Hello (introduction) #france #general


Hello to everyone.  My name is Julie and I'm about to help my husband with his family tree.  This will take me a while, because I am visually impaired and can't spend too much time looking at a computer monitor.

I am from Canada, but my husband is French and we live in France.  I spent some time here in France trying to experience the side of things that could not be experienced in America.  I have gone to the deportation and resistance museum quite a few times since I've been here to try to better understand what happened here during the war.  It's not something I can do for long periods of time, so I have tried to get as much as I could from it over short periods.

My husband has warned me that, at the beginning of the war, someone from the family went to the synagogue and ripped all of the records with their family name on it out of the books.  I am not sure what I have in store for me on this journey, but I have a feeling it will not be easy.  I hope that some of you will be willing to help me, and I of course will be willing to help you the best that I can.

Thank you for having me in this group.  I really appreciate it.

Have a great day,
Julie Colangelo

Bernard Flam

Hi from Paris,
Dear Julie, 
I reply in English to give a general answer, then we will switch to French for further private discussion.
  • French Revolution had given full citizenship to Jews living in France and religious ou racial census was forbidden, from 1789 till today.
  • After July 1940 and Nazi occupation of northern France, when Petain's collaborationist french state replaced Republic,  one of the first antisemitic target was to fill a Jewish census to prepare further discriminations (...till deportation).
  • Danneker, directly under Eichmann's orders for France, tried to find lists of Jews by searching in Jewish religious and non-religious organizations.
  • So Jews quickly destroyed their own archives and lists : you have in your husband's family memory of what happened in this synagogue.
  • In October 1940, Petain made a law, called as "1st statut of Jews" which among plenty of antisemitic rules, made obligation for Jews to go to police station and make themselves their own declaration of being Jew.
  • Almost 90% of them obeyed , as they wished not to be outlaws...
Concerning Jewish genealogy and family history in France and "old countries" of Yiddishland, Medem Center is one of the few associations where we / I manage a weekly workshop of Jewish genealogy : you are welcome !
Bernard Flam
Archives & history of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring ( Workmen Circle / Bund of France)