The Holocaust in Luxembourg

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A Nazi parade by the Synagogue in Luxembourg in 1941. It was destroyed in 1943.

The Holocaust in Luxembourg refers to the systematic persecution, expulsion and murder of Jews in Luxembourg after its occupation and later annexation by Nazi Germany. It is generally believed that the Jewish population of Luxembourg had numbered around 3,500 before the war although many fled into France at the time of the German invasion of 10 May 1940 or in the early months of the occupation. Around 1,000 to 2,500 were murdered during the Holocaust after being deported to ghettos and extermination camps in Eastern Europe.


Around 3,500 Jews lived in Luxembourg before World War II.[1] Many were recent arrivals in the country who had fled from persecution in Nazi Germany and Eastern Europe and who were attracted by the commercial ties between Luxembourg and its surrounding countries and the common use of German language. A significant number fled on 10 May 1940 at the time of the German invasion of Luxembourg as part of the "exodus" of French, Belgian, and Luxembourgish civilians into eastern and southern France. The German occupation regime established in Luxembourg extended the Nuremberg Race Laws to the territory on 5 September 1940 and encouraged Jews to leave. By October 1941, when emigration was banned, 2,500 Jews had left Luxembourg mainly for the "Free Zone" in Vichy France. Many of the emigrants would become victims of the Holocaust in France. From September 1941, all Jews in Luxembourg were forced to wear the yellow badge to identify them in public.[2][1]

The Nazi administration interned the remaining 800 Jews in Luxembourg at Fuenfbrunnen transit camp in Troisvierges (Ulflingen) in the north of the country. The programme of deportation began in October 1941 principally to Łódź Ghetto in German-occupied Poland as well as the concentration camps at Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. Only 36 deportees from Luxembourg are believed to have survived the war.[1] Luxembourg was formally annexed into Nazi Germany in August 1942.


Luxembourg was liberated by the Western Allies in early 1945. However, a law of 1950 prevented the majority of Jewish victims and their families from reclaiming assets held in the country before the war by preventing pre-1931 migrants from eligibility. It was said in 2019 that Luxembourg "is the only country in Western Europe with major, unaddressed restitution issues".[3]

The government of Xavier Bettel apologised to the Jewish community of Luxembourg for the country's role in the Holocaust, including the complicity of "some public officials", in 2015.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Luxembourg". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  2. ^ "The Destruction of the Jews of Luxembourg". Holocaust Education and Archive Research Team. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  3. ^ Liphshiz, Cnaan (22 April 2019). "Wealthy Luxembourg is western Europe's last Holocaust restitution deadbeat". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  4. ^ Jackman, Josh (11 June 2015). "Luxembourg apologises for Holocaust role". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 8 September 2020.

Further reading[edit]

  • Artuso, Vincent (October 2012). "Des excuses, mais au nom de qui? L'administration luxembourgeoise et la Shoah". Forum (322): 9–11.
  • Cerf, Paul (1986). L'étoile juive au Luxembourg. Luxembourg: RTL.
  • Clesse, René (1991). "Die Natur is gnädiger als die Menschen". Ons Stad. 36: 22–25.
  • Clesse, René (2002). "Shoah in Luxemburg". Ons Stad. 71: 18–19.
  • Hoffmann, Serge (1996). "Luxemburg - Asyl und Gastfreundschaft in einem kleinen Land". In Benz, Wolfgang; Wetzel, Juliane (eds.). Solidarität und Hilfe für Juden während der NS-Zeit. Vol. Regionalstudien I: Polen, Rumänien, Griechenland, Luxemburg, Norwegen, Schweiz. Berlin: Metropol-Verlag. pp. 187–204. ISBN 9783926893437.
  • Zariz, Ruth (1993). "The Jews of Luxembourg during the Second World War". Holocaust and Genocide Studies. 7 (1): 51–66. doi:10.1093/hgs/7.1.51.
  • Bronec, Jakub (29 March 2019). "Repatriation Efforts – Luxembourg State Policy Towards Jews during World War II". EHRI. Retrieved 17 November 2020.

External links[edit]