Marine Le Pen, The Vel d’Hiv round-up, and the grey zones of Vichy France

Marine Le Pen has courted yet more controversy by saying that France is not responsible for the rounding up of Jews in Paris during WWII, but grey zones in the country's collective memory still abound.

Marine Le Pen Blog Post imageOn Sunday Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right Front National denied on TV that France or the French state were responsible for the infamous Vel d’Hiv round-up of Jews in Paris on 16-17 July 1942. Corralled by French police into the eponymous cycling stadium, most of these 13,000 Jews ended up in Nazi death camps. But for Le Pen, widely expected to top the first round of the Presidential elections on 23 April, “if there [...]

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Should Universities Revisit their Colonial Legacies?

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“The days of Britain having to apologise for its colonial history are over. We should move forward.” So announced former student in the history department here at Edinburgh – Gordon Brown. Speaking in 2005, his remarks chimed with a growing trend of revived imperialism, enlisting a range of opinion from Tony Blair’s advisor Robert Cooper, historian Niall Ferguson, Michael Gove, and even travel presenter Michael Palin.

I suggest that what was at work in Gordon Brown’s claim can be understood in the distinction that the great German philosopher, Theodor Adorno, [...]

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