Jews pressured into adopting ‘French-sounding’ surnames fight to change them back

Shamed by the deportation of Jews during the Second World War, France sought to integrate and protect Jewish emigres by urging them to change their names to sound more French.

But more than a half-century later, French Jews wishing to reclaim their original names have come up against an administrative brick wall thanks to an obscure law banning people from changing their names to “foreign sounding” ones.

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This post was last updated: Jul. 20, 2010