Antisemitism in France (10-18-40)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 19, 1940)

Eternal Journey —

Drastic New Laws Imposed, As Vichy Seeks to Appease Germany

By Paul Ghali

Vichy, France, Oct. 18 –

With the publication this morning of decrees defining the status of Jews in France, the wandering Jew must once again start on his eternal journeying.

France, once the most liberal country in the world, has decided to list the Jew as a second-rate citizen.

The new law forbids Jews to practice certain professions in France and her colonies. It forbids to Jews the exercise of all important public functions. Jews cannot, under the new decrees, be members of France’s governing bodies, nor can they attain any position of importance in French colonial administrations, act as officers in the army, or teach.

Only Minor Jobs Open

Only minor posts like clerkships are open to them, and these merely to those who have been awarded military honors in two wars.

The list of private positions left open to Jews is restricted. Jews cannot edit newspapers, or write for them. They cannot manage film or broadcasting companies.

They can be actors, lawyers, engineers and bankers, but these jobs are subject to a quota. This quota, fixed by Aryans in these professions, undoubtedly will be low.

The new decrees are much milder than those passed in Germany.

According to today’s decrees, two classifications have been made for non-Aryans. The first comprises Jews born of two Jewish parents; the second those with one Jewish parent. Under the French law, the second class will not be considered as Jews unless they have themselves married Jews. The law also stipulates exceptions in cases of Jews who have rendered to France signal services in the arts, science and literature.

Unusual in France

The new decrees, which strike anew at the race which has been gradually expelled from all of continental Europe, are completely revolutionary in France, where Jews have been allowed to occupy the highest posts ever since the French Revolution.

The economic consequences of the new edicts undoubtedly will be here just what they have been in other European countries – the Jews will transfer their money and activities to more hospitable soil at a moment when France needs the support of every one of her citizens.