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Thousand francs and a card: The French media response to repatriation from 1944 to 1948

Johnson, Nathan Joseph
In spring and summer of 1945, thousands of Jews and non-Jews were liberated from Nazi concentration camps. What came next was repatriation for victims back to France, a return that was evidently nationally charged. Based on the workings of Henry Rousso’s Vichy Syndrome, Charles De Gaulle and the French Provisional Government sought to establish a national narrative of resistance after the end of the Second World War despite the collaborations of the nation with the Nazis during the war. As a result, the print media of France covered repatriation events of Jews and non-Jews with a nationalistic theme, showcasing very clear similarities between the goals of Charles De Gaulle and the media. This proved to be only strategic as very little recovery efforts were actually birthed by this inspired nationalism. French newspapers showcased very clear cohesion in reporting on repatriation stories, however, the news outlet Droit et Liberté did make clear the issues of French Jewish restitution. Once again, just as it had done during the revolution and Dreyfus Affair, the French media took a main stage during the post-war restitution period and provided insightful research into the political atmosphere of a newly liberated France.