Talk:History of the Jews in France

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Holocaust figures[edit]

It seems to me that while the intro claims one-third of the Jewish population killed, the section on the Holocaust gives one fourth. Anyone know where the figures come from? (I'll probably be putting up an accuracy dispute tag to draw attention to the talk page.) Deltabeignet 04:38, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

  • I did the more logical thing and checked around; being as The Holocaust gives one-quarter, I changed the lead to that. I also checked a book that references the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, also giving a little under a quarter. Deltabeignet 04:45, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Constantius ?[edit]

The article currently says "The emperor Constantius (321) compelled them to share in the curia ..." But, so far as I know, Constantius Chlorus was dead and Constantius II was not Emperor until 337. Wrong date maybe ? Or should it be Constantine I ? Angus McLellan (Talk) 21:45, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Constantine I makes sense to me

Page Move[edit]

I would like to rename this article as French Jewry. If you disagree please discuss.

My intention is to organise all article on internationally Jewish communities in such a way that they interlink categorical. Presently, someone linking from say this article to 'history of french Jewry' is hopping in between diverse articles, as apposed to understanding world Jewish demographics

Chavatshimshon 19:25, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

History of the Jews in France → French Jewry {this is a none demographic term Chavatshimshon 19:34, 15 November 2006 (UTC)}

Survey[edit]

Add "* Support" or "* Oppose" followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~

  • Oppose. The proposed title implies a single "Jewry", but (for example) the Jews of Alsace are not by any means part of the same historic Jewry as those of Paris. I'm also very bothered that it looks like this move was proposed and then executed with less than 24 hours for comment. We should move this back. - Jmabel | Talk 17:14, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Décret Crémieux[edit]

In the "Assimilation" chapter of the History of French Jews there is a big mistake. You write that décret Cremieux gave french nationality to all Jews from North Africa. In fact it was only to the Jews of Alageria, an integral part of the franch territory and not to the Jews of Marocco and Tunisia which were only french protectorates. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 74.56.76.114 (talk) 14:51, 14 March 2007 (UTC).


Since the "assimilation" heading was mentioned; for the sections dealing with French attitudes towards Jews in the latter part of the 19th century, at least SOME mention should be made of Arthur de Gobineau.

there's a nice wiki article on Gobineau already: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_de_Gobineau —Preceding unsigned comment added by 60.234.139.47 (talk) 20:43, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

School[edit]

Don't most French schools have mandatory class Saturday mornings? During the Shabbat? How does that go? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.72.21.221 (talk) 01:38, 11 December 2007 (UTC)


most observant jews go to private jewish schools68.32.127.93 (talk) 06:19, 22 April 2008 (UTC)jonah


21st C, today section[edit]

I think this is needed, the article seems to stop dead toewards the end of the 20t C. Teatreez (talk) 16:37, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Infobox[edit]

There are more names listed in the infobox than there are pictures, so it obviously doesn't match up. I have no idea which picture belongs to which name, but it would be good if someone who does know could fix that. Tad Lincoln (talk) 06:00, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

The picture gallery should have some well known french jews[edit]

How about we add Nicholas Zarkozy, Dominique Strauss-Khan, and Bernard Kouchner? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.120.132.56 (talk) 19:50, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Sarkozy and Kouchner are not Jews, as far as I know. Jayjg (talk) 03:05, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

outdated content[edit]

Almost all of the first section of the article is copied unaltered from the 1913 Jewish encyclopedia. Though this is in the public domain, the judgements, and perhaps the emphasis, are antiquated. The first step in correcting this would be to indicartd exactly by quotations what has been copied. The second is remove all value judgments which cannot be substantiated by modern sources--or at least to word them as :"In the view of the 1913 JE, ...." to indicate their probable lack of validity. I have marked a few with tags. The third step, or perhaps the better alternative, would be to rewrite the section from scratch. The material from the JE that is other than purely facutal really belongs in a section "Nineteenth and early twentieth century views". DGG ( talk ) 19:15, 30 July 2011 (UTC)


