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French Authorities Asked to Supply Jews with Valid Identity Documents

September 17, 1944
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Official action to aid thousands of foreigners, including hundreds of Jewish, Spanish and other refugees who fought in the resistance movement for the liberation of France, was urged here today by a delegation which called on Yves Fargo, commissioner of the Republic for this region.

The delegation raised specifically the question of registration of nationals of enemy countries ordered by the military authorities, pointing out that this constituted a threat to hundreds of refugees who had fought for France. It also discussed the question of valid documents for thousand in the Lyon area who had to carry false documents to evade arrest by the Gestapo or the Vichy militia. Many of these who have been unable to obtain valid documents are faced with arrest if stopped for questioning today. The delegation also raised the question of permitting publication of papers in foreign languages.

These and other questions affecting Jewish community life were also discussed today with Acting Mayor Justin Godart by a Jewish delegation. The Lyon newspaper La Voix du Peuple, in an editorial on this problem, pointed out that thousands of Lyonnais were still able to circulate carrying false documents. The paper declared it “humiliating for patriots who have largely done their duty to France” to have to run the risk of arrest. It advocate the immediate opening in Lyon of a special bureau to issue valid identity papers to those for whom the resistance organizations vouched and for whom two witnesses stood sponsor.

Jewish groups here learned today that Leo Glaser, labor leader, and writer under the pseudonym of Nussbaum, who disappeared last month, was executed. French authorities have identified Glaser in a photograph showing a group of Nazi victims. Glaser, who was 55, was secretary of the Federation of Jewish Societies of France.

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