Operation Yellow Star / Black Thursday

Operation Yellow Star / Black Thursday

by Maurice Rajsfus

Translated by Mike Mitchell and Phyllis Aronoff

Published by: DoppelHouse Press

Imprint: DoppelHouse Press

288 Pages, 6.00 x 9.50 x 1.00 in, 11 B&W line art, documents

  • Paperback
  • 9780997003499
  • Published: June 2017


  • Hardcover
  • 9780997818406
  • Published: July 2017


Two books by Maurice Rajsfus, a French activist and former investigative journalist for Le Monde, who shares his research and personal recollections in order to shed new light on France's role in the Holocaust. In the first volume, "Operation Yellow Star," Rajsfus meticulously analyzes archival documents, demonstrating the extent of police collaboration with the Vichy regime and how it facilitated the persecution, deportation, and ultimately the death of hundreds of thousands of Jews. Examining long-unseen arrest records and transcripts, Rajsfus seeks to understand how and why many average French citizens resisted Nazi occupation while others were willingly complicit. In the second book, "Black Thursday," Rajsfus recounts his own experiences of July 16, 1942, when he and his family were arrested as part of the Vel’ d'Hiv roundup, the largest ever in France, of 13,000 Jews. While most of those detained during the two-day sweep eventually died in Auschwitz, the author survived and has spent the rest of his life grappling with his country's betrayal. Together, the two volumes by Rajsfus offer a damning exposé of the bureaucracy of genocide, laying bare how cultural bias, political self-interest, and the influence of right-wing media led to the implementation of the Yellow Star as a segregationist device and determined France’s culpability in the Holocaust.

Maurice Rajsfus is the author of thirty books and from 1994–2012 he created and circulated "Que fait la police," a "Cop Watch" bulletin detailing human rights abuses. He lives in Paris with his wife, sons and grandchildren.

Phyllis Aronoff has won the Jewish Literary Award for translation and the translation prize from the Quebec Writers' Federation. She was president of the Literary Translators' Association of Canada and from 2007–2015 represented translators on the Public Lending Right Commission of Canada.

Mike Mitchell (b. 1941) is an award-winning translator of French and German who has been active as a translator for over thirty years. In 2012 the Austrian Ministry of Education, Art and Culture awarded him a lifetime achievement award as a translator of literary works. He lives in Scotland.