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October 19, 2017
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7 p.m.

US Holocaust Memorial Museum
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024

Why North Africa? An American Invasion
Public Program
American troops parade through Casablanca, Morocco, in November 1942. <i>Centre des Archives Diplomatiques de Nantes</i>
American troops parade through Casablanca, Morocco, in November 1942. Centre des Archives Diplomatiques de Nantes

In November 1942, US troops stormed the beaches of Algeria and Morocco in Operation Torch, the first American offensive of World War II. Military leaders learned important lessons from the North African campaign, which later shaped their approach to liberating Europe.

In this program, scholars will discuss the power grabs, plot twists, and diplomatic intrigue that heightened the importance of a victory in North Africa. They also will present insights gleaned from newly discovered documents about Jewish resistance and the fate of the Jewish communities.

Dr. Edna Friedberg,
Historian, US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Dr. Meredith Hindley, historian and author of Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II
Dr. Robert Satloff, Executive Director, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and author of Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust's Long Reach into Arab Lands 

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Stream the program live at Registration is not required to watch the live-streamed event.

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Holocaust Encyclopedia: Vichy Discrimination against Jews in North Africa
The history of the Holocaust in France's three North African colonies (Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia) is intrinsically tied to France's fate during this period.
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Holocaust Encyclopedia: Jews in North Africa: Oppression and Resistance
The distance of Jews in North Africa from the concentration camps in central and eastern Europe permitted them to avoid the fate of their coreligionists in Europe. In the region, Germans only briefly occupied Tunisia. Nonetheless, attacks on Jews and Jewish property by local European antisemites and native Muslims went unhindered by Vichy authorities and Jews were sent to work camps as forced laborers.
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Holocaust Encyclopedia: Military Operations in North Africa
The North African military campaigns of World War II were waged between September 13, 1940, and May 13, 1943. They were strategically important for both the Western Allies and the Axis powers.
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Holocaust Encyclopedia: Jews in North Africa after the Allied Landings
Even after the Allied landings in North Africa in November 1942, conditions did not immediately improve for the Jews in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
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Listen: Voices on Antisemitism: Robert Satloff
Soon after September 11, 2001, Robert Satloff moved to Rabat, Morocco, to search for Arab heroes during the Holocaust. Listen to him explain why.
Learn More