The Papon Affair is the definitive English-language work on a trial that is now considered to be the most significant in late twentieth-century France. Papon, who served as a Vichy bureaucrat, was charged with assisting in the deportation of several trainloads of Jews from the Bordeaux region to Nazi death camps between 1942 and 1944. After the War, his career included both a stint as Prefect of Paris Police and as a cabinet finance minister. The inconclusiveness of the verdict which, even after six months of testimony, left unresolved not only important legal and historical issues, but political, philosophical and moral issues as well. Richard Golsan has brought together the crucial French journalistic pieces on the trial along with several essays by leading American and British scholars to help contextualize the trial for an English-speaking audience. The book delves deeply into the fascinating debates about the nature of French complicity in the Final Solution and of memory itself.
Richard J. Golsan is Professor of French at Texas A&M University. He is the Editor of South Central Review and is the author of Rene Girard and Myth: An Introduction (1993) and Service Inutile: A Study of the Tragic in the Theatre of Henry De Montherland (1988). Among his edited volumes are Memory, the Holocaust, and French Justice: The Bousquet and Touvier Affairs (1996) and Gender and Fascism in Modern France (1997).