Was the idea of settling Jewish refugees in Algeria before WWII ever considered?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,926
SoCal
#1
Was the idea of settling European Jewish refugees in Algeria before the start of World War II ever seriously considered?

Basically, I know that there was a serious problem in regards to Jewish refugees before the start of World War II due to the fact that Nazi Germany wanted its Jews out while various other countries were only willing to take in a certain number of Jews. Thus, I was wondering if the idea of settling European Jewish refugees in Algeria was ever seriously considered before the start of World War II. After all, Algeria already had a relatively large European population and thus settling some European Jews there would have probably been unlikely to provoke a revolt or insurrection like in Palestine. Also, such a move on France's part would have allowed it to increase its odds of holding on to Algeria while also ensuring that metropolitan France (as in, European France) would not have too many Jewish refugees to deal with (for the record, metropolitan France was already struggling with the large number of Jewish refugees that settled there between 1933 and 1939).

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,484
San Antonio, Tx
#5
Was the idea of settling European Jewish refugees in Algeria before the start of World War II ever seriously considered?

Basically, I know that there was a serious problem in regards to Jewish refugees before the start of World War II due to the fact that Nazi Germany wanted its Jews out while various other countries were only willing to take in a certain number of Jews. Thus, I was wondering if the idea of settling European Jewish refugees in Algeria was ever seriously considered before the start of World War II. After all, Algeria already had a relatively large European population and thus settling some European Jews there would have probably been unlikely to provoke a revolt or insurrection like in Palestine. Also, such a move on France's part would have allowed it to increase its odds of holding on to Algeria while also ensuring that metropolitan France (as in, European France) would not have too many Jewish refugees to deal with (for the record, metropolitan France was already struggling with the large number of Jewish refugees that settled there between 1933 and 1939).

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
I’m sure that the Algerian Arabs - the majority of the country - wouldn’t have been too pleased with this “solution”. It might well have inspired riots and unrest and violence. Not only that, but when the Algerians received their independence from France, they would have moved to kick the Jews out just like they did the pieds noirs, or French settlers.

Incidentally, Algeria was considered to be “metropolitan France”.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,544
Portugal
#6
Anyway, any thoughts on this?
Why should it be? Why should France abdicate of a colony?

I though Madagascar was actively considered.
Heard that story about Madagascar somewhere. Can't recall where!

Algeria was effectively part of France at the time.
Incidentally, Algeria was considered to be “metropolitan France”.
Not all Algeria, just the Mediterranean departments.

Curiously, if I am not mistaken, the departments where existed more Jews.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,926
SoCal
#7
I though Madagascar was actively considered.
Yes, it was.

Algeria was effectively part of France at the time.
Yes, but given the demographic makeup of Algeria (around 90% Muslim), wouldn't it have seemed like a good idea to have more Europeans (even if they're Jews rather than Christians) settle in Algeria?

I’m sure that the Algerian Arabs - the majority of the country - wouldn’t have been too pleased with this “solution”. It might well have inspired riots and unrest and violence. Not only that, but when the Algerians received their independence from France, they would have moved to kick the Jews out just like they did the pieds noirs, or French settlers.
Being kicked out of Algeria in the 1960s would have been better than being murdered in the Holocaust, though.

Also, please keep in mind that European Jews could have been settled in the European-heavy parts of Algeria--specifically in Algiers, Oran, et cetera. Would an Algerian Muslim have been particularly offended if the European population of Algiers or Oran (both of which already had huge European communities) doubled? Frankly, I'm not so sure.

Incidentally, Algeria was considered to be “metropolitan France”.
That's not the definition of "metropolitan France" that Wikipedia uses, though:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_France
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
19,926
SoCal
#8
Why should it be? Why should France abdicate of a colony?
I never said that France should give up Algeria. Rather, what I proposed here was having France settle European Jewish refugees in Algeria in order to strengthen its hold on Algeria. After all, a larger European percentage in Algeria means a stronger French hold on Algeria. (This is similar to how a larger Russian percentage in Kazakhstan meant a stronger Russian hold on Kazakhstan before 1991.)

Indeed, I am wondering if anyone in France ever considered this idea.
 
May 2015
1,052
The Netherlands
#9
Was the idea of settling European Jewish refugees in Algeria before the start of World War II ever seriously considered?

Basically, I know that there was a serious problem in regards to Jewish refugees before the start of World War II due to the fact that Nazi Germany wanted its Jews out while various other countries were only willing to take in a certain number of Jews. Thus, I was wondering if the idea of settling European Jewish refugees in Algeria was ever seriously considered before the start of World War II. After all, Algeria already had a relatively large European population and thus settling some European Jews there would have probably been unlikely to provoke a revolt or insurrection like in Palestine. Also, such a move on France's part would have allowed it to increase its odds of holding on to Algeria while also ensuring that metropolitan France (as in, European France) would not have too many Jewish refugees to deal with (for the record, metropolitan France was already struggling with the large number of Jewish refugees that settled there between 1933 and 1939).

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
One of the problems French colonial rule faced in Algeria was the low number of French settlers. Most Europeans in Algeria did possess a French passport in the early 20th century, but only one in five was actually of French descent. The colony attracted mostly poor and non-French immigrants and this was seen as problematic. Moreover, around the turn of the century - much like in Metropolitan France - antisemitism was gaining ground and leading to tensions in Algeria. There was already a significant jewish presence made up of French and Algerian Jews and some white settlers feared a bigger influx of jews, such as those from Morocco and Tunisia. The colonial rulers of Algeria stood more postively towards the Jews and sought to integrate them into colonial modernity, but I highly doubt they would have admitted large numbers of jewish refugees from Central or Eastern Europe for the reasons stated above.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2016
692
On a magic carpet
#10
given the demographic makeup of Algeria (around 90% Muslim), wouldn't it have seemed like a good idea to have more Europeans (even if they're Jews rather than Christians) settle in Algeria?
Why should Algerians lose their land to foreigners? The French imperialists had no right to the country. There's plenty of space in North America. Why not create a Jewish homeland there?
 

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