Published by Humanity in Action in 2013, Civil Society and the Holocaust: International Perspectives on Resistance and Rescue examines the different ways that European countries and the United States responded to the Holocaust. This anthology was created as part of “Civil Society: Reactions to the Holocaust,” a series of events in Copenhagen commemorating the 70th anniversary of the flight and deportation of Danish Jews in October 1943. “London: The Holocaust, war and occupation in Western Europe” is partly adapted from Bob Moore’s book Survivors: Jewish Self-Help and Rescue in Nazi-Occupied Western Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) pp.1-14, and appears here with the permission of the publishers.
It comes as a great surprise to contemporary students when they discover how little attention was paid to the Holocaust in both national and international histories of the Second World War before the 1970s.
It comes as a great surprise to contemporary students when they discover how little attention was paid to the Holocaust in both national and international histories of the Second World War before the 1970s. Prior to this, the primary focus had been on the military aspects of the war and the civil dimension was framed by the paradigms of resistance and collaboration. The subsequent shift towards social history, in Western Europe at least, has led to a more nuanced analysis of how societies reacted to occupation and away from the simplistic resistance myths and narratives that had helped to bolster national cohesion and social reconstruction in the immediate postwar years. The comforting black and white image of a largely resistant population, with only a few clearly defined – and suitably punished and purged – collaborators was gradually replaced by approaches that gave greater weight to the shades of grey involved. (1)
Perhaps the most remarkable change in national historiographies on the Nazi occupation has been the increasing presence of the persecution of the Jews in both the narrative and also the wider analyses of societies under Nazi rule. Indeed, in recent times, it has become almost impossible to discuss the role of any state, religious or private institution during the occupation without some reference – and often quite extensive reference – to antisemitism and the fate of the Jews. (2) This has been paralleled by an increasing number of national and local studies on the persecution itself, as well as a much smaller number of overarching syntheses following in the magisterial footsteps of Raul Hilberg’s The Destruction of the European Jews. (3) In some respects, this increasing attention should not surprise us. Hilberg listed the Jewish victims from each occupied country in 1961 but it was only when these were translated into percentages of the total Jewish populations that the huge discrepancies in mortality rates between countries became readily apparent.
The comforting black and white image of a largely resistant population, with only a few clearly defined – and suitably punished and purged – collaborators was gradually replaced by approaches that gave greater weight to the shades of grey involved. (1)
This began the scholarly exploration for causation, and ultimately gave rise to the victims, perpetrators and bystanders/circumstances model that has informed so much subsequent research. This ‘discovery’ was particularly pertinent – and damaging – for the self-image of Netherlands in that the 75% mortality of its Jewish community was more comparable with the totals for Poland, where conditions were acknowledged to have been very much worse, and bore little relationship to those of neighboring Belgium (40%) or France (25%). (4) Given this disproportionately high Jewish mortality, it is perhaps not surprising to find that Dutch scholars have been in the forefront of continuing this comparative approach to investigate this apparent anomaly. (5) However, two other pioneers in this field, Robert Paxton and Michael Marrus, were forced to conclude that any generalizations broke apart on the ‘stubborn particularities of each of [their] countries’. (6) Their comments were not intended to stifle future work, but nonetheless highlighted the problems involved – namely the vast array of changing circumstances and situations that existed within each national case study and how difficult it was to define a national picture, let alone draw parallels across national frontiers. Latterly it has been argued that even national case studies may be too diverse to provide all the answers and that regional or even local models might be more instructive. (7)
It is high time that scholars re-evaluate the persecution of the Jews within the wider national and international histories of the Second World War, and specifically where it fits into the social history of Nazi occupation.
From being marginal to the history of the Second World War, the deportation of the Jews has now become center stage, at least in Western European historiography, and it is impossible for studies of the occupation period not to have a section or sections of their work dealing with this subject. It begs the question of whether this reflects the importance it held for the population at the time, or a measure of the cultural importance that the Holocaust is now perceived to have in Western society? Writing in the 1960s, the official historian of the Netherlands in the Second World War, Lou de Jong, was careful to warn against such myopia. In discussing Dutch pre-war policy on refugees, he noted that while historians might concentrate on one topic and make judgments, the reality for the actors involved was that they had perhaps hundreds of issues to consider. (8) This same maxim might equally inform the studies of the Holocaust that make assessments of how visible and how important the persecution of the Jews really was to the rest of the population? Although these observations were often made many years ago, they nonetheless suggest that it is high time that scholars re-evaluate the persecution of the Jews within the wider national and international histories of the Second World War, and specifically where it fits into the social history of Nazi occupation. What therefore follows are some observations based on a study of gentile ‘rescuers’ and Jewish self-help in Western Europe and how these might inform a better integration of the Holocaust into the wider history of the occupation period.
