Chronology of Rescue in France


January 30, 1933
Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany.

March 22, 1933
Dachau concentration camp opens.

April 1, 1933
German boycott of Jewish shops and businesses.

February 17, 1934
Great Britain, France and Italy declare that Austria must remain an independent nation.

September 27, 1934
Great Britain, France and Italy again reaffirm their support for an independent Austria.

September 15, 1935
“Nuremberg Laws”: anti-Jewish racial laws enacted; Jews no longer considered German citizens.

March 7, 1936
Germans march into the Rhineland, previously demilitarized by the Versailles Treaty.

June 1936
Léon Blum, a Jew, is elected Premier of France.

July 16-18, 1936
The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.  In Spain, right wing general Francisco Franco leads a mutiny against the Spanish Republican government.  Hitler sends thousands of German troops to support Franco’s forces.  The Germans use the Spanish Civil War to test new weapons and tactics, especially the Luftwaffe (air force), which perfects the technique of dive bombing.  Hitler also perfects the Blitzkrieg (lightening war).  Mussolini sends his Italian soldiers to fight for the Republican side. The war will last until 1939 with Franco’s victory over the legal Spanish Republican Government. 

October 1, 1936
The Nationalist Rebellion appoints General Franco as Chief of State in its provisional government.

October 25, 1936
Hitler and Mussolini form Rome-Berlin Axis.

December 27, 1936
Great Britain and France agree to non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War.

February 11, 1938
Hitler invites Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg to Berchtesgaden.  Hitler demands that the Austrian Nazi party be incorporated into the Austrian government.  He demands that Artur von Seyss-Inquart be made Austrian Minister of the Interior.  Schuschnigg understands that this ultimatum will inevitably lead to the end of Austrian independence.

February 16, 1938
Under pressure, Schuschnigg appoints Seyss-Inquart as Minister of Security.  Schuschnigg declares a general amnesty for all Austrian Nazi party members, including those who were responsible for the murder of Dollfuss.

March 9, 1938
Schuschnigg calls for a popular vote on Austrian independence.  Hitler demands that the vote be postponed and demands Schuschnigg’s resignation.

March 12, 1938
German troops cross into Austria.

March 13, 1938
(annexation of Austria by Germany).  Austria becomes a province of the German Greater Reich and is renamed Oustmark.  Vienna loses its status as a capital and becomes a provincial administrative seat.  All anti-Semitic decrees previously enacted in Germany are immediately applied in Austria.

More than 185,000 Jews live in Austria, of whom 170,000 reside in Vienna.  This is the third largest Jewish community in Europe.

In Austria, legal recognition of Jewish organizations and their tax exempt status is withdrawn by Nazi occupying forces.

March 14, 1938
Cheering crowds greet Hitler as he parades triumphantly through Vienna.

March 18, 1938
SS Chief Heinrich Himmler given power to operate in Austria.  The offices of Vienna’s Jewish community and Zionist organizations are closed and their leaders jailed.  All Jewish organizations and congregations are forbidden.  One hundred ten prominent Jewish leaders are arrested and deported to Dachau.  Jews are banned from any public activity.

April 1938
The Nazi government in Austria prepares a list of wealthy Jews in preparation for large scale confiscations of Jewish property and assets.

April 10, 1938
99.73% of Austrians vote in favor of annexation to Germany (Anschluss).

May 1938
The German Nuremberg Laws, which forcibly segregate Jews in Germany and deprive them of citizenship and the means of livelihood, are officially enforced in Austria. More than 200,000 Austrian Jews would be persecuted under these laws, according to German records.

To force emigration, the families of Jews arrested and deported to concentration camps are told that proof of immediate emigration would secure their release. German Property Transfer Office actively confiscates Jewish property, businesses and bank accounts.

The methods used in Austria combining economic expropriation and expulsion of Jews become the model in future Nazi-conquered territories.

Vienna becomes the center of emigration. All foreign consulates are besieged by Jewish refugees desperate for visas. Most refuse to help.

July 6-15, 1938
Representatives from 32 countries meet at Evian, France, to discuss refugee policies; none of the participating countries are willing to open their doors to Jewish refugees.

After the Anschluss, the Swiss government sets up policy to bar emigration of Jews. They demand that passports of Jews be stamped with a red "J" to prevent them from crossing into Switzerland.

August 1, 1938
SS Lieutenant Adolf Eichmann establishes the Office of Jewish Emigration in Vienna to increase the pace of forced emigration.  It is Eichmann’s first major assignment and he eventually becomes one of the chief architects of the Holocaust.

Besides having to obtain and show proof of destination, Jews emigrating from Austria are automatically divested of all of their property and assets.  Emigrants are required to pay a tax based on the assets they declare.

September 26, 1938
France partially mobilizes its army in the wake of the Sudeten Czechoslovakia crisis.

September 29-30, 1938
The Munich Conference is held.  It is attended by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, French President Daladier, Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini, and Hitler.  Great Britain, France and Italy agree to allow the Nazis to annex the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia.  Czechoslovakia is not allowed to participate in the conference.

October 10, 1938
Hitler gives personal instructions to “act for the deportation of 27,000 Viennese Jews of Czech nationality.”

October 28, 1938
In Austria, thousands of Jews who are Polish nationals are deported into the no-man’s-land on the German-Polish border.

November 9-10, 1938
Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass): an anti-Jewish pogrom in Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland; 200 synagogues are destroyed, cemeteries desecrated, 7,500 Jewish shops looted and nearly 100 Jews murdered.  Many Jews commit suicide in the following weeks and months. 30,000 German, Austrian and Sudeten Jews are sent to concentration camps of Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen. Between 1938 and 1939, more than 1,000 Jews are murdered in these camps.

80,000 German, Austrian and Czech Jews are allowed to emigrate to England.  The Central British Fund, a relief agency, is very helpful in providing cost of transportation.

November 1938-1939
Many Austrian Jews are released from Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and other concentration camps on the strength of exit visas.

November 12, 1938
The Council of Foreign Ministers meets in Berlin.  It is headed by Hermann Göring.  This policy meeting decides the fate of German and Austrian Jews.  This policy will be to force German and Austrian Jews into poverty, thereby forcing them to emigrate.

All Austrian and German Jews are forced by decree to transfer their businesses to non-Jewish ownership.  This process is known as “Aryanization.”

Jews are fined more than $28,000,000 for the destruction of their property during the Nazi rampage of Kristallnacht in Austria.

November 15, 1938
In Austria, Jewish children are barred from public schools.  By the end of November, a curfew is imposed and Jews are denied access to most public places.  Virtually all remaining Jewish businesses and properties are confiscated by the Nazis.

December 1938
The Mossad for Aliyah Bet [Committee for Illegal Immigration] is established to smuggle Jews out of Europe and illegally into Palestine.  They operate in Germany and Austria.  They are extremely successful in helping thousands to flee.

December 6, 1938
France and Germany sign nonaggression pact.

December 1938-January 1939
Seven thousand Austrian Jews cross the border to Switzerland, Italy or France. 

Mossad agents Moshe Auerbach and Pino Ginsurg, in Vienna, organize the escape of thousands of Jews, often with the cooperation of Eichmann and the Gestapo.  Auerbach gets 20,000 transit visas from an engineer named Karthaus to allow Jews to escape through Yugoslavia.  Karthaus also obtains Mexican visas from Mexican consul General Gilberto Bosques.  After Auerbach leaves Vienna, he is replaced by Mossad agent Echud Avriel.  They both later relocate to Istanbul, Turkey.

Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas appoints Gilberto Bosques Consul General in France.  He maintains consulates in Paris and Marseilles.  Bosques issues thousands of visas to Spanish Republican soldiers who are trapped in southern France.  Eventually, he issues more than 40,000 visas to these anti-Fascist fighters.  Many of them immigrate to Mexico.  Bosques also issues visas to thousands of Austrian and German Jews.  Most of these Jews use the transit visa to escape out of southern France.  1,800 of these Jews eventually immigrate to Mexico.  Luis I Rodriguez is the Mexican Ambassador to France.  Together, they present demands to Pétain and Laval regarding treatment of Jews and Spanish refugees.

January 1, 1939
Mandatory identification cards are required of all Jews in Germany and Austria.

January 10, 1939
Hitler announces to the German Reichstag [Parliament] that a world war will result in “the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.”

January 21, 1939
The French government opens first concentration camp for foreigners and Jewish refugees in the district of Mende.

January 24, 1939
Reichszentrale für Jüdische Auswanderung (Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration) in Berlin is created by Göring and Eichmann.  This is based on the Austrian model.

Reinhardt Heydrich is given authority by Göring to “solve the Jewish question by emigration and evacuation in the way that is most favorable under the conditions prevailing at present.”

The Gestapo is given control of Jewish emigration in German-occupied territories.

February 5, 1939
The President of France rebukes the racist policies of Nazi Germany.

March 15, 1939
German troops invade Czechoslovakia.

March 17, 1939
A census determining the degree of Jewishness is taken of Austrian Jews.  Jews who have three or four Jewish grandparents are counted as a full Jew.  With two Jewish grandparents, they are categorized as “part Jew, grade I.”  With one Jewish grandparent, “part Jew, grade II.”  This census targets Jews for future arrests and deportations.

March 28-29, 1939
Spanish Republican government surrenders to General Francisco Franco in Madrid, ending the Spanish Civil War.

March 31, 1939
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the French President Edouard Daladier declare that Britain and France will go to war with Germany if Poland is attacked.

April 1939
After the Spanish Civil War ends, thousands of anti-Franco Republican soldiers of the International Brigade flee to southern France.  More than 70,000 refugees enter the Bouches du Rhône region of southern France.

