chapter  3
10 Pages

“One Nation (In)divisible?”: Sartre and the Jewish Question

WithLAWRENCE R. SCHEHR

After the defeat of France in 1871 in the Franco-Prussian War, the country bore an open wound, the predictable result of the amputation of AlsaceLorraine. The subsequent foundation of the Third Republic, the legislation of the Ferry Laws in 1881 and 1882 and a generalized Zeitgeist together pointed toward both the belonging that is proper citizenship and the core set of republican values that have lasted and evolved through the present: a universalizing and secular discourse, the importance of the Republic and a rejection of identitarianism are at the heart of this mentality. But these values were partly founded on that amputation; the appeal to the universal and to the Republic was to some extent a response to the wound: the idealistic values were not necessarily generated from pure idealism.