The Holocaust in France: A resource guide

Jean-Pierre Stroweis

Find here a selection of books and on-line resources presenting the fate of the Jews in France during the Second World War. They enable to trace victims and survivors of the Holocaust in this country.

The FR sign indicates that the resource is available in French; the EN sign indicates that the resource is available in English. Material in English is sometimes very sketchy. Browsing French-only web sites with Google Translate is often a viable solution.

The resources marked with a DB  sign have searchable databases or extensive lists. All web sites are freely accessible. Registration is sometimes necessary.

Serge Klarsfeld

Serge Klarsfeld has been the first to compile comprehensive lists of Holocaust victims from France:

  • Le Mémorial de la déportation des Juifs de France, Paris 1978 (first edition) FR DB
  • Le Mémorial de la déportation des Juifs de France (1942-1944), 1981, EN DB
  • Le Mémorial de la déportation des Juifs de France, Paris 2012 (latest edition) FR DB
    The 1978 and 1981 versions are sorted by transport; the 2012 version is sorted alphabetically.

Klarsfeld wrote and co-authored many books (check amazon.com for English books), including:

  • Le calendrier de la persécution des Juifs de France, Fayard 2001. FR
  • Mémoires (autobiography co-written with his wife Beate), Flammarion 2015. FR

Klarsfeld Foundation: klarsfeldfoundation.org EN
The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation was established to bring to justice Nazi criminals. This “defunct” site, entirely in English, still presents some of the publications of the foundation.

Holocaust general resources

Yad Vashem: yadvashem.org EN FR DB including

US Holocaust Memorial Museum: ushmm.org EN DB including:

International Tracing Service, Bad Arolsen, Germany: its-arolsen.org EN FR DB

JewishGen’s Holocaust Database: jewishgen.org/databases/Holocaust EN DB

Archives of Joint Distribution Committee: archives.jdc.org EN DB

YIVO: yivo.org EN

Museum Auschwitz:  auschwitz.org

Holocaust in France

Mémorial de la Shoah: memorialdelashoah.org/index.php/en EN FR DB
The multidisciplinary resource center on Holocaust in France, in Paris: wall of victim names, wall of Righteous of the Nations, museum, memorials (in Paris and Drancy), archives, educational services, book shop. For an overview, see: tinyurl.com/jo2o4mu EN. Searchable databases include:

Yad VaShem France:  yadvashem-france.org FR DB

Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah: fondationshoah.org/FMS/A-la-une?lang=en EN FR
The Foundation funds research in anti-Semitic persecutions and the Holocaust in France.

The final solution in France, a selection of official German documents collected by S. Klarsfeld:
phdn.org/histgen/dokfran/index.html (in German)

Jewish Children in the Holocaust

Serge Klarsfeld compiled the list of 11,343 Jewish children deported, including 5,000 pictures.

  • French Children of the Holocaust: A Memorial, Volume 1, NYU Press 1996, English version. EN DB
  • French Children of the Holocaust: A Memorial, Volume 2, FFDJF 2016, bilingual. EN FR DB

Serge Klarsfeld, The Children of Izieu: A Human Tragedy, Harry N Abrams publisher, 1985 EN

Interactive searchable maps showing the addresses of the Jewish children deported from Paris and France. tetrade.huma-num.fr/Tetrademap_Enfant_Paris FR DB
tetrade.huma-num.fr/Tetrademap_Enfant_France FR DB

La Maison d’Izieu : memorializieu.eu EN FR
A memorial for exterminated Jewish children, located on the grounds of a shelter colony for Jewish children (1943-1944) in the remote hamlet of Izieu, off the Lyon-Chambéry road. 44 Jewish children and 7 adults were arrested on April 6, 1944 and deported.

OSE: ose-france.org/memoire/le-service-archive-et-histoire-de-l%E2%80%99ose FR
Œuvre de Secours aux Enfants (Children’s Welfare Organization) is a French Jewish humanitarian organization that supported 3,500 Jewish refugee children. OSE runs an archival service (e-mail: [email protected]).

