No. 233  NAI DFA Paris Embassy P48/17

Extract from a letter from Seán Murphy to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(48/15) (48/17)

VICHY, 24 October 1942

The Jewish question:-
This question has within recent months become much more active in the free zone. The persecution in the occupied zone has been growing in intensity for some considerable time but it is only fairly recently that the question has become active in this zone. I reported recently that Jews of foreign origin who have come to France since 1933 and who are now resident in the free zone are being arrested and handed over to the German authorities by the French Government. No one knows what becomes of them thereafter. It appears that Laval stated recently in justification of his action that it would be more practical if those foreigners who were so horrified by the treatment of Jews in France, persuaded their Governments to accept them in their respective countries. He added that he would be very pleased with such a solution but that he had no hope that it would be forthcoming. There have been protests from the French Hierarchy against the attitude to the Jews. There have been strong pastoral letters from individual French bishops some of which have been severely criticised in the Government controlled press. None of these things have given any result and I believe that the Marechal has admitted to Cardinal Suhard1 that there is nothing he can do. Whatever be the true position it is certain that foreign Jews in the free zone are having a very bad time.

1Cardinal Emmanuel Suhard (1874-1949), Catholic Archbishop of Paris (1940-9). In July 1942 Suhard publicly protested against the deportation of Jews from Paris.

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