The Schmooze

Private Letters of a Noble French Statesman

Along with Léon Blum, Pierre Mendès France (1907-1982) was the only Jewish statesman ever allowed to serve as Prime Minister of France. Mendès France held that office from 1954 to 1955, following years in the wartime French Résistance. Like Blum, Mendès France was targeted for a multitude of anti-Semitic insults, which made him resolve not to run for President of France, fearing his candidacy would lead to a further upswing in Gallic hatred for Jews.

Historian Gérard Boulanger’s 2007 study from Les editions Calmann-Lévy, “The ‘Jew’ Mendès France: a Genealogy of Anti-Semitism” documents the statesman’s forbearance during these lifelong attacks, while a book out from Les éditions Robert Laffont in October, offers more evidence of Mendès France’s patience and wisdom.

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Private Letters of a Noble French Statesman

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