Propaganda and Persecution: The French Resistance and the "Jewish Question"

Mar 26, 2024, 4:30 pm6:00 pm



Event Description

Join the Program in Judaic Studies and the Center for Collaborative History to hear Renée Poznanski discuss her new book, Propaganda and Persecution: The French Resistance and the "Jewish Question", on Tuesday, March 26.

Poznanski’s magisterial history of the French Resistance during World War II offers a comprehensive exploration of the most significant issue in that period’s social imaginary: the “Jewish question.” With extraordinary nuance, she analyzes the discourse around Jews and Judaism that pervaded the Resistance’s propaganda and debates, while closely examining the fate of Jews under Vichy and after.

Poznanski argues that Jews in France suffered a double persecution: one led by the Vichy government, the other imposed by the Nazis. Marginalization and exclusion soon led to internment and deportation to terrifying places. Meanwhile, a propaganda war developed between the Resistance and the official voice of Vichy. Poznanski draws on a breathtaking array of sources, especially clandestine publications and French-language BBC transmissions, to show how the Resistance both fought and accommodated the deeply entrenched antisemitism within French society. Her close readings of propaganda texts against public opinions probe ambiguities and silences in Resistance writing about the persecution of the Jews and, in parallel, the numerous and detailed denunciations that could be read in the Jewish clandestine press. This extensive synthesis extends to the post-Liberation period, during which the ongoing persecution of Jews in Europe and North Africa would be portrayed as secondary to the suffering of the nation.

The winner of the 2009 Henri Hertz Prize by the Chancellerie des Universités de Paris, Sorbonne, "Propaganda and Persecution" makes major contributions to the study of the Resistance and of antisemitism. Lenn J. Schramm’s English translation brings Poznanski’s dynamic prose to life.

Open to the public. Refreshments will be available.


More about Renée Poznanski

Renée Poznanski is a professor emerita at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. Her most recent English-language book is "Jews in France during World War II."


  • Program in Judaic Studies
  • Center for Collaborative History
Margo Bresnen