No 145 - March 2021


Edith Chomentowski
The Jewish Community of Radom through the lens of the Garfinkiel family
It was only at the end of the 18th century that Jews could settle in Radom, central Poland. But the Community did not grow until the middle of the 19th century when it was granted the authorization to build a synagogue, appoint a rabbi who could maintain a civil register and own a land to bury the dead. It was around this time that my paternal great-grandparents moved to Radom. My father David Garfinkiel, the youngest of ten children, was born in 1902 into a family of artists – sculptors, painters, photographers – but he was the only one to study at the Beaux-Arts in Krakow and Warsaw before moving to Paris in 1932. Jews played an important role in the economic and financial development of Radom, and at the beginning of 1940, the community was strong of 30 000 inhabitants, or 1/3 of the population. Almost all of them were exterminated during the Shoah, including the Garfinkiel family. The pictorial work of David Garfinkiel, who died in Paris in 1970, was deeply marked by this tragedy.

Pierre-André Meyer
Palmyre Halphen’s “Mounted Balloons Letters’’ during the siege of Paris (Family memories, 2)
During the siege of Paris, from September 23, 1870 to January 28, 1871, 67 « mounted balloons » carried more than two million letters from the capital. Some have been kept in families, as a precious testimony to a historical episode that deeply marked Parisians. This is the case with fourteen letters from our great-great-grandmother Palmyre Halphen, born Lipman (1819-1911), addressed to her daughter Claire, exiled in London at the start of the Franco-Prussian war. In these letters written with a feverish quill, Palmyre Halphen expresses her anguish at having no news of her daughter (who is pregnant) and her son George, a future renowned mathematician, then a young artillery lieutenant fighting the ennemy. This restless mother also reveals herself as a fervent patriot, deeply hurt by the misfortunes of her country.

Samah Metoui
Jews from La Marsa (Tunisia) during the French protectorate

This article traces the history of the Jewish community of La Marsa during the protectorat period. This community, which remains until today, engrave in the collective memory thanks to its tangible and intangible cultural heritage. The project of restoration of the synagogue of La Marsa carried out in 2018 by Isaac Kalfon is the best testimony for the safeguarding of the heritage and memory of Tunisian Jews.

Claude-Alexis Gras
The origins of the family of Aron de Phalsbourg : New documents

A discovery of the author sheds light on what we suspected to be the place of residence of the Aron Family, before one of its members settled in Phalsbourg.

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