The Holocaust in France: A resource guide
Find here a selection of books and on-line resources presenting the fate of the Jews in France during the Second World War. These may enable you to trace specific victims and/or 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 was 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.
I have created a bilingual, online version of the 2012 memorial as a versatile search engine. It contains corrections and enhancements: https://stevemorse.org/france EN FR DB
Klarsfeld wrote and co-authored many books (check amazon.com for English books), including:
- Le calendrier de la persécution des Juifs de France, two-volume edition, Fayard 2019. FR
- Mémoires (autobiography co-written with his wife Beate), Flammarion 2015. FR
- Hunting the Truth: Memoirs of Beate and Serge Klarsfeld, 2018 EN
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
- The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names: yadvashem.org EN
- Transports from and within France: tinyurl.com/h4d8btb EN
- Righteous Nations in France: tinyurl.com/haofl9t EN and tinyurl.com/z2vr86y EN
US Holocaust Memorial Museum: ushmm.org EN DB including:
- Survivors and Victims Resource Center tinyurl.com/ljx7wwl EN
- The World Memory Project: https://www.ushmm.org/online/world-memory-project EN
Arolsen Archives, former International Tracing Service, Bad Arolsen, Germany: arolsen-archives.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:
- Victims, Resistants, Righteous of the Nations: http://bdi.memorialdelashoah.org/internet/jsp/core/MmsGlobalSearch.jsp? FR DB
http://ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/rechav_pers.php FR DB
- Catalogue of archives: http://ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/rechav.php FR DB
Mémorial des Judéo-Espagnols déportés de France, Muestros-dezaparesidos Association, 2019 FR DB
This book expands Klarsfeld Memorial for Jews whose original language was Judeo-Spanish and who came from Greece, Turkey and the Balkans. muestros-dezaparesidos.org FR
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: http://www.ose-france.org/memoire/le-service-archive-et-histoire-de-lose/ 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@example.com).
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: 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 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 https://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.
Remembrance of specific transports / convoys:
- Convoy 6 perso.neuf.fr FR DB and Convoy6.blogspot.co.il EN
- Convoys 50/51 org/histoire/le-Convoy-50 FR
- Convoy 66 fondationdeportation.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/mv_65_1.pdf FR
- Convoy 73 sites.google.com/view/nous-sommes-900-francais FR DB,
Convoy73.org FR DB and Convoy73.fr FR
- Convoy 77 com/groups/Convoy77 and Convoy77.org EN FR DB
- Convoys 83a/83b, named the «31000» & «45000», a reference to their Auschwitz inmate registration numbers: political deportees + Jews memoirevive.org FR DB
Victims from regional areas or from country citizens:
- Sarthe lesdeportesdesarthe.wordpress.com FR DB
- Germany www.bundesarchiv.de/gedenkbuch EN DB Official Memorial
- Austria www.doew.at/english/austrian-victims-of-the-holocaust EN DB
- Netherlands www.joodsmonument.nl/en/ EN DB
- Czech Republic www.holocaust.cz/en/database-of-victims EN DB
- Italy www.digital-library.cdec.it/cdec-web DB (in Italian)
Le Maitron maitron-fusilles-40-44.univ-paris1.fr FR DB
Bibliographical dictionary of persons shot or executed in France during WWII. Includes Jews, civil victims, opponents and resistants. The sub-list of the « persons of Jewish origins » can be found at:
maitron-fusilles-40-44.univ-paris1.fr/spip.php?mot9719 FR DB
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 and of deportees at www.memorialgenweb.org/memorial3/deportes FR DB
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. In particular, the site reports the deportations of Jews with gentile spouses deported to Aurigny or the transfer of the Jews from Nord and Pas-de-Calais departments to Malines Belgium and later deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. www.bddm.org/liv/details.php?id=V.1. FR DB
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. To get a list of the published lists, go to www.legifrance.gouv.fr/rechTexte.do? and search the word “deportation” among the words of the title of the publications. To search by name, use use legifrance.gouv.fr/initRechExpMesuresNominatives.do
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.
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
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. our searchable WWII databases:
https://www.memoiredeshommes.sga.defense.gouv.fr/en/article.php?larub=83 EN FR DB
- 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).
- 600,000 records of persons involved in opposing the Nazi regime.
The database “Sépultures de guerre” also provides location of war graves.
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 , cercleshoah.org/spip.php?article424 FR , veroniquechemla.info/2015/03/les-engages-volontaires-juifs-etrangers.html FR , Stéphane Leroy, L’engagement des Juifs étrangers dans l’armée française et dans la Résistance pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, (The engagement of foreign Jews in the French army and in the Resistance during the Second World War), Published in Diasporiques | nº 22 | june 2013
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,
Gaida’s online exhibition (in French, German and Spanish) presents various aspects of slave labor in France during WWII, including Spanish Reds, Organization Todt, Companies de Travailleurs Etrangers (Foreign Workers Companies, a.k.a. CTEs) and Groupes de Travailleurs Etrangers (Foreign Workers Groups, a.k.a. GTEs) with maps:
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.
- Raymond Raoul Lambert diary (1940-1943), Yad Vashem tinyurl.com/jr2cz9s FR
- UGIF archives at YIVO (RG 210), tinyurl.com/j5tlgk5 EN FR
French Libraries and Archives
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, military records and population censuses:
geneanet.org/explore/beginners/post/archives-departementales-ligne/?lang=fr FR DB .
Archives de Paris: archives.paris.fr FR DB
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
Archives d’Outremer in Aix-en-Provence anom.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr FR DB
Archives of former French territories, including, among others, scanned civil records from Algeria.
Archives Diplomatiques in Nantes https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/archives-diplomatiques EN FR DB
Jewish institutions in France
RachelNet, online catalog of European Judaica and Hebraica libraries, maintained by AIU: www.rachelnet.net/rachelnet/E/index.htm 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:
- Records of the Paris HICEM office, 1935-1940 (RG 245.6)
- Records of HICEM European office in Marseille, 1940-1944. yivoarchives.org/?p=collections/controlcard&id=32627 EN FR
- HIAS archive: HICEM and HIAS Office in Lisbon yivoarchives.org/?p=collections/controlcard&id=33837 EN
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