Naturalizations France #france


Hello Shana
You have to find the date of his naturalization (read further up and Bernard Flam contributions)
Once you have the decree number the files have to be requested on line at the National Archives. You can wait for a month to have the file available and then the file will stay available for 3 weeks approx. But you have to come to read the file in the Archives or send a researcher. The files are not digitalised and they are fragile documents made of all sort of bits and pieces scribbled notes as well as official papers.

Catherine Jurovsky

Bernard Flam

From Paris to Tsuri,
WWII started 1939, September 2nd.
Phoney war ended in May 1940 when Hitler invaded Belgium, Nederlands then France (Blitzkrieg, May 10th - June 14th).
On June 14th, Nazis entered Paris.
This was an end to the Republican and democratic state and Petain obtained full power from Parliament.
As soon as July 22nd, an antisemitic law had been passed to "de-naturalize" foreign Jews who had been naturalized by 1927 law.
This law gave an easy access to French citizenship, a way to repopulate France after WWI : 1.5 millions KIA, some millions of wounded and disabled persons.

In fact, about 15.000 Jewish citizens lost their French nationality, from ca 100.000  new Jewish citizens from 1919 to 1939.
Of course, no new naturalizations were given to Jews during this period.
Last but not the least : this de-naturalization applied also to children born in France from these foreign parents. 
But in our nation, from French Revolution, we benefit of "jus solis", you are automatically French when you are born on French soil.
These children had no other nationality than being French : by this de-naturalization, they became stateless !

Paris had been liberated on 1944, ca August 25th.
A law passed on October (France had been fully liberated only during 1945 spring) automatically reestablished  French citizenship to de-naturalized Jews.

For person who had filled a naturalization file before WWII without being accepted, this file is the "basis" of their inquiry after WWII : this is a proof that these files had been kept for some years  (I am sure of that, it had been my father's case and I could copy his documents given in 1939 in his 1948' final file).

I guess that files which hadn't been claimed for a new inquiry after some years, had been destroyed.
In their Finding Aids, National Archives explain there is no list, no index.

You surely know this : in genealogy, there no answer to question you don't ask !
If you give me, by private reply, your father-in-law identity, I could do some searches, I am a full volunteer and I manage the Jewish genealogy workshop of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring of France.

Bernard Flam


Hi Bernard
What actually happened to the naturalization processes during the war? I know there was an edict to "de-naturalize" Jews who had been naturalized after 1927.  I can only assume that no new naturalizations were approved. Even if, as you wrote, the original request files were not archived, is there a record some place that a denial had occurred?  Was there any organized activity after the war to formally close (deny) files of Jews who had been killed?

Tsuri Bernstein

Bernard Flam

Hi from Paris,
Dear detectives,
This forum is a very powerful tool and when you have a question, always ask you if there isn't already a reply somewhere...
Use hashtag or key words to recover past answers.

One of my last July's posts answered all you need to access reference and ask for a copy of French naturalization files of your ancestors :  
I write it again : these files contain from 20 to 40 pages describing incumbent's life...

Sorry for Tsuri : as far as I know, naturalization files for which naturalization had been denied haven't be archived.

Search also posts of David Choukroun for older naturalization archives (before 1931) and others tips.

Bernard Flam
Medem Center Paris


I found the naturalization of my Grandmother's brother Simon Taganski as well as the full name of his wife & daughter.  Very informative.

Iris Folkson

Shana Mink

Thank you for this information Catherine.
Are these French naturalizations searchable online? How does one access them? I have a great uncle who was Polish from Warsaw and emigrated to Paris around the turn of the century 1900. How would I go about looking for his naturalization?
I would love to know more information about his parents who are my gr gr grandparents.

Shana Mink


Does anyone know how to find naturalization requests that were not actually awarded prior to deportation?
i know that my father in-law filed a request in the 1936-1939 time frame.  He was deported in 1943. 

Tsuri Bernstein


These files are troves of information. Many files contain information that goes largely beyond the date of the naturalization of the person. You find all the documents the candidates for naturalization had to fill up to become french including their family history. You have the inquest made by the relevant police department or embassies to confirm their sayings. Most fascinating and disturbing you find what happened to them during the Vichy regime. Many were subjected to the Commission de dénaturalisation and therefore the prefectures tracked their whereabouts during that period. The files can be extremely detailed and precise fortunately for them with a delay. Luckily gps tracking did not exist then !

Micheline GUTMANN

I have to precise that this means only that the date and number correponding
to naturalizations are on line.
But to each decret correspond an important file of several pages of
information about the people directly concerned and also their family,
parents, brothers, children..
These complete files must be asked to the national archives, at Pierrefitte,
north of Paris. Possible to go with metro. You ask and wait for them that
you can go and see.
Then you can go and take photos. We often do it.
Micheline Gutmann, GenAmi, Paris, France