June is the month in which the great tidal wave of American tourists, sweeping from west to east, begins to break on the shores of Europe, For most of these tourists “that great city,” Paris, is, it goes without saying, the chief Mecca of their pilgrimage. Paris has a special interest for Jewish visitors—for Jews have had an association, both painful and glorious, with the City of Light since the time it was a little Gallic village called Lutetia. Here ALLAN TEMKO provides the modern Jewish visitor with a historical guide to the Jewish memories and monuments of the city of the Seine.
“Ha-ir hagedolah—that great city!” wrote that great traveler, Benjamin of Tudela, nearly eight hundred years ago: “Paris, situated on the river Seine. . . contains many learned men, the equal of whom are to be found nowhere on earth today; they employ all their time in study of the Law; are hospitable to all travelers, and are on friendly terms with all their Jewish brethren.” The Paris that Rabbi Benjamin knew in the 12th century, with its brilliant Jewish and Christian schoolmen, is largely gone; but the description holds in part. Paris to the voyaging intellectual is still a very great and exciting city; and to the tourist, still the most hospitable and charming capital in the world. And the Seine still flows westward as a witness of history, timeless and time-driven, catching the sunlight and the moon, and reflecting the great cathedral which had been just begun when Benjamin passed through the Kingdom of Tsarphat, as he called France.
But Paris to the modern Jewish visitor carries a special interest which goes centuries beyond the visit of Benjamin and the construction of Notre-Dame, beyond even the transformation of the captured Gallic village into a Roman city. For in the Louvre, as in perhaps no other museum of the world, may be studied vestiges of an Israel that was a civilized kingdom when Gaul was a neolithic anarchy. And from the Louvre, down the violent centuries through the ancient streets of Paris, the story of that kingdom and its Dispersion may be traced with scarcely a break to the Modiglianis, Soutines, and Chagalls in the Musée d’Art Moderne. Here too, beside the Seine, is part of the story of the Return to the Land: beneath the trees of the Tuileries, Theodor Herzl meditated on The Jewish State. And here also, in the city of so many cruel moments for the Jew, is the memory of the most dreadful and most recent of all the persecutions, and of the fifty thousand Parisian Jews who did not return, as numberless other French patriots did not return, from the camps of Germany. No city in Europe may be more meaningful to the Jew; few—Worms perhaps, and Prague—are more poignant.
The Jewish drama, as it may be seen in Paris, begins not in Europe, however, but in the East. The department of Antiquités Orientales in the Louvre is a sprawling collection of treasure which occupies half the rear of the palace. No Alexander ever looted the Asian lands as systematically as the archaeologists of France. In room after room stands the gorgeous wreckage of a score of civilizations, which invariably contains some souvenir of another, related civilization, Israel, amidst their relics.
The splendors of Susa, we recall, are those which Esther knew in Shushan, the luxurious palace of Ahasuerus, “where were white, green, and blue hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble,” and where the vessels of gold were each different from the other. The golden vessels are here, and the golden bracelets which Esther could have worn.
There is the exquisite glass of Phoenicia, and delicate Persian enamels, and there are the colossal gods of Babylon, to whom Daniel would not submit It requires a close reading of the Old Testament to detect Israel’s association with these lost kingdoms; to recognize the Jew as the captive led off into slavery by the troops of Sargon the Great; to imagine his primitive rituals through Assyrian scenes of animal sacrifice; to relate his Lord Yahveh with other Semitic gods of light and thunder.
What remains specifically of ancient Israel, beside this display of the grandeur of its rivals, is little enough. Babylon was taken in a single night, then generously allowed to decay, and eventually was buried by sand. Jerusalem was not so fortunate. After ruthless fighting and long sieges, it was destroyed utterly. And not only Jerusalem, but every important town of Palestine was devastated: Jericho, Bethel, Hebron. The destruction was so complete that the Louvre’s meager collection of Palestinian antiquities is one of the most precious in the world. It occupies one of the most modest rooms in the museum, the central chamber of the Crypte Sully, which is reached by a staircase from Pierre Lescot’s famous Salle des Caryatides. Three thousand years separate the feeling of these two rooms; they stand as far apart as the self-indulgence of the French Renaissance from the tough desert ethic of Moses’ angry tribesmen. The distance may be flown in an instant on Balaam’s magical beast.
“Woe to thee, Moab! Thou art undone, O people of Chemosh!” cries out the Book of Numbers. Yet the Moabite warrior dominating the left-hand wall of the Palestinian Room has far from admitted defeat. He is a doughty opponent, this half-naked prince who gestures with his lance at the sunny earth, about the 12th century B.C.E. Could his Israelite enemy have appeared much different? This short, pleated battle dress has been described by specialists as Egyptian; and the elegant plumed helmet as Hittite; but styles, like bronze lances and swords, must have changed with the fortunes of every battle in the warring Near East of the 2nd millennium. And this fierce Moabite profile, with its long and graceful eye, might have belonged to a hero of any Semitic nation. Little separated these tribes, except their gods. The Moabite god was Chemosh, and he was the implacable enemy of Yahveh; and if anyone would have opposed the Israelite advance into Canaan, it was the lancer in this remarkable bas-relief, which was discovered directly on the Israelite line of march, east of the Dead Sea, on the edge of the valley of Arnon. That the Moabite warrior and his King Balak did not succeed in stopping the Israelites is some indication of the fighting worth of the army of Moses.
Israel could defeat, but could not destroy Moab. For Chemosh was so wily and durable that even the elderly Solomon propitiated him with a “high place” outside of Jerusalem. Fighting between the two nations continued on in the dry borderlands for centuries until, after the enormous passage of time which separates the Book of Numbers from the Second Book of Kings, the Israelites under Omri at last achieved a decisive victory. Omri and his son Ahab exacted a heavy tribute from the vanquished: “an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool.” No proud nation could long endure this penalty, and as the prophets were fond of repeating, Moab was nothing if not proud. Upon the death of Ahab, the Second Book of Kings begins dramatically, “Moab rebelled.” The leader of this insurrection was King Mesha, who soon found himself confronted by a strong punitive expedition. Ahab’s son Joram was joined by King Jehosophat of Judah and by the King of Edom, and the three monarchs quickly sent Mesha into retreat. They burned his cities and ravaged his fields, using a scorched-earth policy advocated by Elisha, the soul of the campaign.
