Searching my Jewish ancestors: between Algeria and Alsace...
After a mixed marriage between a Jew from Setif (Algeria) and a Catholic from Brittany, I met another part of my family, which had been hidden to me until then: my Muslim family in Algeria. Faced with the terrible context of the nineties, they had to leave the country to settle in France searching for cousins who left painfully the country under their eyes in 1962. We decided with my cousin from Setif to begin our genealogy and published it on a website. Then we invited some family members to watch it... Some members did not know each other! Following our research, we went back to my great great grandfather Levi who was born in 1847 in Constantine; however family rumours were telling us to continue our research in Alsace. Were we Kabyles or Alsatians ? We found it difficult to locate primary sources for Algeria, there was very few census work and data was hard to access. Hence I decided to undertake more scientific research on this subject as part of a future thesis. I explored the heritage initiatives in France and Algeria on vital records and cemeteries, and read the history of Jews in Algeria. Browsing through the work of many historians, debates arose around the Berber origin, around the Jewishness and around Frenchness. So the French Jews of Algeria are mostly neither "Blackfeet" nor returnees, but refugees on a new land whose universalist republican values they share. I then understood the necessity of storing and writing a story stemming from several associations of Jews from Algeria. The commemoration in 2012 of their departure 50 years ago is the cornerstone of a collective approach to heritage value of memories. But what exactly was my memory and my family’s memory? "Setif, the capital of Alsace? 1 "
1 Jewish family humor.
||Louis Armstrong C & D|