Aloumim: aloumim.org.il FR
The Israeli Association of Jewish Children hidden during the Holocaust, is a group of children survivors from the Holocaust in France who made aliyah to Israel. Web site is in French and Hebrew.

COMEJD: comejdfrance.wordpress.com FR   and AMEJD: comejdfrance.wordpress.com/amejd FR  are national and local associations for the remembrance of the Jewish children deported from France. For example, the association for Paris 11th quarter: amejd11e.wordpress.com FR

Internment and Concentration Camps in France

Les camps français d’internement (1938-1946), by Denis Peschanski, State doctorate thesis on France Internment Camps, online at: tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-00362523/document FR

Internment Camps in France: apra.asso.fr/Camps/En/Accueil-Camps.html EN
Historical study about internment camps in France.
Vichy Camps: memorialdelashoah.org/attachments/article/2/A1_seltextes_153_eggers.pdf FR
L’internement sous toutes ses formes, by Christian Eggers

CERCIL: cercil.fr FR

Centre d’Étude et de Recherche sur les Camps d’Internement dans le Loiret. A museum, research institute and memorial located in Orléans, dedicated to the internment camps in the Loiret department (Pithiviers, Beaune-la-Rolande, Jargeau) and to the children of the Vel d’Hiv round-up (16 and 17 July 1942).

Camp de Gurs: the largest internment camp in southwest of France, near Dax (Pyrénées-Atlantiques). The camp was first created for the refugees of the Spanish civil war; then it received some 6,500 German Jews expelled from Bade Wurttemberg, Saar and Palatinate (Pfalz) in 1940.

  • gurs.free.fr  FR DB
    The personal web site of Joël Herreros about Gurs. The web site has lists of the inmates, some perished there other were deported. See also: campgurs.com FR
  • Hanna Schramm, Barbara Vormeier, Vivre à Gurs. Un camp de concentration français 1940-1941, Maspéro, Paris, 1979. FR
  • Claude Laharie, Le camp de Gurs. Un aspect méconnu de l’histoire du Béarn, Pau, 1985. FR

Camp du Vernet:

  • campduvernet.eu EN FR  Association of former inmates of Le Vernet camp, near Pamiers.
  • Arthur Koestler, Scum of the earth, 1941 EN ; La lie de la terre, 1941 FR.

Camp de Rivesaltes: memorialcamprivesaltes.eu FR and  Zakhor: zakhor.fr FR
Memorial and association for the memory of the internment camp of Rivesaltes, near Perpignan.

Camp des Milles: campdesmilles.org FR
Memorial site of Les Milles, an internment camp near Aix-en-Provence.

Camp de Royallieu, Compiègne: memorial-compiegne.fr FR
National Memorial for internment and deportation, Compiègne, 52 miles (84 km) north of Paris.

Camp de Noé, near Toulouse:     apra.asso.fr/Camps/En/Camp-Noe.html EN FR

Camp de Récébédou, near Toulouse:
Museum cheminsdememoire.gouv.fr/fr/camp-du-recebedou FR

Natzweiler Struthof Concentration camp: struthof.fr/en/home EN FR
National memorial site of the unique concentration camp built on French territory (Alsace).

A detailed list of internment and transit camps in France is available on Wikipedia in English at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_camps_in_France EN.   A more extensive list is on the French equivalent: fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_d%27internement_fran%C3%A7ais FR.

Deportation

Remembrance of specific transports / convoys:

AJPN: ajpn.org FR DB
AJPN stands for Anonymes, Justes et Persécutés durant la période Nazie dans les communes de France, [i.e. literally: Anonymous, Righteous and Persecuted individuals during the Nazi period in French towns]. This rich collaborative educational site federates local details and witnesses spread over 36,000 towns and villages of France. Covers deportees and victims (Jews, Gypsies, Spanish republicans), 9,000 survivors, 4,000 French Righteous of the Nations, 750 Jews in the underground movements, 33 rescue organizations and 645 rescue sites, 1,200 places of internment spread.