In desperation Mesha resorted to a device which provides one of the most terrible scenes in the Bible. Cornered in Kir-haraseth, he sacrificed his eldest son to Chemosh as a burnt offering on the wall of the city. The Biblical account then says merely: “And there was great indignation against Israel; and they departed from [Moab], and returned to their own land” (II Kings 3:27). The Jewish version of the war ends there.
The Israelites departed, to be sure, but evidently Mesha and his warriors were not far behind them. In a series of counter-attacks he totally liberated his people and recovered his lost cities. He ranged into the territory of Israel, took the city of Nebo, sacked its sanctuary, and in gratitude to the god who had routed the hostile God Yahveh, offered the town’s seven thousand inhabitants to Chemosh. After this triumph, he erected a “high place” to Chemosh outside his capital of Dibon, shortly after 842 B.C.E.
The extraordinary piece of black basalt which faces the Moabite warrior in the Louvre is the victory stele of that “high place”; the Moabite Stone. No single monument is more valuable to the study of ancient Palestinian history than this memorial, which after twenty-eight centuries still speaks with the same bold, heavy language as the Old Testament. For the Moabite Stone carries the earliest inscription which has survived of any Hebrew dialect; and its engraved surface tells more than the half of a war episode which the Bible omits. In its scornful reference to Yahveh, it has the distinction of providing the earliest use of the divine name in this spelling outside the Scripture. But let scornful King Mesha speak for himself:
I am Mesha, son of Chemosh king of Moab, the Dibonite. My father reigned over Moab for thirty years, and 1 reigned after my father. And I made this high place for Chemosh. . . because he had saved me from all my assailants, and because he had let me see my pleasure on them that hated me.
Omri was king of Israel and he afflicted Moab for many days, for Chemosh was angry with his land. And his son [Ahab] succeeded him, and he also said, I will afflict Moab. In my days said he thus, and I saw my pleasure on him and his house. And Israel perished with an everlasting destruction.
Now Omri had taken the land of Mehdeba. And [Israel] dwelt therein during his days, and half the days of his son: forty years. And Chemosh restored it in my days.
. . . And Chemosh said unto me, ‘Go seize Nebo against Israel.’ And I went by night and warred against it from the break of dawn to noon. And I seized it, and slew all of it, seven thousand men and boys and women and concubines and maidens, for I had devoted them to Ashtor-Chemosh. And I took the vessels of Yahveh, and dragged them before Chemosh. . . .
Time passed, with its share of further disasters for a weakening Israel. Samaria was besieged and taken. Isaiah, showing a healthy suspicion of the strong nations on every side, foretold the Babylonian captivity. But to Israel remained several great creative triumphs, including the tunnel pierced by Hezekiah to aid the city in case of siege, which brought the waters of Shiloah into Jerusalem, about 700 B.C.E. Children playing near the walls seventy-five years ago found a stone commemorating the completion of this tunnel; and the Louvre copy of the original now in Constantinople (hung next to the Maobite Stone) was taken while the plaque was still in place. The inscription, the oldest known of purely Jewish significance, is curious. There is no personal vainglory, as in Mesha’s victory stele; King Hezekiah is not so much as mentioned. Rather, there is lucid attention to technical detail, which was quite natural in an age which saw the perfecting of iron implements. Only one short passage of the text is obliterated:
This is how the tunnel was pierced. When . . . . . . . the picks, each against the other, and when there were no more than three cubits remaining to be broken through, the voices of the workmen were heard calling from either side because the tunnel had been (almost) driven through. On the day of the breakthrough, the workmen struck to meet each other, pick against pick. Then the waters flowed from the spring to the pool, twelve hundred cubits; and two hundred cubits was the height of the rock overhead.
This feat would have done credit to the nation which, on the other side of the world, beside the Tiber, had scarcely emerged from the mist of legend in 700 B.C.E., but which would one day construct huge waterways of its own in the East. The Roman moment was still remote. First would come Greek armies, and with them the Hellenization of Palestine; the foundation of the superb Jewish community in Alexandria; the translation of the Septuagint; the adoption by Jews of Greek language and custom; Jewish admiration for Greek thought; and Jewish enthusiasm for Greek art. The casts of the lavish Hellenistic carvings which decorate this room in the Louvre were taken from the pediments and friezes of the Tomb of the Kings and the Tomb of the Judges, the rock sepulchres a few hundred yards from the walls of Jerusalem, but they might have been taken from any city in Asia Minor after the passage of Alexander. There is little to distinguish them as native Jewish art except a few clusters of grapes, or a palm-leaf lulab, hidden among the imported garlands.
Even the handsome little ossuaries—the Louvre’s specimens are exceptionally fine—also reflect a foreign persuasion. Primitively the Jews buried their dead, and piously left the bones in the earth. Now, although they never yielded to the Greek and Roman practice of cremation, the more fashionable Jews could not resist these striking stone coffers, which they carved with rich local verve. For however great the foreign influence, the pure symbols of religion kept their traditional form: the rosettes in multiples of six petals, seen here on the osssuaries, were time-honored funerary insignia which doubtless ornamented orthodox wooden coffins, too. And on the small door from an inner chamber of the Tomb of the Kings (standing in the passage to the right, leading to the Carthaginian Room) may be seen more rosettes and spirals, as well as the menorah, and what may be a representation of the Ark.
In spite of foreign pressure, the religion of Yahveh—perhaps the multitude of priests had already formalized the divine name to Jehovah—remained inviolable, in the most literal sense. No Gentile was allowed to intrude beyond the outermost court of the Temple, even during the Roman occupation. The inner sancta were protected by barriers, on which inscriptions in both Western languages warned non-Jews against approaching nearer. A cast of one of these warnings from Herod’s Temple hangs next to the plaque of Hezekiah’s Tunnel, mementos of two enormous creations seven centuries apart. The inscription admonishes, in Greek: “No foreigner may penetrate beyond this barrier and the wall which protect the sanctuary. He who is apprehended within may blame only himself for the death which shall be his punishment.” That this warning was in deadly earnest, Saint Paul discovered when he tried to enter the interior court (Acts 21:26 et passim). He was saved from the indignant Jews only by the intervention of Roman troops.