Of the 300-320,000 Jews in France in 1940, around 50% were non-French nationals and, of the French Jews, 37.3% had acquired their citizenship through naturalization. (9)
There has been a tendency in national historiographies to see the occupation period from 1940-1944/5 as a caesura, and thus separate from the longer run social and political history of the country concerned. This undoubtedly had advantages in allowing the occupation period to be written off as an aberration, but this exclusive concentration can mask a number of other issues that ought at least to be considered as part of the analysis and thus inform an understanding of the topic as a whole. For example, it would be difficult to understand the Jewish communities’ reaction to persecution without some reference to their pre-war social, economic and organizational structures. Occupational distribution and material circumstances directly affected the ability of individuals and communities to defend themselves, and there were also major variations in their organizational structures and leadership. Much of this depended on the nature of local rabbinates and Jewish secular elites, but Zionism could also play a major mobilizing role, as could adherence to atheistic communism or social democracy. To cite just one example, the proportion of recent immigrants and refugees within Western European Jewish communities varied enormously. Of the 300-320,000 Jews in France in 1940, around 50% were non-French nationals and, of the French Jews, 37.3% had acquired their citizenship through naturalization. (9) In October 1940, the German census of all Jews in Belgium over the age of 15 showed that there were around 42,652 adult Jews in the country of whom almost 95% were foreign nationals. (10) Almost the reverse was true in the Netherlands where comparable figures enumerated approximately 118,500 indigenous Jews and only 21,750 foreign Jews or 15.5%, most of whom were recent refugees from Germany or Austria. (11) Although difficult to prove objectively, it has been suggested that these immigrants had a different response to state authority and were more aware of the threat posed by the occupying Germans.
Only a minority of Jewish survivors in Western Europe owed their salvation entirely to their own efforts and most were reliant at some point on help from others, either gentiles or fellow Jews; ‘rescuers’ who took risks to save others from Nazi persecution. Again, this raises the issue of how well integrated or assimilated the pre-war Jewish communities were in their respective countries and the extent to which this affected gentile responses to their subsequent persecution. Until now, academic attention has been heavily weighted towards one particular perspective, namely the ‘righteousness’ of gentile rescuers. This comes primarily from the recognition awarded to non-Jewish rescuers by Yad Vashem, where, by January 2013, the award of ‘Righteous among the Nations’ has been made to 24,811 individuals. While this has been important in bringing non-Jewish help to the forefront of discussions on Jewish survival during the Holocaust, the very criteria used by its Commissions for the Designation of the Righteous have served to create anomalies in distribution. (12) For example, there remain far more awards from the Netherlands than from neighboring Belgium, yet Jewish survival rates in the latter country were much higher. (13) There may well be international political explanations for this overrepresentation, but it is also the result of the quantity and quality of information and contemporary testimony available in the two countries. The Dutch government’s decision to carry out immediate research on the occupation for a national official history undoubtedly aided the identification and honoring of rescuers in the Netherlands at an early stage. Other countries had no such in-built advantages and awards have had to rely mainly on the piecemeal and sometimes serendipitous survival of witnesses and documentation.
There remain far more awards from the Netherlands than from neighboring Belgium, yet Jewish survival rates in the latter country were much higher. (13)
While this form of recognition can be seen as important in its own right, it has often led to the collection and publication of testimonies with little attention being paid to the geographical or political context in which rescues took place, or any wider analysis for the explanations behind them save for some broad categorizations. (14) This trend has been compounded by the use of sources and interviews of righteous rescuers as the basis for sociological studies on the origins of altruism and on the highlighting of Christian motivations behind acts of rescue and the behavior of particular individuals. (15) While such analyses may play a very important role within their own disciplines, their focus on individual case studies cannot encompass the wider aspects of rescue and Jewish survival and often ignore the chronological, geographical and social context to acts of rescue by non-Jews, the relationship between individual acts of rescue and the creation or existence of networks, the structure and organization of Jewish communities and the interrelationship between rescue by gentiles and Jewish self-help.
Only in recent years that the relationships between Jews and non-Jews in the interwar period have been subjected to closer scrutiny.
It is widely acknowledged that help for the Jews during the occupation period had to have some form of social context, but it is only in recent years that the relationships between Jews and non-Jews in the interwar period have been subjected to closer scrutiny, not only in relation to questions of rescue, but within the wider framework of non-Jews as bystanders to the Holocaust. (16) This had led to new insights into the ways Jews were perceived by their neighbors and has undoubtedly helped to shape better understanding of popular reactions when the persecutions and deportations began. There is also the vexed question of the risks run by would-be rescuers. It is often implied that rescue was invariably a matter of life and death, both for the rescuer and those rescued, but this takes no account of the fact that the laws, decrees and regulations that prohibited helping Jews varied enormously from one country to another. (17) While we should be most concerned with what the rescuers and rescued thought would happen to them if they were caught, this is difficult to ascertain at a distance, as the punishments dictated by such laws were often not rigorously or consistently implemented in practice. (18)
Even the most cursory examination of the subject reveals that most rescuers were ultimately linked to, or became members of, wider organizations.
