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

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.

Read more at BESA Center

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

Iran’s Program of Subversion and Propaganda in the Caucasus

In the past week, Iranian proxies and clients have attacked Israel from the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, and Yemen. Iran also has substantial military assets in Iraq and Syria—countries over which it exercises a great deal of control—which could launch significant attacks on Israel as well. Tehran, in addition, has stretched its influence northward into both Azerbaijan and Armenia. While Israel has diplomatic relations with both of these rival nations, its relationship with Baku is closer and involves significant military and security collaboration, some of which is directed against Iran. Alexander Grinberg writes:

Iran exploits ethnic and religious factors in both Armenia and Azerbaijan to further its interests. . . . In Armenia, Iran attempts to tarnish the legitimacy of the elected government and exploit the church’s nationalist position and tensions between it and the Armenian government; in Azerbaijan, the Iranian regime employs outright terrorist methods similar to its support for terrorist proxies in the Middle East [in order to] undermine the regime.

Huseyniyyun (Islamic Resistance Movement of Azerbaijan) is a terrorist militia made up of ethnic Azeris and designed to fight against Azerbaijan. It was established by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps . . . in the image of other pro-Iranian militias. . . . Currently, Huseyniyyun is not actively engaged in terrorist activities as Iran prefers more subtle methods of subversion. The organization serves as a mouthpiece of the Iranian regime on various Telegram channels in the Azeri language. The main impact of Huseyniyyun is that it helps spread Iranian propaganda in Azerbaijan.

The Iranian regime fears the end of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan because this would limit its options for disruption. Iranian outlets are replete with anti-Semitic paranoia against Azerbaijan, accusing the country of awarding its territory to Zionists and NATO. . . . Likewise, it is noteworthy that Armenian nationalists reiterate hideous anti-Semitic tropes that are identical to those spouted by the Iranians and Palestinians. Moreover, leading Iranian analysts have no qualms about openly praising [sympathetic] Armenian clergy together with terrorist Iran-funded Azeri movements for working toward Iranian goals.

Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Azerbaijan, Iran, Israeli Security