Mémorial de la Shoah Fondation

  • Mémorial de la Shoah; Shoah Memorial; Centre de Documentation du Mémorial de la Shoah
  • CDJC
  • Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine
  • Centre of Contemporary Jewish Documentation
  • Centre for the Documentation of Contemporary Jewry

History

Le Mémorial de la Shoah Fondation (Shoah Memorial Foundation), was opened to the public in January 2005, under the name of le Mémorial de la Shoah on the site of the former Mémorial du Martyr Juif Inconnu (Memorial to the Unknown Jewish Martyr) and Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine (CDJC, Contemporary Jewish Documentation Centre). The Mémorial de la Shoah Fondation and its Documentation Centre are the continuation and heirs of the Mémorial du Martyr Juif Inconnu and the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine (1943-2013). Situated at this turning point of the « century of genocides », open to the new century, the new institution is intended as a bridge between the men and women who were contemporaries of the Shoah and those who did not experience this period of history, either directly or through the mediation of their parents.

Although it is a continuation of the CDJC and the Memorial to the Unknown Jewish Martyr, the Shoah Memorial also represents a new phase in the transmission of the memory and the lessons of the Shoah, which so far had been essentially borne by the direct witnesses of the extermination of Jews of Europe.

The Memorial de la Shoah Fondation is a resource centre, the first and foremost collection of archives on the Shoah in Europe, but it is also a "museum of vigilance", designed to learn, understand and experience, because now and forever it will always be necessary to build "a rampart against oblivion, against a rekindling of hatred and contempt for man", to quote its President Eric de Rothschild.

Archival and Other Holdings

The archives of the CDJC include archival collections totaling more than thirty million documents, including many originals bearing the signature of the heads of the Third Reich and those responsible for the deportation of the Jews from France. The CDJC's main archive collections are:

A - German sources

The headquarters in France, Militärbefehlshaber in Frankreich (MBF)
The MBF, or German military administration in France, was divided into two major sections: the military command and the administrative command. The archives of the military command cover collaboration between the occupation authorities and the Pétain government in general, the persecution of the Jews and the general reprisal policy. The archives of the administrative command include the documents dealing with the control of the occupation authorities over the French economy (interference, spoliations, in particular economic aryanization). The German Embassy in Paris was very actively involved in the anti-Jewish measures as can be attested by the numerous telegrams and letters sent several times per day to Berlin by Abetz and Schleier (Plenipotentiary Minister at the German embassy in Paris).

The Gestapo in occupied France
The records of the Anti-Jewish division of the Gestapo in Paris include letters, telegrams, and reports on internments, deportations and other measures taken against the Jews, such as wearing the yellow star, rescinding naturalisation and general reprisals. There are also documents showing the pressure exerted on Italy's policy in the Italian occupied zone.This group also contains documents on the Gestapo in France preserved in the German federal archives (Bundesarchiv Koblenz). These records give us a true picture of the structures and the activity of the Gestapo in France and in particular the anti-Jewish division, first directed by Dannecker then by Rothke.

The archives of the Nuremberg trials
This contains a part of the documentation collected for the investigations of the international military trials as well as the trials conducted by the American military court. A specific classification system is used here for this major group of archives. The main subdivisions are as follows:
NO (Nazi Organization): this reference includes the documents from any Nazi organization, in particular those relating to the role of the S.S., and the WVHA (Central Office of the Economy and the Administration of the S.S.).
NOKW (Nazi " Oberkommando der Wehrmacht "): this group of documents deals with the activities of the German army.
NG (Nazi Government): documents illustrating the activity of the State bodies related to those of the Party.
NI (Nazi Industry): documents related to industry and the financial institutions of the Third Reich.

B - French sources

Archives of the General Commission on Jewish Affairs
The CDJC has more than 20,000 documents from the CGQJ as well as the deliberations of the trials of its leaders.

The archives of Professor Montandon
Montandon was an ethnologist and "expert on racial issues" with the CGQJ. This partial archive group covers the period from 1924 to 1944 and deals first with his scientific ethnology work then with his activities in anti-Jewish propaganda from 1938.

Institut d'Etude des Questions Juives
The CDJC has kept the major portion of the documents of this body created in 1941 at the instigation of Dannecker. The collection includes the correspondence of the Secretary General and describes all the activities of the Institute.

Other archive groups
The archives of the CDJC contain many other documents from the Service of the Armistice, the Prefecture of the Police but also Jewish organizations such as: l'Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (O.S.E.), les Eclaireurs Israélites de France (E.I.F.) la Fédération des Sociétés Juives de France (F.S.J.F.), Le Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (C.R.I.F.), l'Oeuvre de Protection de L'Enfance Juive (O.P.E.J.), la Commission Centrale de l'Enfance (C.C.E.), the ORT in France.

C. Private archives

The Memorial de la Shoah holds a large number of private archival collections.

D. Copy-collections

Apart from a large amount of original archives, the Mémorial de la Shoah also holds a large number of copy collections. Holocaust-relevant archival documents from the Archives Départementales, YIVO, etc. are also open for research here.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

The Mémorial's collections can be searched here:

http://bdi.memorialdelashoah.org/internet/jsp/core/MmsGlobalSearch.jsp or http://ressources.memorialdelashoah.org/

Detailed finding aids are open for consultation in the reading room.

Opening Times

The Mémorial is open every day except Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Thursday until 10 p.m.

The Documentation Centre is open every day except Saturday: from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Thursday until 7:30 p.m.

Closed on state holidays and on certain days during Jewish holidays.

Documents are not delivered on Thursday evening or on Sunday.

Conditions of Access

Entry to the Documentation Centre is free.

Accessibility

The Mémorial has access facilities for the disabled visitors.

Sources