MemorialGenWeb: memorialgenweb.org FR DB
This collaborative site, fed by 112 volunteers across France, contains several search engines documenting memorial monuments, cemeteries (photos, postcards, and list of names), memorial books covering WWI, WWII and beyond. It holds a searchable database of deportees and military casualties.

Fondation pour la mémoire de la déportation (FMD): bddm.org FR DB
The national repository of the deportees arrested in France as political opponents, hostages, underground activists (résistants), common criminals, or civilians caught in roundups. This repository does not include the deportees as a result of racial persecutions (Jews and Gypsies) available at the Memorial de la Shoah, but it lists Jews deported individually or as opponents or from underground movements. The searchable database holds the names of 89,390 individuals from 363 deportation lists. Details may include birthdate, birthplace, transport itinerary and date, inmate registration numbers and fate.

Les morts dans les camps [e.g. the victims in the deportation camps]: lesmortsdanslescamps.com EN FR DB
This private site, maintained by Patrick Cheylan, lists the names of 76,402 Jews and non-Jews deported from [or who died in the camps in] France. These victims were posthumously “granted” the mention “mort en déportation“, i.e. “died in concentration camp” that was added to their death records by the French authorities; their names were published in the Journal Officiel (Official Journal of the French government). Instead of a search form, the site maintains many lists (alphabetic or per geographic origin) with links to the Journal Officiel publications.

Journal Officiel de la République Française legifrance.gouv.fr FR DB
The official site of the Official Journal of the French government, which published lists of deportees who were granted the posthumous mention “mort en déportation”, i.e. “died in concentration camp” that was added to their death records by the French authorities.

Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA): grands-entretiens.ina.fr/consulter/Shoah FR
The National Audiovisual Institute is a repository of all French radio and television audiovisual archives. It offers online some 115 video interviews of former deportees, hidden children, Righteous of the Nations and underground opponents (“résistants”).

Kazerne Dossin Memorial/Museum in Malines/Mechelen, Belgium: kazernedossin.eu EN FR
The memorial documents the deportation of French Jews from North and Pas-de-Calais via Malines, as well of the fate of Jews who fled from Belgium to France.

Vichy Regime

Serge Klarsfeld, Vichy – Auschwitz, Fayard, Paris, 2001. FR

Henry Rousso, Vichy Syndrome: History and Memory in France since 1944, Harvard Univ. Press, 1994. EN

Michael Marrus and Robert Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, Stanford University Press, 1995. EN FR

 Military

Mémoire des Hommes: memoiredeshommes.sga.defense.gouv.fr EN FR DB

The official memorial site of the French Ministry of Defense covers WWI, WWII and beyond. It includes among others, these three searchable databases:

  • 218,000 soldiers who died during the Second World War (including underground).
  • 1,009 persons shot by the Wehrmacht at Mont-Valérien fortress near Paris.
  • 53,000 records of foreign volunteers serving in French armed forces (Sept 1939- June 1940).

The database “Sépultures de guerre” also provides location of war graves.
www.memoiredeshommes.sga.defense.gouv.fr/fr/arkotheque/client/mdh/sepultures_guerre DB

Combattant Volontaire Juif: combattantvolontairejuif.org FR
This site traces the history of the foreign Jews who voluntarily joined the French army units for the duration of the hostilities to fight Nazi Germany. See also: tinyurl.com/zeemdue EN FR  , legionetrangere.fr EN FR  , diasporiques.org/Diaspo_22_Leroy.pdf FR , cercleshoah.org/spip.php?article424 FR , veroniquechemla.info/2015/03/les-engages-volontaires-juifs-etrangers.html FR

Forces Françaises Libres (FFL), De Gaulle’s Free French Forces: charles-de-gaulle.org
List of FFL Volunteers: tinyurl.com/zpuyegb FR DB

34 Jewish Military Casualties in the Polish Resistance Movement in France
zchor.org/meirtchak/annex.htm EN DB

Companies and Groupes de Travailleurs Etrangers (Foreign Workers Companies and Groups)

