Fonds Serge Klarsfeld (MDCII)

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 2017.23.1
  • RG-43.163
1 Jan 1964 - 31 Dec 1994
Level of Description
  • German
  • French
  • English
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium

41,043 digital images, JPEG


Biographical History

Serge Klarsfeld (born 17 September 1935) is a French activist and Nazi hunter known for documenting the Holocaust in order to establish the records to enable the prosecution of war criminals. Serge Klarsfeld was born in Bucharest to a family of Romanian Jews. They migrated to France before the Second World War began. In 1943, his father was arrested by the SS in Nice during a roundup ordered by Alois Brunner. Deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp, Klarsfeld's father died there. Young Serge was cared for in a home for Jewish children operated by the OSE (Œuvre de secours aux enfants) organization; his mother and sister also survived the war in Vichy France, helped by the underground French Resistance beginning in late 1943. Since the 1960s, he has made notable efforts to commemorate the Jewish victims of German-occupied France and has been a supporter of Israel. He helped found and have led the Sons and Daughters of Jewish Deportees from France (Association des fils et filles des déportés juifs de France) or FFDJF. It is one of the groups that has documented cases and located former German and French officials for prosecution such as Klaus Barbie, René Bousquet, Jean Leguay, Maurice Papon and Paul Touvier, who have been implicated in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of French and foreign Jews during the Second World War. The Klarsfelds were among organized groups who filed cases decades after the war, sometimes as late as the 1990s, against such officials for their crimes against humanity. In the years before 1989 and the break-up of the Soviet Union, the Klarsfelds (Serge Klarsfeld and his wife Beate) frequently protested against the Eastern Bloc's support for the PLO and anti-Zionism. Recognition for their work has included France's Legion of Honor in 1984. In 1986, their story was adapted as an American television film starring Tom Conti, Farrah Fawcett and Geraldine Page. In 2008, a French television movie was made about them. On 1 January 2014, the Klarsfelds' Legion of Honor ranks were upgraded: Serge became Grand officer. On 26 October 2015, the UNESCO designate the Klarsfelds as "Honorary Ambassadors and Special Envoys for Education about the Holocaust and the Prevention of Genocide." Source: Online-Wikipedia

Archival History

Mémorial de la Shoah, Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine


Source of acquisition is the Memorial to the Shoah, Jewish Contemporary Documentation Center (Mémorial de la Shoah, Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine), France. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received the filmed collection via the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum International Archival Programs Division in February 2017.

Scope and Content

Personal archives of Serge Klarsfeld, including are correspondence (personal, legal, administrative, telegrams), handwritten and typewritten notes, administrative documents, partial or complete reproductions of works, colloquia, collections of documents, collection of original or reproduced testimonies, collection of press articles and photos gathered by Serge Klarsfeld, and his research on the deportation of Jews from France. The collected administrative documents were themselves produced by the different organs of the Reich, its occupying authorities in France, the administration of the Vichy government, and Belgium under the occupation. Collected archives also relate to trials of Nazi criminals and their collaborators (contains files of Nazi criminals), antisemitism, Holocaust denial, and children in the Holocaust.

System of Arrangement

Arranged in two series: 1. Personal archives; 2. Collected archives.

Conditions Governing Reproduction

Copyright Holder: Mémorial de la Shoah, Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine


Corporate Bodies



This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.