At last, Yad Vashem focuses on Shoah in N. Africa

Jews suffered in wartime North Africa, and had the German advance under Rommel not been halted by the Allies in North Africa, its Jews were have been exterminated in the Shoah (Holocaust) as surely as Jews in Europe. The October newsletter from Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Israel, casts a long overdue spotlight on the plight of Jews in North Africa. This represents a triumph for Edith Shaked, who has campaigned for Yad Vashem to document the story of North African Jews in the Holocaust. Now she is urging the Shoah Museum in Paris to follow suit. (With thanks Edith, Sarah)

Here are abstracts from the newsletter:

This article discusses the factual bases for the assertion that the Jews of North Africa would have met the same fate as the Jews of Europe in the Final Solution, had the tide of the war not turned against the Axis powers. gives background history to the Holocaust in France. It also provides some tools for using this as a topic in classroom lessons and discussion.

Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia were French territories and protectorates prior to World War II. When France surrendered to Germany in 1940, the laws of the Vichy regime (unoccupied France) were applied to these French territories. This article describes the treatment of the Jews in these countries under the Vichy regime.

Libya was an Italian colony prior to World War II. This articlediscusses what happened to the Jews of Libya once the war began, and why there is no Jewish community today in Libya.

Restitution for Holocaust-era victims: (with thanks: Michelle Malca)

The Heart scheme provides restitution for victims in all countries affected by the Holocaust. The deadline for applications is 1 December 2011.


  • Unfortunately, after reviewing Yad Vashem's newsletter, I found out that there are some serious issues with this newsletter.

    Notice the title:
    North Africa AND the Holocaust.
    A more historical accurate title, as per the realities of the period should have been:
    The Shoah IN the European Territories in North Africa.

    There is a LONG, VERY detailed, and SEPARATE article on Libya, and not such a thing on the other countries.

    I am currently writing along detailed critique.
    It is tiring.

    I just don't understand, why not to accurately stick with the historical realities of the period. What's the whole fuss, when, in fact, the Shoah IN European North Africa is like a little drop in the big bucket – the tragic history of our people in the European continent – the destruction of European Jewry, their way of life and their culture.

    Note: This spring semester, we offered
    539 Holocaust seats,
    in 15 sections (5 online, that I also created)
    in 5 campuses, morning, afternoon, evening, week-end; I created the course and started in 1999 with 24 students.

    Edith Shaked

  • I remember our terror on the eve of the battle of El Alamein. Our rush to the shelter and my dad falling down the stairs while holding my new-born baby sister in his arms
    It is no wonder that some of the older generation do not want to hear anything about the shoah!
    But by ignoring it we open the door to neo nazi propaganda
    Sultana Latifa


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