S&T historian to explore rural anti-Semitism in Europe during World War II

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On February 25, 2009

Dr. Shannon Fogg, an assistant professor in history and political science at Missouri S&T, recently received a Research Board Grant from the university for her project titled, “Rural Anti-Semitism in Britain and France During World War II.”

Fogg is currently teaching in London through Missouri S&T’s Missouri-London Program. The one-year award for $8,436 will allow her to extend her stay after the spring semester ends to begin her research. Fogg will survey archives to discover the level of anti-Semitism in rural areas of Britain and France before and during World War II. She plans to eventually write a book on the subject.

“People often ignore the experiences of Jews in rural areas and assume rural residents were automatically unaccepting of outsiders to their communities,” says Fogg. “I think it’s really important to look at these areas because during the war many people, including Jewish refugees, fled cities to the countryside to escape bombing or the Germans, or for better access to food.” Fogg believes the survival of Jews in France was related to the aid of rural residents.

Her research will cover three main areas — the extent to which the governments’ official attitudes towards Jews filtered down into rural communities, the extent of the rural anti-Semitism itself and how it affected the refugees’ treatment, and the effects of age and gender on rural anti-Semitism.

“An interesting aspect of my research will be gaining an understanding of the women’s and children’s experiences,” Fogg says. “Many Jewish men were arrested, and ‘native’ adult males were often fighting or prisoners of war, so it was women and children who fled to the countryside, and it was the rural women who accepted these outsiders into their homes.”
The University of Missouri Research Board was created to enhance the long-term quality and quantity of scholarship throughout the University of Missouri System by supporting meritorious research projects. External funds are leveraged to support promising new faculty and fund high quality new initiatives of senior faculty.

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On February 25, 2009. Posted in Department of History and Political Science, People, Top Headlines