National studies of persecution have a tendency to underplay or ignore regional variations and often fail to identify local features such as the existence of rural traditions that had an important bearing on how Jews were perceived and treated. Likewise the concentration on interrogating and understanding the role of individuals – a tendency reinforced by the widespread collection of testimonies for the same purpose – has tended to marginalize the role played by organized networks. Yet even the most cursory examination of the subject reveals that most rescuers were ultimately linked to, or became members of, wider organizations. This in turn raises questions about how individuals became involved in rescue. Were they all motivated and drawn in by their own experiences or was their involvement prompted by others? Inevitably perhaps, the answer is complex. Many rescuers became involved through direct contact with victimized Jews or with the machinery of Nazi persecution. Some never graduated beyond being individual rescuers – albeit perhaps helped by a network later in the occupation – but there were others who expanded their commitment by drawing in family members, neighbors, professional contacts or fellow churchgoers to meet the need for hiding places for those on the run. In effect, this means that many were initially drawn in, not by individual commitment, but by prompts from others. Indeed, they often did so with some misgivings and initial reticence, as is sometimes evident in the testimonies of network organizers. Knowing how these networks developed holds the key to understanding rescue activities, and why there could be both ‘havens’ and ‘deserts’ in specific areas when it came to helping fugitive Jews.
With the exception of the Danish example, only a small number of Jews were able to flee from Nazi-occupied territory during the war.
With the exception of the Danish example, only a small number of Jews were able to flee from Nazi-occupied territory during the war, but studying the ways in which escapes were carried out shows up some other features that are too often overlooked. Switzerland and Spain were to become central to the operations of many groups helping resisters, Allied servicemen and escaping POWs as well as Jews. If nothing else, this demonstrates that the rescue of Jews was far from being an activity isolated from other forms of opposition and resistance to the Germans – even in this early stage of the occupation. Moreover, it highlights the involvement of all manner of people in these activities and a huge range of motivations from the purely philanthropic through the ideological, material and commercial to the downright exploitative. The motives of rescuers had no more than a tangential effect on the likely survival of those rescued, and even the most upright and law-abiding of rescuers could find themselves soliciting help from criminals and dubious elements within society. One telling example here is of the moral and upstanding American, Varian Fry, who soon found himself consorting with smugglers and the Marseilles underworld in order to expedite the evacuation of his charges. His experience was by no means unique and mirrored the linkages born of necessity between otherwise high-minded resisters and the criminal classes.
All too often, the rescue of the Jews is seen as a subject almost hermetically closed off from the wider history of civil opposition and resistance to Nazi rule, yet this undoubtedly misrepresents the case. From the earliest months, Jews were fugitives alongside escaping prisoners of war and political opponents of Nazism. The individuals and organizations that helped them seldom discriminated, and there were example of help for one specific group gradually being adapted to help others. That is not to say that discrimination did not exist. There are examples of help for Jews being separated off from other activities – sometimes because of the difficulties in finding help for Jews – as Jews – and sometimes because the work was thought to be inherently more dangerous and carrying more draconian penalties – and thus to be left to the ‘specialists’.
All too often, the rescue of the Jews is seen as a subject almost hermetically closed off from the wider history of civil opposition and resistance to Nazi rule, yet this undoubtedly misrepresents the case.
There remains the danger that an approach based on the Jews as passive recipients of help from their non-Jewish neighbors ignores or downplays the steps which the Jews, both individually and communally, took to help themselves. Discussion has been heavily influenced by the assumption that the Jews were passive victims and divided among themselves, and that many community leaders were ineffective at best and collaborationist at worst. This perspective meant that steps taken by individual Jews and local organizations to avoid identification and deportation, either on their own or in collusion with non-Jewish help were often ignored. Only recently, and perhaps in a belated response to this perception, have scholars begun to re-evaluate self-help in Jewish resistance and Jewish survival. (19) For example, Jews could be found in the ranks of armed communist and social democratic resistance groups throughout Europe, but their presence was primarily dictated by their political allegiance rather than by their Judaism, which they had often rejected. While in most of Western Europe, Zionist Jews were not particularly numerous, their numbers in France allowed for the creation of the 2000-strong Organisation Juive de Combat which was ultimately incorporated into the French Forces of the Interior (FFI). Perhaps paradoxically, its history has been written separately from the wider narrative of the resistance in France.