The US recognizes Franco’s Nationalist government.

Spring, 1939
Under a special law, Austrian Jews are evicted from their homes and are gathered into designated streets and selected districts of Vienna.

May 17, 1939
British government issues a Palestine White Paper establishing a limit of 75,000 Jews to be admitted to Palestine over the next five years.  Of these, only 25,000 can be refugees.

July 20, 1939
French authorities order military registration for all men of draft age.  This includes foreign refugees.

August 30, 1939
A French government memorandum reads: “All foreign nationals from territories belonging to the enemy must be brought together in special center.”  This memorandum is in response to the flood of German, Austrian, Czech and Spanish refugees entering France.

September 1, 1939
Germany invades Poland.  Beginning of World War II.

The French believe that the Polish army will hold out and offer stiff resistance to the German army.  However, Poland collapses in only three weeks.

The British and French Armies mobilize, but do nothing to intervene in the attack on the West.  They lose an important opportunity to stop German aggression.

Beginning of the drôle de guerre (phony war) or Sitzkrieg (sitting war).

The French government enacts anti-Jewish measures against the Jews in Paris.

There are between 300,000 and 330,000 Jews living in France; 200,000 live in Paris.  This is less than one percent of the total population in France, which is 43 million.

Three thousand German and Austrian Jews are interned in French camps as “undesirable aliens.”

The French government arrests German and Austrian nationals who have landed in French ports but who are bound for the western hemisphere.  Most of these are Jews fleeing the Nazis.  Most are interned in Les Milles detention camp.

By the outbreak of war, nearly 70% or 185,246 Jews in Austria have emigrated.  Many go to southern France.

The French government outlaws the French Communist Party.

September 3, 1939
In response to the German invasion of Poland, France, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand officially declare war on Germany.  Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain forms a wartime cabinet with Winston Churchill as the First Lord of the Admiralty.

September 4, 1939
All Austrian and German male refugees residing in France between the ages of 17 and 50 years are ordered to report for internment.

Fall 1939
The French government opens numerous concentration camps throughout France to house the influx of refugees entering the country.  Eventually, they become deportation centers to the Nazi death camps.

October 1, 1939
By this date, the Marseilles police arrest more than 13,000 Germans and Austrians, most of whom are Jews.

October 12, 1939
Germany begins deportation of Austrian and Czech Jews to the Lublin district of Poland.  1,672 Austrian Jews arrive in Lublin.

October 1939
Hitler extends power of doctors to kill mentally and physically disabled persons.

December 1939
4,000 Jews are leaving Austria monthly.  A Nazi report declares there are too many Jews remaining in Vienna and in Austria.

13,000 Jews successfully emigrate from Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia.  55,000 Jews remain in Austria.  Since 1933, more than 300,000+ Jews have left the Old Reich and Greater Reich.

French Premier Edouard Daladier resigns.  He is succeeded by Paul Reynaud.  Reynaud appoints World War I French hero Marshal Pétain as the Vichy Premier.

January 5, 1940
Great Britain announces that German and Austrian Jews will not be allowed into Palestine because they are considered “enemy aliens.” 

February 1940
10,000 Jews are deported from Vienna to Lublin.

March 5, 1940
The Central Immigration Office, under Adolf Eichmann, maintains complete control of all Jews in Czechoslovakia.

April 9, 1940
Germany invades Denmark and Norway.

May 10, 1940
Germany invades France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.  136 German divisions participate in the invasion.  Germans enforce anti-Jewish measures in each area.  Soon, four million refugees are fleeing the onslaught of the Nazis.

May 17, 1940
Commanding General of the French army Maxine Weygood declares that the invasion cannot be stopped and France should accept reasonable terms for an armistice with Germany.

May 20, 1940
Concentration camp established at Auschwitz.  It will become the largest death camp in the Nazi system.

May 26-June 4, 1940
Following the encirclement of Allied forces in northeastern France, the British, French and Belgian forces are evacuated from Dunkirk, France.  338,226 soldiers are rescued by 861 ships.

June 10, 1940
Italy enters the war as a German ally, declares war on Great Britain and France.  Italy’s armies invade France from the south.

June 11, 1940
General Weygood declares that the battle of France is lost and advises the French government to maintain order and avoid chaos of war.

A million French soldiers are taken prisoner by the German armed forces.

French government evacuates Paris.

June 14, 1940
Paris falls and the French government is transferred to Bordeaux.  More than 1 million refugees pour into the south of France, more than 195,000 of whom are Jews.

June 16, 1940
French Vichy government is established under World War I hero Marshal Philippe Pétain.  Pétain becomes head of the French cabinet.  Pétain asks for an armistice eight days before the fighting ceases.

June 17-19, 1940
The Portuguese Consul General Dr. Aristides de Sousa Mendes, his staff and his son, Pedro Nuno, issue 30,000 Portuguese visas to Jewish and non-Jewish refugees in Bordeaux, France.  This is completely unauthorized and against Portuguese immigration regulations.

June 20, 1940
Representatives from the Portuguese foreign office are dispatched to relieve de Sousa Mendes of his post and return him to Portugal to face charges of insubordination.  A few days later, de Sousa Mendes and his family travel to Bayonne, France; several thousand additional visas are issued there; Mendes helps these refugees cross closed borders.

June 22, 1940
France surrenders, and the French sign an armistice with Germany.  The French armed forces are to be disarmed.  Three fifths of France is surrendered to German control. 

In Article 19 of the French armistice with Germany, the French agree to “surrender on demand all Germans named by the German government in France.”

Approximately 350,000 Jews reside in France at the time of the German invasion.  They constitute less than one percent of the total population of France, which is 45 million.  150,000 Jews are French native born.  About 50,000 are recent refugees from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania.  50,000 are from the invaded countries of Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg.  An undetermined number of Eastern European, mostly Polish, Jews have entered the country after the German invasion of Poland.

France becomes the largest population center for Jews in Western Europe.  More than half of the Jews in France are in the south.  Eventually, one third of the Jewish refugees in the south return to Paris.

Austrian and German Jews in France who are interned at Rieucros concentration camp are eventually sent south to camps in Vichy. 

June 23, 1940
General Charles de Gaulle, head of the French National Committee in London, pledges war against Germany.

June 24, 1940
France signs an armistice agreement with Italy.

June 26, 1940
Assistant US Secretary of State Breckinridge Long implements a policy to effectively block or obstruct the granting of US visas to Jews seeking asylum in the US.  Long argues that immigration can be “delayed and effectively stopped” by ordering US consuls “to put every obstacle in the way [to] postpone and postpone and postpone the granting of visas.”

June 27, 1940
Joseph Buttinger and Paul Hagen go to Washington, DC, to petition Mrs. Roosevelt to influence her husband to issue emergency visas to notable Jewish artists, labor leaders and other refugees in France.  Mrs. Roosevelt immediately calls her husband and persuades her husband to authorize the emergency visas.

June 28, 1940
The British government recognizes General Charles de Gaulle as leader of the Free French organization during the German occupation of France.

June 30, 1940
Otto Abetz becomes German Foreign Ministry designate as Ambassador to France in Paris.  His deputy is Schleir.  Deputies in charge of Jewish Affairs are SS Sturmbahnführer Carl Theodore Zeitchel and Dr. Ernst Achenbach.

June 1940
Marshal Pétain is installed as head of state with Pierre Laval his Vice President of the Council of Ministers.  Pétain is granted executive powers under the armistice agreement and the French National Assembly is merely a “rubber stamp.”  Pétain abolishes the French constitution of 1875 and dismisses the French Senate and Chamber of Deputies.  Pierre Laval is a Nazi collaborationist and puppet.  Laval will eventually comply with German requests to turn over for deportation foreign Jewish refugees in France.  Ironically, Laval will protect naturalized French Jews.

The Third French Republic no longer exists.

Civil liberties in France are suspended.

France is divided into two zones.  The northern zone is administered by German military forces.  The south, called the “Free Zone,” is established in the resort town of Vichy.  The Nazi military occupation forces control about two thirds of France.

Four million French, Belgian, Luxembourg and other refugees have fled the German onslaught. 

France is forced to pay Germany 400 million francs a day as a war indemnity.

The French begin to implement Nuremberg-style antisemitic laws imposed on all Jews in France. These laws and policies are initiated entirely by the Vichy government.  These restrictive laws and decrees will eventually disenfranchise most foreign Jews in France. 

By the end of 1940, Lisbon becomes a major center of refuge for thousands of Jews escaping Nazi occupied Europe.  Until the end of June 1940, trains regularly run from Berlin, Vienna and Prague to Lisbon.  The Jewish Joint Distribution Committee provides money for destitute refugees who have escaped to Lisbon.  The US consulate in Lisbon processes hundreds of visas to Jewish refugees.

Luis Martins de Souza Dantas, Brazilian Ambassador to France, issues visas to hundreds of Jews in occupied France.  He does this against the strict orders of the pro-fascist Brazilian government headed by Getulio Vargas, and at great risk to his diplomatic career.  Several of the Jews arrived in Brazil and were detained by the Brazilian government, but were later released.

July 1940
20,000 Jewish refugees from Germany, Austria, Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg are interned in the 31 French camps in the southern unoccupied zone.

Thousands of Jews escape from France into Spain and Portugal with the help of rescuers and relief agencies.  Upon arrival in Lisbon, these refugees are helped by Jewish relief agencies such as the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Hebrew Immigration and Sheltering Society (HIAS).

