Re: Looking for Rivesaltes camp arrest record or other documentation for my grandfather Moses GOLDSTEIN #france #holocaust

Bernard Flam

 Hi from Paris,

Dear Melissa,
I have checked some French archives before answering you about Moses GOLDSTEIN's dramatic fate between Nice and Auschwitz and I will try to be clear for foreign researchers.
First of all, a common point of view from American persons is that France has forgotten its past because it was a past of "Collaboration" with nazis, especially concerning persecution and extermination of Jews.
Yes, almost 76.000 Jews have been deported to extermination, including 11.400 children under 15', rounded up mainly by French police and militia.
But always remember 75% of all Jews (80% French, 60% foreign Jews), ca 225.000 persons, survived in France, as my family did in Nice, Paris, Lyon and Grenoble. And this high ratio of surviving Jews among occupied European nations had been possible and achieved only with "Civil Resistance" of a large part of French population.
What we can find in French archives about this history?
At this moment, my second point is: you will be disappointed if you don't have learnt French at school!
It's a reason why our historical work appears outside to be so small, most of production (a
nd web sites) is in French, nobody is perfect...

A link to a full list of archives, "The Holocaust in France: A Resource Guide" established by Jean-Pierre Stroweis, IGRA, has been given by Elena Biegel Bases, IGRA in her post #555523 (2/08/19
) but I wish to focus on Moses Goldstein.

Concerning Shoah, main institution is Memorial de la Shoah in Paris (to be compared to USHMM)

You can find online a screen for any of these poor 76.000 deportees, always including digital copy of the page of deportation convoy including identity, job,
full last address (Nice for Moses). Families can add pictures and documents.
So I have found Moshe Goldstein as you did.
Each year, these lists of names are read during commemorations.
In Memorial, you have also free access to a very important research and documentation center (CDJC) : on Intranet and Library, you can learn everything which is known on Shoah.
Concerning individual fate of deportees after trains left France :

Search Arolsen Archives

and submit inquiry as only a little part of archives is online.

 Searching a deportee's file in France :

Archives of French state administration of deportees for official purposes (files opened after 1945), are kept by

 Concerning archives left by a Jew during his life in France (before 1945) :

National Archives have a "naturalization" file for persons who obtained French citizenship before 1939 (you must have reference of decree): there are a lot of documents in this file, including list of siblings, birth certificate, job, housing, etc.

As France is very sensitive about privacy, these files aren't not available online and you must fill a special inquiry.
From our Revolution, France is divided in 97 "departments", an administrative division.
Files are kept by these "Archives departementales" and you must contact each of them to find traces of persons if you guess they could have lived in places
within theirs "borders".
In Nice :

I have checked and "Finding Aid" for "History of WWII in Alpes-Maritimes" (Nice departement) has 412 pages.

Fond "0166W016" contain "Reports and individual files" of Jews for period August to November 1942.
With Google, I have found some very interesting papers concerning fate of Jews around Nice during WWII, in French.


Rivesaltes camp, there is a memorial :

but archives seem not to be there, they are kept in "Archives departementales" of "Pyrenees Orientales"

Last but not the least: lockdown is just left in France for some days and all these services aren't fully back to work. So you and we must wait to start new searches.
Take care of you, abi gezunt !
Bernard Flam
Archives and history of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring (Bund / Workmen Circle) of France


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