What are the socioeconomic levels of the French Jews?[edit]

Are Jews in France as educated or wealthy as Jews living in the United States, Canada and other countries? What are the Sephardic Jews from North Africa in this regard? Are they earning more, less or just as much as the average French citizen? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.99.223.37 (talk) 15:52, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

Herschel Grynszpan[edit]

Shouldn't there be some mention of Herschel Grynszpan in this page. This is not an area I pretend to know much about, but I came across him when doing other reading. He's included in the History of the Jews in Germany page, but strangely not in this one. IMHO (talk) 19:36, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Seconded. Since Grynszpan was a student in Paris, and since the shooting in Paris was the excuse Nazis used to begin the November Pogrom (Kristallnacht), he should be mentioned here too. --82.102.141.201 (talk) 23:48, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

The Holocaust in France[edit]

I think we should split much of the content of the Holocaust section into a dedicated article, The Holocaust in France (now just a redirect here). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:18, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm working on a translation of the section of the French article which is much better. That can form the basis of the separate article (I agree there's a need)... This whole article needs some serious overhauling anyway, and shouldn't be spread around! Brigade Piron (talk) 17:08, 27 April 2014 (UTC)
Now created. Please feel free to expand it - it needs it.Brigade Piron (talk) 18:03, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Americanism in the article[edit]

The article assumes that French Jews are affiliated to currents like US Jews do and so says that if only 10% are members of the Consistoire, the rest are secular. This is nonsense. French Jews have no affiliation system. Members of the Consistoire are just people (and here in fact it is families) that made a free willing donation. Many Jews are religious or traditional and not affiliated to anything. Of course a large number are indeed seculars. 92.153.206.160 (talk) 09:33, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

That section also refers to Constorian Jews, which as best I can ascertain, do not exist. I think the entire section The different currents of Judaism in France is problematic, not just from the forced American-liberal-Jewish perspective being clumsily pushed into the article (problematic from the perspective both of WP:NPOV and of WP:NOR), but from the perspective of encyclopedic writing. I'm not sure the section, especially with a title about "streams" (a strongly POV euphemism) has any place in an article about French Jewry. Tomertalk 04:30, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Collage[edit]

Currently an edit war is beginning between User:Avaya1 and User:Mr. Sort It Out concerning the collage. As I created the recent version of the collage I'm starting this discussion. The controversy is about two cells in the collage, where I placed Serge Gainsbourg and Marc Chagall, which Avaya1 replaced with Irène Némirovsky and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji. Mr. Sort It Out obviously supports my selection. Avaya1 commented Why remove Nobel prize winners, for people who are not even french.

  • Concerning Serge Gainsbourg, there can be no argument that he was not French. Moreover, as far as I can judge, his standing in the French popular music is exceptionally high, a kind of a legend. In general, to reach a high diversity, one should try to present figures from different fields of activity and recognizable by different readers. So far, the collage includes historical figures, persons from academia, classical music, literature, arts etc. Having a really big popular "star", a singer or an actor, is an advantage. Currently, Sarah Bernhardt is also included, but it was already long long ago. Furthermore, France has a long own tradition of chanson, and it would be really good to have it reflected in the collage. For this reason, I have a strong preference for keeping Gainsbourg. An alternative would be Patrick Bruel or Joe Dassin. Joe Dassin may be better known in some parts of the world, but it seems to me in France Gainsbourg may have a higher standing than the others.
  • If someone insists on including Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, a physicist and Nobel-prize laureate, then one can consider to remove one of the mathematicians. Currently there are two: Jacques Hadamard and Benoit Mandelbrot. Normally, it should be enough to have one. My feeling was that the fame of each them significantly exceeds that of Cohen-Tannoudji, therefore I didn't dare replace one of them.
  • Concerning Irène Némirovsky: I included Elsa Triolet, a woman and a writer, which I think is more famous than Némirovsky. Triolet was the first woman to be awarded Prix Goncourt, the best known and most prestigious prize in French literature. Also, the biography of Némirovsky does not really encourage me to include her where her articles states: "Several reviewers and commentators have raised questions regarding Némirovsky's attitude toward Jews, her generally negative depiction of Jews in her writing and her use of anti-Semitic publications in advancing her career." Anyway, if there are other opinions, one should decide for one female writer and not have both of them in the collage.
  • Concerning Marc Chagall: he lived for ca. 60 years in France: 1910–1914, 1923-1941 and 1948-1985 until his death. He was a French citizen. It is hard to deny him being French. If there is really any controversy about him, an alternative would be Camille Pissarro.