Although many of the bourgeois elements involved in the creation of the CDJ were wary of becoming involved with left-wing organizations and apostate Jewish communists like Jospa, they were prepared to stifle these fears in pursuit of an organization that would help the community as a whole. (23)
Perhaps the best example of the integration of Jewish and non-Jewish elements can be seen in the origins and development of a (self-) help organization in Belgium. The Comité de Défense des Juifs (CDJ) was formed as a national structure in the autumn of 1942 devoted exclusively to helping the Jews threatened by Nazi policies and opposed to the collaborationism of the official representative organization, the Association de Juifs de Belgique. It owed its origins to pre-war immigrant aid organizations; the communist Main d‘Oeuvre Étrangère (MOE) and Solidarité Juive. (20) Its inception in response to the first threats of deportation in July 1942 owed much to elements within the Independence Front (FI), a resistance movement founded in March 1941. It brought together leaders from a number of different political strands and was centered in Brussels. (21) Its long-time leader was Hertz Jospa, a communist of Rumanian/Bessarabian origins whose wife, Yvonne, was also to play a major role in the organization. It also included representatives from Jewish organizations from across the political spectrum, both legal and illegal, as well as non-Jews such as the left-wing-catholic Emile Hambresin, (22) Although many of the bourgeois elements involved in the creation of the CDJ were wary of becoming involved with left-wing organizations and apostate Jewish communists like Jospa, they were prepared to stifle these fears in pursuit of an organization that would help the community as a whole. (23) All this was in stark contrast to the Netherlands where immigrant Jewish organizations were all-but non-existent and there was no counter-weight to the collaborationist and all-embracing Amsterdam Jewish Council. CDJ links with non-Jewish organizations allowed it better access to addresses and hiding places, and also to secure a supply of false papers through its association with the FI, and benefit from the co-operation of sympathetic local mayors and amenable civil servants who incorporated false identities into existing population records. (24) Finance came from rich Jews and later from banks and other organizations such as the JDC and Oeuvre Nationale de l’Enfance (ONE). The total expenditure for the whole of the occupation was estimated at almost BFr.48 million. (25) This integration of help from elements across the political and organizational spectrum seems to hold the key to understanding how up to 12,000 adult Jews and a further 3-4,000 children survived with the help of the CDJ, many not by hiding ‘underground’ but living false lives more or less in the open.
In the immediate postwar era, all Christian denominations were keen to stress their opposition to Nazism during the occupation, but focused on public pronouncements and rescue activities were seldom given much prominence.
This co-operation between Jewish and non-Jewish groups also extended beyond the realms of the organized resistance. For example, after September 1939, Jewish charities in France had worked in collaboration with other Christian groups, such as the Quakers, YMCA and the Protestant Comité Inter-Mouvements Auprès d’Evacués (CIMADE), most notably in the internment camps in Southern France where Spanish Republican refugees were gradually replaced by ‘enemy’ German and Austrian internees. These links forged during the drôle de guerre facilitated further help for the Jews once the deportations began in the summer of 1942. Furthermore there is the question of individual and organized help given to the Jews through the agency of the Christian churches. In the immediate postwar era, all Christian denominations were keen to stress their opposition to Nazism during the occupation, but focused on public pronouncements and rescue activities were seldom given much prominence. In fact, the differing attitudes of leading clergymen and the very organizational structures of their churches were to have a profound effect on the incidence of rescue across the entire region, not least because of their enormous influence on the wider community.
In Belgium, the attitude of Cardinal Archbishop van Roey and prelates such as Bishop Kerkhofs in Liege have been seen as central to understanding the ways in which rescue developed in Belgium. Bishops and priests were often the first port of call for Jews who were forced to look for reliable help outside their own community. Initially this was often to obtain (false) baptismal certificates to exempt the holder from deportation, but later also encompassed requests for shelter, ration cards or help to escape the country altogether. (26) Van Roey personally intervened in some cases, but remained opposed to public appeals to the Germans, even after the deportations had begun. His reasoning was that previous appeals had achieved nothing and that any protest might bring adverse consequences for Jewish children hidden in Catholic institutions. (27) He undoubtedly knew exactly what was happening in the Catholic cloisters and orphanages across the country and he had privately sanctioned such actions. (28) He therefore trod the same tightrope as many of his colleagues elsewhere in German-occupied Europe, balancing the humanitarian and religious obligations of his office with the need to protect the secular interests of his church at a time of crisis.