July 8, 1940
Eleanor Roosevelt writes Varian Fry explaining that she is trying to get the President to get cooperation of South American countries to accept refugees.

July 16, 1940
French Jews are removed from the Colmar region in Alsace.  22,000 Jews are expelled.

July 22, 1940
A French commission is set up to review French citizens who have been naturalized since 1927.  It is set up with the intention of revoking the citizenship of citizens who are considered “undesirable.”  15,000 people, including 6,000 Jews, have their citizenship revoked.

German writer Lion Feuchtwanger is hiding at US Vice Consul Hiram Bingham IV’s house in Marseilles.  Bingham tells Feuchtwanger “all about the work that emigrants are making for him.  He is always tired and exhausted.”

August 1940
American private citizen Varian Fry, appointed by the Emergency Rescue Committee (ERC), arrives in Marseilles, France.  He is empowered to save artists, writers, composers and other intellectuals who are on Hitler’s arrest lists.  Fry and his volunteers make contact with numerous rescue and relief agencies, including the Nîmes Committee.  Fry and his volunteers also work with various foreign consular officials who issue him hundreds of legal and extra-legal visas and other documents to help Jews escape the Nazis.  These diplomats include US Vice-Consul Hiram “Harry” Bingham, Mexican Consul General Gilberto Bosques, a Chinese diplomat and Vladimir Vochoc, the Czech Consul in Marseilles.  (Vladimir Vochoc is later arrested, but manages to escape to Lisbon.)  Fry and his associates organize escape routes over the Pyrenees mountains for refugees.  Hans and Lisa Fittko are among his most able guides.

August 6, 1940
The French government order a census of all foreigners.

August 7, 1940
British government signs agreement with the Free French organization of French exiles under Charles de Gaulle.

August 27, 1940
Vichy repeals the Loi Marchendeau [Marchendeau Law] that protects religious and racial groups against press attacks “when it is intended to arouse hatred among citizens or residents.”

September 27, 1940
Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis alliance is signed.

First antisemitic German law (Verordnung) is enacted in the occupied zone.  It defines Jews by race.  It requires Jews to register with the police in the French prefects.  It orders a census of Jews to be conducted by October 20, 1940.  It requires Jews to publicly identify their businesses.  In addition, it forbids Jews who flee to the southern zone from returning to the northern occupied area.  This law requires Jews to have all of their papers stamped with the word “Jew.”

Under this law, the French Vichy government can arrest and send foreigners to the newly established labor camps.  These camps are called Foreign Labor Battalion (GTE) camps.  Prisoners are forced to work under severe conditions.  Foreign relief agencies in France protest the conditions in these camps.

October 3, 1940
French Vichy government enacts Statut des Juifs [Jewish Statute].  This law has constitutional authority.  Under this law, Jews are defined as Jews not by religion, but by race.  The law is signed by Pétain and Laval and eight members of the French government.  It is a law that removes many Jewish civil rights.  Jews are forbidden from holding government positions, military service, teaching, and other public positions.  Unemployed Jews are now subject to internment.  All Jews under the French and German laws must register with the French police.  Jews must carry an ID card with the words “Juif” or “Juife” [Jew] in bold red letters.

October 4, 1940
The Vichy Law of October 4 authorizes French prefects to arrest and intern “foreigners of the Jewish race” in “special camps.”

Concentration camps in France are administered and staffed solely by Frenchmen.  There are 31 camps established throughout France.  Conditions are harsh and brutal.  Eventually, 50,000 Jews are interned in French camps in the north and south.  70% of those interned in the south are Jewish.  More than 3,000 Jews die in these camps.  The camps are so inhumane that even Vichy officials complain.  One official writes: “The internees’ living conditions put the honor of France on the line...”  Even the German Red Cross is horrified by the conditions in the camps, which include starvation and death.  News of the conditions in the camp is disseminated throughout the world.

By the end of 1942, 42,000 internees in these camps will be transferred and killed in the death camps in Poland. 

The Riversaltes concentration camp in France, in the winter of 1941-1942, has a mortality rate of 14-18% per year.

50,000 German and Austrian Jews are sent to forced labor units doing heavy labor or working in war industries.

Jews of Baden and the Saarland are deported and interned in French concentration camps.  800 of these internees will die in the winter of 1940-1941.  In November 1942, the surviving refugees of this deportation will be deported and murdered in Auschwitz.

October 7, 1940
The Vichy Law of October 7, 1940, strips Algerian Jews of French citizenship.  They had been citizens for more than 75 years.

October 18, 1940
A second German decree (Verordnung) is enacted in France compelling all Jewish businesses to be registered with French and German officials.  Ownership of the businesses is to be transferred away from Jewish hands under so-called provisional administration.  Some French officials undermine this process.

October 21, 1940
149,734 Jews are registered in the French census.  86,664 are French Jews.  65,070 are foreign Jews.

Central Commission on Jewish Relief Organizations (Commission Centrale des Organizations Juives d’Assistance; CCOJA) is created to unite Jewish relief organizations.  It establishes a communal fund and represents the Jewish community to French authorities.  It continues to function until 1942.

November 1940
40,000 Jews are deported from Lorraine to Lyon. 

The Nîmes Committee (Coordinating Committee for Camp Aid) is created. The organization is headed by Dr. Donald Lowrie, an American representing the International YMCA.  It consists of 25 organizations, including the American Friends’ Service Committee (AFSC; also known as the Quakers), Unitarian Service Committee (USC), the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), the American Federation of Labor (AFL), the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society (HICEM), Committee for Action on Behalf of Refugees (Comite d’Inter Mouvement après des Evacues; CIMADE) and several Swiss relief agencies including the Swiss Red Cross and the Swiss Service Civil International.  Other organizations include the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the French Red Cross.  The Nîmes Committee unites to bring relief and rescue to thousands of Jews and other refugees throughout France.  These organizations supply food, medicine, clothing, blankets, educational material and other supplies to internees in the French camps.  The Nîmes Committee, along with its organizations, individually and collectively protests the internment and treatment of refugees in these camps and actively seeks the release of the refugees.  The Nîmes Committee writes and distributes numerous reports regarding conditions in the camps.  The Nîmes Committee leadership meets with foreign diplomats and representatives to report on the conditions of the refugees.  Eventually, the Nîmes leadership meets with leaders of the Vichy government, including Pierre Laval.

The Nîmes Committee works with and is helped by French civilians and, in some cases, entire towns and villages.  Monsieur Azéma, the mayor of the French border town Banyuls-sur-Mer, issues identity and food ration cards and opens a house for refugees along the French-Spanish border.  He helps refugees escape detection.  Monsieur Cruzet, the mayor of Cerbère, also on the French-Spanish border, helps refugees cross the border secretly.  He also works with his business partner, who is the mayor of Port-Bou.

The Nîmes Committee and its organizations establish escape routes for refugees leaving France.  Spain’s border becomes a vital escape route for Jewish refugees.  By October, several thousand Jewish refugees have escaped across the border.

French Catholic and Protestant clergy are particularly helpful in hiding, transporting and feeding Jewish refugees.  Archbishop Gerlier, of Lyon, Pastor Dr. Marc Boegner, President of the Protestant Federation of France, and Archbishop Saliège, of Toulouse, are among those who protest the outrages against Jews by Nazi authorities.  Abbé Glasberg, an assistant of Archbishop Gerlier, rescues thousands of Jews.  Father Charles Devaus, of the Pères de Notre Dame de Sion, rescues one thousand Jews. 

Many of these rescue operations are financed by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the Hebrew Immigration Aid and Sheltering Society (HIAS).  They raise millions of dollars for the relief of refugees.  Much of this money comes from the American Jewish community.  These funds are distributed by Catholic and Protestant churches.  Thousands of Christians shelter Jews throughout the countryside.  These organizations provide false ration cards, baptismal certificates, and identity cards.

Henri François Deroover, Belgian Consul in Bayonne, France, issues 150 blank Belgian passports to French and Belgian Jews.  The visas are filled out by the Jewish refugees themselves, who use them to escape to neutral Portugal.

Boyan Atanassov, Bulgarian Diplomat in Paris, France, issues unauthorized visas to Bulgarian Jews and other refugees to escape France under the Nazi occupation.

Jewish self-help and rescue organizations are extremely active in hiding and sheltering thousands of Jews. 

November 7, 1940
In France, Jews must have passports, visas stamped with “Jew” in prominent letters.

November 11, 1940
An article appears in the New Republic magazine exposing conditions in the French concentration camp Le Vernet.  They call it the “French Dachau.”

Late 1940
During the Italian occupation of Tunisia in North Africa, Italian officials there prevent the implementation of anti-Jewish laws.  They demand that the French refrain from confiscating the property of 5,000 Jews in Tunisia who held Italian passports.  After December 1942, thousands of Jews are made to do forced labor under harsh conditions.  In the Italian forced labor camps, the Jews are treated far better than in German camps.  On May 7, 1943, the Allies liberate Tunis and thousands of Jews are saved from annihilation.

December 1940
SS Haputsturmführer (Captain) Theodore Dannecker, under Eichmann, sets up the Anti-Jewish Institute in Paris.

All Jewish businesses must display a large yellow placard in their windows identifying it as a Jewish business.

Vichy government negotiates with Mexican Consul General Gilberto Bosques regarding the fate of 150,000 Spanish Republican refugees.  The object is to send these refugees to Mexico.  The Germans object to this plan and are fearful that these repatriated soldiers will fight for the British.

January 30, 1941
The Coordinating Committee for Jewish Charities is created.  It is the umbrella organization for the Welfare Committee, School Colony, Children’s Relief Organization (OSE), and Shelters for the Homeless (Asiles).  Marcel Sack is appointed coordinator.

