Tours synagogue and its WWII commemorative plaques

Late last year Sandra and I visited the small synagogue in the city of Tours (below).  

It can be found at 37, Rue Parmentier in Tours and dates from 1907, a gift from the Parisian, Daniel Osiris. Its architect was Victor Tondu and the rabbi’s home, built at the same time, is next to the synagogue. This architectural gem combines Art Nouveau with Oriental influence. The synagogue retains its ceiling painted wooden compartments and a floral frieze painted to resemble a mosaic. Windows by Pierre Lux Fournier were completed post war, in 1949.

On the exterior facade of the synagogue is a large memorial plaque (inaugurated in 2005) dedicated to the thirty-four jews from the Indre-et-Loire (Touraine) region who were murdered during World War II.  During World War II the Touraine was host to the detention camp of Lande, in Monts, near Tours (November 1940 -January 1944). It was a camp for French and non-French internees. It was here that almost 600 Jews were committed, deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau and exterminated by the Nazis. While three-quarters of the local Jewish community perished, the broad-based resistance movement assisted many Jewish families and individuals to survive the persecution.

What is particularly moving is seeing the list of local Touraine towns and villages from which individuals and whole families were rounded up: Loches; St. Branchs; La Guerche; Tours; Monts; Descartes; Chenonceaux; Betz le Chateau; Chedigny; St. Maure; Manthelan; La Ferrierre; Vertez. Today, being May 8th and Victory Day being marked with parades and church services to celebrate freedom and the end of World War II, it may be a good time to ask why there are not civic commemorative markers at any of the above sites.

The second, smaller, plaque (see end of this blog page) is dedicated to the 700 Jewish victims who were deported, never to return, to the extermination camp at Auschwitz via Drancy or Angers. “Do not forget.”

For a timeline of Jewish history in the Touraine just click here.

About Jim McNeill

I am a blogger on 'The Social History of the Touraine region of France (37)' and also 'The Colonial History of Pennsylvania and the life & Family of William Penn'. I am a Director of Fresh Ground Group Ltd.
This entry was posted in 20th Century, architecture, Arts, Betz-le-Chateau, Betz-le-Chateau, Chedigny, Chenonceau, Descartes/La Haye, Jewish history, Jewish persicution, La Gurche, Loches, Manthelan, Monts, Sainte Maure, St Branchs, Tours, Vértez, World War II and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Tours synagogue and its WWII commemorative plaques

  1. Michael Scheflan says:

    I am looking for Rabbi Micha Konig of Touraine.
    we were friends and students together in Fribourg Switzerland in the mid sixties.
    I found him through Yahoo and understand he lives between Saumur and Chinon.
    It would be nice for me to attend a ceremony led by him on Friday or Saturday.
    I would like to keep it a surprise.
    Michael Scheflan MD, Israel

  2. Guy Valk says:

    My wife, her best friend and I are coming to the Loire Valley on Sept. 19 2014 for a week’s stay just north of Le Petit-Pressigny (15 km from chez vous). It would be great if we could get together over a bottle of wine to discuss the entire region. Merci de tous vos articles de blog!

    • Jim McNeill says:

      Hi Guy….so sorry i missed you both…next time?

      • Estelle Beder says:

        Hi, Your message just popped up in my emails!! I was cycling through the Loire in August 2013 and I think that I must have been in communication then re synagogues. I remember walking around Tours and seeing all the construction going on laying the tram tracks. It is wonderful to see the photographs of the finished product!!! The tramcars are so amazing. If anyone finds themselves travelling to Auckland, New Zealand, I would be happy for them to be in touch with me. Shalom, Estelle Beder.

  3. Tony Jeanes says:

    Hi Jim. Dont get down to Neuilly le Brignon as often as we would like How is the bar project going? Tony and Jenny Jeanes

  4. David says:

    Hi there! We will be biking through Tours in the next few days. Is this synagogue active? Doesn’t sound like it, but we’re hoping to find a Shabbat service somewhere! Thanks!

    • Jim McNeill says:

      Hi David,
      The synagogue in Tours is indeed active with Friday services and a local community of around 700 persons. It does not appear to have a website – the synagogue is tucked away in a side street a short walk (or cycle ride!) from the centre of Tours.
      The full address:
      Tours ACIT Synagogue
      37 Rue Parmentier
      Tours, France 37000
      Tel: 02-47-05-56-95

      Enjoy your visit to the beautiful Loire Valley.
      Kind regards,

      • Jim McNeill says:

        Hi again, Daid

        I forgot to mention that there are more refs to Jewish History in the Region on my blog – just type in ‘Jewish’ in the search box at the top of my page. Amonst the blogs I’ve written is a timeline of Jewish residency in the Touraine Region;

      • Estelle Beder says:

        Hi Jim
        Just been doing some research before I leave NZ for a cycling trip in the Loire Valley. Was very interested to read your info re synagogues in the area. Unfortunately as my plans stand now I probably will not be exploring Tours. We start in Amboise visit Rochecorbon, Langeais, Montsoreau, Chinon, Noyant, Loches, Chenonceaux, Cheverny finishing in Blois. I do not think there would be a synagogue in these very small towns. Many years ago I cycling through Burgundy and visited the synagogue in Dijon – it was Sukkot! All the best with your travelling.

        Kind regards, Estelle

        • Jim McNeill says:

          Hi Estelle

          If you let Sandra and I know when you are in the region we may be able to meet up and give you a welcome ~ we live just 20mins from Loches. Just a thought. Jim

          • Melissa Faber says:

            My daughter and I are staying in Amboise Sept. 16 and wondered if you know of a nearby synagogue where we could attend Erev Rosh Hashanah services. We are returning to London the next day and will not be able to go then. Many thanks! Melissa Faber

            • Jim McNeill says:

              Your best bet would be to go to Tours Syangogue, it’s just 14 miles (24K) from Amboise. There are lots of trains between the two cities – the journy takes about 20 mins.
              Tours ACIT Synagogue, 37 Rue Parmentier, Tours, France
              Tel: 02-47-05-56-95
              Have a wonderful trip and a very happy (Jewish) New Year.
              Kind regards,

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