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Dec. 28, 2014
This week, Alan Riding discusses Patrick Modiano’s “Suspended Sentences”; Alexandra Alter has news from the literary world; Judith Newman talks about Ruth Goodman’s “How to Be a Victorian”; and best-seller news. Pamela Paul is the host.

ニューヨークタイムズの書評ポッドキャストは今年ノーベル賞を受賞したパトリック・モディアノを取り上げていました。Suspended Sentencesという短編集の書評でドイツ占領時代のパリと父親へのこだわりを説明しているところです。

Patrick Modiano’s ‘Suspended Sentences’

The Swedish Academy honored him “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.” But if “memory” and “occupation” are useful tags for his writing, it is another word — “father” — that provides the real key to his unfinished exploration of the German occupation of France. In his late teens, Modiano deduced that his Jewish-Italian father, Albert, spent the war years as a black marketeer associated with the notorious and brutal Rue Lauriston gang, also known as the French Gestapo. And since his father revealed nothing before his death in 1977, not even who ordered his release from a Jewish detention center in Paris in 1943, Modiano became obsessed with knowing more.

His first novel, “La Place de l’Étoile,” published in 1968 and still not translated into English, is arguably his most explosive. As if directly confronting his father, Modiano’s narrator, Raphaël Schlemilovitch, is an amoral Jew who hangs out with the most renowned French collaborators. Modiano’s father was outraged, and the two became even more estranged.

In most of Modiano’s other books, in which the occupation is more of a past trauma than a continuing tragedy, he sets out to fill the gaps of memory, to discover what really happened. In the 1997 novel “Dora Bruder,” for example, he tries to unravel the mystery of why a 15-year-old Jewish girl fled the safety of a convent in late 1941, only to be recorded months later on a train carrying Jews to Auschwitz.


Paris Show on Nazi Collaboration Sheds Light on Dark Past
By Helene Fouquet and Gregory Viscusi
Dec 16, 2014 8:01 AM GMT+090


Twenty-six percent of France’s pre-war Jewish population died in the Holocaust. That compares with 75 percent in the Netherlands and 60 percent in Belgium. In Western Europe, only Italy was hurt less, with 20 percent. Over 25,000 French people were executed for being members of the Resistance and another 27,000 died in prison camps in Germany.


‘Broad Phenomenon’
The curators set the tone for the exhibition with a welcoming note asking the question: “All collaborators? No. But it was a broad phenomenon.”

For decades, the official French line was that the Vichy regime was an aberration imposed by the Germans while the “true” France was represented by Charles de Gaulle, who carried out the good fight from exile in London.

That image has eroded over the years.

In July 1995, a newly elected President Jacques Chirac broke with the increasingly discredited view when he recognized the responsibility of the “French state” in the deportation of Jews. About 76,000 Jews were deported from France, only 3,000 of whom returned from concentration camps.

Exhibitions and books have explored some aspects of the period, like the 2011 display that showed the intellectual and artistic life in France during the occupation.


Petain’s Call
The exhibition includes Petain’s call to his countrymen to “enter the path of collaboration.”

Peschanski said he and the other curators wanted to show the “diversity” of collaborators. The ones in Vichy obeyed the German enemy. Those in Paris, dubbed “Les Collaborationistes,” embraced the fascist system of the Nazis and often were ahead of them in rounding up Jews.

Then there was the man in the street who did business with the Germans or just didn’t turn it down. There were also those who joined militias to chase Jews, Communists or Freemasons and many different other profiles.

The exhibition carries objects such as the desk of the hardliner fascist Jacques Doriot and two large maps of the camps for Jews in France in 1940 and 1942, showing the train routes used to move them around.


Collaborationists: those who were entirely allied with the occupier
Collaborators: those who accommodated to the circumstances

France Confronts an Ignoble Chapter
By MAÏA de la BAUMEDEC. 15, 2014

Mr. Peschanski said the exhibition distinguishes between collaborationists and collaborators — “between those who were entirely allied with the occupier and those who accommodated to the circumstances.” The collaborationists did not merely assist the Germans by following orders from Vichy or by seeking personal profit, but rather sought to achieve France’s resurgence through Nazi rule, he said.


The exhibition offers a rare glimpse into the leaders, violent propaganda and rhetoric of collaboration. The collections include insignia, leaflets, letters and other items that belonged to openly fascist politicians, including Jacques Doriot, who founded the ultranationalist French Popular Party; Joseph Darnand, who later joined the Waffen-SS; and Marcel Déat, who believed in a Nazi-dominated Europe and wanted the Vichy regime to go further in embracing fascist ideology.

Visitors can see Déat’s diary, where he related his encounter with Paul Marion, then Vichy’s general secretary for information. “Mr. Marion wants to treat the French like sick people, and carry out psychiatric propaganda,” Déat wrote. “He is a true collaborationist, and a very anti-British one. In short, he has good intentions.”

Another room has the trunk that Doriot took to the Eastern Front after he joined the French unit of the German Army.

The historian Tal Bruttmann said the exhibition’s strength was its insights into the importance of ideology in collaboration.