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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in Lille

Jewish community since 19th century - NS occupation - many Jewish refugees - deportations - cultural life - 2,800 Jews in 1969

from: Lille; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 11

presented by Michael Palomino (2010)

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<LILLE, city in Nord department, N. France.

[[All indication about Jews in the Middle Ages and prosecutions by Black Death are missing in the article]].

The Jewish community of Lille was formed in the 19th century. From 1872 Lille was the seat of a chief rabbinate: the first incumbent was Benjamin Lippmann, formerly chief rabbi at Colmar, who had refused to remain in Alsace after it was annexed by Germany.

[Census of 1942: 1,259 Jews in Lille, many refugees]

According to the census of the Jewish population in occupied France carried out at the beginning of 1942, there were 1,259 Jews then living in Lille, only 247 of whom were born there. [[So, there were many Jewish refugees in Lille, among others also from Poland]].

The sinister Commissariat Générale aux Questions Juives (CGQJ) [[General Office for Jewish Questions]] had an office there. The Germans executed five Jews in Lille in March-April, 1942, in a reprisal for an underground raid.

[[There was kin liability by NS authorities and their French collaborators, and the underground were the Résistance forces, with some Jews in Résistance]].


Of the 461 Jews (French and foreign) deported from the whole of the Nord department, 336 disappeared.

[Cultural life]

Leon Berman (1892-1943), son of a ḥasidic [[religious]] rabbi (Reb Ḥayyim), was rabbi of Lille from 1936 to 1939.

In 1937 he published his Histoire des Juifs de France [[History of Jews in France]]. He was arrested along with his wife and son in October 1943, interned at the camp of Drancy, then deported to a death camp.


The Lille community possessed a synagogue, erected in 1874, and a community center, and published a bulletin.


[1969 with 2,800 Jews in Lille]

In 1969 there were 2,800 Jews in Lille, which was the seat of the Association culturelle israélite [[Israelite Cultural Association]] and the rabbinate for the Nord department; R. Jacques Ouaknine was then the incumbent.

[[Many Jews of the DPs in 1945 went to live in France, and also many Jews came back from racist Zionist anti-Muslim governed Israel to Europe and made their living in France in a more peaceful way]].


-- Z. Szajkowski: Analytical Franco-Jewish Gazetteer 1939-1945 (1966), index
-- R. Berg: Guide juif de France [[Guide of France]] (1968), index.

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Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Jews in Lille,
                    vol. 11, col. 249
Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971): Jews in Lille, vol. 11, col. 249

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