February 1941
The German policy in France 1940-1941 is designed to make living conditions so bad that it forces Jews to emigrate.  This is done by forcibly excluding them from all civil and economic life in France.  Ironically, the German and French bureaucracy makes emigration so difficult and complicated that many Jews are unable to leave France legally.

During this period, French Vichy officials object to Germans using southern France as a dumping ground for Jewish refugees from Germany, Austria and other occupied territories.

February 5, 1941
Reinhardt Heydrich states in memorandum that he sees the “later total solution to the Jewish problem” is to “send them off to whatever country will be chosen later on.”

February 14, 1941
Heydrich tells German foreign ministry representative in France Martin Luther, “After the conclusion of the peace, they [Jews] will be the first transported to leave fortress Europe in the total evacuation of the continent we plan.”  Luther then tells his diplomatic representatives that forced Jewish emigration from German territories must take priority.

March 29, 1941
French authorities create the Antisemitic General Commission on Jewish Affairs (Commissariat General aux Questions Juives).  Its function is to implement policies to liquidate Jewish property and to enforce police measures and ordinances against Jews.  Xavier Vallat, an antisemite, is appointed its first commissioner.

April 26, 1941
In France, Jews are forbidden to have certain occupations, particularly those that involve public contact.

May 7, 1941
Fry writes in his diary:  “Wednesday, May 7. Harry Bingham told me this morning that he has just received instructions to go to Lisbon. He is closing his house and packing his things. His going will be a great loss to the refugees, and may seriously cripple our work. He has been the one man at the Consulate who had always seemed to understand that his job now is not to apply the rules rigidly but to save lives whenever he could without actually violating United States law. Without his help, much of what we have done we could [not] have done. Especially since the opening of the Martinique route, he has worked very hard, minimizing formalities and always showing a sympathetic attitude towards candidates for immigration. His behavior has always been in sharp contrast to that of most other American Consuls in France. I hate to think what it is going to be like here after he has gone."

May 13-15, 1941
Pétain broadcasts pledge of cooperation with German occupying forces. 

Thousands of Polish Jews in Paris are rounded up pending deportation.  They are deported to French concentration camps Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande.

SS Haputsturmführer (Captain) Theodore Dannecker meets with Director of the German military rail system General Kohl.  Kohl agrees to supply trains to deport between 10,000 and 20,000 French Jews in the next few months.

May 20, 1941
Gestapo issues circular prohibiting Jewish emigration from Germany and Austria.

May 28, 1941
Ordinance is issued in France forbidding Jews to negotiate or transfer capital.

May 1941
By the end of May 1941, the Jewish office of HICEM in Marseilles had received more than 35,000 requests from Jews to leave France.  The HICEM managed to help approximately 3,000 Jews leave France in 1941 and another 3,000 Jews emigrated in the first months of 1942.  Between June 1940 and the end of 1942, HICEM helps 6,449 Jews leave France.

SS Haputsturmführer (Captain) Theodore Dannecker creates a Nazi-sponsored antisemitic propaganda department called the Institute for the Study of Jewish Questions (IEQJ).

June 1941
Louis Darquier de Pellepoix becomes head of Commissariat General aux Questions Juives.  He is extremely antisemitic.

Czech Consul Vladimir Vochoc is arrested by Vichy authorities in southern France.  He later escapes.

June 2, 1941
The second antisemitic Statute des Juifs (Jewish statute) is enacted by the French Vichy government.  It subjects French or foreign Jews to administrative internment for violation of the Statute des Juif or for any reason whatsoever.  The law removes the boundaries between French and foreign Jews.  A person could even be interned if “suspected of being Jewish.”  Further laws calling for the expropriation and Aryanation of Jewish property are enacted.  A mandatory inventory of Jewish property is demanded.  Eventually, 42,000 Jewish businesses, buildings, homes and other properties are confiscated. 

Pastor Marc Boegner writes to Pétain to protest these new laws.

June 3, 1941
US State Department institutes policies discouraging and interfering with refugees from German occupied territories.

June 7, 1941
Jews are ordered to wear the yellow star in France.  There is widespread resentment, both in the Jewish community and by non-Jews, of this order.  Many Jews refuse to wear the star and some French citizens wear stars and yellow flowers in solidarity with persecuted Jews.  Jews in the south are not yet required to wear the star.

June 11, 1941
Eichmann announces plans to deport 100,000 Jews from France in the coming three months.  The plan is to deport 22,000 Jews from Paris and 10,000 from Vichy.

June 22, 1941
German army invades Soviet Union; Nazi Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads) begin mass murder of Jews, civilians and Communist leaders.

July 22, 1941
The French Aryanization Law of July 22, 1941, gives the General Commission on Jewish Affairs even wider latitude to expropriate Jewish assets and property.

July 31, 1941
Heydrich appointed by Göring to implement the “Final Solution.”

July 1941
US Congress passes the Bloom-Van Nuys act, which authorizes US consuls to withhold any type of visa if they had reason to believe the applicant might endanger public safety.  This results in extensive visa application and screening procedures.  For the rest of the war, only a small fraction of German and other European quotas will be filled.

August 1941
The Drancy detention/transit camp is established in a suburb of Paris.  It is under French administration.  Most of the Jews who are deported to the Auschwitz death camp will leave from Drancy.

3,429 Jews are arrested and interned in the southern occupied zone.  As a result, a flood of complaints is registered by Frenchmen opposed to the treatment of Jews and Vichy’s collaboration with the Nazis.

The Nazis order the closing of the emigration departments of the Reichsvereinigung in Austria and Germany.  Nazis ban emigration for Jews between 18 and 45 years old.  The age is soon extended to 60 years old.

A HICEM Report of August-September, 1941 [The Hebrew Immigration Aid Society] CDJC, CDXIV-39, recorded that 30 or 40 American entry visas were issued daily, [from the US Consulate in Marseille].

Bernardo Rolland de Miota, the Spanish Consul General in Paris, actively intervenes in the cases of 14 Jews who were deported to the Drancy concentration camp.  At the same time, he embarks on a dangerous mission to transfer 2,000 Jews from Drancy to Morocco.  Throughout the war, he denounced Nazi persecution of Jews.  By September 1943, Rolland would be partially responsible for the escape of hundreds of French Jews to Spain.

August 8, 1941
Deportation of 11,485 Jews begins from the Gurs and Rivesaltes camps in the southern zone.  The Coordinating Relief Committee for the Camps (CIMADE), a Protestant relief organization comprised of the Red Cross, the Quaker Relief Committee, the Swiss Service Civil International and the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, is allowed to rescue some Jews.  Ross McClelland, Dr. Donald Lowrie and Father Arnoux, representing Catholic Archbishop Gerlier, lobby Philippe Pétain to spare Jews from deportation.

August 20, 1941
The Eleventh District in Paris is sealed off and 4,000 Jews are interned and sent to Drancy.  French officials protest the arrests. 

Protestant Minister Marc Boegner sends protest letter to Marshal Pétain.  In the letter, he expresses “…the indescribable sadness that our Churches feel at the news of the decisions taken by the French government, with regard to [the treatment of] foreign Jews, whether converted to Christianity or not.”

August 23, 1941
Monsignor Saliège, Archbishop of Toulouse, publicly disapproves of the deportations.  He orders a message to be read in churches by his priests at mass: “The Jews are men and women.  Not every action may be committed against them.  Foreigners are men and women.  Not every action may be committed against them, against these men and women, against these fathers and mothers of families.  They are part of the human race.”  This is the first major written protest by the Catholic Church.  The statement is widely publicized throughout France.  Even foreign diplomats send copies to their home governments.

August 26-28, 1941
A massive roundup of Jews in Lyons, France.  In response, Monsignor Théas, Bishop of Montauban, issues this statement: “I voice the indignant protest of the Christian conscience and I declare that all men, Aryan or non-Aryan, are brothers because created by the same God; that all men, regardless of race or religion have the right to the respect of individuals and States.  Now, the present anti-Semitic measures are contemptuous of human dignity, and a violation of the most sacred rights of the person and of the family.”

August 27, 1941
Marc Boegner declares that the Christian churches in France should not remain silent in the face of deportations of Jews.  He meets with Pierre Laval and asks that deportations to the unoccupied zone should be halted and the right of asylum for Jews should be respected.

Fall 1941
Jews in Austria and Germany are ordered to wear the yellow star.

September 1941
Antisemitic exhibit entitled “Jews of France” opens in Paris.  This exhibit, organized by the Nazi occupying forces, is poorly attended and largely ignored.

September 2, 1941
Vichy Ambassador to the Vatican Léon Berard submits a report to Marshal Pétain regarding the Vatican’s opinion on France’s anti-Jewish programs.  Berard writes, “At no time did the Papal authority seem occupied or preoccupied with this part of French policy.”

September 6, 1941
Archbishop Pierre Gerlier issues statement against deportation and treatment of Jews.  He states, “We have the categorical and painful duty to voice the protest of our conscience…” to invoke the “inalienable rights of the human person and the inviolability of the right of asylum.”

September 28, 1941
The Fifth German Ordinance (Verordnung) blocks the proceeds of the forced sale of Jewish property.

October-November 1941
German and Austrian Jews are deported to ghettoes in Eastern Europe.

The Archbishop of Lyons, Pierre Gerlier, founder of Amitié Chrétienne [Christian Friendship], protests anti-Jewish decrees and instructs French Catholics to help Jews.  Nuns, priests and monks are arrested and deported for their efforts to save Jews.  Some are killed.

