Michael Marrus

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Michael Robert Marrus, CM FRSC (born February 3, 1941) is a Canadian historian of France, the Holocaust and Jewish history. He was born in Toronto and received his BA at the University of Toronto in 1963 and his MA and PhD at the University of California, Berkeley in 1964 and 1968. He is a Professor Emeritus of Holocaust Studies at the University of Toronto.[1]

Marrus is an expert on the history of French Jewry and anti-semitism. He co-wrote with Robert Paxton a book on Vichy France that shows that the anti-semitism of Vichy was not imposed by the Germans, that at times Vichy was more brutal towards the French Jews than the Germans and the French state played a leading and indispensable role in organizing the deportation of Jews to death camps. Furthermore, Marrus and Paxton argued that Vichy was more brutal than other European states occupied by the Germans.

Marrus's book the Holocaust in History is a well-regarded historiographical survey. Marrus wants the Holocaust to be seen as tragedy for humanity, not just Jews. In his book, Marrus was able to offer a synthesis such as the Functionalist vs Intentionalist views of the origins of the Holocaust.

In 2001, after failing to gain access to the Vatican archives from the period after 1923, the International Catholic-Jewish Historical Commission disbanded amid controversy. Unsatisfied with the findings, Marrus said the commission "ran up against a brick wall.... It would have been really helpful to have had support from the Holy See on this issue."[2]

Professor Michael Marrus was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2008.[3]

Marrus married Randi Greenstein in 1971 and has three children.


  • "European Jewry and the Politics of Assimilation: Assessment and Reassessment," The Journal of Modern History Vol. 49, No. 1, March 1977.
  • The Politics of Assimilation: The French Jewish Community at the Time of the Dreyfus Affair, 1980.
  • Coauthored with Robert O. Paxton Vichy France and the Jews, 1981.
  • Coauthored with Robert O. Paxton, "The Nazis and the Jews in Occupied Western Europe, 1940-1944," The Journal of Modern History Vol. 54, No. 4, December 1982.
  • The Unwanted: European Refugees in the 20th Century, 1985.
  • The Holocaust in History, 1987.
  • The Nazi Holocaust: Historical Articles on the Destruction of European Jews, 9 volumes, 1989.
  • "Three Roads From Nuremberg"; Tablet magazine; Nov. 20, 2015.
  • Samuel Bronfman: The Life and Times of Seagram's Mr. Sam, 1991.
  • "Reflections on the Historiography of the Holocaust" pages 92–116 from the Journal of Modern History Vol. 66, No. 1, March 1994.


  1. ^ "Marrus, Michael R.". University of Toronto Centre of Jewish Studies. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  2. ^ Melissa Radler. "Vatican Blocks Panel's Access to Holocaust Archives." The Jerusalem Post. July 24, 2001.
  3. ^ "Order of Canada: Michael Robert Marrus, C.M., Ph.D., F.R.S.C.". Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 

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