His influence was therefore largely limited to private advice to both clergy and lay-people within particular diocese to support Jews in hiding. (30)
The role of Marc Boegner in mobilizing Protestant communities to help Jews and other refugees in both the occupied and unoccupied zone of France is well-known, but it could be argued that some of his Catholic counterparts were just as important in harnessing their much more numerous subordinates and congregations. In spite of the Church’s continually professed loyalty to Vichy, this did not prevent some leading clerics from speaking out. For example, Jules-Géraud Saliège, Archbishop of Toulouse promulgated a pastoral letter on August 23, 1942, affirming the position of the Jews as part of the human race. He was followed soon afterwards by Cardinal Archbishop Pierre-Marie Gerlier who condemned the deportations while at the same time reaffirming loyalty to the Marshal and his regime. (29) His influence was therefore largely limited to private advice to both clergy and lay-people within particular diocese to support Jews in hiding. (30) Individual prelates could also exercise influence over individual monasteries, convents, seminaries, welfare and educational institutions that were not controlled by the diocese and archdiocese but directly from Rome or by the headquarters of the order concerned. Moreover, their names could be invoked in order to encourage the laity to co-operate in sheltering Jews. (31)
In the Netherlands, Archbishop de Jong did protest when the deportations began, and his public declaration was read from every pulpit. However, this merely prompted the Germans to arrest and deport most of the Catholic converts and de Jong seems subsequently to have been less proactive than his colleagues, Cardinals Gerlier and Van Roey as the deportations continued. (32)
That said, it is also important to recognize that the Dutch Catholic Church had fewer practical resources to call upon as it had less of an ‘institutional’ and welfare role than its counterparts in France and Belgium.
The actual difference may have been little more than nuances, but they were enough to have a major impact in what happened ‘on the ground’ in individual parishes. That said, it is also important to recognize that the Dutch Catholic Church had fewer practical resources to call upon as it had less of an ‘institutional’ and welfare role than its counterparts in France and Belgium. While making these comparisons at the national level, it should be remembered that local factors were still crucial and rescue often depended on the attitude of local priests. How else do we explain that some 90% of the Jews sheltered in Belgium found refuge in Wallonia and a mere 10% in Flanders? Likewise in France and the Netherlands, the degree of help for Jews from Christian communities was determined by the attitudes and mobilizing capabilities of local churchmen.
There is no doubt that Jewish children were a privileged group across Western Europe: widely perceived by their gentile neighbors as ‘innocents’ in a way that their parents were not; easier to hide as family members or evacuees; and more acceptable and less threatening as house-guests.
One notable feature of the literature in the last twenty years has been an outpouring of books and articles on Christians hiding Jewish children. (33) Treating them as a separate category nevertheless requires some further explanation. There is no doubt that Jewish children were a privileged group across Western Europe: widely perceived by their gentile neighbors as ‘innocents’ in a way that their parents were not; easier to hide as family members or evacuees; and more acceptable and less threatening as house-guests. These are all positive features that figure heavily in the narratives but it is important to show that there was also a negative side to the story that went unrecorded or was ignored in the search for the righteous. Children could be taken in to be exploited as cheap labor or worse, or in exchange for exorbitant charges for bed and board, or as targets for conversion. Such cases have been documented across Western Europe and are not peculiar to any particular social or religious milieu. Here again, the fact that the rescuers’ motivations may have been far from pure was no bar to the rescue being ‘successful’ and the fugitive surviving the occupation. One further complication to an understanding of this topic is the acrimony caused in the postwar era by the fate of Jewish orphans. Three high profile cases in France, Belgium and the Netherlands all had similar features in that the children concerned had been successfully sheltered during the occupation but were then retained by their wartime foster parents in defiance of state authority and to the outrage of the residual Jewish communities. In each case, devout Christian rescuers claimed to see it as their duty to retain their charges within the Christian milieu in which they had been raised – not only as a religious obligation, but also to protect the immortal souls of the children concerned. (34)
There were Jews who were formally employed by the German security services to track down and betray their co-religionists. (36) Although small in number, it could be argued that this was just another form of self-help, albeit under duress, but one that could also be portrayed as a survival strategy.
Beyond this, there were also unlikely rescues carried out by the persecutors themselves. Even leading Nazis protected certain favored individuals in return for favors or services rendered. Lower level functionaries were likewise involved in protecting Jews and even some in particular positions who have been credited with trying to save entire groups, for example the ‘racial expert’ Hans-Georg Calmeyer whose executive position was used to provide temporary protection for the Sephardic Jews in the Netherlands. (35) The term ‘Nazi rescuer’ seems inherently contradictory, but in practice again highlights some of the problems of seeing rescue as a black and white issue. At the other end of this scale there were Jews who were formally employed by the German security services to track down and betray their co-religionists. (36) Although small in number, it could be argued that this was just another form of self-help, albeit under duress, but one that could also be portrayed as a survival strategy. Finally, not all the Jewish victims of Nazi policies were themselves law abiding citizens and there are instances of rescue through involvement with the underworld, and where discovery was often a function of criminal behavior rather than pursuit or betrayal as a Jew.
The crucial conclusion here is that ‘rescue’ was not unique to the Second World War except insofar as the Jews became the primary targets of the occupation regime.
