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A group of researchers associated with the Centre de documentation juive contemporaine in Paris undertook the first Holocaust research in France. However, this private institution was not nearly as isolated as previously understood: despite general indifference and financial problems, the center managed to influence the course of national research on the Second World War, and helped to represent the Jewish trauma in exhibitions and national commemorations. This article argues for consideration of the interaction between state undertakings and Jewish initiatives in the study of postwar reactions to the Holocaust. Such a perspective can both illuminate contemporary disinterest and show how the genocide was integrated into French history largely as a consequence of the efforts of the Jewish community.