Although Jews had been settled in Algeria for 2,000 years, the dissolution of their communities took place in just three months – when the modern state of Algeria declared independence in 1962.
The Great Synagogue at Oran, now a mosque
1830 French invasion of Algeria. All natives declared equal under Article 5 of the surrender of Algiers.
1845 Consistoire becomes religious governing body of Jewish community.
24 February 1862: appeal court deems Jews of Algeria have French nationality.
14 July 1865: senatus-consulte declares both Muslims and Jews to be French. They may serve in the French army.
24 October 1870: Cremieux Decree declares Jews to be French citizens (with the exception of those in the M’zab south), their personal and civil status governed by French law.
1890s: Far-right French backlash demands abrogation of Cremieux Decree.
May 1897: looting of Jewish quarter of Mostagnanem and Jewish shops in Oran.
Four far-right supporters of antisemite (anti-Dreyfus) Edouard Drumont elected to parliament.
1914: Algerian Jews drafted into French army.
1929, 1933: Jewish – Muslim clashes, some provoked by far-rightists.
3 – 6 August 1934: pogrom in Constantine. Shops looted, 25 Jews killed in city and district. Army does not intervene. Economic crisis aggravates relations between Jews and Muslims.
October 1940: Vichy regime imposes statut des juifs. Cremieux Decree abrogated.
June 1941: quotas on jobs and in education.
November 1942: Jews lead Algerian resistance.
October 1943: Cremieux Decree reinstated. Jews can serve in the French army.
Rise of Algerian nationalism led by the Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN)
1956 FLN demands that the Jewish community affirm its loyalty to the Algerian nation.
1st November 1956: 70 attacks take Jewish community by surprise. Between 1954 and 62, declares its opposition to violence. Jews die, some join the pro-French militia, the OAS.
12 December 1960: Algiers Great synagogue ransacked.
1961: Jewish cemetery of Oran vandalised. Jew stabbed to death on his way to New Year synagogue service.
1961: musician Sheikh Raymon Leyris murdered.
3 July 1962: Algeria declares independence. France declares it will repatriate all French citizens, even those of non-French descent.
May – July 1962: mass Jewish exodus. of 160, 000 Jews, only 4, 000 remain. 135, 000 Jews flee to France, 10, 000 choose Israel.
March 1963: Only Muslims (those with a Muslim father and grandfather) may acquire Algerian nationality.
1971: less than 1, 000 Jews remain.
1992: less than 50.
2007: less than 20.
2011: last Jew assisted by Joint Distribution Committee dies.
Based on De l’emancipation a l’exode brutale des Juifs d’Algerie by Richard Ayoun, in La Fin du Judaisme en terres d’Islam (ed. S Trigano)
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