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  • Author: Joshua Cole
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: In October 1961, an as yet undetermined number of Algerian protesters were killed by the police in Paris while demonstrating for Algerian independence. In the last two decades, these killings have become the focal point of a public controversy in France, as questions about the memory of the Algerian war converged with debates about immigration and citizenship in the 1980s and 1990s and with the willingness of the French state to confront the crimes committed during the last phase of decolonization between 1945 and 1962. Most commentaries have emphasized the connections of this debate with an earlier bout of French soul-searching over the question of the Vichy government's collaboration with Germany during World War II. This connection seemed all the more relevant when the man who was the prefect of police in Paris in 1961, Maurice Papon, was accused and eventually convicted of assisting in the deportation of Jews from Bordeaux in 1942-1944. This article argues that the public attention to the connections between Maurice Papon and the Holocaust have obscured the extent to which the debate in France about October 1961 has been driven by developments in Algerian politics in the last four decades. The extent to which historical accounts of the events of October 1961 are shaped by very contemporary political concerns presents particular challenges to the historian, who must find a way of retelling the story without merely reproducing the ideological conflict that produced the violence in the first place.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Paris, France, Germany, Algeria
  • Author: Anne Raffin
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Although colonizers generally repressed emergent national movements as potential vehicles of national liberation, the French encouraged patriotic mobilizations in Indochina in the early 1940s as a way to counteract Thai irredentists, Vietnamese revolutionaries, and Japanese occupiers and their claims of "Asia for Asians." Here, colonial authorities sought to build allegiance to the empire by "patriotizing" youth attitudes through sports activities and youth corps. Participation in such youth organizations mushroomed in Indochina between 1940 and 1945, gaining over a million members in that short span.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia
  • Author: Steven Zdatny
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Little remains today of the so-called Resistencialist Myth, the notion that France was a nation of resisters, save for a handful of treasonous collabos. It was a useful and ingenious fiction. Maybe it spared the country civil war. It certainly bought France selfesteem and saved civil society for the Fourth Republic and the resurrection of liberal democracy. But it's hard to imagine anyone believes it anymore, if anybody truly believed it then. We know that these sorts of political legends do not die all at once; they fall apart in stages, like Francisco Franco. In this case, the stages are well known. In the late 1960s, Marcel Ophuls's The Sorrow and the Pity offered a countermyth of Collaborationist France. A few years later, Robert Paxton's careful, irrefutable scholarship ravaged the legend of la France rĂ©sistante and re-ignited interest in the real history of Vichy. His Vichy France: Old Guard and New Order depended on research in German occupation sources because French documents were closed. But actors die, fifty-year rules expire, politicians and archivists tack with the wind, all of which has prodded French historians to an unprecedented scrutiny of the nation's experience of war and occupation.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: France