The Archbishop of Toulouse, France, protests Nazi terror.

October 1, 1941
All legal emigration out of German occupied territories is stopped by Gestapo order.  It is estimated that 163,000 Jews are still living in the Greater Reich.

October 4, 1941
The Conseil National de l’Eglise réformée (National Council of the Reform Church) protests the deportation of Jews.  It states, “Divine law does not allow families created at God’s wish to be broken up, children separated from their mothers, the right of asylum and divine pity to be brushed aside, the respect for the human person to be violated and defenceless creatures to be delivered up to a tragic fate.”

October 23, 1941
Himmler orders that no more Jews are to emigrate from the German occupied zones.  This order takes effect in France in February 1942.

Late October 1941
After being forced to leave France, Varian Fry returns to New York City.  Fry eventually becomes persona non grata with the administrators of the ERC over Fry’s policies in Marseilles.

November 1941
There are approximately 17,500 internees in French camps in the southern unoccupied zone.  11,150 are Jews (63%).  With the help of sympathetic foreign consuls, many will receive exit visas to leave these camps.

A Catholic resistance organization publishes Temoignage Chrétien, a newsletter that directly addresses the issue of French antisemitism.  It mentions the concentration camps, Nazism, and French hypocrisy.

November 10, 1941
All emigration of Jews from Austria now officially prohibited.  126,445 Jews have been able to emigrate from Austria, thousands with the Ho, Bosques and other diplomatic visa. 

November 29, 1941
Under German pressure, Vichy orders the dissolution of all Jewish organizations.  Their records must be turned over to Vichy officials.  Vichy forms the Union General de Isrealites du France (UGIF), which the Germans hope to turn into a Judenrat (Jewish Council).  Albert Levy appointed president, Andre Baur vice president.  The UGIF is divided into the two zones, North and South.

The UGIF refuses to take part in selecting Jews for deportation during the roundups.  The UGIF helps Jews escape and provides them with food and shelter.

December 1941
The Swiss Red Cross launches a relief operation specifically to save French Jewish children.  The Swiss Red Cross has delegations located in Paris, Marseilles, Lille, Lyon, Toulouse and Arles.

Harry Bingham IV, US Vice Consul in Marseilles, hides painter Marc Chagall in his home, issues him visa to leave France.

December 7, 1941
Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.  America declares war on Japan and, the next day, on Germany.

American Jewish welfare agencies are cut off from funding Jewish French refugee relief efforts.

Night and Fog Decree: Hitler orders the suppression of anti-Nazi resistance in occupied Western Europe.

December 8, 1941
Gassing of Jews begins at Chelmno extermination camp in Poland.

December 12, 1941
743 French Jews and 257 foreign Jews are arrested in Paris and sent to Compiègne camp for deportation to the east.

December 14, 1941
Major deportations in France are announced.  Due to lack of rail transportation, the deportations to the death camps do not begin until March 1942.

The German occupying force in France fines the Jewish community one billion francs.

December 15, 1941
53 Jewish hostages are shot at Mont-Valerien.

December 1941
French police subject Jews to random checks of addresses.  The French have established a file system on Jews that contains information on 150,000 individuals.

Winter 1941-1942
2,000 Jews legally emigrate from the southern unoccupied zone.  Many cross borders or go into hiding.

Many Christian organizations help to rescue Jews.  These include entire religious orders.  Among them are the Sisters of Zion at the Hospice de la Vieille Charité, the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Dominican Order of St. Baume, led by Father Régis de Perceval in Boulogne.  Fathers Perrin and Pipro hide Jews in their houses and issue texts called Voix du Vatican denouncing Vichy policies.  CIMADE helps Jewish evacuees interned at Gurs to escape to Switzerland.  Fathers Perceval and Perrin are arrested in August 1943 for helping Jews.  Father Abbé Blanc and 50 agents provide Jews with false records.  During this period, Church people issue thousands of false Baptismal Certificates.

Father Marie-Benoit, a Capuchin priest, works with the UGIF and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to print and distribute false documents and hide Jews.  He establishes a Jewish children’s refuge in the French province of Var.  He is credited with rescuing as many as 4,000 Jews.

A number of French prefectural officials in southern France are helpful to Jews.  Among them are Jean Séguy, Marseilles police captain Dubois, Monsieur Roux and Madame Esmiol of the Aliens’ Bureau, Marie-Ange Rodriguez, Secretary General of the Cassis Town Hall, Monsieur Boyer, also of Cassis, Antoine Zattara and Georges Barellet.

A number of guards at the French concentration camps take great risks to help Jewish internees survive and eventually escape.  Among them are Lucien Mercier, Auguste Boyer, Aimé Bondi, and Jean-Louis Kissy.  The Commandant of Les Milles, Robert Maulavé, helps individual Jews.  He is later put in jail for these efforts.

The French village of Le Chambon begins rescue work to hide 5,000 Jews.  This rescue is led by Pastor André Trocmé.  All survive until the end of the war.

Father Pierre Chaillet of the Amitié Chrétienne [Christian Friendship], centered in Lyons, organizes an association of priests and laypersons under the guidance of Archbishop Gerlier and Paster Boegner.

Necdet Kent, Consul for Turkey in Marseilles, France, issues numerous Turkish certificates of citizenship to Jewish refugees, preventing them from being deported to Nazi death camps.  On one occasion, Kent boards a deportation train with Jews loaded on a cattle car.  He successfully intervenes to have them released to his custody.

January 13, 1942
The government in exile of France in London condemns the murder of French citizens by the Germans.  Jews are not specifically mentioned.

January 20, 1942
Wannsee Conference in Berlin; Heydrich outlines plan to murder Europe’s Jews.

January 21, 1942
Admiral Darlan warns the German occupying authorities that forcing Jews to wear the yellow star will “profoundly shock French opinion” and “risk the provocation of a movement in favor of the Israelites, considered as martyrs.”

January 22, 1942
Hitler and Himmler personally order the evacuation and destruction of the old port in Marseilles and, with it, part of the Jewish Quarter.  French police and SS conduct door-to-door searches and round-ups of Jews.

February 1942
Germans order Jews and others to report for the Obligatory Labor Service (STO; Service du Travail Obligatoire), which will deport workers to Germany by mid-February.

February 1, 1942
SS troops begin demolition of the old port of Marseilles.  The demolition lasts 17 days and displaces 20,000 people.

February 2, 1942
The Sixth German Ordinance (Verordnung) orders a curfew for Jews in Paris.  Jews are not allowed out between 8 pm and 6 am.  Jews are not allowed to change residence.

February 4, 1942
Himmler orders that no Jew can leave the French occupied zone without his direct approval.

February 15, 1942
First transport of Jews murdered at Auschwitz using Zyklon B gas.

March 16, 1942
The American Friends Service Committee – Quakers estimate that there are 16,400 internees in camps in the southern zone.

March 24, 1942
The Seventh German Ordinance (Verordnung) further defines who is a Jew.

March 27, 1942
First deportation of Jews from France to Auschwitz.  1,112 Jews are sent; only 19 survive the war.  Vichy says nothing about this deportation.

April 1942
Admiral François Darlan, Deputy Head of Vichy, and his staff resign from the Vichy government.

April 26, 1942
Pierre Laval is returned to his post in the cabinet.  Laval becomes head of the Departments of the Interior, Information and Foreign Affairs.  He becomes deputy head of state.

May 5, 1942
Reinhardt Heydrich arrives in Paris to speed up and oversee lagging deportation efforts in France.  He meets with French police chief Rene Bousquet, who suggests they deport stateless Jews in the unoccupied Southern Zone.

SS police officer Carl Oberg visits Paris to prepare to take up his new post.  On June 1, he will be appointed head of SS and SD operations in France.

SS Obersturmführer Heinz Röthke succeeds Theodore Dannecker as head of the Jewish Office in France.  He remains there until the French surrender.  The SS now has free reign for the deportations in France.

May 29, 1942
The Eight German Ordinance (Verordnung) orders all Jews in France to wear the Jewish star.  The law is to be enforced on June 1, 1942.  Many Jews decide not to wear the star.  French population resists identifying Jews with the stars, and the French people are outspoken in their protests.  It is estimated that more than 100,000 are subject to the ordinance.

Varian Fry writes Surrender on Demand.  It is his account of the rescue efforts of the Emergency Rescue Committee in southern France.  He outlines in detail the activities of Hiram Bingham IV, Vladimir Vochoc, Gilberto Bosques and other diplomats and groups who helped Jews in southern France.  It is published in 1945.

June 1942
In Marseilles, the Emergency Rescue Committee is forced to close by the French police for subversive activities in helping refugees.  The ERC continues to operate secretly.  The Villa Air-Bel estate outside Paris becomes a haven for the Alsatian refugees.

June 11, 1942
Himmler orders increased deportations to Auschwitz from southeastern Europe.  He includes 100,000 Jews to be deported from both zones in France.  The French are asked to revoke the citizenship of the deportees and even pay for the cost of their deportation, which is set at 700 DM per Jew. 

June 26, 1942
French Interior Minister Pucheu orders internment for all Jews who are stateless or are no longer protected by the country of their origin.

June 27, 1942
Vichy is asked to round up 50,000 Jews from the southern zone for deportation.

Pierre Laval agrees to cooperate with the deportation of stateless (i.e., German, Austrian, Czech, Belgian, Polish) Jews.  He later claims to have done this to save French Jews from deportation.  He states “I did all I could, considering the fact that my first duty was to my fellow countrymen of Jewish extraction whose interests I could not sacrifice.”

