Forgotten crimes
Representing Jewish wartime experience in French crime fiction of the 1950s and 1960s
in French crime fiction and the Second World War
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This chapter explores representations of Jewish wartime persecution and extermination in novels by Léo Malet and Hubert Monteilhet from the late 1950s and early 1960s. It locates such fiction as produced during years when Jewish wartime experiences were largely unrecognised in France. However, it argues that the revelation of crimes against the Jewish community in these novels activates complex processes of disclosure and disavowal of French anti-Semitic persecution. The chapter contends that such popular crime fiction can be read as part of an emerging reflection on French wartime guilt and complicity at a time of apparent forgetting.

French crime fiction and the Second World War

Past crimes, present memories


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