Skip to main content

Statut des Juifs – Cartes d’identité et Certificats de nationalité délivrés aux Juifs – 1940-1941





Folder Number:



December 6, 1940 – The Mayor of Constantine informs the Prefect that many Jews have been asking his services for certificates of French nationality since the law of October 7, 1940 which abrogates the Crémieux decree and that of October 18, 1940 which regulates the status of all Jews residing in France and the Colonies. It specifies the word “Jew” is added to the certificates issued in order “to prohibit the bearer of the certificate to apply, for example in a town in France where he can go and where  these patronymic names are not known, for a job prohibited by the articles of the Law of October 18, 1940. I believe that to act otherwise, that is to say not to mention the Jewish race, could subsequently cause trouble to the service which will have delivered the certificate”. However, he asks the Prefect to tell him if he is “within the law” in doing so, and if not to send him a model of certificate to be issued to the Jews.

September 24, 1941 – The Governor General of Algeria instructs the Prefect of Constantine “to take all necessary steps to ensure that certificates of all kinds, issued by Mayors, Administrators and Police Commissioners (identity, nationality, citizenship, good life and manners, etc…), mention the status of citizen, native Jew or foreign Jew of the interested parties”.

November 7, 1941 – The Prefect of Constantine informs the Mayors and Administrators to “take all necessary measures so that the cards and certificates of all kinds issued to Jews (identity, nationality, etc.) include, as the case may be, one of the following only three statements : French citizen Jew, Algerian native Jew, foreign Jew”. He adds : “However, the state of the people with regard to the status of the Jews is not final and may be changed. This is how a descendant of two Jewish grandparents, when considered by law to be non-Jewish, can become so if he marries a person who himself has two Jewish grandparents. It would be advantageous, under these conditions, to issue the certificates in question only for a specific purpose and for proof on a specific date”.

November 15, 1941 – The Sub-Prefect of Philippeville asks the Prefect of Constantine, in accordance with his Circular of November 7, “if the nationality, either of French citizen Jews, of Algerian indigenous Jews, or finally of foreign Jews, must be mentioned on the safe conduct and circulation documents of the interested parties”.

November 26, 1941 – The Governor General of Algeria instructs the Prefect of Constantine that “the issuance of any identity document concerning Jews should only be carried out directly by the services concerned when the situation of the petitioner cannot give rise to any doubt, that is to say when he is Jewish as having at least three Jewish grandparents, or on the contrary, when for sure he is not Jewish”.

December 6, 1941 – The Governor General of Algeria instructs the Prefect of Constantine that “the mentions : French Jew citizen, French Jew subject, foreign Jew must be affixed on the safe-conducts and travel documents issued to Israelites”.

December 20, 1941 – The Minister of Justice transmits to the Governor of Algeria his Circular of October 12, 1941 relating to the issuance of nationality certificates, recalling that “these instructions could not have the effect of undermining in any way the attributions that the texts confer on the Prefects in matters of nationality”. He transmits a copy of this note and of the Circular to the Prefect of Constantine, specifying to the latter that he is doing so “for his information and for useful purposes with regard to possible questions of nationality posed by the Israelites”.

The Circular of October 12, 1941, sent by the Minister of Justice to the Attorney General at the Court of Appeal does not explicitly refer to the Jews, but it recalls the law of July 22, 1940 (Editor’s note : And, if necessary, to deprive of their nationality any person naturalized since the law of August 10, 1927. In total more than 15,000 people were deprived of their nationality including approximately 6,000 Jews – source Wikipedia). The Circular, the aim of which is to institute a more rigorous system, grants the sole Judge of Peace of the domicile the competence to attribute nationality to applicants “depending on whether or not their parents have always had the status of French”. It specifies the procedures for examining applications for obtaining or reinstating (in) nationality.

Skip to content