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Why do I ask? Today I came across an intriguing news article saying French authorities had finally made public archives from their shameful and evil WWII Nazi collaboration.

Why intriguing? Because the article was in English on the Daily Express’s  site*, and when I searched for the news in French, thinking I’d find at least a dozen articles, there were none. Is the news old or is the French media going to stifle it? I don’t know. I found it odd.

But the search led me to this interesting interview with Robert Paxton, a historian that specializes in the Vichy era/government. Apparently some archives had been opened earlier. Also, note that the access is quite restricted to certified scholars, the general public can’t access anything. Peons are not entitled.

And then, in reading some articles written by Paxton, I came upon the one below, which is partially paid access only. So I didn’t read it all.

But it provided one more bit of data that was particularly intriguing to me, since it was news to me: Which countries in the West deported the most Jews to the camps – proportionally speaking? He slightly veers into the answer, while reviewing a book on France:

It’s called “the French paradox.” On the one hand the Germans, with the assistance of the actively anti-Semitic Vichy government and of a certain number of actively anti-Semitic French citizens, deported a shocking number of the Jews living in France between 1940 and 1944 to their deaths. On the other hand, the proportion of Jews deported from France was much smaller than that deported from the Netherlands, Belgium, or Norway. Is it not curious that among the Nazi-dominated countries of Western Europe the country reputedly most anti-Semitic had one of the highest survival rates? In that region only Denmark and Italy lost a lower proportion of their Jewish population.

About a quarter of the Jews who were living in France between 1942, when the deportations began, and 1944 were murdered. Double that proportion—roughly half—of the Jews living in Belgium and Norway during the same period were killed. The loss in the Netherlands was a catastrophic 73 percent.

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I wonder why some of these countries mentioned, that no one normally thinks of as monstrously Nazi, performed such a high level of persecution of Jews. No time to go find out the answer now.

*The article:

REVEALED: France’s SECRET links to the Nazi Holocaust

FILES detailing French collaboration in the murder of 76,000 Jews were made public for the first time yesterday after being locked away since the end of the Second World War.

PUBLISHED: 04:54, Tue, Dec 29, 2015

 

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