Any opinions on these points? Any further proposals? --Off-shell (talk) 22:07, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Great idea! The problem is I don't think User:Avaya1 himself know why he is edit warring. I am not saying it for the sake of insulting him, but I really think he has some issues which require professional help. I know it's "only Wikipedia", but I have no idea why he chooses to go from page to page, edit war, write stupid comments as "edit summary"... and refuses to go to a talk page no matter how much he is being asked to do it
I think Marc Chagall, the greatest Jewish artist ever and one of the greatest artists ever, should obviously be here. Avaya's argument that he is not French enough because he was not born in France is ridiculous and smells of racism, as he was a French citizen, lived in France most of his years and died there. It's like someone saying Ben Gurion is not really Israeli on the Israeli Jews page only because he was born in Poland. The funny part is... it's not a principle Avaya1 himself maintains in other collages, so where the hell does he suddenly bring this principle from?
By removing Serge Gainsbourg I don't know if Avaya1 is trying to troll around or simply demonstrates his lack of knowledge about France or it's culture. Serge Gainsbourg is literally a cult figure in France, very few in French popular culture get the respect he got. He is obviously a must in a collage about French Jews! And saying that Serge Gainsbourg is not French... the guy was born in Paris and died in Paris, what is Avaya1 talking about?
I really do feel like Avaya1 is just fighting for attention! I think the current collage looks great, the people are notable, the style of 5 lines of 3 with a woman in the middle of each line is being maintained. I mean he never uses a talk page, he knows perfectly well he'll get reverted... yes he does it anyway, and continues, just for the sake of it. Mr. Sort It Out (talk) 20:50, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
After thinking about this collage for a while, I see another point which may need to be addressed: one should think about a fair share for representing the Sephardim, as it is done on the other similar pages. I didn't care about it so far and didn't check the ancestry for every person in detail, but if it is an issue, then:
  • Replacing Chagall by Camille Pissarro may be a reasonable option. I know you favour Chagall strongly. As for me, I'm not a big fan of Chagall and consider Pissarro to be a better painter, but since Chagall especially focused on picturing Jewish life and since Pissarro came from a mixed house and, as it seems to me, didn't care much about being Jewish, I chose Chagall so far.
  • Replacing one of the mathematicians with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji would also be an option. Here, it's really hard to decide: Jacques Hadamard is one of the top mathematicians, and Benoit Mandelbrot is a kind of a big "pop star" in mathematics.
Any ideas on this? --Off-shell (talk) 22:02, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Mmmm I think in this case representation for Sephardi Jews doesn't matter. For thousands of years France was inhabited only by Ashkenazi Jews, and even today the majority of Jews in France are Ashkenazi. I mean, together with Germany France is the birth place of Ashkenazi civilization.
Most Jews today in Spain are Ashkenazi, but when talking about Jewish Spain they talk only about the Sephardi Jews and their history... I think it's normal to keep the collage here in historic context as well.
If you do think Sephardi Jews need to be represented in this collage, I have no opposition but I don't think it should more more than 1 or 2 people.
I agree that Chagall painting a lot about Jewish life is a very important pro-Chagall argument. BUt to be honest... Chagall is much more famous and recognized than Pissarro.
I agree Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, but hard to decide which one of the other mathematicians to remove... I'd say remove Benoit Mandelbrot just because he wasn't born in France, he didn't die in France(but then again he spent most of his life there and even when he worked in America he made sure to come and visit France all the time, so here I contradict myself). Mr. Sort It Out (talk) 07:44, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm sure Chagall is not more famous than Pissarro. Pissarro is one of the leading impressionist figures together with Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet etc. Just as a hint, I looked at the prices at auctions. Typical prices for Chagall range between 3 and 17 million USD. Pissarro was sold in one case for for £19.9 million, i.e. 32 million USD. In other cases, the prices were similar to Chagall. This cannot be an absolute proof, of course, who is greater or more famous, but gives some estimate of the rank. --Off-shell (talk) 10:32, 26 September 2014 (UTC)


