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Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaisme

Retour The Permanent Collection To be a Jew in Paris in 1939

Parcours To be a Jew in Paris in 1939

While wishing to avoid creating a collection devoted to the Holocaust, the museum felt it important to retrace the emblematic lives of a few Eastern European, Russian, Polish and Romanian Jews who came to live in Paris at the beginning of the 20th century and whose individual paths all led to the Hôtel de Saint-Aignan. Using archive sources, the museum creates a documentary picture of the history of European Judaism, the end of the exterminated communities, immigration in Paris, Jewish life in the Marais quarter and crafts and community associations.

In conjunction with this presentation, Christian Boltanski has created a work for a tiny courtyard inside the museum. This installation, comprised of the names of Jews who, before being deported, lived in this mansion when it was merely a collection of workshops, reveals the building's other history, a history of humble people which the restoration has erased. The work fills the spatial vacuum of this courtyard, which rises through the museum's 20th century spaces.

The inhabitants of the Hôtel Saint-Aignan in 1939
Christian Boltanski
Paris, France


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