Leaders of Monaco have been urged to grant access to the city state’s Holocaust archives as the world prepares to mark 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.
The US-based Wiesenthal Center wrote to State Minister Serge Telle to ask the principality to help show what happened to scores of Jews deported from Monaco during the Holocaust, despite researchers being so far refused access five times.
The Center said this year’s landmark anniversary was “probably the last chance for most Holocaust survivors to tell their stories or seek restitution,” adding that access to the archives would “help to provide a sorely belated closure for families of victims”.
Historians have long been intrigued by what information Monaco’s vaults may hold, pointing to Adolf Eichmann’s intriguing denial, during his 1961 trial, of having any Monaco contacts, despite this later proving to be untrue.
The Wiesenthal Center said the archives may shed light on what happened to the property of deported Jews, including their valuables such as jewellery and artworks, as well as money from bank accounts.
The Center’s director Shimon Samuels said other archives, such as those in Nice in France, showed the auction sale of “biens juifs” (Jewish assets), suggesting these came from Jews from Monaco, who were deported via the French coastal city.
Samuels said if Monaco continued to deny access to its archives this “would be construed as a betrayal of its moral debt to history”.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.