This thesis examines how the remembrance of deportation from France during the Second World War impacted the creation of two memorials in Paris in the postwar years. The two memorials, located just over 500 meters apart in the center of Paris and inaugurated within seven years of one another, physically embody each of these narratives. The Tomb of the Unknown Jewish Martyr, created by the Contemporary Jewish Documentation Center (CDJC) in 1956, represents the narrative of Jewish persecution and genocide throughout Europe during the Second World War. Expanded in 2005, the Tomb is now known as the Shoah Memorial and is an internationally recognized research center. The Memorial of Deportation, created by the Réseau du Souvenir in 1962, exemplifies the narrative of French deportees; typically made up of resisters and political enemies of the Vichy regime, and represents French universalism – downplaying the difference in victim identity. This thesis observes how the deportee narratives aligns with the postwar Resistance myth – which sought to unify the nations after war, defeat, occupation, and near civil war by papering over French culpability – influenced the memorialization of the deportee experience as well as how memorialization changed over time. It argues that the Memorial of Deportation maintained a national narrative, focusing on French victims regardless of the political or religious beliefs, wanting to highlight universal French victimhood, while the other, the Tomb of the Unknown Jewish Martyr, sought to commemorate the millions of Jews persecuted and targeted for destruction despite the canonization of the myth as history in France and fought to hold France responsible for its role in the genocide.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
History; Public History
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Williams, Rachel, "Deportation, Genocide, and Memorial Politics: Remembrance and Memory in Postwar France, 1943-2015" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 783.