Firstly, we are changing the infobox without consensus, it is hardly an edit war. Mr. Sort It Out uses sockpuppets and has been aggressively targeting the infoboxes for years, so I treat his edits with scepticism.

I agree that Pissaro is a good suggestion for Chagall. Not only was he culturally French, we aren't using him on other infoboxes (please stop adding the same people to the infoboxes of multiple countries - it makes the infoboxes less informative, uniform and boring - if Chagall is in the Russian infobox, that is sufficient. We don't need him on every infobox), and he depicts French subjects (not Eastern European ones). For novelists - Nemirovsky could be useful as she represents the experience of the holocaust. Proust was also a good selection (I don't understand his removal). For philosophers, Montaigne would also be possible as a representation of a person of Marrano descent, which is a central feature of the History of the Jews in France of his period. I would also suggest Simone Weil (she has also been removed, but nonetheless illustrates the subject of the article, of which a large part of this historic community left the religion).

There isn't a rule that there should only be one writer or one scientist, or that the particular person should be politically agreeable to the editors, or that they should all be religiously Jewish (when the article itself describes people who are not all religiously Jewish). I think we should choose on notability and relevance to the article in question (which is French Jewish history as a whole). When we talk about 'diversifying the infobox' - it should mean different historical periods, and groups, and not just including pop singers and different professions.

