The Jewish settlements in North Africa have been been existing for centuries but the colonization of those territories by the French deeply changed the conditions of living of those communities. They have become more and more distant from their former Berber Arab environment. We are going to study the evolution of the situation of the Algerian Jews from the beginning of the era of Decolonization in North Africa in the 1950's to the end of the War and also the massive immigration of the French into Algeria.
[...] They became strongly attached to France despite the waves of anti-Semitism in Algeria at the end of the XIXth century. The government of Vichy deprived them from the basic rights of citizens and from their nationality but, with the American Invasion in November 1942, they participated to the battles against the enemy and became French citizens again in October 1943. Moreover it is important to remind that French Algeria was a colonial society, ruled by discrimination and very stratified. Invisible barriers kept apart French from France from freshly naturalized Christian immigrants, French Jewish citizens and “Europeans” from Muslims, Arabs and Berbers. [...]
[...] The repatriation of the Jews from Algeria is different from every other Jewish migration throughout the History. Indeed, for the first time, a group of Jews leaves almost entirely a territory not because of their belonging to the Jewish people but because they were integrated to a larger population. They left the territory as French citizens and not as Jews. It had been the first time since the creation of Israel that a threatened Jewish community integrates a new Diaspora, refusing to join the “gathering of the exiles” (“rassemblement des exilés”) Jews from Algeria and French Jewry: a renewal Until WWII the Jewish immigrants in France came mainly from Eastern and Central Europe. [...]
[...] The Jews and the War in Algeria 1. Landmarks of the beginning of the War We can locate the beginning of the conflict, although at that time this word was not yet used for those events, at All Saint's Day 1954, also called the “Toussaint rouge”. During 2 days, a wave of attacks and assassinations occurred. The most famous one the one considered as the first “military occurred November 1rst killed a primary school teacher, his wife and an Algerian gangster. [...]
[...] The Jews from France and the war Likewise the Jews in France are not a monolithic block and their opinions are widely diverse, mainly as the general opinion in the country. They are divided between left and right and between those who think a French presence should still remain while reforms are made and those who consider that each and every people have the right to its own independence. Above all those differences of opinion, how could Jews admit torture committed by the French Army? [...]
[...] On this matter, the former great Rabbi Sirat had a famous statement: “Après tout, le Juifs d'Algérie n'ont fait que changer de département Therefore, the massive immigration of the Jews from Algeria to France is unique in the history of Judaism. They choose France as their Land and only a tiny number of them chose Israel. They were French citizens and Jewish but they put forward their attachment to France. Thus, in 1963, in Jerusalem, some Zionist activists condemned in a mock trial the Algerian Jewry for its behavior” (“mauvaise conduite”) in order to highlight the incomprehension of the Israelis toward the strangeness of the choice of the Jews from Algeria. [...]
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