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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: November 2020

3 - Monster with One Eye Open

from Part I - Heroes and Martyrs


There were a number of ex-deportees, however, who felt that UNADIF had not gone far enough, that it had turned a blind eye to France’s own implication in the concentration camp universe. For throughout the 1950s and into the early 1960s, France was engaged in a bitter colonial war in Algeria, and it did not scruple to use internment camps to incarcerate its enemies. Concentration camp survivors like Jean Cayrol (who had been at Gusen, near Mauthausen) and Charlotte Delbo (who had been at Auschwitz) opposed the war, and echoes of such opposition resonate in the commentary Cayrol wrote for Alain Resnais’ pioneering documentary on camp life, Nuit et Brouillard (1956), and in Delbo’s formidable Auschwitz trilogy, Auschwitz et après (1965-1970-1971).

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