Immediately following the Second World War, scholarship on the Holocaust focused on the major historical actors and, to a somewhat lesser degree, the impact of the catastrophic events of the Holocaust on Jewish communities throughout Europe. While mass murder did not occur in North Africa, antisemitic legislation was imposed by the Vichy authorities in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, where labor camps were established, and the threat of annihilation loomed over the region’s Jews. The Allies began to liberate North Africa in November of 1942, and thus spared the Jewish population from the decimation encountered in Europe.
Until recently, little work has been done on the broader, trans-historical networks that occurred in what might be termed the “margins” of the Holocaust. This inter-disciplinary conference will examine new research on the war’s impact on Jews and Muslims in an underexplored region. By focusing on a “border region” that operated both within and outside of European colonial structures, more complex and variegated perspectives on the history, memory, and impact of World War II and the Holocaust begin to emerge.