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NANCY , capital of Meurthe-et-Moselle department, northeastern France; former capital of the Duchy of *Lorraine. In 1286 the Jews acquired a cemetery at nearby Laxou. In 1341, and later in 1455, several Jews settled in Nancy itself but were expelled from the Duchy in 1477. The Jews temporarily reappeared in Nancy in 1595. Maggino Gabrieli, known as the "consul-general of the Hebrew and Levantine nation," attempted to establish two banks and a pawnshop in 1637–1643. In 1707 and 1712 Duke Leopold authorized three Jewish bankers from *Metz to settle in Nancy, one of whom, Samuel *Lévy, became the duke's chief tax collector in 1715. After Lévy fell into disgrace, there was a hostile reaction toward the Jews. Nevertheless, in 1721 an edict authorized 70 Jewish families to remain in Lorraine, eight of them in Nancy and its surroundings. The 90 Jewish families in Nancy in 1789 (50 of whom were without authorization) included such wealthy merchants and manufacturers as the *Alcan, Goudchaux, and Berr families from whom the trustees of the Duchy's Jewish community were chosen. Herz *Cerfberr became squire of Tomblaine, and *Berr Isaac Berr became the leader of the Ashkenazi Jews in 1789. There was a house of prayer in 1745, but it was not until 1788 that a synagogue was officially built, eight years after the chief rabbi of Lorraine established himself in Nancy. (The synagogue was renovated in 1842 and again in 1935.) Notable among the chief rabbis of the consistory formed in 1808 were Marchand Ennery and Solomon *Ullmann. With the influx of refugees from Alsace and Moselle after 1870, the number of Jews in Nancy increased to some 4,000 by the end of the century. Nancy made important contributions to French Jewish cultural life. The prayer room of the Polish Jews was decorated by the artist *Mané-Katz. Nancy was the birthplace of the writer André *Spire and Nobel Prize winner F. *Jacob.

[Gilbert Cahen]

Holocaust Period

Many of Nancy's prewar Jewish population (about 3,800 in 1939) fled the city under the German occupation. Those who stayed were brutally persecuted. In three Aktionen in 1942–43, 130 Jews of foreign origin were arrested and deported, while over 400 others who had fled to the "free" zone in the south were arrested and deported after it was overrun by the Germans in 1942. Only 22 survivors returned. Among the old French Jewish families, 250 victims were deported, of whom only two survived. The majority were arrested on March 2, 1944, along with 72-year-old Chief Rabbi Haguenauer, who despite his being forewarned, refused to desert the members of his community. A street in postwar Nancy bears his name. The synagogue, as well as other buildings belonging to the Jews, were plundered by the Nazis. The synagogue interior was destroyed, while the holy books were sold to a rag collector. Several of the art works and books in the local Musée Historique Lorrain and departmental archives were saved. After the war the community of Nancy rapidly recovered, and by 1969 it had about 3,000 members with a full range of Jewish communal institutions. A chair for Hebrew studies was set up at the university. In 1987, the community was said to number 4,000.

[Georges Levitte]


Gross, Gal Jud, 400: C. Pfister, Histoire de Nancy, 1 (1902), 678–81; 3 (1908), 310–38; A. Gain et. al., in: Revue juive de Lorraine, 2–3 (1926–27); 9–11 (1933–35), passim; J. Godchot, in: rej, 86 (1928), 1–35. add. bibliography: Guide de judaîsme français (1987), 39; Jewish Travel Guide (2002), 73.

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Nancy (näNsē´), city (1990 pop. 102,410), capital of Meurthe-et-Moselle dept., NE France, on the Meurthe River and the Marne-Rhine Canal. It is the administrative, economic, and educational center of Lorraine. Situated at the edge of the huge Lorraine iron fields, Nancy is an industrial city manufacturing chemicals, clothing, processed food, and machinery. It is one of eight cities specially targeted by the government for urban development. In the city are a noted fine arts museum, an academy of fine arts, and a large university (founded 1854). Nancy grew around a castle of the dukes of Lorraine and became the duchy capital in the 12th cent. In 1477, Charles the Bold of Burgundy was defeated and killed at the gates of Nancy by Swiss troops and the forces of René II of Lorraine. The major part of the center of Nancy, a model of urban planning and a gem of 18th-century architecture, was built during the liberal reign of Stanislaus I, duke of Lorraine (reigned 1738–66) and ex-king of Poland. Nancy passed to the French crown in 1766. In 1848 it was one of the first cities to proclaim the republic. From 1870 to 1873 it was occupied by the Germans following the Franco-Prussian War, and it was partially destroyed in World War I. Points of interest include the Place Stanislas, the Place de la Carrière, an 18th-century cathedral, and the 16th-century ducal palace. The Church of Cordeliers (15th cent.) houses the magnificent tombs of the princes of Lorraine.

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Nancy a city in NE France, chief town of Lorraine, site of the battle in 1477 in which Charles le Téméraire, Duke of Burgundy, was defeated and killed.