UWaterloo History Dept. presents Professor Valerie Deacon: “From Terrorism to Heroism: The extreme right in the French Resistance”

Presented by the University of Waterloo History Department:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 – 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm


“As part of our 2013-2014 History Speaker Series, Professor Valerie Deacon of New York University will share her provocative work on the French resistance during the Second World War, focusing on and highlighting the role of right-wing resisters.”

In 2010, the former resister Stéphane Hessel published a small pamphlet entitled Indignez-Vous, which would be translated into numerous languages and would be credited with inspiring activists all around the world to fight injustice and tyranny. In 2011, Hessel was named one of Foreign Policy’s top 100 global thinkers for “bringing the spirit of the French Resistance to a global society that has lost its heart”. While undoubtedly inspirational, Hessel’s understanding of the “spirit” of Resistance, which emphasizes human rights and equality, neglects to take into account the many resisters who had little interest in such things. While they may have maintained a political stance that is unpleasant to remember (anti-communism, anti-semitism, and anti-republicanism), the contribution of members of the extreme right to the liberation of France cannot be overlooked. In fact, the seeming paradox of their decision to resist, even though their politics were often sympathetic to Vichy and other fascist regimes, makes rightist motivations all the more important to understand.

Free lunch will be served.

More information can be found here.

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