Assemblée du musée du désert 4 septembre 2016 – « Enchanter, désenchanter l’histoire du Refuge huguenot »

The history of the Huguenot Refuge quickly became an enchanted narrative according to which countless migrants witnessed of their loyalty to God by their exile and deprived France of the rich variety of their talents, while Europe’s Protestant states and princes afforded them a generous welcome. In reality, however, Louis XIV’s France did not so much lose people and riches as a culture of plurality, presumably with long-term consequences. So too throughout Europe the welcome was sometimes tarnished by xenophobic reactions, and equally guided by pragmatism and confessional solidarity. The Huguenots were, after all, seen as immigrants of some interest. Nevertheless, their arrival still signaled a history of success, whose apparent analogies with the present serve as a source for reflection.