Xavier Vallat Commission, implemented in March 1941 by the Vichy government, had to deal with the « Jewish question » in North Africa. Beside enforcing emergency laws, measures going beyond the Vichy government’s legal competences were implemented in Algeria. For instance, the academic « numerus clausus » of September 1941 made possible the exclusion of almost all of the Jewish children attending public schools, including primary schools. Another measure established professional prohibitions towards the Algerian Jews. Vichy government’s policies also met the antisemitic views of the Algerian population, abolishing for instance the Crémieux decree, which gave the French citizenship to the Algerian Jews.
Julius Berman, President of the Jewish Claims Conference is pleased to announce for the first time, a newly recognized group of Jewish Holocaust survivors will be entitled to compensation from the German government. Jews who resided in Algeria between July 1940 and November 1942, and suffered from Nazi persecution may now be eligible for payment through the Claims Conference Hardship Fund.
Serge Dahan, the President of B’nai B’rith Europe, welcomes this achievement. Serge Dahan also thanks the Claims Conference and everyone who worked to help recognize the prejudice of the Algerian Jewish Holocaust survivors.
“This is a long overdue recognition for a large group of Jews in Algeria who suffered anti-Jewish measures by Nazi allies like the Vichy Regime,” said Greg Schneider, Executive Vice President of the Claims Conference. “The Vichy government subjected these people to restrictions on education, political life, participation in civil society and employment, abolishing French citizenship and singling them out only because they were Jews.”
It is estimated that there are approximately 25,000 Algerian Jewish Holocaust survivors living around the world.
The Claims Conference is opening a Registration Help Center in Paris, where the largest group of Algerian survivors resides, to help survivors apply for the newly identified compensation through the Hardship Fund. Registration Center visits will be by appointment only, services are free to all survivors, and no legal representation is required.