Epistolary Hate: Letters of Denunciation against Jews in Vichy France (1940-1944)

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/556001
Title:
Epistolary Hate: Letters of Denunciation against Jews in Vichy France (1940-1944)
Author:
Tableman, Kara
Issue Date:
2015
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation explores a collection of letters of denunciation against Jews during Vichy France 1940-1944 which is housed at the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris. In order to situate this epistolary corpus in its historical context, the opening chapter recounts the ambivalent relationship of France with its Jewish population, i.e., the continuity of French anti-Semitic images and tropes during the German Occupation, and the centrality of anti-Semitism as an organizing principle of Vichy's project of National Revolution. Methodological and theoretical considerations are presented in a chapter informed by the work of Derrida, Foucault, and Schwab that deals with the politics of commemoration and memorialization of the Shoah in France. The Mémorial de la Shoah itself is theorized as a fortress and crypt where repressed memories are confined, the archive housing artifacts of trauma, which are the letters themselves. One hundred and twenty six were examined through a literary lens shaped by the reading of critical theorists so as to identify the rhetorical devices and the various types of discourse that organize them. Based on this taxonomy, the second part of the dissertation provides a detailed analysis of twenty-five letters of denunciation that illustrate the representative types of discourse that inform this corpus of epistolary hatred: the discourses of otherness, illegality, propaganda and civic engagement, and the affective discourses of vengeance, envy, and inverted victimhood. Each of these letters is also read in relation to the anti-Jewish legislation of the time (Statuts des Juifs and German Ordinances) and the work of historians who specialize in Vichy France, thereby unearthing the voice of the everyday perpetrators of the regime, who, in their small mindedness felt a certain agency and power that could turn lethal. But because perpetrators and victims are inextricably entwined in these texts, one can also infer the silent presence, the testimony of the victims they denounced. With this insight in mind, we conclude by revisiting the issue of memorialization, the preservation or erasure of sites of memory of the Shoah in France.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Denunciation; Vichy; French; Antisemiticism
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; French
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Le Hir, Marie-Pierre

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleEpistolary Hate: Letters of Denunciation against Jews in Vichy France (1940-1944)en_US
dc.creatorTableman, Karaen
dc.contributor.authorTableman, Karaen
dc.date.issued2015en
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation explores a collection of letters of denunciation against Jews during Vichy France 1940-1944 which is housed at the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris. In order to situate this epistolary corpus in its historical context, the opening chapter recounts the ambivalent relationship of France with its Jewish population, i.e., the continuity of French anti-Semitic images and tropes during the German Occupation, and the centrality of anti-Semitism as an organizing principle of Vichy's project of National Revolution. Methodological and theoretical considerations are presented in a chapter informed by the work of Derrida, Foucault, and Schwab that deals with the politics of commemoration and memorialization of the Shoah in France. The Mémorial de la Shoah itself is theorized as a fortress and crypt where repressed memories are confined, the archive housing artifacts of trauma, which are the letters themselves. One hundred and twenty six were examined through a literary lens shaped by the reading of critical theorists so as to identify the rhetorical devices and the various types of discourse that organize them. Based on this taxonomy, the second part of the dissertation provides a detailed analysis of twenty-five letters of denunciation that illustrate the representative types of discourse that inform this corpus of epistolary hatred: the discourses of otherness, illegality, propaganda and civic engagement, and the affective discourses of vengeance, envy, and inverted victimhood. Each of these letters is also read in relation to the anti-Jewish legislation of the time (Statuts des Juifs and German Ordinances) and the work of historians who specialize in Vichy France, thereby unearthing the voice of the everyday perpetrators of the regime, who, in their small mindedness felt a certain agency and power that could turn lethal. But because perpetrators and victims are inextricably entwined in these texts, one can also infer the silent presence, the testimony of the victims they denounced. With this insight in mind, we conclude by revisiting the issue of memorialization, the preservation or erasure of sites of memory of the Shoah in France.en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectDenunciationen
dc.subjectVichyen
dc.subjectFrenchen
dc.subjectAntisemiticismen
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplineFrenchen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorLe Hir, Marie-Pierreen
dc.contributor.committeememberTaoua, Phyllisen
dc.contributor.committeememberLeibacher, Liseen
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.