Also I think we need Mizrahi and Sephardi Jews, who are today the majority of the community. Another suggestion could be Derrida, although I am not a fan. Avaya1 (talk) 15:33, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Oh look, Avaya used a talk page! I can't believe it! Obviously he still continues edit warring, I guess it's too much for him to understand that no reverting should be done until after a disussion.
Your opinion whether Chagall or Pissaro should be in is irrelevant, you know why? Because your whole opinion are based on your racist remark: "Chagall is not French".
Marc Chagall had French citizenship (which legally makes him French), he dies in France, he lives most of his life in France, he even uses a French spelling for his name.
However, the racial purity committee in the face of Avaya1 doesn't think he is French enough. In fact, your argument is just another reason to keep Chagall in the collage, to represent those Jews who left a mark on French culture and became French without being born there.
David Ben Gurion was not born in Israel, does it mean he is not Israeli?
About your comment about "no consensus"... a consensus is being achieved through discussion and agreement. All you do is start revert wars and never contribute anything to any dialogues, and then accuse people of being socks and whatever.
About the "law of only one person per area"... there is no such law, but the whole point in those collages is to represent as many areas as possible where Jews made an impact.
So you threw a bunch of names, very nice... but why not explain:
  • Who do you want them instead?
  • Why are they a better selection than the ones you want them instead?
  • What are they adding to the collage in terms of representation?
Before edit warring, go through the proper procedures. Otherwise, you will just get reverted! Mr. Sort It Out (talk) 21:27, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
Now, concerning your "suggestions":
  • Irène Némirovsky was ethnically Jewish, correct, that's what she was murdered for, but she didn't see herself as such. Her conversion to Catholicism was not to go up the social ladder, it was genuine. And who are we to force a Jewish identity on someone who did not want it? The Nazis did it to her and she didn't really like it. Also, read the "Controversy" section about her in the article. She always showed Jews in a negative way, and was described as a self-hating Jew. Did you not think there is a reason Bobby Fischer does not appear in the American Jews collage? And funny enough, as a writer, she always made sure to show Jews in the most negative way possible.
  • About Simone Weil... I see you are trying forcefully to turn people into Jews, but you have the rudeness to say Marc Chagall a French citizen is not French enough? I support including Jews who converted to Christianity in order to fit in with society (I promoted such people in the Ashkenazi Jews selection). She was a Christian mystic, and she claimed the Jews had negative effect on the Western civilization... why is it so important for you to add Jews who hates Jews into the article?
  • Michel de Montaigne... only his great-grandmother was Jewish and he never considered himself Jewish.
I did spot a suspicious pattern, you either offer former-Jews who hates Jews (like Nemirovsky who was described as a self-hating Jew, or Simone Well who claimed Judaism ruined the west), or people who had a distant Jewish ancestor, yet didn't see themselves as much... is it your way of trolling around again? Is it a game to see how easy it is to push a controversial figure into a collage? Mr. Sort It Out (talk) 21:39, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, may I ask both of you to refrain from personal attacks here.
In general, there is of course no rule that there must be exactly one writer or painter etc. But having a choice, I think one should try to get as large diversity as possible. It is true, that the diversity is not only in terms of occupation but also gender, time etc. I think there is currently a good coverage of different times starting with James Mayer de Rothschild, i.e. from the beginning of the 19th century. One may think of including a rabbi from an earlier age. There is a dedicated section on Rashi with a woodcut showing him, therefore I thought it is not necessary to include the same picture once again in the collage. I don't have another candidate.
My comments to the proposed persons:
  • I agree with Mr. Sort It Out that Michel de Montaigne and Irène Némirovsky are bad candidates for the reasons given above. The relation to Holocaust is not really established by including Némirovsky. She was murdered in the Holocaust, but there is no "story" behind it on which the reader would focus.
  • As for Simone Weil, she can be considered as an alternative to Mirra Alfassa, if there are good arguments why she is a better candidate. One may have one person who converted to another faith, as an explicit example.
  • As for Chagall vs. Pissarro, whatever the motivation of some editor may or may not be, we should not make our choice to show this editor that he/she is right or wrong. I vote for Pissarro, for two reasons: 1) to increase the Sephardi faction, and 2) because Chagall is included in at least 4 other collages (Russian Jews, Belarussian Jews, Ashkenazy Jews and Jews). Having the same person in all collages makes the reader think that there was only one Jewish artist worth mentioning.
  • As for Marcel Proust, I cannot yet judge. In my opinion, if someone comes from a mixed family, the person can be considered if a kind of Jewish identity can be seen in the biography. E.g. in the case of Pissarro, it is written about his father that "Upon his death, his will specified that his estate be split equally between the synagogue and St. Thomas' Protestant church." This tells me that the father was a member of the Jewish community (while the mother was probably protestant), and this should have been reflected in the family life. Is there any sign of Jewish identity in the case of Proust? And if yes, whom can Proust replace in the collage? --Off-shell (talk) 22:55, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
  • My problem with Simone Weil is not that she converted, it's the anti-Semitic comments about the negative (according to her) affect Jews had on western civilization. She did not only convert, which is acceptable, but it seems like she got influenced by the anti-Semitic poison of the time. Someone might argue that it is not a hate for Jews but towards Judaism she had... which, funny enough, actually makes her eligible for the collage. If you want her in I will not resist, but we need to decide weather anyone will object her comments about Judaism.
  • I supported Chagall in the collage even before the comment by Avaya1, but by claiming that Chagall is not French (even though he was a French citizen and lived in France most of his life), Avaya1 illustrated another need for Chagall to be in the collage: A Jew who was not born in France yet played an important role in French culture.
  • About the whole Sephardi thing... it's only in the last decades Sephardi Jews immigrated to France, through the whole history they were Ashkenazi Jews. I think your suggestion of Claude Cohen-Tannoudji for a Sephardi is a good one.
  • I know Proust's mother was from a Jewish family but he was baptized and raised Catholic and always stated he was a Catholic. Funny enough, he qualifies by Halakha, but he himself clearly never saw himself as a Jew. I personally don't feel like someone who never saw themselves as a Jew in any way should be included. Mr. Sort It Out (talk) 23:15, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
  • OK, I was not aware of the details of Proust's biography. So I agree with you on this.
  • As for Simone Weil, I'm not pushing her. Mirra Alfassa seems somehow more "interesting" to me. I just mean, if there are strong arguments in favour of Weil vs. Alfassa, it would be OK for me to replace her. So far I didn't see such arguments.
  • I understand now your argument for Chagall, but in fact we have already several persons who were not born in France: Elsa Triolet (came from Russia at the age of 22), Jacques Offenbach (came from Germany at 14), and Benoit Mandelbrot (came from Poland as a 12-years old child). So if we keep these persons in the collage, I see no need to keep Chagall as someone born abroad.
  • As for Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, as I said before, it seems to me that both mathematicians in the collage are much more prominent than him. If we can decide together whom of them to replace, this would be fine with me. --Off-shell (talk) 16:54, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Funny enough, I would support including Mirra Alfassa if we would have a picture. She never actually attacked Jews or Judaism, her legacy is huge and she is respected by people from all religions.
You are right about the two mathematicians who are more prominent than him. But if we want to add a Sephardi... would it make sense to add that person instead one of the two mathematicians? However, that person shouldn't be a mathematician but represent a new area. What do you think?Mr. Sort It Out (talk) 22:44, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually, Mirra Alfassa is already included (bottom row) ;-).
From the currently included persons, Hélène Grimaud is of African Sephardi and Jewish Berber descent. If we also include Camille Pissarro and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, there will surely be a sufficient fraction of Sephardi. --Off-shell (talk) 18:46, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Helene Grimaud is Sephardi?? The red-head?? I didn't know. So we already have her and Alfassa in the collage, two Sephardis out of 15... I feel like it's a very large representation for a community which only recently arrived in the area. I mean if you take all the Jews which ever lived in France you will see Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews were less then 1%... so I think 2 is generous enough.
About My suggestion of CLaude Cohen-Tannoudjo... I actually think what you said earlier makes a lot of sense, we already have mathematicians who are more notable historically than him. Mr. Sort It Out (talk) 12:13, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
OK. As Avaya1 supported my proposal for Pissarro, I put him instead of Chagall, and we keep the rest unchanged as long as no other arguments / suggestions come up. --Off-shell (talk) 20:20, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Holocaust in lede[edit]

