Passage to Casablanca: the Refugee Crisis in Morocco during World War II

5 - 6:30 p.m.
Stephens Hall 340, Sultan Conference Room

Prof. Susan Gilson Miller, Department of History, UC Davis

Center for Middle Eastern Studies

The massive influx of European refugees into Morocco during World War II had lasting effects on that country’s social, economic, and political life. Against the background of a fractured and depleted colonial system, thousands of Europeans set adrift by war struggled to maintain a temporary foothold in North Africa, using it as a way station to more secure havens in North and South America. Some Europeans passed through quickly, while others were truly stranded and became enmeshed in native society as penniless migrants, petty criminals, political activists, forced laborers, ambitious entrepreneurs, and political “undesirables.” In this lecture, Susan Miller examines the array of conjunctures between Europeans and Moroccans in the chaotic years of 1940 to 1945, when themes of race, class, ethnicity, nationalism, legal status, and religious difference transfixed people caught in the web of the humanitarian crisis brought on by global war.

cmes@berkeley.edu, 510-642-8208