Site of Amnesia: The Lost Historical Consciousness of Mizrahi Jewry

Representation of the Experience of the Jews of North Africa and the Middle East during World War II in Israeli, European and Middle Eastern Film and Television


This study deepens our historical understanding of the North-African Jewish and Middle Eastern Jewish experience during WWII, which is often under- or mis-represented by the media in Israel, the Arab world, France, and Italy. Public, historical and sociocultural discourse is examined to clarify whether these communities are accepted by the world as "Holocaust survivors". Further, it determines the extent to which their wartime history is revealed to Israeli society in its cultural performances. Importantly, this work addresses the reasons why the Holocaust of North African Jewry is absent from Israeli and world consciousness. Finally, the study contemplates the consequences of these phenomena for Israeli society as well as in the colonial countries of France and Italy.


EUR €165.00USD $198.00

Biographical Note

Yvonne Kozlovsky Golan, Ph.D. (2003), University of Haifa, is Senior Lecturer and founding chair of the Interdisciplinary Program for Culture and Film Studies at that university. Her research focuses on history, cinema and media, especially relating to Israel studies, Holocaust and genocide.

Table of contents


1 Audio-Visual Footnotes to an Absent Historic Narrative: Symbiosis between the Holocaust and Audio-Visual Media

2 Historic Awareness, Media and Knowledge

3 A Missing Understanding, 1945 to the 1990s

4 Documentary, Feature Films and Fiction: Allied Filming during the North African Campaign: Between Testimonies and Visual Documentation

5 Lost Stories

6 European Television and Cinema
 6.1 Italian Cinema
 6.2 French Feature Films
 6.3 French Documentary Cinema

7 Partial Collective Memory

8 A Tradition without a Past

9 Betrayal of the Intellectuals

10 Israeli Television and Cinema

11 Film and Television Representations of Other Countries in the Middle East
 11.1 Braids: An Iraqi Prisoner of Zion
 11.2 Michel Ezra Safra and Sons: The Jews of Syria
 11.3 Farewell Baghdad
 11.4 The Turkish Passport (2001)

12 Present Absentees
 12.1 Lo Tafchidunu
 12.2 Refugees and Jewish Property
 12.3 Forgotten Refugees

13 Community and Individual Resistance
 13.1 The Story of the Jewish Resistance in Algeria
 13.2 The Night of Fools: The Story of the Jewish Resistance in Algeria

14 Approximate Israeli Creation

15 Within Us – An Additional Aspect of the Wartime Experience



All interested in the history of World War II in North Africa, the lives of Jews under German rule, Mizrahi-Ashkenazi relations in Israel, and the influence of politics and governance on Holocaust memory in Europe, the Middle East, and Israel.