Nazis Seek to Force Jews in Occupied France into Central Body Despite Leaders’ Resistance

The Nazi authorities in Paris are taking action to force unification of all Jewish activities in occupied France in a central organization, despite the resistance of Jewish leaders, it was learned here today.

After the failure of the first attempt to create a non-religious Jewish community, the occupation authorities appointed Marcel Sachs, former secretary of the Central Jewish Consistory, as head of Jewish activities in occupied France.

All leaders of Jewish relief bodies were ordered to sign a statement declaring they recognized the need for unification of Jewish relief and other activities and demanding establishment of a compulsory Jewish community. Despite strong pressure exercised by Herr Danacker, recently appointed “Gauleiter” for Jewish affairs in the occupied territories, a number of Jewish leaders refused to sign and others who did sign were disavowed by their communities.

Thus, Danacker was compelled to create instead a Provisional Direction of Jewish Affairs under Sachs’s leadership, with four departments–religious, relief, education and labor. A number of Viennese Jewish communal workers were brought to Paris by Danacker to assist Sachs.

Despite Danacker’s efforts, the Provisional Direction has remained in an embryonic state until now because of the opposition of Jewish leaders.

Meanwhile, the first Jewish periodical in France since the Armistice, titled Informations Juives, has made its appearance in Paris with Sachs listed as responsible editor. The new paper is to be published weekly, sold for 50 centimes a copy and devoted exclusively to Jewish communal affairs.

The first issue, dated April 19, carries a Passover message by Chief Rabbi Julien Weill of Paris and also an appeal for registration of Jews with the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations. The editorial offices of the paper are in the former consistory building.

NEXT STORY