THESIS

“When the historians close their books, when the statisticians stop counting, the memorialists and witnesses can no longer remember, then the poet, the novelist, the artist comes and surveys the devastated landscape left by the fire - the ashes. He rummages through the debris in search of a design. For if the essence, the meaning, or the meaningless of the Holocaust will survive our sordid history, it will be in works of art.”

Raymond Federman’s words raise the question of heritage. While the last survivors of the Holocaust are disappearing, a question remains: will the Holocaust appear to the new generation as antiquated as the Middle Age’s religious wars ? Whatwill be left of the 50 year cultural and political battle for memory ? This thesis aims to recognize the central role of cinema in the memory process with a focus on the particular case of French national memory of the occupation period and, more precisely, France’s role in the Holocaust.