How Official France Has Obscured the Role of Jewish Resisters in Rescuing Their Brethren from the Nazis

Sept. 8 2020

In the recent movie Resistance, the American actor Jesse Eisenberg portrays the famed French mime Marcel Marceau, whom the film shows playing a leading role in getting hundreds of Jews out of Vichy France during World War II. Tsilla Hershco explains that the truth is somewhat different from what Hollywood, or official France, would have people believe:

Marceau did, in fact, help transfer Jewish children to Switzerland, but he did so within the framework of the Jewish resistance and the vital infrastructure it had established, including forged certificates, money supply, connections with border smugglers and local authorities, and more.

During his historic recognition in July 1995 of France’s responsibility for the extermination of its Jews, President Jacques Chirac claimed that the French Righteous among the Nations had saved three-quarters of the Jews of France—completely ignoring the central part played by the Jewish Resistance Organization in the rescue. This version was then adopted by his successors.

There is no doubt that the French Righteous among the Nations deserve a place of honor in the history of the Holocaust, but it was the Jewish Resistance that made the crucial contribution to the rescue of some 230,000 Jews—about three-quarters of French Jewry. Members of the Jewish Resistance were mainly the ones who initiated contact with the French rescuers, and who—often at risk of their lives—issued good-quality forged certificates and food stamps without which it would have been impossible to obtain groceries. They even maintained regular contact with the hidden children in order to boost their morale and prevent their loss to the Jewish people. They assisted detainees in the camps and smuggled them away; they moved convoys of children and adults to hiding places in France, Switzerland, and Spain; and they set up guerrilla groups and transferred funds for the sake of the struggle against the Nazi occupier.

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: Film, France, Holocaust, Jacques Chirac, Righteous Among the Nations, Vichy France

How China Equips the Islamic Republic to Repress Its People

In its dedication to bringing totalitarianism into the 21st century, the Chinese Communist party has developed high-tech forms of surveillance using facial-recognition software, a vast system of “social credit,” and careful control over its subjects’ cellular phones. Even stricter and more invasive measures are applied to the Uyghurs of the northwestern part of the country. Beijing is also happy to export its innovations in tyranny to allies like Iran and Russia. Playing a key role in these advances is a nominally private company called Tiandy Technologies. Craig Singleton describes its activities:

Both Tiandy testimonials and Chinese-government press releases advertise the use of the company’s products by Chinese officials to track and interrogate Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang province. According to human-rights groups, Chinese authorities also employ Tiandy products, such as “tiger chairs,” to torture Uyghurs and other minorities.

Iran has long relied on China to augment its digital surveillance capabilities, and Tehran was an early adopter of Beijing’s “social-credit” system, which it wields to assess citizens’ behavior and trustworthiness. . . . Iranian government representatives have publicized plans to leverage smart technologies, including AI-powered face recognition, to maintain regime stability and neutralize dissent. Enhanced cooperation with China is central to those efforts.

At present, Tiandy is not subject to U.S. sanctions or export controls. In light of Tiandy’s operations in both Xinjiang and Iran, policymakers should consider removing the company, its owner, and stakeholders from the international financial system and global supply chains.

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Read more at FDD

More about: China, Human Rights, Iran, Totalitarianism, U.S. Foreign policy