When the Allies landed in North Africa in November 1942, it marked a global turning point of World War II. Few know, however, that their path into the capital of Algiers was paved by a band of largely Jewish resisters who teamed with Far Right French military brass and businessmen to take control of the city. At the center of the story was the Aboulker family, an extraordinary clan of prominent doctors, military veterans, philanthropists and Jewish community activists. Believing themselves the direct descendants of King David, they took up their cause with a potent sense of destiny and charisma.
Ethan Katz is Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is the co-founder and co-director of the Berkeley Antisemitism Education Initiative. A scholar of Jewish-Muslim relations, Jews in colonial societies, Holocaust studies, and the interplay between religious and secular in modern Jewish life, his publications include The Burdens of Brotherhood: Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France (National Jewish Book Award and the J. Russell Major Prize of the American Historical Association) and the co-edited Colonialism and the Jews (National Jewish Book Award finalist) and Jews and Muslims in France Before and After Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher (special issue of Jewish History, 2018).