Escaping violence in 1935: Jewish Polish students’ strategy, from Montpellier to Lyon

Laurence Prempain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


On 31 January 1935, French medical students rioted in Montpellier in protest against supposed advantages given to foreign students at their expense. Within the context of a period of economic crisis, protestors claimed that their concern was purely professional and non-political in nature. This changed quickly when the Action Française, an extreme right-wing movement based in Paris, took control of the student movement. From this point, the protest evolved into a xenophobic, anti-Semitic revolt. Violence, riots and anti-Semitic slogans focused mainly on the spread of Romanian and Polish Jewish students among the French members of the medical faculties. Notably, however, at the faculty in Lyon it remained quiet. This paper will examine the hypothesis of a strategy assumed by the Jewish Polish medical students in Montpellier to escape from the rising violence they were facing. The article concludes with the xenophobic and anti-Semitic policy of the Vichy Regime in 1940 and 1941 which enacted laws against Jewish physicians and students.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudent Revolt, City and Society in Europe : From the Middle Age to the Present
PublisherRoutledge - Taylor & Francis Group
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Fields of Science

  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Antisemitism

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