In these final days of the ancient Jewish state, as its political existence crumbled, its faith of a single Lord remained dynamic. Judaism gained thousands of converts, some of them royal. The monumental sarcophagus which stands at the entrance of the Palestinian Room held one of the great queens of the earth, Helena of Adiabene, whose dominions extended from Armenia to Parthia, and who brought not only her husband but the entire ruling house of her kingdom to Judaism. Helena herself became a familiar figure in Jerusalem, where she built a palace, took the Hebrew name Zaddah, and endowed the Temple with sumptuous gifts, like the marvelous lamp which hung from the “Golden Vine” of the porch. Her sons built the Tomb of the Kings; her grandsons died in the defense of Jerusalem.
With the destruction of the Temple (70 C. E.), the story of Israel becomes part of a larger tale of empire. But vivid fragments of the submerged culture were to appear for centuries. To the left of the Moabite Stone (again in the passage leading to the Carthaginian Room) is a lintel from a tomb at Haifa which dates a full thousand years from the independent Israel of the primitive desert wars. Its inscription, too, is in Greek: “Resting place of Namosas, son of Menachem, Count clarissimus and Legate.” The title of Count—comes—indicates a date at least as late as Constantine, and the transfer of the Imperial Residence to Byzantium. But the Hebrew names of Namosas, this regional lord of the Eastern Empire, and of his father Menachem were to outlast Byzantium, as they had outlasted Egypt and Babylon.
After the destruction of the Temple, says the legend, the Emperor Vespasian ordered three ships loaded with Jews put to sea without captain or crew, and left to the mercy of the winds. The vessels did not founder. Instead, they were blown an immense distance across the Mediterranean. One shot through the Straits of Gibraltar, rounded Spain, and at last drove ashore at Bordeaux. Another entered the mouth of the Rhone, and deposited its passengers at Aries. The third, with even more momentum, sailed up the Rhone past Aries, and grounded at Lyons.
The story is charming, and should be believed, except that, if the earliest Jews did arrive in Gaul in these wind-tossed little sloops, there were already Jews on shore to greet them. Long before the fall of the Temple, the Roman emperors considered Gaul an excellent place of exile for the cantankerous sons of Herod. The climate was pleasant, the natives were talkative, the wine could not be better; and emperors like Claudius, who never could be truly angry with these bold Jewish princes, thought that they would feel at home there.
This was early in the first century, yet it is likely that other Jews had arrived in Gaul earlier still. The entire political and economic apparatus of Rome followed the army of Caesar; and if in the East the Jews were to remain largely agricultural throughout the Diaspora, in Rome they were almost without exception mercantile and professional. Behind the conquering legions came the corn merchants, the shipping magnates, the fur traders, the wine wholesalers, and—the truth should be faced—the slave dealers, many of whom were Jews from Italy.
And as the rich province developed, and cities were built, Lutetia among them on the site of the former village of the Parisii, the Jews settled in Gaul and flourished. Jewish lawyers argued in Lutetia with the same skill and resourcefulness that Cicero had thoroughly respected in Rome. Jewish physicians prescribed soothing potions whose formulae they had learned in the medical schools of Alexandria. Jewish bureaucrats busied themselves with the official correspondence of empire. Slowly the word “Gallia” crept into the Talmud and the Midrashim.
Little more may be guessed of the lives of these first French Jews. In the grand imperial period they were generally untroubled, and in time of calm, Jewish history is usually sparse. Under Rome the Jews enjoyed not only equality before the law, but absolute freedom of worship, like any number of Oriental sects which had migrated to the Western Empire; and a severe Roman regulation protected their synagogues from any profanation. The Gallic Jews freely celebrated their Sabbath and their festivals, and from the renowned Gallo-Roman pottery works along the Meuse they ordered vases which were specially engraved with the Chanukah Lamp and the Shewbread Table. Significantly, the first documentary evidence for the presence of Jews in Gaul, a passage from the Theodosian Code of the year 321, confirms long-standing privileges of the Jewish community in Cologne.
Midway between embattled northern outposts like Cologne and the warm, secure Mediterranean world, stood the white Vitruvian city of Lutetia. Paris was then a crossways rather than a terminus; north and south, east and west, on two great routes—the road and the river—the pulse of empire flowed through the town, and brought it wealth. Both routes still cut Paris in virtually their original beds. In a single broad, straight, powerful line the Roman road bisects the city as the Rue Saint-Jacques on the Left Bank, and the Rue Saint-Martin on the Rive Droite. The present names are part of the still vivid medieval poetry of Paris, but in Roman days the highway was straightforwardly called the Via Magna. Walking down this ancient thoroughfare, it is difficult to imagine the radiant city which once covered the hill of the Left Bank. Once, in what is now the Latin Quarter, stood a Roman theater and arena, splendid residences, an aqueduct, the temples of a number of gods, and an imperial palace of which nothing remains but the ruins of the Thermae which are part of the Cluny Museum. From the Thermae, the oldest standing monument in the capital, begins any tour of Paris.
By the middle of the 4th century the brawny old palace had already ceased to be a pleasure house; it had become a fort. It served as military headquarters for one of the most intriguing figures of the declining Roman world: Julian the “Apostate Emperor.” From his Spartan chamber in the Thermae, where on the coldest days of winter he would not permit a fire, his troops carried Julian forth on their shields to the adventure which took him backward in space and time, down the valley of the Danube, across Europe to Asia, trying to reverse history. Julian’s failure to reconstruct the Temple of Jerusalem was only part of his larger failure to vanquish Christianity; but the bizarre scheme to rebuild the destroyed sanctuary was easily the most spectacular element of his plan. The collapse of the project was more spectacular still. As ground was broken for the new sanctuary, the subterranean passages of the old Temple were uncovered; and when workmen entered with torches, the gases which had accumulated in the sealed basements ignited with a roar. Terrible fires and new explosions followed, deep in the earth, extending far beneath Jerusalem and rocking the whole of the city, roaring and blasting through the underground chambers where priceless Jewish treasure had been concealed, and where Jewish heroes had hidden from their Roman conquerors.
After Julian’s death, the two inexorable forces which he had momentarily checked, Christianity and pagan barbarism, swept over the Western Empire. The two clashed, and then, in the strangest of paradoxes, combined. Before they themselves knew it, the Frankish kings were not only Christians, but soldiers of Jesus. Under the Church’s banner they triumphed over pagans in Lorraine and heretics in the Pyrenees, until all France was theirs, and they fought on against each other.
