Algiers (Mar. 18)
Although gratified at Gen. Giraud’s cancellation of the Vichy anti-Jewish laws, Jews in Algeria today expressed their resentment at his revocation of the Cremieux decree which gave them French citizenship. They made it clear that for them Gen. Giraud’s “new deal” is a severe and discriminatory misdeal.
The newspapers here headlined the annulment of all the anti-Jewish laws introduced by the Vichy regime since June 22, 1940. But the Jews call this a misstatement, since the Cremieux law was also abrogated by a Vichy edict and Gen. Giraud has similarly declared it void, on the grounds of ending “racial discrimination” between Jews and Arabs, despite the fact that the Arabs refused French citizenship since it would require their acceptance of French civil law, which runs counter to the tenets of Islam.
The official declaration repealing the Vichy anti-Jewish laws read: “Legislative and regulative provisions subsequent to June 22, 1940 and establishing discrimination based upon the fact of being a Jew, are null and void.” At the same time the ordinance abrogates the Cremieux decree. The ordinance leaves it up to the Governors and Resident Generals of Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and French West Africa to fix the conditions under which the Jews will be reinstated to public functions, and re-employed in public services. These local administrators are also to determine the conditions under which confiscated Jewish property shall be returned to Jews. The ordinance specifies that Jews will be permitted to claim indemnity for losses suffered by the “Aryanization” of their property under the Vichy laws.