Pardon my absence–I’ve been knee-deep and then some in French history and literature, as is likely to be the case for years to come. But that’s actually a good thing for Jewlicious readers. While I haven’t a clue what’s new in the Jewish world at this very minute, aside from what Haaretz headlines say, I have all sorts of exciting information on interwar France. So while Germany was Nazi-ing up a storm, a Jew was leading the French government. Leon Blum didn’t fare so well later on, once WWII got going, but there was a glimmer of hope, or something. Of course, even while in power, the right in France had it in for Blum, accused him of, among other bizarre things, having a secret stash of silver, and at one point even attacking him physically.
The point of this is to quote an especially amusing/telling/what have you passage from Julian Jackson’s The Popular Front in France, which we just read in one of my classes:
When Blum was accompanying President Lebrun around the exposition of French art at the [Paris, 1937] Exposition he stopped before a set of silver from the Louvre and remarked to the President, not known for his sense of humour, ‘there is my famous collection of silver’; later Lebrun, who had retmained silent, returned to discover if this were true. (251).