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5. Anti-Semitic Policing

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Chapter Summary

Central to Vichy's concerns in the area of anti-Semitic policing was the desire to maintain sovereignty. This meant on one level making sure that it was foreign Jews who were deported instead of French ones. Sacrificing foreign Jews from the southern zone was meant to save French ones in the north where the Germans were threatening to carry out anti-Semitic operations. Anti-Semitic persecution was facilitated by the slowness of public opinion to condemn it. Although Police reports noted in October 1940 a degree of sympathy towards Jews as a reaction against Vichy's anti-Jewish statutes, this was short-lived and initial reaction to foreign Jews was mostly defined by indifference or hostility. Despite the existence of this current of barefaced anti-Semitism in the Police it would be mistaken to depict it as representative of the attitudes of the totality of officers.

Keywords: anti-semitic policing; France; hostility; Marseille; Vichy



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