France / Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes


Annecy. Photo by Tiia Monto – Wikipedia

This beautiful Alpine town between lake and mountains has been a favorite of residents and tourists alike for centuries.

The Jewish presence in Annecy probably dates back to the Middle Ages. They lived on the right bank of the Thiou, outside the fortified city walls. Rue des Juifs (“Street of the Jews) later became Quai de l’Evêché. During the Great Plague, Jews were accused of poisoning fountains and thrown into prison.

Although the French Revolution brought Jews back to France, the Jewish population of Savoie increased mainly as a result of the 1870 war.

As a result, many Jews from Alsace-Lorraine settled in other French towns, including some in Savoie.

Mila Racine

By the turn of the 20th century, Jews were living peacefully in Savoie. During the Second World War, networks were set up to cross into the free zone, and then across the Swiss border around Annemasse and Novel.

Among them, Mila Racine, who joined the Resistance in Annecy, was one of the founding members along with her brother Emmanuel Racine, Tony Gryn and Georges Loinger. She led convoys of children and was arrested during one of these missions in 1943.

According to a 1970 study by Bernhard Blumenkranz, Annecy’s Jewish community numbered 360.

This figure doubled in fifteen years, thanks in particular to the arrival of Jews from North Africa. Annecy’s current synagogue is located on rue de Narvik.

Sources : « Les Juifs en Savoie du moyen-âge à nos jours » de Jacques Rachel