Menu JTA Search

Internment of All Jews in Free Zone by October 1, Ordered by Vichy

The Vichy Government has ordered the wholesale internment of all French Jews in the unoccupied zone by October 1, it was learned here today. There are an estimated 170,000 Jews in unoccupied France. The Government plans to intern the Jews in the concentration camps just vacated by Jewish refugees who have been deported to occupied eastern territories, it was said.

Letters from women recently interned confirm that all the Jewish inmates of the concentration camps at Gurs and Noemills, near Aix-en-Provence and Recebedou at Rivesaltes, have been deported to Germany en route to the east. Women and children relatives who lived near the camps were suddenly informed that they could visit the internees. One inside the camps, according to the letters, they were forced to accompany the deportees without being permitted to make any preparations. Eighty-six suicide attempts were registered at one of the camps, men cutting their jugular vein with broken bits of glass.

In several places, the police refused to execute the deportation orders and members of Petain’s “police d’etat,” wearing civilian clothes and Basque berets, replaced them, it was also reported here today.

VICHY LEVIES SIX MILLION FRANC MONTHLY TAX ON JEWS

The Vichy radio announced today that a levy of 6,000,000 francs (about $125,000) monthly has been placed upon Jews in occupied and unoccupied France by the Petain Government “in order to finance the working expenses” of the Union of French Jews. The Union is a government-controlled organization to which Jews must belong. It was created after the liquidation of all Jewish groups by the Petain Government last year.

Meanwhile, another report reaching here from Vichy states that measures to prevent repetition of the sermon of the Catholic Archbishop of Toulouse condemning the mass-deportations of Jews from France were taken today by the French police authorities, while in Lyons and in other French cities where Jews are being arrested for deportation, crowd of Frenchmen threw themselves in front of trucks carrying the Jews in an attempt to prevent their departure.

Eye-witness accounts published in the press here relate that about 28,000 Jews-men, women and children – were arrested by the Gestapo in Paris during the raids which took place on the 15 and 16 of July. They describe how Jewish patients were dragged from their beds in the Rothschild hospital in Paris and transported to the center where all Jews were gathered for deportation.

NEXT STORY