The Holocaust deportation of 76,000 French Jews to death camps is an important part of the history of Jews in France. The Dreyfus Affair is mentioned in the lead, as a major example of antisemitism. If the Dreyfus Affair is important enough for the lead, then the round-up and deportation of 76,000 Jews is pertinent for the lead. I don't understand why there is a desire to suppress these important facts. And it cannot be considered excessive detail for the lead, since only the barest outline of the deportations is given. OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 18:40, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

Absolutely. I would just put a relative number in the lede, something like this: "During WW II, more than one fifth of the Jewish population were deported and murdered in extermination camps..." --Off-shell (talk) 19:17, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

French Jewish food[edit]

The Hidden Foods of France's Jews - The Atlantic. I think this might help. Komitsuki (talk) 07:00, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Problems with the modern antisemitism section[edit]

The section is peppered with contradictions. It claims that French Jews are emigrating in larger numbers than before, and then it claims that many French Jews have strong connections to France and do not wish to leave (or leave and then return). It often says the two things in the same paragraph, without a contradicting phrase ("However", "On the other hand") in between. This leads to confusing reading and raises questions that the article does not answer further down. If Jews are leaving France in higher numbers than ever before, you can't just sweep it all under the rug with "many" (weasel word) French Jews love France.

The section also focuses overwhelmingly on antisemitism stemming from Muslim groups in France, while nearly completely neglecting to mention increased tensions from non-Muslim French population. 117.56.215.14 (talk) 00:56, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

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exiles from ... Central Europe[edit]

It says that Central Europe expelled the Jews before WWII. What about economic migrations?Xx236 (talk) 10:38, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

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