In Bordeaux, the SS sends a train to deport the Jews there.  In a lightening raid, the SS could find only 150 stateless Jews.  Eichmann is furious and cancels the train transport.  Eichmann says, “This never happened before.”

June 30, 1942
Adolph Eichmann arrives in Paris with an order from Himmler to deport all Jews, regardless of whether they are French citizens or not.

Mid 1942
The German Wehrmacht [army] has only three battalions (3,000 soldiers) of military police in the French occupied zone.  This is hardly enough manpower to identify and arrest Jews.  After November 1942, these same battalions will be responsible for deportations in both zones in France. 

The French government has 100,000 police, which is the same size as the French army.  30,000 of these police are under Laval’s direct control.

July 4, 1942
Vichy agrees to deport foreign Jews in both zones.  The Germans call this deportation operation “Vent Printanier” [spring wind]. 

July 8, 1942
Ninth German Ordinance (Verordnung) forbids Jews access to such public places as parks, squares and gardens.  It also limits Jews to shopping for food and other necessities to only one hour daily.

July 16, 1942
In two days, 12,884 Jews are arrested in Paris and are interned in Drancy pending deportation.  4,051 are children.

July 20, 1942
French Ministry of the Interior suspends issuing exit visas for foreign Jews except for those from the Benelux countries.

July 27, 1942
French officials order the roundup of between 3,000 and 4,000 Jews in the occupied zone.  These deportations are to be carried out by French police.

Germans demand that 32,000 Jews be deported by the end of the summer of 1942.

July 1942
Deportation of Jews from France to killing centers in Poland.  42,000 Jews are sent to their deaths, at least one third of them from the unoccupied zone. 

The roundup of Jews is supported by Vichy officials and accomplished by the French police.  Other than Bulgaria, this was the only case in which a sovereign country in Western Europe signed a contract for the deportation of its Jews.

Deportation of Jewish refugees is defied and Jews are hidden in secret rescue and relief organizations.  These organizations, both Jewish and non-Jewish, hide Jews, move them to safe-havens, provide them with food, forged documents and passports.  Jews are also helped to escape from French concentration camps.

In Paris, French officials warn Jews of impending arrests and are able to escape.

In the southern zone of Lyon, General Robert de Saint-Vincent refuses to use his military troops in the roundup and deportation of Jews.  He is immediately relieved of his command.  Other French officials refuse to participate in the deportations and resign their commissions rather than participate.

August 3, 1942
The Nimes Committee and Quakers, led by Lindsey Nobel, meet with Pierre Laval to plead humanity and to protect Jews.  Laval turns them away.

August 4, 1942
Tracy Strong, of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), meets with Marshal Pétain and informs him of the adverse publicity regarding the deportation of Jews and how it affects American public opinion.

August 5, 1942
Order for all foreign Jews to be sent to the occupied zone.  All legal exit visas are now cancelled.  As a result, only 600 Jews emigrate legally in the last half of 1942.

August 6, 1942
The Quakers meet with US Chargé d’Affaires in Vichy H. Pinkney Tuck and inform him about their meeting with Pierre Laval.  They indicate that Laval stated that “these foreign Jews had always been a problem in France and that the French government was glad that a change in German attitude towards them gave France an opportunity to get rid of them.”

August 26-28, 1942
7,100 Jews are deported from the unoccupied zone.  This is way below the German demand.

August 1942
25,000 Jews in France are deported to Auschwitz.  Most of them are murdered upon arrival.

Following the mass deportations of Jews from the occupied and unoccupied zones of France, Spain’s border continues to be a vital escape route for Jewish refugees.  By October, several hundred Jewish refugees have escaped across the border.

The Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) are able to get a few hundred Jewish children out of southern France to Spain, Portugal and Switzerland.

Dr. Donald Lowrie, of the Nîmes Committee, gives detailed accounts of the atrocities against Jews and others to close aids of Marshal Pétain.  Pétain does not acknowledge the information.

Father Pierre Chaillet and his group, the Amitié Chrétienne [Christian Friendship], hide Jewish children in a number of religious institutions.  The Christian Friendship organization also rescues Jewish children from deportations.  Among those who take part in the rescue are Madeleine Barot and Abbe Glasberg.  Father Chaillet is placed under house arrest for three months, and he refuses to give up the address where Jewish children are being hidden.  Archbishop Gerlier also refuses to give the addresses of the children’s shelters to the regional police in Lyons.

Germans demand that Laval enforce sanctions against clergy and church groups who aid Jews.

24 French prefects in the southern zone stated that public opinion was overwhelmingly shocked by the deportation of Jews there.

H. Pinkney Tuck, the US Chargé d’Affaires in Vichy France, discusses with Laval the deportation of Jews.  In a letter to the US Secretary of State, he writes, “It is evident from Laval’s attitude that he had never interest nor sympathy in the fate of the Jews who he callously remarked were already too numerous in France.”

September 1942
27,000 Jews in 13 separate deportations are sent to Auschwitz from both French zones.  These deportations are accomplished with the cooperation of French authorities and police.

Pierre Laval expresses reservations about cooperating in future deportations of French Jews by the Germans.

Germany’s allies in France, including Hungary, Romania, and Italy, refuse to cooperate with deportations.

Several European and South American governments offer entry visas t Jews.  They are Argentina (1,000), Uruguay (500), Mexico (250), Ecuador (200) and Switzerland.

60 clergymen, briefed by Pastor Marc Boegner, create a secret rescue network known as the “Refuge Cévenol.”

This network throughout the southern zone is established by Amitié Chrétienne [Christian Friendship].  Refugees are hidden in convents and churches.  Escape routes are established from Toulouse to Spain and from Lyons, Grenoble and Valence to Switzerland.  Clergy in Haute-Savoie become guides.  The nuns of Notre-Dame-de-Sion in Lyons provide forged documents.  Protestant hostels in Lyons are used as refuges.

Monsignor Rémond, Bishop of Nice, forbids the checking of baptismal certificates by anti-Jewish police.  On September 30, a report states, “it is of public notoriety that he [the bishop] sets himself up as champion in defence of the Jews.” 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer corporation donates one million dollars toward rescue of Jews in southern France.

Italian consul general in Nice Alberto Calisse refuses to cooperate with German officials in interning Italian stateless Jews.  He asks the Italian foreign ministry for permission to protect Italian Jews.  This prompts the Italian foreign ministry to issue a decision paper that will in fact protect Italian Jews throughout France.  Calisse informs Italian police official Ribiere that Italians have authority over Jews in the Italian zone.  Calisse is not required to enforce the regulation of having “Jew” stamped in the identity cards and ration books of Jews in the Italian zone.

September 6, 1942
Archbishop Gerlier publicly protests the deportations.

Many of the religious leaders in the unoccupied zone make public statements against the deportations.

September 8, 1942
Prime Minister Winston Churchill, during a meeting of the British House of Commons, reports on the Nazi deportation of French Jews.

September 11, 1942
US Chargé d’Affaires in Vichy France Pinkney Tuck obtains 1,000 blank US entry visas for Jewish children trapped in southern France.  He eventually gets permission from US Secretary of State Cordell Hull to obtain a total of 5,000 visas to the US.  Pierre Laval, reacting to German pressure, rescinds the offer to release the Jewish children.  The rescue efforts fail.

September 16, 1942
The German army and SS occupy Marseilles.

September 22, 1942
Pastor Marc Boegner protests Jewish deportations from France.  He personally tries to intervene with Vichy leader Pierre Laval.  Laval refuses.

October 1942
No deportations of Jews are carried out in October due to train transport limits.

Darquier de Pellepoix and the Commissariat Général aux Questions Juives attack church leaders for their role in helping Jews and stirring up public opinion against deportation.

Marc Boegner is put under police surveillance.

November 1942
US breaks off diplomatic relations with Vichy France.

Some French police continue to sabotage deportations.

November 9, 1942
The Law of 1942 forbids foreign Jews in France from leaving.  Vichy closes all of its borders and cancels all exit visas.  Vichy ceases issuing visas to Jews. 

November 11, 1942
The Allies land in North Africa, in Algeria and Morocco.  As a response, the Germans and Italians occupy southern France.  This occupation extends to the Mediterranean coast.  The operation is called “Attila.”  There is no French resistance to this occupation.  France is now a fully occupied country.  Vichy maintains a limited sovereignty.  The SS and Gestapo now have complete authority over Jewish issues in the south, except in the Italian zone of occupation.

During the Nazi occupation of the south, 22,000 refugees are able to flee successfully to Spain.  By the end of 1942, more than 30,000 refugees have crossed the border. 

SS Obersturmführer in France Helmut Knochen assigns his SS Einsaztkommando [special deportation squad] to regional offices attached to French prefects in the south, including the cities of Marseilles, Montpellier, Toulouse, Lyon and Vichy.

November 27, 1942
French naval officers sink their own ships at Toulon to prevent them from falling into the hands of the German navy.  The Allies occupy all of French overseas possessions.  The Jews in French North Africa are protected from deportation.

November 1942-September 1943 - France
Beginning in November of 1942, the Italian Army and Foreign Ministry officials occupy and administer eight French departments east of the Rhône River, in southern France.  A French government remains in place, but the Italians control the area.  In these zones, Jews and other refugees are protected until the Italians surrender and leave southern France in September 1943.

Italian forces and diplomats refuse to enforce anti-Semitic measures in their zones.  They refuse to allow any forced labor camps in their occupation zones.  Further, the Italian occupying Army prevents any arrests or deportations of Jews in their area.  By 1943, more than 50,000 Jews flee to the Italian zone.  Twenty to thirty thousand of these are non-French Jews.  Many gravitate to the area around Nice.

