After the anti-Jewish legal guidelines of Vichy, the nice crossing of Claude Lévi-Strauss | EUROtoday

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Rumors of the battle are fairly muted within the reserves of the Museum of Man in Paris. Not for everybody: the ethnologist Paul Rivet, who took cost of the brand new museum in 1928, put in ten years later on the Trocadéro, has been the president of the Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals since 1936. Claude Lévi-Strauss has his thoughts elsewhere. He left Santos, the port of Sao Paulo, on March 7, 1939, arrived in Paris on the finish of the month and commenced emptying his trunks, sorting and labeling his tons of notes, his roughly 3,000 images and almost 650 objects that he introduced again from Brazil.

In March 1939, battle was quick approaching. Hitler annexed what remained of Czechoslovakia and has been persecuting Jews in Germany for nearly six years. But Lévi-Strauss has many different issues. He spent 5 years removed from Europe, with the Caduveo and Bororo Indians, then, from 1938, with the Nambikwara and the Tupi, in Mato Grosso.

He is 30 years previous, lives in a small studio on rue des Plantes, within the 14th arrondissement of the capital, in the identical constructing as his mother and father, along with his little monkey Lucinda and “a questionable beard”, notes his cautious biographer Emmanuelle Loyer. At the beginning of the varsity yr in September, he should be appointed substitute professor of philosophy within the women' highschool in Versailles. His spouse, Dina, is assigned to the Troyes highschool.

  Claude Lévi-Strauss, in the Amazon, in October 1936.   Claude Lévi-Strauss, in the Amazon, in October 1936.

They are additionally within the technique of separating, after seven years of marriage. The breakup may be very painful for Dina, who makes an attempt suicide and is saved on the final minute by Emma, ​​Lévi-Strauss's mom. He is fully absorbed by his archives. “How did you see the war coming with the threat of Hitler’s world? “, will ask him Le Figaro in 1989. He didn't see her.

“I didn’t ask myself any questions. I was returning from an expedition, replies Lévi-Strauss placidly. I was extremely busy with, on the one hand, the classification of the collections of the Musée de l'homme, and on the other hand my relocation to Paris. Well… I was somewhere else. » He had certainly read about the Munich agreements in an old newspaper lying around in the hut of a rubber prospector in the Amazon, but he was “much more concerned about Indians than about the situation in the world”.

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The younger ethnologist was mobilized in September 1939 and assigned to the telegram censorship service, which he described as “the most total buffoonery”. He requested to grow to be a liaison officer with the British expeditionary pressure, he who spoke virtually no English, however he was despatched to the varsity for liaison officers within the Somme, the place he was declared match for service.

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