In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2013. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, pp. 137-152.
In France, the decades after the Liberation were dominated by brutal colonial wars until 1962. Among others matters, the discussion about anti-colonialism concealed the past of the Vichy regime and the collaboration of parts of the French population. Instead, powerful postwar myths were created by the Gaullists as well as by the Communists that suggested France had liberated itself and the whole nation was part of the Résistance against the Germans. The specific Jewish memory of the Holocaust and the Jewish contribution to the resistance was marginalized. Nevertheless left-wing Jewish activists played a major role in the new social movements, especially during the events of May ´68 and its aftermath. In the mid seventies many left-wing Jews began to address their national belonging. That implied a critical debate about the Republican self-perseeption and a break with the universalist promise of communist ideology. This essay discusses the reasons for this shift and tries to explain it within the context of France’ postwar history.