The majority of Jews who survived the war were naturalized French citizens while almost all those deported were foreign born. This striking disparity is partially explained by the activism of a network of Jewish and non-Jewish humanitarian organizations. Humanitarian aid organizations including the International Red Cross (ICRC), the YMCA, the Society of Friends (Quakers), Comité inter-mouvements auprès des evacués (CIMADE), Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE), and the Jewish Joint Distribution Agency worked together and independently to find ways to minimize the issues arising from the deportations; these ranged from finding space for displaced persons to saving individuals from the death camps... -- From the author's abstract.

Format
Book
Author/Creator
Palmer, Kelly D.
Published
2010
Language
English
External Link
View online
Expand all
 
Record last modified: 2018-05-18 16:20:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/bib240620