Contact:	Suzanne Trimel					For immediate release
		(212) 854-6579					March 16, 1998

Columbia University Conference April 3-4 Examines Everyday Life in Nazi-Occupied France

Everyday family life in Nazi-occupied France will be the focus of a conference April 3-4 at Columbia University that will examine film and writing that shaped opinion as the stage was set for the deportation of French Jews. The conference, "Hidden Voices: Childhood, The Family and Anti- Semitism in Occupation France," is open to the public. Sponsored by Columbia University Seminars, there is no admission charge but reservations should be made by calling (212) 854-4482. The hours are 1-6 P.M. Friday, April 3, and 9 A.M.-6 P.M. Saturday, April 4. The 1942 film, Le Voile bleu (The Blue Veil), a popular melodrama directed by Jean Stelli and Fran┘ois Campeaux about a woman who devotes her life to caring for children, will be screened from 8 to 10 P.M. on Friday. All conference sessions will be held at Buell Hall, La Maison Fran┘aise, on the Columbia campus at Broadway and 116th Street. The conference will address Vichy laws and ideology, memoirs and literary texts, Jewish cultural issues of assimilation and identity, childhood, education and the family and public memory and private memorials. Among the participants will be Ren┌e Roth-Hano, who as a Jewish child in Paris in 1942 was sent by her family into hiding in a convent as daily life for Jews became more terrifying. Ms. Roth-Hano is a social worker and therapist in New York who has written two memoirs, "Touch Wood: A Girlhood in Occupation France" (Four Winds: 1988) and "Safe Harbor" (Four Winds: 1993) about her experiences following the war as a newly arrived immigrant to the United States. She will speak on "Surviving, Healing and Moving On: A Lifelong Task" at 2:30 P.M. Saturday, April 4. "It took me 20 years to even begin to heal," said Ms. Roth-Hano, who is an adjunct faculty member at the New York University School of Social Work. "I was in hiding for a long time even after the war. I didn't want anyone to know I was a Jew. This trauma takes a long time to heal." Historians, writers and academic experts on cinema, drama and laws of the occupation years 1940 to 1945 are among other participants, including Professor Richard Weisberg of Yeshiva University's Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, who will discuss the treatment of children under Vichy law at 2 P.M. Friday, April 3; Professor Rosemarie Scullion of the University of Iowa, who will speak about the work of novelist and Nazi sympathizer Louis-Ferdinand C┌line at 3:30 P.M.; composer and musician Alicia Svigals of the Klezmatics, who will discuss the music group as Jewish youth subculture at 5 P.M., and historian David H. Slavin, who will examine anti-Semitism in France, at 10:15 A.M. Saturday, April 4. Professor Sandy Flitterman-Lewis of Rutgers University, a member of the University Seminar on Cinema and Interdisciplinary Studies at Columbia and the conference organizer, said everyday thinking in 1940's France led to "normalized complicity in the deportation of Jewish families and the persistent invisibility of everything surrounding Jewish life in French society." By examining the lives of women and children, Jewish and non-Jewish, Professor Flitterman-Lewis hopes to answer the central question of the time: "How is it that people lived ordinary lives while their neighbors were being wrenched from their homes in the middle of the night and sent to death camps?" The University Seminars, founded in 1945, bring together scholars from many fields and organizations to discuss broad topics and major questions of the day that cross traditional academic boundaries. This document is available at 3.16.98 19,293