Persecution and Rescue
The Politics of the Final Solution in France, 1940-1944
University of Michigan Press 2017
New Books in French StudiesNew Books in Genocide StudiesNew Books in German StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network January 9, 2018 Darren O'Byrne
In his recent book, Persecution and Rescue: The Politics of the Final Solution in France, 1940-1944 (University of Michigan Press, 2017). Wolfgang Seibel explores the factors that shaped the Holocaust in wartime France. Eschewing the recent emphasis on ideology, Seibel offers a more administrative-science-based analysis, arguing that the fate of the Jews both their persecution and rescue was the result of different agencies pursuing competing aims within the French Power-Sharing Administration. Whether it was the Vichy regimes efforts to preserve autonomy from German interference, or the SS’s attempts assert its dominance over the Wehrmacht, what happened to the Jews in France, Seibel argues, was influenced by these turf-wars and the necessary trade-offs they engendered, whatever the ideological beliefs of the actors involved.