Thursday, February 27, 2014

France: "Please don't tell my students they were Jewish"

A bit of history first: In 1943 the French arrested a a French Resistance group called the "Manouchian Group".  Half its members were Jewish.  They were executed on Feb. 21, 1944.  Seventy years ago.

As part of a campaign to discredit the group and the French Resistance, the German authorities published a poster, the "Affiche Rouge" (Red Poster).  The poster featured ten of the men, seven of which were Jewish.  They also handed out flyers alleging the Resistance was being led by foreigners and Jews.

L'histoire par l'image 

Back to our time.  Benoît Rayski, a French historian, tells the following story:

He came to speak to students at a vocational high school in Mantes-la-Jolie (north-central France), about the "Affiche Rouge"

Before Rayski entered the class, the teacher asked him to refrain from mentioning that the men on the poster were Jewish. It would be preferable if they were described as immigrants and foreigners and that the "Manouchian Group" were, like his students, 'diverse'.  Because Palestine and everything.

Because we wouldn't want Muslim students in France to know that Jews died fighting the Nazis.  We prefer they think those Resistance fighters were immigrants, just like them.

The Vichy Regime sent them to their deaths for being "Judeo-Communists".   According to Rayski, when teachers strip those Jews of their identity, for fear the truth might displease their students, they are killing them for the second time.

More: Atlantico, via LDJ

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