Situating self-help and rescue in a wider context has also been assisted by several recent historiographical trends. The growth of interest in other genocides has opened up new avenues for comparing rescue in Nazi occupied Europe with examples of similar behavior from other case studies. (37) Of greatest relevance here are the examples of Armenia, Bosnia and Rwanda. (38) For the most part, these studies have dealt with the rescue of civilians by other civilians, but the history of the First World War also provides us with other examples of rescue – in the help offered by civilians in German occupied Europe to allied servicemen in hiding, escaping POWs, deserters and draft-dodgers. Moreover, in the case of Belgium – overrun in 1914 and in 1940 – there are clear linkages between resistance and rescue activities in both occupations. The crucial conclusion here is that ‘rescue’ was not unique to the Second World War except insofar as the Jews became the primary targets of the occupation regime. Yet even this requires some qualification. Jews were by no means the only victims of Nazi persecution, albeit they were the only ones for whom capture could almost automatically be equated with death, at least after the summer of 1942. Political opponents were the first targets, as they had been in Germany in 1933, and they were followed, not just by Jews but also by many hundreds of thousands of others avoiding the imposition of German measures, most notably those related to forced labor.
Thus even when the plight of the Jews was at its height and the first mass deportations from Western Europe began in July 1942, they remained just one of the groups, albeit large in number, who were perceived as victim of the Nazis. This commonality of experience is again not often reflected in the available literature. Discussions of national resistance to Nazism often marginalize the help given to Jews and likewise, texts on the fate of Jews and the incidence of rescue often have few reflections on the wider context of resistance. There are, of course, notable and honorable exceptions but the division remains and the wider social context of rescue is often lost in the many narratives that focus purely on individuals. Without wishing to detract from the undoubted heroism of many rescuers and the bravery of the Jews who defied the Germans by refusing to allow themselves to be deported, it is important to abandon the comforting black and white assumptions about societies under occupation in order to place both self-help and rescue, as well as the persecution of the Jews itself, into a more sophisticated social history of the occupation.
• • •
Moore, Bob. “London: The Holocaust, war and occupation in Western Europe.” In Civil Society and the Holocaust: International Perspectives on Resistance and Rescue, edited by Anders Jerichow and Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, 109-123. New York: Humanity in Action Press, 2013.
- On France, see Henry Rousso, The Vichy Syndrome. History and memory in France since 1944(Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1991). On the Netherlands, J.C.H.Blom, ‘In de ban van goed en fout’ In Blom, Crisis Bezetting en Herstel, pp..Chris van der Heijden Grijs Verleden. Nederland en de Tweede Wereldoorlog (Amsterdam: Contact, 2001)
- To quote just one example, Michèle Cointet, l’Église sous Vichy. La repentence en question (Paris: Perrin, 1998) devotes more than a quarter of his book to the question of antisemitism and the persecution of the Jews.
- Yehuda Bauer, A History of the Holocaust (New York: Franklin Watts, 2001), Doris Bergen, The Holocaust: a new history (Stroud: Tempus, 2008) Saul Friedländer, The Years of Extermination. Nazi Germany and the Jews 1939-1945 (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 2007) Peter Longerich, Holocaust: the Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).
- Cornelis J.Lammers, ‘Persecution in the Netherlands during World War Two. An Introduction’ The Netherlands’ Journal of Social Sciences XXXIV/2 (1998) pp.111-125, here p.111. This ‘discovery’ is often attributed to the publication of Helen Fein, Accounting for Genocide. National Responses and Jewish Victimisation during the Holocaust (New York: Free Press, 1979), but the raw statistics were known long before then and had been reproduced, albeit inaccurately, in Lucy Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945 (New York: Holt, Reinhard and Winston, 1975).
- J.C.H Blom, ‘The Persecution of the Jews in the Netherlands: A Comparative Western European Perspective’, European History Quarterly, XIX (1989).
- M.R.Marrus and R.O.Paxton, ‘The Nazis and the Jews in Occupied Western Europe 1940-1944’ Journal of Modern History LIV (1982), pp.687-714, here p.713.
- For the most recent Western European comparative, see Pim Griffioen and Ron Zeller, Jodenvervolging in Nederland, Frankrijk en België (Amsterdam: Boom, 2010) and specifically on the Netherlands see Marnix Croes and Peter Tammes, ‘Gif laten wij niet voortbestaan’ Een onderzoek naar de overlevingskansen van joden in de Nederlandse gemeenten, 1940-1945 (Amsterdam: Aksant, 2004) J.C.H.Blom, ‘Gescheidenis, sociale wetenschappen, bezettingstijd en jodenvervolging. Een besprekingsartikel’ Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden, CXX (2005) pp.562-580. Marjolein J. Schenkel, De Twentse Paradox. De lotgevallen van de joodse bevolking van Hengelo en Enschede tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog (Zutphen: Walburg Pers, 2003).
- L.de Jong, Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog, Deel 1, (‘s-Gravenhage: Staatsuitgeverij, 1969), p.503.