When they noticed him, these despots also struck crudely at the Jew. The confiscation of synagogues and introduction of pariah laws date from this period when men who could not think rationally expressed their emotions in sporadic shows of force. In 554, from this same palace of the Thermae in which Julian had read his Plato, King Childebert I issued the order forbidding Jews to appear on the streets for four successive days, as Christ’s Passion was celebrated, from Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday. His nephew Chilperic I went further: in 582 he decreed a mass baptism for the Jews of Paris. The gold merchant Priscus stubbornly resisted this edict, only to be murdered by the converted Jew Phatir and his henchmen. In 614 a Church council held at Paris prohibited Jews from exercising any military or administrative office, as they had so capably under the Romans, unless baptized. And in 629, Chilperic’s grandson Dagobert, terrified by an astrologist’s prediction to the Emperor Heraclius at Constantinople that his empire would be destroyed by a circumcised people, drove from France every Jew who would not embrace Christianity. Nine hundred years after this expulsion, but perhaps referring to a Merovingian source since lost, Joseph haKahen wrote: “Many changed their faith at that time, while large numbers perished by the sword.” This persecution lasted at least ten years to the death of Dagobert in 638.
The Jews who suffered these barbarities saw the classical world literally demolished before their eyes. The Merovingian, who could not build, knew how to destroy. He fragmented the spacious Roman street pattern until it was smashed as Humpty Dumpty, and not even Baron Haussmann could put it together again. In the twisting streets and lanes between the Thermae and the Seine, where a broad forum once stood, and on the fortified island, medieval Paris was taking form; and the Jew, with the rest of the population, was compressed in its timid periphery. Today the area seems amazingly small. The faubourg huddled beside the Petit Pont covered one or two acres, and the Ile-de-la-Cité, much smaller than today, covered eight acres at the most.
Some Jews remained on the Left Bank for most of the Middle Age. They set up shop as negotiatores on either side of the Roman road, where they traded in spices, silk, gems, and a variety of exotic Eastern goods. Nearby, be hind the Rue Galande, was their burial ground which was one of the first Jewish cemeteries in northern Europe; and not far away, conceivably on the Rue Saint-Severin, or perhaps in a crazy little alley like that of the Chat Qui Pêche, must have been the Jewish home which served as a clandestine synagogue for Priscus and his brethren when King Chilperic denied them the Sabbath. And the lovely 12th-century church of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre stands on the same emplacement as an earlier Saint-Julien where the murderers of Priscus sought sanctuary.
But the majority of the Merovingian Jews, like the bulk of the Christian population, until the tremendous expansion of Paris at the end of the Dark Age, resided in the walled Cité. The island had been fortified after the first brutal raids by the Franks and the Alemanni in the year 280; and the Jews settled in its very heart, astride the Roman road and in the street adjoining, where they were close to the market on the Cathedral plaza. Here they stayed for centuries, so that the short central section of the Roman road, between the island’s two bridges, became known as the Juiverie.1 Today the street has lost all of its ancient character, and runs as a nondescript path of asphalt between the Hospital of the Hôtel-Dieu and the Prefecture; but once it was the single most important thoroughfare of medieval France, and at its very center stood the renowned Paris Synagogue and its scholars who so hospitably received Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela.
In this Jewry—and it was not a ghetto—the tiny Paris community watched the Dark Age pass. They saw the Merovingians eventually destroy themselves and a new dynasty arise: the sons of Charles Martel. And for the briefest of moments, they enjoyed the Carlovingian calm. The age of Charlemagne, which has been praised for its revival of learning, also produced a rebirth of tolerance. Jews were elevated to positions of importance and respect; and when the Emperor dispatched his famous embassy to Harun-al-Rashid, its interpreter was a linguist named Isaac who presumably was perfectly at ease in the polyglot Bagdad of the Caliphs. Of Isaac not much is known except that he returned in 802 with gifts so fabulous that they stunned the unsophisticated West. Among them was the celebrated elephant Abulabaz (Abu-Lubabah, “the father of intelligence”), who braved the European climate for eight years and then succumbed. All that remains of Abulabaz is his memory, but in the Cabinet des Médailles of the Bibliothèque Nationale is the even more fabulous Sassanid Cup of Khosru, another of Harun’s gifts, whose green and scarlet disks, with their gold and ruby mountings, seem incredible as ever.
After this brief glimpse of light, France hurtled into a darkness that was total. Down from Scandinavia swept the Norse pirates, clad in wild armor, worshipping the misty gods of the fjords, sailing hundreds of miles in boats shaped like ferocious birds. These savages, like a thousand Beowulfs, invaded the valley of the Seine, bellowing war songs, looting, burning, slaughtering. In 856 they stormed Paris, and except for the Cathedral, which was ransomed, devastated every church in the Cité. Did the Synagogue perish, too? No one can say, but even then the Normans had a reputation for thoroughness. Very likely the Jews suffered in the same way as their Christian neighbors.
Slowly, from the end of the 10th century, times improved. The Normans were driven back to their rugged peninsula; and the Counts of Paris, sons of a tough noble named Hugh Capet, began to call themselves hereditary Kings of France. By the beginning of the 12th century they were monarchs in fact as well as name, and their capital, breasting outward on either bank, became the city which created Notre-Dame.
Notre-Dame, more than any collection of written documents, is the summa of medieval Paris: the total, ideal image of the society which challenged Heaven with its ambitious faith, and which, from the casting of the Cathedral’s foundations in 1163 to the completion of the forward towers in 1250, made Heaven yield to its high vaults and pinnacles. And the Parisian Jew, who at the moment the Cathedral rose suffered the most severe persecutions he had yet known in the city, who in 1182 saw his venerable Synagogue seized and converted to a church, who lost his home and most of his property, and was himself exiled from France for sixteen years, until 1198; the Jew who, as the Cathedral stood almost completed in 1242, saw the Talmud publicly burned in the great monument’s shadow—this same Jew also saw, by the crudest of ironies, his own image depicted ideally in the sculpted portals of the church as a personification of his Old Testament ancestor. More than this, he saw his own perilous daily existence transformed and portrayed gorgeously as Biblical life; and as the final irony, saw his religion gowned as a queen, only that her crown could be dramatically struck from her head, and her royal mantle stripped from her shoulders, to emphasize her defeat by the rival queen, the Church Triumphant.
