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The Sultan's CommunistsMoroccan Jews and the Politics of Belonging$
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Alma Rachel Heckman

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781503613805

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503613805.001.0001

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Possibilities: World War II and Moroccan Jewish Belonging

Possibilities: World War II and Moroccan Jewish Belonging

(p.65) Chapter 2 Possibilities: World War II and Moroccan Jewish Belonging
The Sultan's Communists

Alma Rachel Heckman

Stanford University Press

Chapter 2 focuses on the Second World War and its effects on Moroccan Jewish and Muslim political life. With France’s fall to Nazi Germany in 1940, the collaborationist Vichy regime applied anti-Semitic legislation in Morocco. While unevenly enforced, such legislation called for severe restrictions on employment, education, and housing for Moroccan Jews. This chapter examines Vichy rule in Morocco and the related spikes in anti-Semitism and fascism. It also describes the efflorescence of political possibilities for Moroccan Jews and Muslims that followed the success of Operation Torch. Yet, the previous fluidity of political choices hardened into mutually exclusive possibilities. Moroccan Jews asked themselves whether it was best to stay in Morocco or to leave. Simultaneously, the chapter charts the transformation of the Moroccan Communist Party into a nationalist organization that included a critical number of politicized Jews.

Keywords:   Vichy Regime, World War II, Anti-Semitism, Fascism, Nazism, Labor camps, Communism, Nationalism, Operation Torch, JDC

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