Temple Beth-El of Ithaca will hold the lecture “French Collaboration in the Holocaust: The Story in Film and Fiction” with Dr. Daniel Schwarz on Wednesday, February 22, at 7:30 pm. The program will be available live at the synagogue, 402 N. Tioga St., Ithaca, or virtually via Zoom. The event is free and open to the public. To view the synagogue’s in-person guidelines, visit www.tbeithaca.org/in-person-guidelines.html. To receive the Zoom link for the program, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Films and fiction, in the form of narratives about the Holocaust, have helped overcome the dominant and incorrect history of the 1940-1944 Occupation years,” said organizers of the event. “Schwarz will explore the roles of both documentary and imaginative films in exposing the active collaboration of the Vichy government with the Nazis in the deportation and murder of the Jews living in France. He will address important existential and ethical issues that involve the persecution of Jews and the politics of memory, namely how this genocide could happen in France, why it was suppressed and repressed, and what cultural events changed the dominant narrative and corrected historical amnesia.” Among the films he will discuss are Louis Malle’s “Lacombe, Lucien” and “Au Revoir Les Enfants”; François Truffaut’s “The Last Metro”; Alain Resnais’ “Night and Fog”; and Marcel Ophuls’ “The Sorrow and the Pity,” as well as the 72-episode television series “A French Village.”
Schwarz is the Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow at Cornell, where he has taught for 55 years. He has lectured in the U.S. and internationally, including delivering the Paley lectures at Hebrew University. The author of 18 books, plus half of two others, he has worked in the field of Jewish studies for decades beginning with his book on “Disraeli’s Fiction” (1979). His “Imagining the Holocaust” is used in many courses. Both his book on “Endtimes?: Crises and Turmoil at the New York Times” and his “Reading Joyce’s Ulysses” have Jewish studies components.