In tall niches to either side of the central portal of Notre-Dame, in perhaps the most striking situation for sculpture in the entire façade, the two queens flank a majestic Last Judgment.2 Their position is not at all accidental, for they are as essential to this vision of Domesday as the scales of the Archangel Michael.
To the left of the visitor (but on the right hand of Jesus), erect and commanding, the Church proudly wears the crown she has taken from her enemy. The medieval Christian theologian, justifying the symbol in his endless dialectic, found its basis, surprisingly enough, in not the New but the Old Testament. He repeated the terrible words of Ezekiel: “Israel, whose day is come. . . thus saith the Lord God: Remove the diadem, and take off the crown.”
And across the portal, beside frightening scenes of the Damned in Hell, on the vindictive left hand of Jesus, the Synagogue stands blinded by a coiling serpent. From her hand slips the overturned Tablet of the Law. Her staff is shattered and falling, and she herself seems faint and about to glide to the earth. This is more than a symbol of defeat; it is an argument for conversion. “For, behold,” quoted the Christian theologian—as Isaiah beheld in his dreadful vision: “the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff.” But—and the Church emphasized this point—the Evangel held out hope in the words of Paul: “. . . for if that which was done away is gloriious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: and not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished; but their minds were blinded, for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.”
What the Jew, unable to defend himself if he outraged Christian sensibility, thought of this argument may be surmised only through his continued suffering and humiliation as the price of fidelity to his religion. It is curious, however, that after the solid Biblical foundation claimed by Christians for the iconography of the Church Triumphant and the Synagogue Defeated, all of the remaining sculpture at Notre-Dame which holds a particular Jewish interest is grounded only on Apocrypha. The book of the pseudo-Saint Matthew, for example, provided the legend of the birth and marriage of the Virgin which, as illustrated in the great right-hand portal of the façade, reveals strikingly the bizarre, half-conciliatory medieval notion of a joint heritage. On the lower lintel, beneath a magnificent enthroned figure of the Virgin in majesty, the story is staged as a play, not in Old Testament costume, but in modem dress of the year 1200; and since the action takes place before the birth of Jesus, when the Holy Family of course were orthodox Jews, the dramatis personae are appropriately dressed as Jews—French Jews at the turn of the 13th century.
“In Israel there was a man named Joachim,” reads the Apocrypha, “of the tribe of Judah, and he tended his lambs, fearing God in the simplicity and righteousness of his heart.” For twenty years Joachim had been married to Anne, and they were childless. For this reason, they are seen on the, right-hand side of the lintel, entering the Temple with offerings for the Lord. The Temple, in the concise sculptural language of the Gothic, is signified by a tiny double arcade, whose gracious little arches, elegant colonnettes, and fastidious sculpted capitals make it seem the most sumptuous doll’s house ever constructed. Actually, it is neither a doll’s house nor the Temple of Jerusalem, but a French synagogue of the year 1200; and the lordly, bearded high priest who receives the sober Jewish couple is none other than one of the great Parisian rabbis whose scholarship Benjamin of Tudela so admired. Notice the simple stone altar, with its severe incisive carving, and the Scroll gracefully unrolled upon it. Above the altar is the Eternal Lamp, whose mysterious flickering light illumines the temple’s ribbed ogival vaulting. With one hand the high priest rejects the couple’s offerings; with the other he points to a text of the Law: anathema to barren marriages.
The story continues to the right (on the lintel and at the base of the voussoirs). Joachim, overwhelmed by sorrow, departs for the wilderness with a young friend. The old man’s few necessities are tied in a kerchief and hung from his staff, like those of any medieval Jewish wayfarer. Notice the two men’s clothing. Joachim, getting along in years and subject to chill, wears a long cloak which is hiked about his waist; his hat—which resembles a circular, overturned cake mold—is a special Jewish fashion, as is his companion’s, a more jaunty conical headpiece. (These odd hats, it should be remarked, were worn voluntarily; it was still too early for prescribed costumes for Jews.) Joachim is next seen tending his sheep in a remote desert pasture. After five months of isolation, an angel flies out of a cloud, and informs him that God has heard his prayers and will grant him a child. He hurries back alone to Jerusalem, and in the last voussoir meets Anne, who has been visited by the same angel and has come to welcome him back. They embrace reverently beneath the Golden Gate.
Fourteen years pass before Act II—the tale of Joseph’s Blossoming Rod—takes place on the left-hand side of the lintel. The Virgin has been born, and reared in the Temple. She is already a beautiful young woman, and has arrived at the medieval age for marriage. The choice of a husband, however, is so crucial that the high priest has decided to leave the selection to the Lord. The suitor whose hazel branch blossoms will be the lucky man; and the branches of no less than fifteen competitors are stacked overnight on the altar of the Temple (depicted again near the center of the lintel). The suitors look on hopefully from the voussoirs at the left. But attractive as they are—and there are few figures in the whole Cathedral as handsome as these 13th-century Jews—none of the suitors will be successful. For Saint Joseph has arrived, riding slowly on horseback: an elderly and altogether unsatisfactory-looking bridegroom. He too wears a Jewish hat and a long cloak, which is fastened at his right shoulder by a magnificent brooch. It is Joseph’s rod, of course, which blossoms. Saint Anne embraces him, or rather touches him lightly on the brow in a most subtle gesture, while two disappointed suitors stare at him with something less than joy. And finally, hands joined, Joseph, the high priest, Mary, Joachim, and Anne celebrate the marriage. This extraordinary scene, at once earnestly serious and utterly charming, is a Jewish marriage of the early 13th century.
The stateliness of the bearded medieval rabbi may be seen to even better advantage in the third great portal of the façade, on the north, where the scale of the composition is larger and the bas-reliefs approach life-size. On the lowermost register of the tympanum, to either side of a Gothic Ark of the Covenant, sit three kings and three prophets. All six belong to the Old Testament, and although they have not been positively identified, two of the patriarchs would seem to be Moses and Aaron. The portraits are incredibly beautiful—the sculptor has endeavored to make each more handsome than the next. But fully as fascinating as the portraits, which might be compared with the Beau-Christ of Amiens or, for that matter, with the splendid Jesus enthroned directly above, is the stone bench on which the patriarchs and kings are seated. It provides an invaluable clue to the interior architecture of the lost French synagogues of the Middle Age.
