Archival Records :

Contemporary Jewish Documentation Centre (CDJC)

Contemporary Jewish Documentation Centre (Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine), (CDJC)

In 1943 when the CDJC was founded in Grenoble by a committee set up by Isaac Schneersohn, it was a clandestine organisation. Its specific objective was to document the Shoah by pooling the information of Jewish organizations and scholars and by collecting documentary evidence. After the liberation of France in 1944, the founder, Isaac Schneersohn, and Léon Poliakov, in charge of research, moved the CDJC to Paris to save it from destruction and to sequester the archives of the Vichy government and of the German occupying forces. They were successful in their mission: Poliakov obtained, among other things, the French archives of the Gestapo, part of the Wehrmacht archives, and Vichy documents.

Later the CDJC became one of the official repositories of the Nuremberg trial documents. In addition to the minutes and background documentation for the trials, the CDJC (in the persons of Poliakov and Joseph Billig) obtained original archival material and the personal archives of Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi Party ideologue and ERR chief. (NB. The acronym ERR stands for Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, which was a looting agency set up in July-August 1940 to spoliate western Europe's cultural heritage, but especially Jewish libraries, archives, and private art collections and, later on in the war, to pillage cultural objects in south east Europe and the former Soviet Union.)

Hence the CDJC is a key repository of primary sources with a million archival documents and a library of over 50,000 volumes accessible to researchers. The archives comprise:

The CDJC produces Revue d'histoire de la Shoah, and Monde Juif in which archival documents are published. In 1999 it published Guide Européen des Sources d'Archives sur la Shoah, with information on the main sources of archives on the Shoah in Europe. This publication is the outcome of co-operation among the many participants in a 1996 CDJC Conference from twenty-five European countries. It aims to provide sufficient information to identify appropriate collections and supplies contact details to find out more from the keeper of each archive listed.

Finding aids: 
The archival record groups of the CDJC are listed in the Guide Européen des Sources d'Archives sur la Shoah. (See below for bibliography). See the on-line version (which can be consulted in English or French): < >

A very detailed card index catalogue (in French) of all archival holdings is available at the CDJC. There is also an excellent (partial) catalogue of the holdings in three published volumes at the CDJC: Joseph Billig, Le Commissariat Général aux Questions Juives, Paris, 1957; Joseph Billig, Alfred Rosenberg dans l'action idéologique, politique et administrative du Reich hitlérien. Inventaire commenté de la collection de documents conservés au C.D.J.C. provenant des archives du Reichsleiter et Ministre A. Rosenberg, Paris 1963; Joseph Billig, L'Institut d'étude des questions juives, officine française des autorités nazies en France : inventaire commenté de la collection de documents provenant des archives de l'Institut conservés au C.D.J.C., Paris 1974; Lucien Steinberg, Les autorités allemands en France occupée, (Inventaire des archives du CDJC, Vol. II), Paris 1966.

The Rosenberg archive includes 2000 ERR documents, each described and listed in the volume.

Contact Information
Sarah Mimoun and Karen Taieb (Responsible for the archives)
Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine
37, rue de Turenne
75003 Paris
Tel: +33 (01) 42 77 44 72
Fax: +33 (01) 48 87 12 50
Photo Library:

Opening hours: Archives, Photo library, and Library are opened to the public Moday, Tuesday and Wednesday 11am-5.30pm and Thursday 11-8.

Guide Européen des Sources d'Archives sur la Shoah, Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine, Paris 2000, pp. 53-58.

Jacques Fredij, 'Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine' in Ouvrage collectif sous la direction de Jacques Fredij, Les Archives de la Shoah, Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine, Paris 1998, pp. 105-118.

Serge Klarsfeld, 'Les Archives de la Shoah en France' in Ouvrage collectif sous la direction de Jacques Fredij, Les Archives de la Shoah, Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine, Paris 1998, pp. 96-104.

CDJC, <>, accessed on 13 November 2002.