University of Oxford
9 files

Jewish-Owned Business in France Transferred to Non-Jewish Ownership

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 20:08 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

The contributor shared a story about the Aryanisation of Jewish-owned businesses in France during the German occupation. The contributor's grandparents lived in France, and her grandfather owned a dress-making business. When France was occupied, her grandfather was forced to Aryanise his business, meaning that ownership was transferred to a stranger who was entitled to all of the revenue from the business. The person who took over the business was named Guy De Montovert La Tour, who gained control of more than 100 Jewish-owned businesses in France.

In a letter from De Montovert La Tour, the contributor's grandfather was told to ask for permission before going on holiday and was informed that he was not to speak to the clients directly. The contributor noted that 75,000 Jewish people were deported from France, although her grandparents managed to avoid deportation by moving to southwest France. They crossed the border between occupied France and free France at night, assisted by smugglers.

The contributor highlighted that during the French occupation, Jewish people were required to carry a yellow star and a red "J" on their identity cards to identify them as Jewish. After escaping the occupation, the contributor's grandparents started their lives and business from scratch.


Item list and details

1. Letters and recompensation documents in French.

Person the story/items relate to

The surname of those in the story was Cherzbaum.

Person who shared the story/items

Caroline Stone

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Those described in the story were the maternal grandparents of the contributor.

Type of submission

Shared at the Wiener Holocaust Library, London on 10 November 2023.

Record ID

104852 | WIE001