©jewsofthesomme.com is an interactive online exhibit, introducing some of the key sources for the history of the Jews in the Department of the Somme, especially during the Occupation and immediately after, ca. 1940-1946. The bulk of the documents displayed are contained within Subseries AJ 38 of the National Archives of France. These are the records of the Commissariat général aux questions juives, including dossiers from the Direction générale d'aryanisation économique and dossiers maintained by the prefecture of the Somme. Also present are documents accumulated by the Service de restitution des biens des victimes des lois et mesures de spoliation, established by General De Gaulle on January 30, 1945. The Service de restitution inherited and added to the files of the aforementioned entities, but its records account for only a small proportion of the total. Dossiers of economic aryanisation, which include detailed information about the government-mandated sale of Jewish owned houses, businesses and other property, make up the bulk of the records. Provisional administrators (administrateurs provisoires) or managers of operations (commissaires gerants) were appointed to dispose of Jewish-owned property or restructure or liquidate Jewish-owned businesses; many properties were advertised in the paper as Jewish owned and put up for bids.
The files of the prefecture which are found in Subseries AJ 38 contain economic information relevant to the aryanisation program, but also include important documentation on other anti-Jewish activities: for example, the implementation of the yellow star program in June 1942 and the roundup of foreign and “stateless” Jews in the Somme on July 18-19, 1942. The inventory below, created by personnel of the National Archives of France, provides a useful overview of Subseries AJ 38 generally employing descriptions found in the records themselves, but it sometimes fails to reflect significant topics such as the above and the presence of unusual document types like letters of Jews protesting the measures imposed on them. The Departmental Archives also has important digitized materials on the history of the Jews before, during and after the Occupation on its portal http://archives.somme.fr/ A small number of documents not already available on that site and digitized documents from two other repositories may be found under the heading "Other Collections."
Documents on this site from subseries AJ 38 were photocopied from National Archives produced microfilm; after photocopying an image I generally wrote the reference to the source e.g. AJ 38/xxxx (cote number)/xxxx(image number) on the top or bottom of the page. I then scanned the photocopies and incorporated them into this exhibit in hopes of attracting interest to this history.
For inquiries, please email David L. Rosenberg, Ph.D, M.L.S. at firstname.lastname@example.org.