HomeThe drudges of the Axis : exploitable persecuted persons and ambivalent persecutors during WWII (Asia, Europe, Latin America)

HomeThe drudges of the Axis : exploitable persecuted persons and ambivalent persecutors during WWII (Asia, Europe, Latin America)

The drudges of the Axis : exploitable persecuted persons and ambivalent persecutors during WWII (Asia, Europe, Latin America)

Les corvéables à merci de l’Axe (Europe, Asie, Amérique latine) : persécutés utiles et persécuteurs ambivalents

Los explotables a merced del eje (Europa, Asia, América latina): perseguidos útiles y perseguidores ambivalentes

国際学会のお知らせ: 第二次大戦での 枢軸国(ヨーロッパ、アジア、ラテンアメリカ)と 被迫害者たちの矛盾的関係

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Published on Friday, March 20, 2020 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

This meeting is a continuation of the UFA (French-German University) Montpellier-Weimar Colloquium "Construction of myths of war heroes (Germany, France, Japan) organized by Philippe Wellnitz and Gérard Siary in Berlin in 2014. After having there discussed the ambivalence in the construction of "war-heroe", this new conference is interested this time in two other ambivalences associated with the Second World War: those of the positioning of certain host states and "the ethics of survival" of persecuted persons who fled from Axis-occupied territories to other Axis-allied or to neutral States.

Announcement

Symposium organized by Université Paul Valéry Montpellier III (IRIEC) in cooperation with the University of Lille

Dates and place

September 24 and 25 2020 in Montpellier (France)

Argument

This meeting is a continuation of the UFA (French-German University) Montpellier-Weimar Colloquium "Construction of myths of war heroes (Germany, France, Japan)" organized by Philippe Wellnitz and Gérard Siary in Berlin in 2014. (Colloquium published in 2017 at "Leipziger Universitätsverlag » under the title Helden und Heldenmythen als soziale und kulturelle Konstruktion Deutschland, Frankreich und Japan (Heroes and heroic myths: a social and cultural construction: Germany, France, Japan with abstracts in English, French, German and Japanese).

After having there discussed the ambivalence in the construction of « war-heroes », this new conference is interested this time in two other ambivalences associated with the Second World War: those of the positioning of certain host states and « the ethics of survival » of persecuted persons who fled from Axis-occupied territories to other Axis-allied or to neutral States.

Indeed, the biopolitics of the Axis forces led abroad populations who, from then on, had to negotiate their existence if not their survival with the respective host country. This phenomenon is already well known, but the nature and extent of the services rendered by the persons concerned to these receiving states - allies or sympathizers of the Axis (eg Japan) or not (eg Switzerland) - have yet hardly been the subject of comparative case studies or overall comparisons. The existing studies most often proceed by single countries or geographical areas but usually do not consider the fundamentally utilitarian nature of the phenomenon. The problem is also part of the formation of these "host" states which, in order to consolidate, agree to use the skills of the said task force.

The purpose of the conference is to find the traces of this diaspora of people and the way they cohabitated with the host States (Axis members, neutral countries), all quick to use their services and expertise in exchange for survival. The situations are not the same, however, depending on whether one considers the exiles in London, Shanghai or Buenos Aires or for example the Jews received in Switzerland and Japan. Many of them were held to be "useful":  some of them were "sold" against convertible currencies and could by this means escape from concentration camps (eg "export" of prisoners for forced labor in Swiss border factories, "reception" of German and Austrian artists in Switzerland as low-cost employees in cultural structures), sexual exploitation of prisoners of the Axis (jewish and other mistresses of the Nazis on the one hand and "comfort women" (jûgun-ianfu) in the countries occupied by Japan on the other hand), "interested" reception of Jews in Japan hided by japanese officials in front of the Nazi ally, etc.

It will therefore be a question of demonstrating at what cost these persecuted will have been saved, even could have escaped the forces of the Axis, and to wonder what expertise they brought to the nation-states.

The approaches will be both historical (archive documents) and literary (autobiographical documents of the persecuted, testimonies and novels of exile / historical novels). This conference will question the political ethics of both sides, racist theories reviewed according to variable criteria of "utility" and the compromises between host countries and their occasional "hosts" often led to deny or obscure their own values ​​( "Survival ethics"). The networking of isolated philologies and historiographies (usually operating by geographical areas) should make it possible to study this phenomenon in a rather global manner from the angle of an intercultural approach specific to our research unit IRIEC (socio-critical approaches to interculturality ).

The organizing team also encourages PhD-students and young post-doc researchers to participate in a group panel of short interventions that will be reserved for them (powerpoints, presentations of research projects or posters, etc.) in discussion with our own PhD-students in order to create future networks.

Submission guidelines

Submission of proposals (300 words maximum with succinct biobibliographical presentation including contributors’ institutional  membership and support)

for April 10, 2020

to be sent to the organizers of IRIEC (UPV Montpellier) and Lille

Response / acceptation at the end of April

Languages ​​of contributions: French, German, English, Spanish, Japanese

After acceptation, extended communication summaries with final title are kindly expected till the end of June 2020

N.B. Publication of the conference is scheduled for 2021 and will lead to other events.

Selection et organisation committee

  • Philippe Wellnitz (UPV Montpellier, IRIEC) philippe.wellnitz@univ-montp3.fr
  • Gérard Siary (UPV Montpellier) gerard.siary@univ-montp3.fr
  • Toshio Takemoto (University of Lille) toshio.takemoto@gmail.com

Places

  • Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III
    Montpellier, France (34)

Date(s)

  • Friday, April 10, 2020

Keywords

  • persécuté, état d'accueil, deuxième guerre, éthique de survie, nazisme, fascisme, axe

Contact(s)

  • Philippe Wellnitz
    courriel : philippe [dot] wellnitz [at] univ-montp3 [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Philippe Wellnitz
    courriel : philippe [dot] wellnitz [at] univ-montp3 [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« The drudges of the Axis : exploitable persecuted persons and ambivalent persecutors during WWII (Asia, Europe, Latin America) », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, March 20, 2020, https://calenda.org/757836

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