For nearly 10 months, Italian diplomats and the occupying military forces thwart the Nazis' "final solution" in southern France.

The following Italian diplomats are active in rescue of Jews in southern France: Gino Buti; Alberto Calisse, Consul in Nice; Guido Lospinoso, Foreign Ministry Official and 'Inspector General of Racial Policy,' Nice; Vittoriano Manfredi, Consul in Grenoble; Gustavo Orlandini, Italian Consul in Paris; and Vittorio Zoppi.

December 10, 1942
Hitler orders all Jews to be deported from France to the German occupied territories of the East.  This includes enemies of the state, Communists and Gaullists.  This order is not conveyed to French officials.

In preparation for the deportations, all Jews are evacuated from coastal or border departments.  In most cases, only three days notice is provided to the Jews.

December 11, 1942
Vichy government orders all Jews to have their personal papers stamped with “Juif” or “Juive” [male or female Jew].  These include identity and ration cards as well as work permits.

December 17, 1942
The United States, Great Britain, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, and the French government in exile make a joint declaration of condemnation against the murder of European Jews.  They declare their intention to prosecute Nazi war criminals after the war.  This declaration makes headlines around the world.  Thousands of letters are sent to the US State Department and the British Foreign Ministry at Whitehall regarding this declaration.

December 24, 1942
Admiral Francois Darlan, Prime Minister of Vichy, is assassinated by anti-Vichy activist.

The Joint Relief Commission of the International Red Cross is allowed to operate in the occupied zone of France.  They supply food, medicine and other supplies to Jews and others in the internment camps.  In addition, the Commission tries to help Jews by redefining their legal status by having them declared prisoners of war and entitled to protections under the Geneva Convention.  The Red Cross is able to improve some of the conditions in the camps.

The French Red Cross provides relief to Jewish prisoners at the internment camps at Hôtel Terminus des Ports, Bombard, and Les Milles.

The Red Cross and Quaker missions continue to collect information on internees and conditions in the camps.  They report these conditions to the Allies.

Carvalho da Silva, Vice Consul for Portugal in Paris, France, personally intervenes on behalf of 40 Portuguese Jews who are at the deportation center of Drancy, France.  He convinces the Gestapo to free them and personally accompanies the group through a border crossing of France into Spain.  He rescues a second group of about 100 Jews, and accompanies them across the border as well.

Mexican Consul General Gilberto Bosques, Mexican Ambassador Luis I. Rodriguez, and the entire Mexican legation are arrested by German and French officials.  The Brazilian Ambassador and the Brazilian legation are also arrested.  The diplomats and their families are interned in the German city of Bad Godesberg for a year.  This action is in violation of international conventions.

Antoine Zattara, at the prefecture in Marseilles, helps many Jews escape the Nazis.  Zattara is arrested and deported by the Gestapo in 1944.

January 1943
French Interior Ministry declares in a circular that it has the authority to assign all foreign Jewish men who came to France after 1936 to labor battalions and work groups.

When the German army occupies Marseilles, they arrest and intern members of the Quaker, Unitarian and Mennonite committees in Baden Baden, Germany.  All legal and semi-legal rescue groups in Marseilles are shut down.

January 22-27, 1943
Ten thousand French police and several thousand German soldiers are sent to move the 22,000 residents of the old port of Marseilles and destroy it.  In the process, 2,000 Jews are arrested.

February 1943
There may be as many as 140,000 Jews in the south of France, not including the Italian zone.  Jews are completely protected in the Italian sector.

February 18, 1943
French police are ordered to round up French and foreign Jews and send them to the Gurs concentration camp, and then to Drancy.  The Germans have limited success in this action due to increasing French resistance.

February 22, 1943
In Lyons, France, occupying Italian soldiers order local French chief of police to rescind German deportation order.

March 1943
German and SS authorities are increasingly dissatisfied with French and Italian cooperation in the deportations.

Italian police in the cities of Valence, Chambery and Anecy prevent French prefects from arresting Jews in their zones.

In Grenoble, Italian soldiers protect Jewish internees about to be deported.

March 2, 1943
Italian General Avarna de Gualtieri delivers a note to the French secretary of state, Admiral Charles Platon, stating that “henceforth, not only non-French Jews were under Italian protection but French Jews as well. No Jew in the Italian zone could be coerced or arrested by anyone except Italian authorities, except for violations of the common law.”

March 6, 1943
SS Obersturmführer Heinz Röthke estimates there are 270,000 Jews remaining in France, including 200,000 in the southern zone.  He hopes to deport 8,000-10,000 Jews per week beginning in April.

Under new ordinances, Germans are free to arrest Jews without French police present.

March 20, 1943
Mussolini transfers authority over Jews in France from the Italian army to the Italian ministry of the interior.  He appoints Guido Lospinoso Commissioner for Jewish Questions in Nice.  Lospinoso does everything in his power to thwart German plans to deport Jews.  He is successful in helping Jews through September 1943.  He works closely with Jewish banker and rescuer Angelo Donati and Catholic priest Father Benoit.  Benoit operates out of a monastery in Marseilles.

March 25, 1943
Von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, complains to Mussolini regarding lack of cooperation by the Italian diplomatic corps and Army in the Italian occupied zone of southern France.

April 19, 1943
SS begins large scale arrests of Jews in Nîmes, Avignon, Carpentras and Aix. The arrested Jews are taken from Marseilles to Drancy.

May 27, 1943
The secret organization, National Resistance Council, is created in France.  Jean Moulin is its head.

June 1943
Himmler orders the liquidation of all ghettos in Poland and the Soviet Union.

Daniel Bénédite takes the name Pierre Benedetti and works with the French underground.

July 1943
Eichmann sends his SS assistant Alois Brunner to Paris with 25 men to speed up the deportations.  Brunner takes over operations at the Drancy camp.  Vichy announces it will no longer actively cooperate with the Germans in the arrest of French Jews.

July 10, 1943
The Marseilles Gestapo reports that Italian police commissioner Guido Lospinoso has moved thousands of Jews out of the German area to Megéve, St. Gervain and Vence, which are Italian protected areas.

July 16, 1943
Catholic priest Father Marie-Benoit has audience with Pope Pius XII.  He presents the Pope with documents regarding the persecution of Jews in France.  He asks for assistance in rescuing Jews in the Italian occupied zone in France.  Working with Jewish Italian businessman Angelo Donati, he begins preparation for evacuating 30,000 Jews from the south of France to Italy, Spain and North Africa.  The project is approved by the Vatican, by Sir Arcy Osborne, the British Ambassador to the Holy See, and by Harold Tittman, US Ambassador to the Vatican.  The evacuation plan fails due to the Italian withdrawal from the war on September 8, 1943.

July 23, 1943
Jean Changeneau, police prefect of the Alpes Maritimes, replaces French policeman Ribiere.  Changeneau announces that he will protect Jews in his area.

Late July 1943
Mussolini agrees to withdraw from the Italian zones in southern France, except for the area around Nice.

September 8, 1943
The Italian government surrenders to the Allies and withdraws from the war.  Italian Armed Forces in Yugoslavia, southern France and parts of Greece return to Italy.  Thousands of Jewish refugees attempt to flee with them.

September 9, 1943
German army occupies former Italian zone in southern France.  Thousands of Jews are trapped around Nice.  Nazis are free to round up Jews.

End of September 1943
By the end of September, a total of 52,000 Jews are deported from France.  6,000 are citizens.  13,000 are refugees from Vichy, 4,000 of which are from Marseilles.  This was less than half the figure Eichmann had projected.  He concluded the French “no longer wished to follow [them] in the Final Solution in France.”

November 24, 1943
Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau drafts a letter to the Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, objecting to the State Department’s slow approval of the transfer of funds for the rescue of Jews in France and Romania.

November 1943
Breckinridge Long continues his campaign against Jewish immigration to the United States.  He gives misleading testimony about immigration before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  Between December 1941 and the end of the war, only 21,000 refugees are admitted to the US and they comprise only ten percent of the US quota available for Axis-controlled countries.

40 deportation trains leave France for Auschwitz.  There are no deportations in December and January 1943-1944.

Several French prefects destroy the Jewish census and registration files.  Refugees are helped by French citizens to flee to the Spanish border by sympathetic French police and civilian officials.

December 23, 1943
Gerhardt Riegner is finally given a license to transfer funds from Jewish agencies for the relief and rescue of the Jews of Romania and France.  This is eight months after Riegner first requested permission from the US State Department to do so.

The Representative Council of French Jewry (Conseil Représentatif des Juifs de France; CRIF) is founded to coordinate rescue activities among Jewish groups.  They work with the Armée Juive to arrange rescue of Jews through Spain.  They also participate with the French underground, both in the north and the south.

Early in 1944, US Ambassador Laurence Steinhardt manages to have the Turkish government intercede on behalf of ten thousand Turkish Jews living in France.  Steinhardt uses his good relationship with Turkish foreign minister Noman Menenencioglu in helping to untangle bureaucratic rules that prevented Jews from passing through Turkey as an escape route.  Hirschmann and Steinhardt are able to get Turkish official in charge of visas, Kemel Aziz Payman, to liberalize some of the Turkish immigration laws.

April 1944
Two transports leave France for Auschwitz.

The SS conduct arrests without the help of French police.  As a result, the arrests are way below German anticipated quotas.

May 1944
Only one transport leaves France for Auschwitz.

June 6, 1944
D-Day: Operation Overlord is launched.  Allied invasion at Normandy, in northwestern France, opens second front.  Seven Allied divisions attack in the largest amphibious operation in history.  The invasion involves more than 4,000 ships and 1,000 transport planes.

