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Should Arts Venues Honor a Nazi Hostess?

New York’s French Institute Alliance Française boasts a Florence Gould Hall while San Francisco has a Florence Gould Theater, both named after a French society hostess and philanthropist whose largesse, since her death in 1993, has been distributed by The Florence Gould Foundation. These venues were named before three histories of wartime France established that Gould was also an enthusiastic hostess and friend to Nazis and Nazi collaborators in her lavish Paris home.

Alan Riding’s well-researched “And The Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-occupied Paris,” out from Vintage Books on October 4 confirms information provided in Charles Glass’s “Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation” out in paperback in February from Penguin and Frederic Spotts’s “The Shameful Peace: How French Artists and Intellectuals Survived the Nazi Occupation” out last year in paperback from Yale University Press. But who were her guests and should their identity change the way her posthumous philanthropy is viewed?

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Should Arts Venues Honor a Nazi Hostess?

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