Wartime North Africa: A Documentary History, 1934–1950

Wartime North Africa: A Documentary History, 1934–1950

A book talk by Sarah Abrevaya Stein (UCLA) & Aomar Boum (UCLA)

Tuesday, January 31, 2023
4:00 PM (Pacific Time)
314 Royce Hall

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Part of the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies' The 1939 Society Program in Holocaust Studies 


This book, the first-ever collection of primary documents on North African history and the Holocaust, gives voice to the diversity of those involved—Muslims, Christians, and Jews; women, men, and children; black, brown, and white; the unknown and the notable; locals, refugees, the displaced, and the interned; soldiers, officers, bureaucrats, volunteer fighters, and the forcibly recruited. At times their calls are lofty, full of spiritual lamentation and political outrage. At others, they are humble, yearning for medicine, a cigarette, or a pair of shoes. Translated from French, Arabic, North African Judeo-Arabic, Spanish, Hebrew, Moroccan Darija, Tamazight (Berber), Italian, and Yiddish, or transcribed from their original English, these writings shed light on how war, occupation, race laws, internment, and Vichy French, Italian fascist, and German Nazi rule were experienced day by day across North Africa. Though some selections are drawn from published books, including memoirs, diaries, and collections of poetry, most have never been published before, nor previously translated into English. These human experiences, combined, make up the history of wartime North Africa.

Aomar Boum is Maurice Amado Chair in Sephardic Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Sarah Abrevaya Stein is Viterbi Family Chair in Mediterranean Jewish Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.



Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies, Department of History