Sarah Gensburger, Les Justes de France. Politiques publiques de la mémoire, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, Paris, Presses de Sciences Po, 2010.
Nicolas Offenstadt, Le Monde des livres, 18 juin 2010
Anne Simonin, Revue française de science politique, 60, 6, 2010
Simon Perego, Histoire@Politique. Politique, culture, société, mise en ligne 9 décembre 2010
Renaud Hourcade, Revue française de science politique, 61, 2, 2011
Pierre Birnbaum, Cahiers du Judaïsme, n°32, septembre 2011
Gérard Cholvy, Historiens et Géographes, mai 2012
Jean-Marc Dreyfus, La vie des idées, mise en ligne 25 janvier 2013.
In 2006, Sarah Gensburger defended her dissertation of sociology on “the process of remembrance through the title of Righteous among the Nations in the French case” at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, advisor : Marie-Claire Lavabre ; jury : Alon Confino, Daniel Hervieu-Léger, Pierre Muller, Jacques Revel, François de Singly).
In 2007, her dissertation was awarded a special prize by the Auschwitz Foundation (Bruxelles) and selected as the best dissertation on public policy by the French Political Science Association (Paris). In 2010, part of it was published by the Presses de Sciences Po under the title Les Justes de France. Politiques publiques de la mémoire. The book received significant attention by scholars, both historians and political scientists, in academic journals and newspapers.
Indeed, the book investigates the reason for the development of a policy of memory based on the celebration of the Righteous among the Nations in the French context. Although the title of “Righteous among the Nations” has been awarded in Israel since 1963, foreign governments did not show any interest in this commemoration until the late 1990s. Since then, however, a growing number of European governments have adopted the term. Of all the countries to which this commemoration has spread, the French government’s appropriation of the Israeli terminology may have gone the farthest, forging a new national commemorative expression : the “Justes de France.” This essay explores how the French lexical appropriation has taken place. In doing so, it seeks to introduce a new perspective into the current debate on the transnationalization of memory and to look into the interaction between personal narratives and public frames of memory.