Operation Yellow Star / Black Thursday

Operation Yellow Star / Black Thursday

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Overview

Two books by Maurice Rajsfus, a French activist and former investigative journalist for Le Monde, who shares his research and personal recollections in order to shed new light on France's role in the Holocaust. In the first volume, "Operation Yellow Star," Rajsfus meticulously analyzes archival documents, demonstrating the extent of police collaboration with the Vichy regime and how it facilitated the persecution, deportation, and ultimately the death of hundreds of thousands of Jews. Examining long-unseen arrest records and transcripts, Rajsfus seeks to understand how and why many average French citizens resisted Nazi occupation while others were willingly complicit. In the second book, "Black Thursday," Rajsfus recounts his own experiences of July 16, 1942, when he and his family were arrested as part of the Vel’ d'Hiv roundup, the largest ever in France, of 13,000 Jews. While most of those detained during the two-day sweep eventually died in Auschwitz, the author survived and has spent the rest of his life grappling with his country's betrayal. Together, the two volumes by Rajsfus offer a damning exposé of the bureaucracy of genocide, laying bare how cultural bias, political self-interest, and the influence of right-wing media led to the implementation of the Yellow Star as a segregationist device and determined France’s culpability in the Holocaust.

Maurice Rajsfus is the author of thirty books and from 1994–2012 he created and circulated "Que fait la police," a "Cop Watch" bulletin detailing human rights abuses. He lives in Paris with his wife, sons and grandchildren.

Phyllis Aronoff has won the Jewish Literary Award for translation and the translation prize from the Quebec Writers' Federation. She was president of the Literary Translators' Association of Canada and from 2007–2015 represented translators on the Public Lending Right Commission of Canada.

Mike Mitchell (b. 1941) is an award-winning translator of French and German who has been active as a translator for over thirty years. In 2012 the Austrian Ministry of Education, Art and Culture awarded him a lifetime achievement award as a translator of literary works. He lives in Scotland.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780997003499
Publisher: DoppelHouse Press
Publication date: 06/27/2017
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Mike Mitchell (b. 1941) is an award-winning translator of French and German who has been active as a translator for over thirty years. He is the recipient of the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for translations of German works published in Britain, has won the British Comparative Literature Association translation competition three times, and has been shortlisted for many awards including the French-American Translation Prize, the Weidenfeld prize, the Aristeion prize, the Kurt Wolff prize, and the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger. In 2012 the Austrian Ministry of Education, Art and Culture awarded him a lifetime achievement award as a translator of literary works. He lives in Scotland.

Table of Contents

Author's Preface to the English Edition xi

Note xiv

Operation Yellow Star

1 Honor and Discipline 1

2 In the Service of Immoral Laws 7

3 The Stages of Humiliation 13

4 Toward the Yellow Star 22

A Little History

The Preliminaries

Preparations

5 Hunting Them Down 41

6 The Requests for Special Dispensation 58

7 Non-Jews Wearing the Badge 66

8 A Compliant Press 85

9 Toward Liberation 100

10 The Red Line 108

Appendix: Illustrations 114

Black Thursday: The Roundup of July 16, 1942

Preface 129

Part 1 Twelve Hours of Dread

Chapters 1-15 135-190

Part 2 No Witnesses, No Crime!

Local Amnesia 192

The Police Have Forgotten 195

The Bus Drivers Did Their Job 207

Vincennes City Hall Has No Information 214

What About the Churches? 224

My City Has Lost Its Memory 230

Part 3 Survivor of the Absurd

Memories, a User's Guide 252

Lost Children… 260

Appendix: Interview Maurice Rajsus 265

What People are Saying About This

Michel Warschawski

Maurice Rajsfus is not only a historian of the raid: he lived it in his flesh, saw it with his own eyes, and if he had not had the audacity and ingenuity of a Parisian street urchin, son of immigrant Polish Jews that he was, would have suffered the same fate as his parents, deported and assassinated in Auschwitz. Without making improper comparisons, the roundup of the Vél d’Hiv is a very current topic. Maurice Rajsfus’ narrative can help us to grasp both the logic and the implications of a policy of exclusion of populations and communities who, because of their ethnic, national or religious origin, are not protected by the State of which they are a part.

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