- Jacques Adler, The Jews of Paris and the Final Solution. Communal Responses and Internal Conflicts, 1940-1944( New York: Oxford University Press, 1987) , pp.8-9.
- Lieven Saerens, Vreemdelingen in een Wereldstad. Een geschiedenis van Antwerpen en zijn joodse bevolking (1880-1940) (Tielt: Lannoo, 2000) p.546. Lucien Steinberg, Le Comité de Défense des Juifs en Belgique (Bruxelles: Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles, 1973), p.15.
- Gerhard Hirschfeld, ‘Niederlande’, in W.Benz, (ed.) Dimension der Völkermords. Die Zahl der jüdischen Opfer des Nationalsozialismus (Munich, R.Oldenbourg, 1991), p.137.
- Paldiel, Sheltering the Jews: Stories of Holocaust Rescuers (Minneapolis MN: Fortress Press, 1996), p.203.
- Paldiel, Sheltering the Jews, p.206. notes that mortality was much higher in Poland and the Netherlands but that rescue was also more difficult and dangerous in these countries and therefore more worthy of honour.
- See, for example, Martin Gilbert, The Righteous: The Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust (London/New York: Doubleday, 2002). André Stein, Quiet Heroes. True Stories of the Rescue of Jews by Christians in Nazi-occupied Holland (Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys, 1988)
- See especially Samuel P.Oliner and Pearl M.Oliner, The Altruistic Personality. Rescuers of Jews in Nazi Europe (New York: Free Press, 1988). Frederico Varese and Meir Yaish, ‘Resolute Heroes: The Rescue of Jews During the Nazi Occupation of Europe’ Archives Européenes de Sociologie, XLVI (2005), pp.153-168. Douglas Huneke, ‘A Study of Christians who saved Jews during the Nazi Era’, Humboldt Journal of Social Relations IX/1 (1981-82) pp.144-150. Perry London, ‘The Rescuers: Motivational Hypothesis about Christians Who Saved Jews from the Nazis’ in: J Macaulay and L.Berkowitz (eds.) Altruism and Helping Behavior (New York: Academic Press, 1970).
- Vicki Caron, Uneasy Asylum: France and the Jewish Refugee Crisis, 1933-1942 (Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 1999). Lieven Saerens, Vreemdelingen in een Wereldstad. Een ge- schiedenis van Antwerpen en zijn joodse bevolking (1880-1940) (Tielt: Lannoo, 2000). Frank Caestecker, Ongewenste Gasten. Joodse vluchtelingen en migranten in de dertiger jaren (Brussel: VUB, 1993). Mark van den Wijngaert, ‘The Belgian Catholics and the Jews during the German Occupation 1940-1944’ in: Dan Michman (ed.) Belgium and the Holocaust. J.C.H.Blom and J.J.Cahen, ‘Joodse Nederlanders, Nederlandse joden en joden in Neder- land (1870-1940) in: J.C.H.Blom et al (eds.) Geschiedenis van de Joden in Nederland (Amsterdam: Balans, 1995)
- Oliner, The Altruistic Personality, pp.1-12.
- See for example Pierre Sauvage, ‘Varian Fry in Marseille’ in: John K. Roth and Elizabeth Maxwell, Remembering for the Future. The Holocaust in an Age of Genocide (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), Vol.2, pp.349-350, who questions the precise levels of risk involved for neutrals like Fry.
- For example on France, see Lucien Lazare, La Résistance juive en France (Paris: Stock, 1987) and Adam Rayski, The Choice of the Jews under Vichy (Notre Dame IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005) On Belgium, Lucien Steinberg, Le Comité de Défense des Juifs en Belgique (Bruxelles: Université de Bruxelles, 1973) Sylvain Brachfeld, Ze hebben het overleefd (Brussel: VUB, 1997). On the Netherlands, Ben Braber, Zelfs als wij zullen verliezen. Joden in Verzet en Illegaliteit 1940-1945(Amsterdam: Balans, 1990).
- CEGES-SOMA R123 232.159 8 Ans au Service du Peuple, p.4. Maxime Steinberg, L’Etoile et le Fusil. 1942 Les Cent Jours de la Déportation (Bruxelles: Vie Ouvrière, 1984), pp.60-1.
- Steinberg, Le Comité de Défense des Juifs, pp. 36,39. Lieven Saerens, ‘Die Hilfe für Juden in Belgiën’ in: Wolfgang Benz and Juliet Wetzel (eds.) Solidarität und Hilfe für Juden während der NS-Zeit(Berlin: Metropol, 1998), Vol.II, p.250. CEGES-SOMA AB2167 De Lathower, Comité de Defense des Juifs, p.2.
- Maxime Steinberg, L’Etoile et le Fusil: La Traque des Juifs, I, (Bruxelles: Vie Ouvrière,1986), p.66.
