Mariage blanc

Mariage blanc

Mariage blanc (from the French, literally "white marriage") is a marriage of convenience usually entered into in order to aid or rescue one of the principals of the marriage from persecution or harm. Mariage blanc should not be confused with a marriage made for economic or financial reasons, or a lavender marriage, one undertaken to disguise the homosexuality of at least one partner. As the term implies, a mariage blanc is rarely consummated, and often is annulled once the specific danger or persecution has passed.

An example is of a Gentile marrying a Jew to protect that person during times of extreme anti-Semitism such as the lead-up to World War II in areas of Europe menaced by Nazism: "Baron Federico von Berzeviczy-Pallavicini . . . [d]uring the thirties . . . made a marriage blanc with the niece of Demel's Jewish owners, which allowed her to enter a convent under his name and survive the war. (Demel's is a luxurious Viennese confectionery, still in business today.)

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