Love, war and history: French families during World War II

Through the history of two families, the Kahans and Ponelles, this lecture will illustrate how World War II in France affected a Catholic family (the Ponelles) and a Jewish family (the Kahans). These two families, inextricably intertwined as this paper will explain, suffered in quite different ways, as one might expect. Issues involved divorce, child custody, grandparenting, the anti-Semitic statutes, and travel within France during the War. Professor Fuchs will also demonstrate the limits of historical research and the boundaries not only between religions, regions, and countries, but also the boundaries between historical research and historical fiction.


The photograph, courtesy of the Irish College Paris depicts a group of nineteenth-century students in the college courtyard

Rachel Fuchs Lecture 19 April 2012