Peter Gaida: Camps de travail sous Vichy, Les Groupes de travailleurs étrangers (GTE) en France et en Afrique du Nord 1940-1944, Lulu Press, 2015. petergaida.de/gte/introduction.htm FR
List of CTEs: petergaida.de/cartes/CTE%20GTE.htm FR
List of GTEs: petergaida.de/cartes/GTE%201941.htm FR

Jewish underground movements in France

Lucien Lazare and Jeffrey M. Green, Rescue as Resistance: How Jewish Organization Fought the Holocaust in France, Columbia University Press, 1996. EN

Lucien Lazare, La résistance juive en France, Paris 1987. FR

Henry Bulawko, Les jeux de la mort et de l’espoir: Auschwitz-Jaworzno, Paris 1993. FR

Patrick Henry, We Only Know Men: The Rescue of Jews in France during the Holocaust, Catholic University of America Press, 2013. EN

Armée Juive/Organisation Juive de Combat: resistancejuive.org FR
The archives of the Jewish Army, a Zionist resistance movement, active in Toulouse.

Memorial of the heroes of the French Jewish Underground, Yad Vashem archives. FR

Chambon-sur-Lignon: memoireduchambon.com FR
Memorial site of the village in central France where hundreds of Jews were hidden.

Montluc Prison: memorial-montluc.fr FR
National Memorial of Montluc prison, in Lyon. A place dedicated to the French underground.

Centre d’histoire de la résistance et de la déportation, Lyon: chrd.lyon.fr/chrd FR

Les Juifs d’Alsace Lorraine dans la Shoah: judaisme.sdv.fr/histoire/shh/index.htm FR
The Holocaust in Alsace and Lorraine.

Union Générale des Israélites de France (UGIF, General Union of Jews in France), a Jewish council of all non-religious organizations, created under the orders of Vichy in late 1941.

French Libraries and Archives

Bibliothèque Nationale, French National Library: bnf.fr FR
Online repository:  gallica.bnf.fr FR

National Archives: archives-nationales.culture.gouv.fr FR
An overview of National Archives for genealogists: fr.geneawiki.com/index.php/Archives_nationales FR

Archives Départementales (AD): each French department maintains its own regional archives and web site. The following link gives access to all the web sites, including to online digital scans of French civil records. fr.geneawiki.com/index.php/Archives_d%C3%A9partementales_en_ligne FR DB

Archives de Paris: archives.paris.fr FR

Resources on Jewish matters and the Holocaust in France in the French archives:  fr.geneawiki.com/index.php/G%C3%A9n%C3%A9alogie_juive#Archives_ant.C3.A9rieures_.C3.A0_1939 FR

Jewish institutions in France

Alliance Israélite Universelle: aiu.org FR
AIU archives: aiu.org/en/archives-0 FR

RachelNet, online catalog of European Judaica and Hebraica libraries, maintained by AIU: www.rachelnet.net/rachelnet/E/index.htm FR

Akadem akadem.org FR : digital portal for Jewish culture: online lectures on all aspect of Jewish life. Akadem on the Holocaust: akadem.org/sommaire/themes/histoire/shoah FR

Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaisme, Paris: mahj.org EN FR

Consistoire de France, the French rabbinate: consistoiredefrance.fr FR

Escaping from France

Surrender on Demand, Varian Fry, 1999 EN ; La Liste noire, 1999 FR
Refugees aided by Fry: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varian_Fry#Emergency_Rescue_Committee EN FR DB

YIVO, Center for Jewish History, New York: yivoarchives.org EN holds the records of HICEM European offices in Paris, Marseilles and Lisbon during WWII:

Aristides de Sousa Mendes, Portugal consul in Bordeaux, emitted 30,000 visas to Portugal in June 1940. sousamendesfoundation.org EN FR DB
Archives of Geneva district (Switzerland): ge.ch/archives FR
Refugees from France to Geneva tinyurl.com/gmbkp8d EN FR DB

Copyright © 2017 Jean-Pierre Stroweis  [email protected]