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Jews in Former Italian-held France Conscripted for Work on Nazi Fortifications

French police, acting on the orders of the German military authorities, are rounding up for forced labor all foreign Jews between 18 and 50 and all French Jews between 20 and 30 residing in the former Italian-held section of France, it is reported here today. These Jews are to be sent to build fortifications under the direction of the Todt Organization which has been constructing German defense lines throughout Europe.

Local prefectures, under orders from Vichy, have turned over to the Germans lists of all Jews in their districts, the report declares, adding that several hundred Jews have already been arrested in the Haute Savoie region, and sent to an unknown destination. A particularly tragic situation exists in Nice, where the Gestapo is seizing hundreds of Jews who had fled there because they believed it would remain under Italian control. About 200 have already been sent from Nice to Marseille, the report states. A similar situation is reported to exist in other sections of France. Almost the entire Jewish population of Avignon and Dordigne has been arrested, while in Paris the Gestapo has deported all Jewish children left orphaned and homeless by the deportation of their parents.

Despite harassment by German authorities the central Jewish organization is attempting to assist both French and refugee Jews wherever possible, today’s report discloses. It says that persons active in the organization are sent to the Drancy concentration camp on the slightest pretext. Among those recently sent to Drancy are Raoul Lambert, president of the central Jewish body, who was arrested in Marseille early this month.

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