The PJ Tatler

Vichy France and the Jewish Exodus From France Today: A Bastille Day Report

Today is the national holiday of France, a country whose pro-Nazi Vichy government from 1940-1945 is illustrated in the photograph, below, showing a member of the French SS smilingly bearing his suitcase aloft to show the hand-lettered words « Heil HitlerWaffen SSFrançais » in Paris, October 1943:

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As Wikipedia accurately states, with emphasis added in boldface: “The Vichy government openly collaborated with the Nazi occupiers to identify Jews for deportation and transportation to the death camps (about 75,000 were killed). As early as October 1940, without any request from the Germans, the Vichy government began passing anti-Jewish measures (the Statute on Jews), prohibiting them from moving, and limiting their access to public places and most professional activities. In 1941, the Vichy government established a Commissariat général aux questions juives (1941-1944), which worked with the Gestapo to begin rounding up Jews for the concentration camps in 1942. Between 1942 and July 1944, nearly 76,000 Jews were deported to concentration camps from France, of which only 2,500 survivedDrancy, outside of Paris, was the primary camp for Jews being deported to the Nazi German death camps in Poland and Eastern Europe. It was designed to hold 700 people, but at its peak in 1940 it held more than 7,000.”

This is, therefore, an appropriate day to read this important blog by the courageous and distinguished scholar, Dr. David J. Rusin, on what he warns is the “slow-motion exodus of Jews” from France.  This will be further discussed in a separate Tatler post.  Dr. Rusin writes: “It has become fashionable to equate the plight of today’s Muslim population in Europe with that of the continent’s oppressed Jews during the 1930s. However, one can tell which group faces the real threat in modern Europe by watching migratory trends. While European governments are planning fences to keep Muslims from entering illegally, Jews are exiting in droves. People vote with their feet. The results — Muslims in, Jews out — offer critical lessons and warnings.”