Vichy-era law still forces Jews to pay extra for property

Jews in Nice who want to buy an apartment have to pay an added fee of €900-€7,000.

March 1, 2007 02:02
2 minute read.
Vichy-era law still forces Jews to pay extra for property

vichy 88. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Jews in Nice who want to buy an apartment have to pay an added fee of €900-€7,000 to skirt an outdated Vichy government law still on the books which prohibits them from owning apartments in that city, The Jerusalem Post has learned. Even after the recent death of Vichy collaborator Maurice Papon, who was one of the forerunners in stripping French Jews of their rights and assets, there is a lingering and discriminatory presence hovering over the Jews of France. The proprietary edict from the Vichy government stating that Jews are not allowed to own, or have joint ownership of, property is still embedded in the current legal system employed by the city council of Nice, situated on the French Riviera. "The clause is disgraceful and illegal," Martine Ouaknine, spokeswoman for the Nice branch of the Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF) told the Post from Nice. The Nice Municipality confirmed that the law still exists, but downplayed its significance as a deterrent for Jews who wish to own prime real-estate in one of the wealthiest and most well known parts of Europe. The law states that for someone to own a building, they have to make the following declaration: "[They] are French citizens", "[They] are not Jews" and "[They] are not the spouse of a Jew." "It would shock me to think that such a law exists today in France," said a French official in Tel Aviv. "The first measure the government took after the war was to retract the laws of the Vichy government." However, the article has not been retracted. "The problem is that the clause is inside the contract, and people only pay attention to the price, not the stipulations. In December 2000, a bill was passed to modify the [property] laws and this clause will fall under the review," Ouaknine added. "[The situation] is horrific. The owners and the syndicates must take the initiative to modify the law" said the CRIF Riviera President when interviewed by Nice-Matin reporter Jean-Francois Raubaud, "I don't know how such a law can exist. There should be no difference between Jews or Arabs or anyone else. There are many French Jews who have homes in Nice and all over the Riviera, myself included, and we were never asked our race, nor should we be," Rachelle Gutrach, whose late husband was a prominent French judge, told the Post. Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery