Many of the Jews citizens living in Antwerp around the turn of the 20th century were immigrants. In addition, while it is impossible to arrive at precise statistics, of the 65-75,000 Jews living in Belgium on the eve of World War II, at least 85 percent had arrived in the country after 1918. It is for that reason that I want to focus in this article on the alien files which probably are the most interesting for people who have had Jewish relatives in Antwerp. I hope to write in the future about other collections held by the Antwerp Archives.
How and by whom were the files assembled?
All new immigrants (except for the immigrants who are in certain privileged categories) who wanted to stay in Belgium, did have to contact the municipality of the place where they resided in.
The city council was in charge of some tasks imposed on them by the Belgian government such as:
- gathering information about the Continue reading An introduction to the alien/immigrants files at the FelixArchief (Antwerp Archives)