The Lifeline: Salomon Grumbach and the Quest for Safety


During the first months of World War II, nearly one thousand refugees and asylum seekers held in French internment camps sought the help of one man: Salomon Grumbach. Meredith Scott’s The Lifeline is a ground-breaking study of Grumbach, an Alsatian Jew, journalist, and socialist politician who became one of Europe’s most important interwar refugee advocates. Focusing on his remarkable life in Germany and France, it uncovers the identities that drove his international crusades for democracy and human rights. The Lifeline offers lessons that transcend national boundaries and historical moments, challenging us to rethink our ideas about resistance, mobilization, and activism.

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Meredith Scott, Ph.D (2012), University of Delaware, is Assistant Professor of History at the US Air Force Academy. She has published articles on French Jewish history, including “Republicanism on the Borders: Jewish Activism and the Refugee Crisis in Strasbourg and Nice” (Urban History, 2016).
 1 Foundations

1Hattstatt and beyond, the Early Years
 1 Roots

 2 Pre-War and Wartime Controversies

 3 World War i

2Towards Reconciliation, 1918–1932
 1 Contours of Public Engagement

 2 Rapprochement & a Fragile Peace

3And When We Wake Up, It Will Be Too Late, 1932–1936
 1 Sounding the Alarm

 2 The Crisis of February 1934

 3 The Crisis Begins

4Voices from the Abyss, 1936–1939
 1 Deputy of Castres

 2 Fragmentation

 3 Munich and beyond

 4 Birth of the Internment Camp System

5Survival, 1939–1945
 1 Establishment of Vichy and the Massilia Affair

 2 Captivity

 1 Stability, Security, and Peace



Readership includes undergraduate and graduate students, scholars, academic libraries, institutes of higher education, and the public. Subject areas include: France, Jewish studies, 20th century Europe, human rights, refugees, and the Holocaust.
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