The extent to which the Germans sought to annihilate the Jews in France even in the smallest villages is best seen here in the vicinity of Verdun.
The correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was told numerous stories of how Jews sought to escape from the Germans after the occupation. In the village of Etain where there were only four Jewish families, he did not find a single Jew. These four Jewish families had maintained a tiny synagogue, but the Germans burned it down.
In Verdun itself there were some 30 Jewish families who had resided there for many years, and a larger number of Polish and other immigrant Jews. Today, not a single Jew remains in Verdun. Some fled and the others were arrested. The synagogue of Verdun, an old and distinguished edifice, was preserved intact, except for some broken windows. The ark where the Holy Scrolls were kept was emptied. During the last year the synagogue was used as a canteen for refugee French children.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.