Deportations from France are halted.

July 9, 1944
The Allied Armies capture the city of Caen in Normandy, France.

August 14, 1944
Operation Anvil.  Allied forces land on the south coast of France.  They quickly advance 20 miles on the first day.

August 15, 1945
Marshal Philippe Pétain, former head of the Vichy government, is convicted in a French court of treason and is sentenced to death.  His sentence is later commuted to life imprisonment.

August 17, 1944
US forces break out of the German defenses in western Normandy. 

August 24, 1944
Drancy transit camp, on the outskirts of Paris, is liberated.

August 25, 1944
Paris is liberated by the Allies.  De Gaulle leads victory parade.

January 27, 1945
Soviet troops enter Auschwitz concentration camp.

May 8, 1945
V-E Day: Germany surrenders; end of the Third Reich.

End of War
The total number of Jews deported and murdered in France is 75,000.  This is out of more than 375,000 Jews in France.  75% of Jews in France survived the war.  This is one of the highest survival rates for a Jewish community in a Nazi-occupied territory.  86% of native French Jews survive; 72% of foreign born Jews survive.  There are countless testimonies and evidence to indicate that many of the Jews, especially foreign Jews, escaped arrest and deportation and survived the war with the help of courageous individuals, willing to risk their life and liberty by breaking the law to follow their conscience.  Individuals hid Jews in the cities, villages, towns and in remote areas of the country.  French officials overlooked irregular papers and documents to get Jews housing, food and medicine.  Religious leaders throughout France extended a hand of help.  They provided food, shelter, and false baptismal certificates.  Many organizations, including the member groups of the Nîmes Committee, put themselves at considerable risk to save hundreds of thousands of Jews throughout France.  Without their help, most Jews would not have survived.

In 1942, 42,000 Jews are deported from France and murdered.  In 1943, 22,000 Jews are deported from France and murdered.  In 1944, 12,500 Jews are deported from France and murdered.  (4,000 Jews from Marseilles are deported and killed.)

Himmler and Eichmann consider the deportation of Jews from France to be a dismal failure.  Himmler states that the total removal of Jews from France was “extremely difficult” because of the “very strained relations with the French military administration.”

Philippe Pétain is convicted of collaboration and treason by French court.  He is sentenced to death.  The sentence is commuted to life imprisonment by General Charles de Gaulle. 

June 1945
Carl Albrecht Oberg, SS general and police head in France, March 1942-August 1944, responsible for arrest and deportation of 70,000 Jews, is tried and sentenced to death by an American military court.

July 21, 1945
The Committee for the Understanding of the Associations for the Defense of the Victims of Oppression is organized as a “Commemorization of the separation of mothers from their children on July 16, 1942, in Paris.

October 9, 1945
Pierre Laval, the Prime Minister of France in Vichy from 1942-1944, convicted in a French court of treason, is executed.

December 1945
Theodore Danneker, SS officer in charge of supervising arrest and deportations of Jews in France 1940-1942, commits suicide while in custody of the American forces.

Charlotte Delbo, a French woman deported to Auschwitz in 1943, writes a trilogy, Auschwitz et Après (Auschwitz and After), about her experiences in the death camp.

Xavier Vallat, head of Vichy government’s anti-Semitic programs in 1941 and 1942, is sentenced by a French court to 10 years in prison.  He serves only two years.

Otto Abetz, German Ambassador to Vichy, 1940-1944, responsible for leading role in deportations of Jews, is convicted by French military court.  He is sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.  He is released in 1954.

France’s Jewish population is 235,000.

June 1951
Daniel Bénédite of the ERC is awarded Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.

July 23, 1951
Philippe Pétain, Head of State of Vichy Regime, dies in exile on the island of Yeu.  He is 96.

Israeli Knesset (parliament) passes law to create a Holocaust Memorial Museum and a program to honor those who rescued Jews in the Holocaust.

Alois Brunner, SS officer in charge of Deportation of Jews in France, July 1943-September 1944, is tried and convicted in absentia by a French court.  He is sentenced to death.  He hides in Syria and is given official asylum.

Helmut Knochen, senior SS and SD commander in France 1940-1944, responsible for arrest and deportation of Jews, is sentenced to death by a French court.  Sentence is reduced to life in 1958.  He is granted a pardon by de Gaulle in 1962.

Carl Oberg, SS and SD general in France, 1942-1944, is sentenced to death by a French court.  The sentence is commuted to life imprisonment on April 1958.  In October 1959, the punishment is reduced to 20 years.  In 1965, de Gaulle gives a full pardon and Oberg is returned to Germany.

Otto Abetz dies in an auto accident in Germany. 

Werner Best, SS and Nazi official and civilian head of the military administration in occupied France June 1940-August 1942, is fined 70,000 Marks for his wartime crimes.

Simon Veil, who was a French Jews and survived Auschwitz, is elected President of the European Council.

Two individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Four individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Former SS and SD general Carl Oberg dies a free man in his native Germany.

French survivor Charlotte Delbo publishes None of us Will Return, the second part of her trilogy about her experiences in Auschwitz.

Two individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Eight individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

April 12, 1967
Varian Fry is honored at the French consulate in New York City with the Croix de Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur.  Fry is honored for the work he had done for France.

September 13, 1967
Varian Fry passes away.

Four individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Fifteen individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Six individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Thirteen individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Two individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Xavier Vallat dies.

Fifteen individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Nine individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Eleven individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Thirteen individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Twelve individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Fifteen individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Thirty individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Twenty individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Louis Darquier de
Pellepoix, head of Vichy’s anti-Semitic Department from 1942-1944, and head of Office of Jewish Affairs, which supported deportations, dies in Spain.

Nineteen individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Michael R. Marrus and Robert O. Paxton publish landmark book on Vichy’s persecution of Jews in France, Vichy et les Juifs.

Thirty-two individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Thirteen individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Klaus Barbi, SS Chief of Gestapo office in Lyon, is captured after avoiding prosecution for nearly forty years.

Twenty-four individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Thirty individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Hiram “Harry” Bingham IV passes away.

The Jews of Paris and the Final Solution: Communal Response and Internal Conflicts, 1940-1944, by Jacques Adler, is published.

Eighteen individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Twenty-one individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

May 11-July 4, 1987
Klaus Barbi is convicted of atrocities by a French court.  He is given life sentence.

Fifty-three individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

The Altruistic Personality: Rescuers of Jews in Nazi Europe, by Samuel P. Oliner and Pearl M. Oliner, is published.

One hundred individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Seventy-one individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Fifty-six individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

September 1991
Klaus Barbi dies in prison.

Seventy individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

The Choice of the Jews Under Vichy: Between Submission and Resistance, by Adam Rayski, is published.

Sixty individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

French President Francois Mitterand publicly denounces the actions of the French Vichy government during World War II.

The Holocaust, the French, and the Jews, by Susan Zuccotti, is published.

February 4, 1993
Francois Mitterand, President of France, criticizes Vichy’s role in World War II and establishes “a national day for commemorating the racist and antisemitic persecutions committed under the authority of the Government of the French State (1940-1944).”

April 1993
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum opens in Washington, DC.  Its first traveling exhibit honors Varian Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee.

Eighty-six individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

July 16, 1994
France commemorates the deportation and murder of 76,000 Jews.

Sixty-seven individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

One hundred fifteen individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Varian Fry is honored with the title of Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel.  A tree is planted in Yad Vashem by US Secretary of State Warren Christopher, along with Fry’s son.  Christopher apologizes for the State Department’s treatment of Fry.

Harry Bingham IV is honored in the Visas for Life exhibit for his work in helping Jewish refugees in Marseilles in 1940-1941.

Harry Bingham IV is nominated for the title Righteous Among the Nations by the Visas for Life Project.

The Holocaust and the Jews of Marseille, by Donna Ryan, is published.

Rescue as Resistance: How Jewish Organizations Fought the Holocaust in France, by Lucien Lazare, is published.

Seventy-six individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Jews in France during World War II, by Renée Poznanski, is published.

October 1997
Maurice Papon, a Frenchman who collaborated with Nazis to deport Jews, is tried in a French court.

Seventy-one individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Seventy-five individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Fifty-five individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Ninety-seven individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Fifty-eight individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

June 27, 2002
American Foreign Service Association posthumously awards Hiram Bingham with the Constructive Dissent award.  His citation reads: “His actions violated the State Department anti-refugee policy… [and showed] his willingness to put humanity before his career….”  The award was presented by Secretary of State Colin Powell.

June 28, 2002
Washington Post article entitled “At State, Giving Dissent its Due” honors Harry Bingham.

Sixty-five individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

The Encyclopedia of the Righteous Among the Nations Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust, Israel Gutman (Editor), volume on France by Lucien Lazare (Volume Editor), is published by Yad Vashem.

Seventy-six individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Saving the Foresaken: Religious Culture and the Rescue of Jews in Nazi Europe, by Pearl M. Oliner, is published.

December 2004
Visas for Life: The Righteous and Honorable Diplomats Project nominates members of the Emergency Rescue Committee as Righteous Among the Nations.

Eighty-five individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

United States Postal Service announces it will issue a commemorative postage stamp in honor of Hiram “Harry” Bingham.

Harry Bingham receives Letter of Recognition from Yad Vashem for his activities in Marseilles on behalf of Jews.

Fifty-seven individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.

Fifty-five individuals or families from France are recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for rescuing Jews.