But if the Middle Age could portray the Jew as patriarch and saint, it could also show him as Satan. In the portal of the northern transept, above still another ravishing statue of the Virgin, is the story of the monk Theophilus and his temptation by Salatin, the Jew, who is a direct agent of the Devil. Salatin ensnares the ingenuous Theophilus in a contract for his soul; but the monk sees his error in time, and prays to the Virgin for aid. Mary, in the Middle Age, never refused such an appeal; and here she routs the Devil and makes Theophilus a bishop. Gowned in his pontifical robes, at the top of the tympanum, he shows the canceled agreement to his marveling congregation. The story appears exactly as it does in the famous miracle play of Rutebeuf, which was staged in front of this and a thousand other church portals. Its implications, to an illiterate public which knew almost nothing of Judaism, may be guessed. The miracle play did as much as anything to inflame the pogrom mood of the later Middle Age.
Inside the Cathedral, the Jewish visitor should take a special glance at the great northern rose window. North, the dark country, the region of night, of primordial emptiness and dread, had particular significance for the Middle Age. The northern God lived near the pagan wastes, and was the unforgiving Lord of the Ten Commandments. The north wind blew from the chilled Biblical land of the patriarchs and prophets: gaunt, bearded Abraham, and strident Elijah. And this breathtaking blue rose, like a stark dawn in Genesis, opposes with all its cold strength the sun-filled rose of the southern transept which confronts it, and which symbolizes—to add drama to drama—the warm love of the Evangel.
This vast sheet of northern blue contains eighty subjects from the Old Testament, almost all in original glass of about the year 1250. In the innermost circle of medallions are sixteen prophets who, the medieval Christian was sure, foretold the coming of the Savior in their declamations. With a pair of opera glasses, Ezekiel, Zephaniah, and Micah may be recognized easily from their vivid Latin names. In the second circle are thirty-two kings, considered ancestors of Jesus, and among them are Saul and Joram—the Joram who was seen twenty-one hundred years earlier riding out to do battle with King Mesha of Moab. In the outermost circle are thirty-two patriarchs and high priests (summi sacerdotes); Aaron’s and Joachim’s are among the few names which may be read.
The Paris which leaped into the high air with the towers of Notre-Dame also spread prosperously over solid earth. As population increased, and times continued to improve, the capital expanded to the Right Bank, which had been largely uninhabited until the 12th century. Just as the Left Bank was called the Université, and the island was the Cité the new faubourg became known as the Ville, and it quickly acquired a commercial character which it has never lost. The Parisian Jews, who were ordinary businessmen and artisans as well as moneylenders, began very early to live here rather than in the ancient Juiverie on the island. The movement dates at least from the foundation of the great Right Bank markets by Louis VI in 1137, where the Halles stand today. And from the Halles eastward to the Place des Vosges, in the dark crowded streets behind the Rue de Rivoli, many of the Jews of Paris may be found today—still living as small merchants and craftsmen.
The study of street names may be rewarding. The busiest kosher delicatessens in Paris are found at the intersection of the Rue des Rosiers and the Rue Ferdinand Duval. (“I know,” one proprietor admits sadly to New Yorkers, “it’s not like 45th Street.”) In the Middle Age the Rue Ferdinand Duval was called Rue des Juifs; and the Rue des Rosiers terminated in a cul-de-sac at the fortifications of the city, which may be an indication that the Jews were compelled to live near the walls, as in some French towns. But no edict obliging the Parisian Jews to reside in a particular quarter has ever been found; and it is likely that they lived on these streets then, as now, by choice.
There were other Right Bank Juiveries in addition to the Rue Ferdinand Duval. Jews lived on almost half of the narrow lanes which are at present being demolished to either side of the Rue Saint-Martin (again, the Roman road). It is a mistake to assume from the modern condition of this neighborhood—always the least salubrious in Paris—that the medieval Jews were crowded in a slum as in a Hole of Calcutta. Six hundred years ago the air in these streets was considerably cleaner than today; the houses, a few of which actually go back to the late Middle Age, were in better condition; and rather than filth-littered cement, their courtyards were gardens. Moreover, Christians lived side by side with Jews under virtually identical conditions. In the Rue des Lombards, for instance, moneylending was conducted by Jews as well as their Christian competitors. Other ancient Jewish streets in the quarter (several with new names) are the Rues Quincampoix, des Jardins, des Archives, de Moussy, Neuve Saint-Mérry, de Renard, and de la Tacherie.
After their return from exile in 1198, the Jews concentrated here, and established three small synagogues to replace the one they had lost in the Cité. One, on the Rue de Moussy, received from medieval wiseacres the expressive sobriquet of “pet-au-diable.” The Jews must have smiled wryly when they were thus taunted, for the public insult, to which they dared not reply in kind, had become a daily occurrence. From the 13th century onward, Jewish life in France was dominated by growing social terror and financial insecurity. After the Lombards were invited to Paris in 1224, they replaced the Jews as large-scale moneylenders; and the Jews, who found almost every other métier closed to them, were reduced to pawnbroking. When the Lombards, later joined by the Cahorsins, at last assumed total control of the field, they proved such harsh creditors that many citizens regretted the change. One limerick ran:
Car Juifs furent deboneres
Trap plus, en fesant telz afferes
Que ne sont ore Crestiens . . . . 3
In addition to the arrival of the Lombards, the year 1224 was marked by an event of much more consequence to the Jews: the beginning of the reign of a Christian mystic, Saint Louis. The King’s piety had one outlet in a series of anti-Semitic measures which culminated, in 1269, in the imposition of the rouelle, the “little wheel” of saffron silk or felt which the Jew was forced to wear as a sign of infamy.
Atrocities against the Jew, which had been intermittent since the First Crusade, now became usual. The story of “le Bon Juye” Jonathas, as told in distorted form by the chroniclers, is a case in point.4 Today the 18thcentury church at 24 Rue des Archives looks innocent enough; but in 1290 the home of Jonathas stood on the spot, and was the scene of a singular episode which has become notorious in the history of Paris. A Christian woman had left her best clothing in pawn with Jonathas in exchange for thirty sous, or half a silver mark—a sum Which suggests that her finery was elegant indeed, or the pawnbroker generous. The loan proved difficult to repay, and when Easter arrived, the woman begged the Jew to return her clothing temporarily, so that she might wear it to church. The Jew agreed, and quite astonishingly (although the Church chroniclers chose to minimize this) asked for no other collateral or additional interest. Instead, he requested only that the woman bring him a communion wafer. She agreed; and when she next presented herself for Holy Communion, preserved the Host intact, and gave it to the Jew. He took it, remarking: “I shall soon know if this is truly the body of Christ, as Christians claim.”
