France's former education minister and current candidate in the French socialist primaries for president, Vincent Peillon, is, sadly, a Dummkopf about history. Especially the unpleasant history of France during WWII.
Of course running for president takes a lot of time - about three weeks for the hastily thrown together French socialist primaries - so who has time to bone up on something old and boring like the details of the round-up, deportation and murder of more than 70,000 Jews in France, as well as persecution, robbery and chasing into exiles of hundreds of thousands more? Not a former Minister of Education with political ambitions!
Here, then, to help educate Mr Peillon, is a special WWII history book list just for him. With a special focus on France! (Some novels are included in case Mr Peillon can't stand to read history.)
Happy reading, Mr Vincent Peillon!
* SPECIAL HOLOCAUST IN FRANCE READING LIST FOR VINCENT PEILLON *
THE HOLOCAUST IN FRANCE - Yad Vashem
"The Jews in France were deported to the East at the height of a two year process of persecution and aggressive legislation. The laws passed included statutes defining who was to be considered a Jew, isolating Jews from French society, divesting them of their livelihood, incarcerating many of them, and registering their names with the police....
A total of some 76,000 Jews from France, most of them from Paris, among them 11,000 children, were deported by train to the East. Most of the deportees were murdered in Auschwitz. Most of the deportations left France from the concentration camp of Drancy. The deportations continued even as the Allies had begun to liberate France. The last transport left France in August 1944, while the battle for Paris was being fought. Of all the Jews deported from France to the extermination camps in the East, a total of some 2,500 survived."
(Special alert for Mr Vincent Peillon: Sarah's Key is FICTION. But it is describing an event - Vel d'Hiv - which is real.)
"At dawn on the 16th of July, 1942, some 4,500 French policemen began a mass arrest of foreign Jews living in Paris, at the behest of the German authorities.
Over 11,000 Jews were arrested on the same day, and confined to the Winter Stadium, or Velodrome d’Hiver, known as the Vel’ d’Hiv, in Paris. The detainees were kept in extremely crowded conditions, almost without water, food and sanitary facilities. Within a week the number of Jews held in the Vel’ d’Hiv had reached 13,000, among them more than 4,000 children. Children between the ages of two and 16 were arrested together with their parents....
The French reactions to the arrest and deportation of Jews varied between active collaboration with the Germans, indifference, and empathy toward the persecuted Jews. Most of the civil administration and the French policemen who had been allocated to conduct the arrest collaborated with the authorities...."
Oh, Mr Peillon, there is so much more.... But you are a very, very busy man.