Towards a Geography of Persecution: The Case of the Arts-et-Metiers and the Enfants-Rouges Quarters of the Third Arrondissement of Paris, 1940-1944




Le Noc, Maël

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In the past decades, geographers have made meaningful contributions to the understanding of the Holocaust by showing its devastatingly transformative nature at a variety of geographical scales, ranging from the body to the entire continent of Europe. Yet, most geographical studies of the Holocaust have focused on its most iconic places, such as ghettos and camps, while different forms of persecutions, including in the cities of Western Europe, have been the object of relatively little geographical research. The purpose of my dissertation is to contribute an historical geography of anti-Jewish persecution in the Arts-et-Métiers and the Enfants-Rouges (AMER) quarters of Paris, France during the Occupation. My findings point to the two-fold exclusionary nature of the persecution process: in addition to explicit exclusionary measures and arrests by which perpetrators directly removed Jews from the city, this persecuted population demonstrated a level of agency—forced, of course—by abandoning their neighborhood and their homes on their own terms, using spatial strategies of survival that included mobility adjustments, hiding, and flight. Employing a variety of archival resources collected before, during, and after the Occupation, as well as survivor testimonies, I make the case that a mixed-methods analysis approach is fundamental to understand the decrease of the Jewish population in AMER during the Occupation as well as the outcomes of the Holocaust in Paris.



geography, persecution, holocaust, France



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