Thereupon he placed the wafer on a money chest, and pierced it several times with a knife. Blood poured forth abundantly, “as from a human body.”
The Jew called his wife Bellatine and their children, who stood by astonished as he hammered a nail into the Host, which spouted blood more freely than ever. Bellatine grew terrified, and begged Jonathas to stop, but he grew enraged, and threw the Host in the fire.
The wafer leaped from the flames undamaged, and flew about the room. As it sailed past, the Jew tried to precipitate it into “le lieu le plus infecte de la maison,” but it would pot enter. He beat the wafer with a rod, but it would not break. In desperation, he cast it in a pot of boiling water. The water reddened, but the Host remained intact, and Bellatine saw that it carried the image of Jesus crucified. Overwhelmed with terror and remorse, she returned to another room, so that she would see no more.
At this moment the Mass was rung at the nearby priory of Sainte-Croix-de-la-Brétonnerie, and the parishioners hurried past the Jew’s house on the way to services. Jonathas’ little son stood in the doorway and asked where they were going.
“We are going to church to adore God.”
“It’s no use,” observed the child, “for my father has given Him so many blows that he has killed Him.”
The passersby laughed, but one woman took the boy seriously. She entered the house on the pretext of asking for fire, saw the Host, hid it in an urn she was carrying, and carried it directly to the curate of Saint-Jean-en-Grève, to whom she related all that had passed. Bishop Simon Matiffas de Buci was in turn informed, and ordered the Jew and his family arrested. Jonathas was interrogated and—some chroniclers say—“did not deny the crime”; others claim “he confessed all without repentance.” The Bishop exhorted him in vain to renounce his error, and at last delivered him to the secular authorities, who ordered him to be burned alive.
As Jonathas approached the pyre, he cried: “Ah, if only I had a book which is in my house! Then the fire could not burn me.” The authorities complied with the request. The book was found and hung from his neck, and then, before a marveling multitude, Jonathas went up in flame, book and all. His wife and children were converted and baptized, and sent to live in a convent. His house was seized and transformed into a chapel. Later it expanded into a monastery, which was known as the place “where God was boiled.” The indestructible Host was preserved until the French Revolution as a precious relic, and carried in annual processions. Today it has vanished, like all other evidence of the affair. But behind the high altar of Notre-Dame may be seen the marble sepulchre of Bishop Simon Matiffas, who lies sculpted upon it, quite serene and confident in death.
Year after year more Jews perished violently, and were buried in a small cemetery which remained to them on the Left Bank, near the crossing of Boulevards Saint-Germain and Saint-Michel, on the site of the Librairie Hachette. More than forty tombstones have been recovered from this burial ground, and carried across the Boul’ Mich to the Cluny Museum.5 The chaste, beautifully carved Hebrew inscriptions reveal with immense dignity the courage and refinement of the lost community. The oldest reads: “This is the stone of Solomon, son of the learned Rabbi Judah, who departed for the Garden of Eden (1230 C.E.); may his soul be bound in the bundle of Life.”
The 13th century had brought severe persecution; the 14th was a period of alternate exile and slaughter. In 1306 the survivors of the once considerable community—they were now less than a thousand—were exiled by Philip the Fair. They were recalled in 1315, possibly because of popular indignation against the Lombards, only to suffer a massacre in 1321 and a new expulsion in 1322. In 1359 they were recalled again, massacred anew in 1380 and 1382; and, perhaps mercifully, permanently exiled by Charles VI in 1394. The exiles traveled eastward to Germany and Bohemia, south to Italy, and north to Holland, where they mingled with native communities and lost their French character completely.
For three full centuries afterward no Jew appeared openly in Paris. An occasional Marrano might escape detection, but professing Jews were rigorously denied residence. In all France only the Papal province of the Comtat Venaissin remained open to them. That the Jews did not grow wealthy there may be guessed from a saying which was current: “As poor as a Jew from Avignon.” But elsewhere Jews flourished, and for this long period of exile, it is necessary to search for venerable French names in Amsterdam and Rome. Holland in particular provided a haven; and two of Rembrandt’s best-known paintings, “The Philosopher” and the “Jew with Fur Cap,” hang in the Louvre to show the type of man who sat for the master but could not enter France.
In the Bibliothèque Nationale, too, there are several treasures which have survived the Jewish communities of Renaissance Rome. In the manuscript collection are two extraordinary illuminated Italian Haggadahs (Fonds Hebreux, Nos. 1333 and 1388); and in the Cabinet des Mèdailles is the famous bronze called “The Medal of Fourvières,” which was found in France, near Lyons, but whose cryptic Hebrew characters reveal that it was cast in Rome shortly after 1503, to celebrate surreptitiously the death of Pope Alexander VI—as cruel a Borgia as any.
Also in the Cabinet des Médailles, and very much worth an examination, are a valuable collection of Cabalistic charms and amulets, and a superlative group of antique Jewish coins (case 12) which date from Simon Maccabee (No. 1812) to the last revolt under Bar Kochba (Nos. 1837-1839). Herod the Great appears in a powerful profile, showing the strong family nose (No. 1784), and Herod Agrippa is represented by his royal parasol (No. 1823).
When the French Revolution at last swept the Divine Monarch from his throne, the Jew found himself free to return to Paris. But when the first immigrants entered the capital in 1789, voilà!—some five hundred Jews were already living in the city. Gradually, since the turn of the 18th century, as the ancien régime decayed, Jews had been returning surreptitiously to virtually the same neighborhoods they had inhabited centuries before. On both sides of the river there were secret inns where, through the negligence (or corruption) of the police, Jews could live with no questions asked. Yet although they lived in common uneasiness and even common danger, the Jews could no longer live on a common basis with one another. A change had taken place during the long exile.
