10 Jun 2019

Old Demons Resurface

It’s no secret that anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide. Even here in America, horrifying realities are in play.

But in France, the problem is multiplied by the growing Muslim stranglehold on an ancient European country. One writer has suggested that the “old demons” are coming out again.

It is with this in mind that I want to write this week about the role of Jewish resistance fighters in France during World War 2. We are celebrating today the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Ahead of the invasion, much work was done to undermine the Nazi regime, along with the puppet Vichy regime.

The Jewish Resistance was called Organisation Juive de Combat, OJC, and played a big part in disrupting the Nazi agenda. Of course, they were literally fighting for their lives.

The Germans, upon conquering France in 1940, set up two zones: the northern section was Nazi-ruled, while the southern (headquartered in Vichy) was under the puppet government. According to an article from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:

“The persecutions of the Jews, in which the Vichy regime played a dominant role in its collaboration with the Nazis, started shortly afterward and followed a similar pattern to the persecutions in other occupied countries. First came ‘Aryanization’ measures, then the creation of detention camps, and finally massive deportations of Jews to the concentration camps in Eastern Europe. Out of a community of about three hundred thousand Jews in France on the eve of the war, 75,721, including 10,147 children, were deported. Most perished in the camps. Only about 3 percent returned. The consequences could have been even worse if not for the Jewish Resistance.”

(One could see in this story the beginnings of the move to Palestine, as one of the nine Jewish resistance groups was called the “Movement of the Zionist Youth,” MJS.)

The work of the resistance groups involved forging papers and organizing convoys to Spain and Switzerland; organizing guerrilla groups in the mountains and cities; and funneling money for the Resistance.

The 2,000 Jewish resistance fighters also helped provide intelligence that aided the Allies in the lead-up to D-Day. Of course, Israel continues this practice today, providing us with literally invaluable intelligence from their neck of the woods.

Let us celebrate the 75th anniversary of the greatest invasion in history, led by the Greatest Generation. That celebration also includes a deserved nod to the Jewish Resistance in France.