Jewish Inhabitants of the Somme Before and During the Occupation
(Databases I & II)
by Nolan Altman
The two searchable databases which follow, have been created from information generously provided by Dr. David Rosenberg from his website “Jews of the Somme” (http://www.jewsofthesomme.com). JewishGen greatly appreciated Dr. Rosenberg’s significant input in creating these records. In addition to the data that is searchable in JewishGen’s Holocaust Database, Dr. Rosenberg’s “Jews of the Somme” website contains other valuable information, including transcribed letters and documentation of anti-Jewish measures and photographic images relating to many of the individuals listed in the databases.
France was divided into départements and subdivided into arrondissements at the time of the French Revolution. The Département of the Somme, north of Paris and extending to the English Channel, included the arrondissements of Amiens (the chief city of the département), Abbeville, Péronne and Montdidier.
Throughout the Occupation the authorities compiled lists and files to keep track of Jews within their jurisdictions. Jews on the lists were opened up to various forms of discrimination and isolation. It became increasingly dangerous as Jews began to be deported to the “East.” Database I brings together two such compilations: the so-called “Register of Israelite Declarations” (1940) and a set of identification sheets (fiches) with thumbnail photographs from June 1942. Entries include the 40 or so persons for whom photo ID sheets exist, plus information about their children under the age of 15. Names on the Register of Declarations account for the remaining entries in Database I. Some of these names repeat from one document to the next, as some but by no means all Jews registered in the region in October 1940 were still on hand in June 1942.
“Régistre des Déclarations Israélites” (Sep/Oct 1940)
Starting in September/October 1940, Jews in this region and elsewhere in France were required to register with the authorities under penalty of law. Heads of households were required to register their entire families. Sixty-eight persons were registered in the arrondissement of Amiens, eighteen in the arrondissement of Abbeville, four in that of Montdidier and three in that of Péronne.
Photo ID sheets
In August 2017, David Rosenberg uncovered a previously unstudied set of identification sheets for the Jewish inhabitants of the Département of the Somme on a roll of microfilm at the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation at the Memorial of the Shoah in Paris. These documents included passport-sized photographs of their Jewish subjects, in some cases the only images of them that have come to light. Based on this record set, there were approximately forty Jewish adults and fewer than 10 Jewish children known to authorities living in the département of the Somme in June 1942.
In March 2018, David Rosenberg, and daughter Lydia Rosenberg, created an exhibit at Temple Emanuel of the South Hills, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. centered on the 40 Photo ID sheets. This exhibit “Who is a Jew? Amiens, France, 1940-1945” traveled to various sites in Pittsburgh and a French version was presented to the University of Picardy in Amiens and several French high schools. Subsequently, the text and photos in the exhibit, including images of the 40 photo ID sheets, were added to the Rosenbergs’ website http://www.jewsofthesomme.com/ where they can now be publicly accessed. In 2020, the “Register of Israelite Declarations” was also scanned and placed on this site at http://www.jewsofthesomme.com/new-page-1
Jews of the Somme Deported to Death Camps
Between 1942 and 1944, some 76,000 Jews were deported from France to their deaths, mainly in Auschwitz/Birkenau. These included many of the Jews enumerated in the Register of Declarations of 1940 and the Photo ID Sheets of 1942.
The mortality was especially high in the case of the latter. Six of the foreign-born Jews in the June 1942 fiches were arrested in Amiens and environs in subsequent months and deported to Auschwitz from the Drancy internment camp outside Paris. They were joined in arrest and deportation by a half dozen more Jews, from Eastern and Central Europe, who had been interned in the Camp of Doullens.
The majority of Jews in the 1942 fiches, who were French-born citizens, were arrested in a dragnet in Amiens and several coastal towns between January 4 and January 8, 1944. Sent to Drancy all but a few were deported to Auschwitz and to their deaths in Convoy No. 66, January 20, 1944. In addition to the Deportation List and the internees of the Camp of Doullens which together make up Database II, researchers can find information on the roundups (raffles in French) of 1942 and 1944 in the Somme on the “Jews of the Somme” website.
Note: the places associated with the individuals on the list of deportations are the places in the Somme where they were 1) living when arrested or 2) where they lived at one time even if arrested elsewhere, for instance in Paris. Deportations to Auschwitz or Sobibor occurred by railroad convoys from the Drancy internment camp, or in a few cases from Beaune-la-Rolande and Pithiviers or Compiègne.
Database I: This database consists of 154 records from ID cards and compulsory registration registers.
The fields in this database are:
- Given name
- Maiden name
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Last residence
- Spouse’s birth surname
- Spouse’s given name
- Spouse’s date of birth
- Spouse’s place of birth
- Spouse’s original nationality
- Father’s surname
- Father’s given name
- Father’s date of birth
- Father’s place of birth
- Mother’s maiden name
- Mother’s given name
- Mother’s date of birth
- Mother’s place of birth
Database II: This database consists of 126 records for Somme individuals who were either deported, became refugees, or spent time in the Camp of Doullens. The fields in this database are:
- Given name
- Maiden name
- Last residence
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Deported from
- Deported to
- Deportation information
All of the information and data have for Database I & II have been derived from the “Jews of the Somme” website (http://www.jewsofthesomme.com/) The site indicates the archival sources which it cites or reproduces. Hence the website itself is the most immediate and accessible “source” for the information. However, here are some of the archival sources cited on the website for the various documents:
Identification Cards: Archives Nationales de France (Pierrefitte-sur-Seine), AJ 38 5787
Compulsory Registration: National Archives, Arrondissement of Amiens, September/October 1940 (AJ 38 5076 micro, images 568 to 573), Arrondissement of Abbeville, Departmental Archives of the Somme, 26 W 679, Arrondissement of Abbeville, Sub-Prefecture of Montdidier, including the arrondissements of Montdidier and Peronne (AJ 38).
Jews of the Somme Deported to Death Camps: Compiled using various sources for the names of people and adding information from the databases of the Center for Documentation of the Memorial of the Shoah.
Jewish Deportees from the Camp of Doullens, 1942: National Archives (AJ38-5076-5078 #106 List to be deported) and the Memorial of the Shoah and the Musée de Malines (Belgian Holocaust Memorial).
Thank you to Nolan Altman, Director of Data Acquisition and Coordinator of the Holocaust Database, for his continued devotion and dedication to JewishGen's important work.
Searching the Database
This database can be searched via the JewishGen Holocaust Database or the JewishGen Unified Search