Three distinct—and rival—groups composed the new Jewish community. The first in date of arrival, and in social status, but the smallest numerically, were the Sephardim from southeastern France. To some extent they enjoyed official favor, since they had been naturalized as “New Christians” at Bayonne in 1550. Externally, there was nothing to distinguish them from other Frenchmen. They spoke French perfectly, dressed as Frenchmen, sported French swords and powdered wigs; sometimes they adopted spurious French titles to disguise their superb Spanish and Portuguese names. Moreover, because of the thriving chocolate factories at Bayonne and Bordeaux, they were prosperous. And since they were a moving force in the monastery’s annual fair, they were protected by the powerful Left Bank Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés; and their clandestine synagogue was located a few blocks from the great abbey church, in the fine mansion at No. 3 Rue Suger. There were perhaps fifty Sephardim in Paris when the Revolution broke out.
Slightly less patrician than the Sephardim, but perhaps more thoroughly French than they, were some one hundred Jews from the Comtat Venaissin, members of the communities which had constructed the lovely Provençal synagogues at Carpentras and Cavaillon. They settled in the same streets on the Left Bank as the Sephardim, with whom they quarreled over business and other matters.
The Sephardim and the Avignonnais were soon to forget their differences, however, and merge in a common hostility to the hundreds and hundreds of Ashkenazim who now flowed into France. From Alsace and Lorraine, and from across the Rhine, returned Jews who may have had equal claim to be considered lineal descendants of the lost communities of medieval France. Yet they returned not speaking French but German, and not always correct German at that. This was the first time that Yiddish was spoken in Paris; and it horrified the Sephardim and Avignonnais to be associated with these strange-speaking, still more strangely dressed, and not too well-washed co-religionists who settled in the plebeian streets of the ancient Right Bank Jewries.
It was unthinkable, for example, that they should be buried in the same ground. And so, on their last journey, the Sephardim traveled across the Seine to a hidden cemetery at La Villette, now a part of Paris, but then just outside the city limits.6 This silent burial ground is remarkable for its cachet of 18th-century secrecy. At that time the house which shields it from the street was an inn, and the host, a Monsieur Matard, doubtless sheltered many a new Jewish arrival. Matard charged these illegal guests a good price for his rooms; he charged even more for a permanent stay in the garden: fifty livres for an adult, twenty or thirty for a child. A greedy fellow, Matard. He was discovered skinning horses and cattle in the garden too, and disposing of the unsellable parts in the same earth as the dead. The indignation and sorrow of the Jews compelled them to deal directly with the authorities; and after delicate negotiations, in 1780, the Sephardim secured—for themselves—permission to bury Jewish dead in Paris for the first time in four hundred years.
The epitaphs on these elegant Louis XVI graves are, as might be expected, written in purest French. And one of them tells unforgettably what the Revolution meant to a Jew: “The Lord All High has summoned me in my twenty-third year. I prefer my present fate to slavery. O immortal soul, seek to live free; or follow me, like a good Republican! Here rests Samuel Fernandes Patto, of Bayonne, deceased the 28th Prairial of Year II of the French Republic, One and Indivisible!”
Far across Paris, this time beyond the southern limit of the city, at Montrouge, the Ashkenazim buried their dead in an altogether different spirit7 The epitaphs are in Hebrew, and dated according to the Jewish calendar. They might have been carved in Vilna rather than Paris: “Here rests a virtuous woman, Dina Schenke, wife of Leib Niederweiller. She died on the Sabbath and was buried—her reputation perfect—on Sunday evening. . . 5565.”
Within a generation these Alsatian and German Jews were to become thoroughly French. As their numbers rose to forty thousand by the middle of the 19th century, they eclipsed the tiny Sephardic community which, numerically, had remained stagnant. Then, by 1880, they were looking down, with considerable amour propre, on new waves of unkempt immigrants who poured into Paris as refugees from pogroms in the Russian empire. (Excellent scale models of the fortress-synagogues from which some of these Jews fled are on exhibition at the newly established Musée d’Art Juif, 12 rue des Saules; Métro: Lamarck; open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, 3-6 P.M.)
With political freedom, Paris again developed as one of the great Jewish cities of the world. Its exciting community grew to two hundred thousand, and has ranged from the Rothschilds to Heinrich Heine: Heine, the first modern Jewish artist to set up residence in Paris, the first of the modern intellectual political refugees. A happy Paris for the Jew: the Brothers Pereire building their railway, and being honored by the dedication of a great avenue on the Right Bank. But, too, the Paris of Captain Dreyfus locked in his cage of prejudice. And later, the Paris of the terrible moment in 1940; the four years of death and torture, of the prison trains rolling to Auschwitz, the resumption of the yellow badge; and the Paris of still another triumphant Return, and a future of possible beauty.
1 The etymology of the term is interesting: Vicus Judeorum in medieval Latin; then Vicus Judeari or simply Judearia; finally, in the popular tongue, la Juyerie, la Juyrie, la June.
2 The present queens are modern, but restored according to the original iconography. In the Musée des Monuments Français at the Trocadéro, however, is an excellent plaster reproduction of the beautiful “Synagogue” of the Cathedral of Strasbourg (Salle XI).
3 “For Jews were much more debonair, in conducting such affairs, than Christians today . . .”
4 The best medieval account, because it is the oldest, is in the chronicle of Saint-Denis, which ends in the year 1328, and may have been compiled by a monk who was alive at the time of the incident
5 It is hoped that renovation of the Grande Salle des Thermes will be completed, and the stones again placed on exhibition, by summer. Since the conversion of Cluny to an exclusively medieval museum, however, its magnificent collection of Jewish Renaissance objets d’art has been placed in permanent reserve. Until the collection finds a new home, it will be impossible to see such treasures as the great Modena Ark, a masterpiece in dark walnut whose chronogram inscription carries its date, 1472. The collection also includes exquisite carved scrolls, silk and velvet mantles, silver pointers and breastplates of Italian, Dutch, and German workmanship. And there are remarkable pieces of art that decorated Jewish homes of the Renaissance: spice boxes and kiddush cups, Purim dishes, Chanukah candelabra, engraved circumcision knives, and filigreed wedding rings. No collection in the world offers a lovelier glimpse of Jewish life in Europe from the 15th to 18th centuries.
6 At 44 Rue de Flandre (Métro: Riquet). Authorization to visit, however, should be first secured from the Paris Consistoire, 44 Rue de la Victoire.
7 The cemetery is awaiting restoration, and not at present visited.