Stealing Home: Looting, Restitution, and Reconstructing Jewish Lives in France, 1942-1947

Hardcover | January 19, 2017

byShannon L. Fogg

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Between 1942 and 1944 the Germans sealed and completely emptied at least 38,000 Parisian apartments. The majority of the furnishings and other household items came from "abandoned" Jewish apartments and were shipped to Germany. After the war, Holocaust survivors returned to Paris to discovertheir homes completely stripped of all personal possessions or occupied by new inhabitants. In 1945, the French provisional government established a Restitution Service to facilitate the return of goods to wartime looting victims. Though time-consuming, difficult, and often futile, thousands ofpeople took part in these early restitution efforts. Stealing Home demonstrates that attempts to reclaim one's furnishings and personal possessions were key in efforts to rebuild Jewish political and social inclusion in the war's wake. Far from remaining silent, Jewish survivors sought recognition of their losses, played an active role in politics,and turned to both the government and each other for aid. Drawing on memoirs, oral histories, restitution claims, social workers' reports, newspapers, and government documents, Stealing Home provides a social history of the period that focuses on Jewish survivors' everyday lives during the lengthyprocess of restoring citizenship and property rights. It examines social rebirth through the prism of restitution and argues that the home was critical in shaping the postwar relationship between Jews and the state, and in the successes and failures associated with rebuilding Jewish lives in Franceafter the Holocaust.

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Between 1942 and 1944 the Germans sealed and completely emptied at least 38,000 Parisian apartments. The majority of the furnishings and other household items came from "abandoned" Jewish apartments and were shipped to Germany. After the war, Holocaust survivors returned to Paris to discovertheir homes completely stripped of all person...

Shannon L. Fogg is professor of history at Missouri University of Science and Technology and the author of The Politics of Everyday Life in Vichy France: Foreigners, Undesirables, and Strangers.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9.21 × 6.02 × 0.1 inPublished:January 19, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019878712X

ISBN - 13:9780198787129

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction: Restitution: Rebuilding Jewish Lives in Twentieth-Century FrancePART I1. Reconstructing Homes: Jewish Private Lives in Postwar ParisPART II2. Displaced Persons, Displaced Possessions: The Furniture Operation in France3. Competing Claims: Housing, the Restoration of Republicanism, and the Myth of Unity4. The Restitution Service: The Creation of a Republican BureaucracyPART III5. Rebuilding Families: The Gendering and Meaning of Home6. Reclaiming Rights: Jewish Communal Responses to Material Loss7. Social Rebirth: The Role of Public and Private Aid in Rebuilding the Jewish CommunityConclusion: Coming to Terms with the Past