Until quite recently, the experiences of Jews in North Africa during WWII remained footnotes in a Eurocentric story, commemorated in the popular imaginary only as side stories in the 1942 film Casablanca. This talk goes beyond the romance of that film and explores the wide variety of Jewish experiences in North Africa during WWII, both as refugees from Europe and as victims of Vichy collaborationist anti-Semitic policy.
Alma Rachel Heckman (Ph.D., UCLA) is Neufeld-Levin Chair of Holocaust Studies and Assistant Professor of History and Jewish Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She specializes in modern Jewish history of North Africa and the Middle East with an interest in citizenship, the politics of belonging, transnationalism and empire. She is currently at work on a book manuscript tentatively entitled, Radical Nationalists: Moroccan Jewish Communists and the Politics of Belonging.