Sartre and the Jews

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Abstract:

This article is a response to a conference I organized in Paris in 2003. Expanding upon the topic that Denis Hollier proposed at a New York conference in 1998, which specifically dealt with Réflexions sur la question juive, the Paris conference sought to capture for the first time a global view of the relationship between Sartre and Jews, both in his works and in his life. This article takes up some of these issues by asking whether there is an invisible thread that links the different statements and representations of Jews. I conclude that the 'passionate manner' in which Sartre, according to Arlette Elkaïm-Sartre, became pro-Semitic after the Liberation can be attributed to a repression of, and act of compensation against, the indifference that he displayed vis-à-vis the fate of those excluded and persecuted under the Occupation, a fault that he projected after the fact on to the Pétainists and overt anti-Semites.

Keywords: ANTI-SEMITISM; GERMAN OCCUPATION; JEAN-PAUL SARTRE; JEWISH QUESTION; JEWS; LYCEE CONDORCET; VICHY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/147335306780579679

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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