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After the FallGerman Policy in Occupied France, 1940-1944$
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Thomas J. Laub

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199539321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199539321.001.0001

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Defamation, Discrimination, and Despoliation

Defamation, Discrimination, and Despoliation

(p.194) 8 Defamation, Discrimination, and Despoliation
After the Fall

Thomas J. Laub

Oxford University Press

At the start of the Occupation, both French and German agencies accepted the fundamental legitimacy of the so‐called Jewish Question (Judenfrage) and adopted anti‐Semitic policies of defamation, discrimination, and despoliation with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Perceiving Jews as a security threat, the military administration evicted Jews from a security zone along the Channel coast and played a major role in the ‘Aryanization’ of the French economy, but the MBF condemned ‘Aryanization’ on legal grounds and did not believe that Jews stood behind all resistance activity. The Vichy regime defamed and discriminated against Jews on its own accord, created the General Commissariat for Jewish Affairs to despoil Jews, and ordered French police to incarcerate specific categories of Jews, but Pierre Laval objected to the arrest of assimilated French Jews because the roundups undermined support for his government. The SS and German embassy in Paris both championed the entire defamation, discrimination, despoliation, and deportation process, but they lacked the manpower and a legal mandate to act on their own before the summer of 1942. As the fortunes of war turned against the Reich, Hitler championed increasingly ruthless anti‐Semitic measures that culminated in the Final Solution.

Keywords:   Jewish Question, Final Solution, Jews, General Commissariat for Jewish Affairs, Vichy Regime, Pierre Laval, German Embassy in Paris, Otto Abetz, military administration, ‘Aryanization’

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