- Steinberg, Le Comité de Défense des Juifs, p.68.
- CEGES-SOMA AB2167 Comité de Defense des Juifs, p.15.
- CEGES-SOMA AB2167 Comité de Defense des Juifs, p.10, 29. CEGES-SOMA AA1915 Heiber: Dossier 13 CDJ. Ofipresse No.23, 12 October 1945. Steinberg, Le Comité de Défense des Juifs, p.116.
- Saerens, ‘Die Hilfe für Juden’, p.258.
- Mark van den Wijngaert, ‘Les Catholiques Belges et les Juifs durant l’occupation Allemande 1940-1944’ in Rudi van Doorslaer et al (eds.) Les Juifs de Belgique. De l’Immigration au Génocide, 1925-1945(Brussels: Centre de Recherches et d’Études Historiques de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, 1994), p.121. Brachfeld, Ze hebben het overleefd, pp.72-3. Lieve Gevers, ‘Catholicism in the Low Countries During the Second World War. Belgium and the Netherlands: a Comparative Approach’ in: Lieve Gevers and Jan Bank (eds.) Religion under Siege, I, The Roman Catholic Church in Occupied Europe (1939-1950) (Leuven: Peeters, 2007), p.222.
- Gevers, ‘Catholicism in the Low Countries’, p.222.
- Francis R. Nicosia (ed.) Archives of the Holocaust. Vol. 4 Central Zionist Archives 1939-1945 (New York: Garland, 1990) pp. 161-6 shows that these pastoral letters were widely distributed and known outside France. Rayski, The Choice of the Jews under Vichy, pp.118-119.
- Jeannine Frenk, ‘Righteous Among the Nations In France and Belgium: A Silent Resistance’ Search and Research XII (2008), p.55.
- Yad Vashem Archives M31/7529 Pierre and Henriette Ogier. Testimony of Maurice Ogier, 16 August 1996.
- De Jong, Het Koninkrijk, V, p.366.
- See in general, Deborah Dwork, Children with a Star. Jewish Youth in Nazi Germany (New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1991). Anita Brostoff (ed.) Flares of Memory. Stories of Childhood during the Holocaust (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998) and on rescue, Sylvain Brachfeld, Ils Ont Survecu:Le Sauvetage des Juifs en Belgique Occupee (Bruxelles: Racine, 2001). Suzanne Vromen, Hidden Children of the Holocaust. Belgian Nuns and their Daring Rescue of Young Jews from the Nazis (New York: Oxford, 2008). Martine Lemalet, (ed.) Au secours des enfants du siècle (Paris: Nil, 1993). Hillel J. Kieval, ‘From Social Work to Resistance. Relief and Rescue of Jewish Children in Vichy France’, (BA Harvard University, 1973). Donald A Lowrie, The Hunted Children (New York: W.W.Norton, 1963)
- J.S.Fishman, ‘Jewish War Orphans in the Netherlands; The Guardianship Issue, 1945- 1950’ Wiener Library Bulletin, New Series 30/31 (1973-74), pp.31-6. J.S.Fishman, ‘The Anneke Beekman Affair and the Dutch News Media’ Jewish Social Studies XL/1 pp.3-24. J.S.Fishman, ‘The War Orphan Controversy in the Netherlands: Majority – Minority Relations’ in: J. Michman and T.Levie, Dutch Jewish History I ( Jerusalem, 1984), Nederlands- Israëlitisch Kerkgenootschap and Portugees-Israëlitisch Kerkgenootschap, De Verdwijning van Anneke Beekman en Rebecca Meljado: Witboek (Amsterdam, 1954).
- Mattias Middelberg, Judenrecht, Judenpolitik und der jurist Hans Calmeyer in den besetzten Niederlanden 1940-1945 (Göttingen: V&R Unipress, 2005).
- Koos Groen, Als slachtoffers daders worden. De zaak van de joodse veraadster Ans van Dijk (Baarn: Ambo, 1994). Steinberg La Traque des Juifs II, pp.32, 212-213.
- See, for example, Jaques Semelin, Claire Andrieu and Sarah Gensberger (eds.), La Résistance aux genocides. De la pluralité des actes de sauvetage (Paris: Sciences Po, 2008).
- On the Armenian genocide, see for example, Raymond Kévorkian, ‘L’opposition de fonctionnaires ottomans au génocide des Arméniens’ and Ugur Ümit Üngör, ‘Stratégies de survie au cours du genocide des Arméniens’ both in Semelin et al (eds.) La Résistance aux genocides., pp.205-220 and pp.221-234. Richard G. Hovanissian, The Armenian Genocide: History, Politics, Ethics (New York: St.Martin’s Press, 1992) Ronald Suny et al (eds.) A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the end of the Ottoman Empire (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).