To what extent did the French internment camps of Noé and Le Récébédou contribute to the Holocaust?: and how has their memory remained controversial?

Page, James (2014) To what extent did the French internment camps of Noé and Le Récébédou contribute to the Holocaust?: and how has their memory remained controversial? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The aim of this work is to provide a three step investigation into the key controversies and themes surrounding the Vichy regime’s role in the persecution of the Jews 1940-1944 which led to the deportation and extermination of over 75,000 Jews. I will first delve into the historical controversies and important debates that surround Vichy but on a wider, more national level. It is here that I will delve into the phenomenon that is the Paxtonian revolution and how this proved a pivotal point in the memory of Vichy and the persecution of Jews in France. What controversies did Paxton uncover in ‘La France de Vichy’ and how did this shatter the pre-existing French narrative? Moreover, it is important to see how the Paxtonian legacy lives on today and can still divide opinion and arouse controversy. Using examples from the last two decades or so and as recent as 2014 I will see how ‘la politique memorielle’ is still to this day a very contentious issue.
    The second chapter will then take some of these controversies and key debates that exist at a national level and then apply them to a local case study. As such, I shall be contextualising questions obtained in the first chapter to la Haute Garonne département and analyse the outcome at a local level, for example we know of the role played by the infamous transit camp Drancy in the suburbs of Paris made famous by Jacques Chirac’s Vel d’hiv speech in 1995. But what if we then take our magnifying glass and analyse the Vichy internment camps in the free zone on a local level, what part did they play in the French Holocaust? Were the 1942 ‘rafles’ in Toulouse on a similar sort of scale to those in the occupied zone? Looking in depth at the internment camps of Noé and Le Récébédou just outside of Toulouse. The advantage of using local case studies is to offer a more intricate picture of the Vichy regime instead of generalising that which has been found in the national studies. Vichy, after all, wasn’t one monolithic block, rather as Jackson (2001, pp2-4) puts it in “the history of the Occupation should be written not in black and white, but in shades of grey”. Levels of collaboration, anti-Semitism and resistance varied greatly from place to place and from year to year, thus la Haute Garonne département must be approached accordingly. Paxton himself stated that his book “approached the subject as a political historian interested in power and elites” therefore we also need to paint a picture of local politics and events (Evans, 2001, pp27-28).

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 11:30
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:45

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