‘Entangled History’: Jewish and Roma Families in French Internment Camps
September 28, 2023 at 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Taper Hall, Room 309K
(Join us in person or online)
A public lecture by Clara Dijkstra (PhD candidate in History, University of Cambridge, Christ’s College)
2023-2024 USC Shoah Foundation Robert J. Katz Research Fellow in Genocide Studies
Organized by the USC Dornsife Center for Advanced Genocide Research and the USC Shoah Foundation
Between 1940 and 1946, approximately 500,000 Jews and Roma were imprisoned in internment and detention camps in France. In this lecture, Clara Dijkstra will share her research on the ‘entangled experiences’ of Jewish and Roma families in the French camps of Drancy, Poitiers and Montreuil-Bellay. Telling the intertwined history of the internment of Jews and Roma in France raises a number of methodological challenges, including issues of hierarchy, competitive victimhood, and disparity of sources for studying the experiences of both groups. Ms. Dijkstra will discuss how she approaches these in her work and how the Holocaust survivor testimonies in the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive reflect these challenges and inform her research.
Clara Dijkstra is a third-year PhD student in History at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge. She was awarded the USC Shoah Foundation Robert J. Katz Research Fellowship in Genocide Studies for the 2023-2024 academic year. Her research, titled ‘The internment of the family: Jews and Roma in Drancy, Poitiers and Montreuil-Bellay, 1939-1946’ is supported by the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Program and the J.H. Plumb studentship at Christ’s College and is conducted as part of the Collaborative Doctoral Award titled ‘The Romani Holocaust and its Aftermath: Gendered Perspectives’, in partnership with The Wiener Holocaust Library in London. After her fellowship at the Center and USC Shoah Foundation, she will go on to complete a junior fellowship at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam. Read more about Clara Dijkstra here, and read an interview with her here.
First image is historical photograph of Tsiganes standing behind barbed wire at the Montreuil-Bellay internment camp, 1944. Photo Credit: Jacques Sigot Archives. (“Tsigane” is one of the terms used in French historiography to describe different groups of Roma and Sinti people living in France during the Occupation.)
Second image is historical photograph of members of the Goldstein family posing with Nechemia and Esther Kluger in the Poitiers internment camp, 1941. Pictured from left to right are: Anna Goldstein (10), Faigle Goldstein (35), Nechemia Kluger (43), Esther Kluger (40), Llata Goldstein with Renee Goldstein (7), Lara Goldstein (5), David Goldstein (13), and Albert Goldstein (34). Photo from United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Samuel Goldstein.