Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research

Login

Register

Help

Skip to main content

Eclaireurs Israélites de France badge with Judean lions and tablets

Object | Accession Number: 2003.191.1

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward

    Eclaireurs Israélites de France badge with Judean lions and tablets

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Bronze insignia badge of the Eclaireurs Israélites de France, the Jewish division of the Boy Scouts in France. Founded in 1923 to attract boys to Judaism, by the 1930s, EIF was very involved with Zionism. After France surrendered to Germany in June 1940, EIF could operate openly only in unoccupied southern France. EIF ran children's homes which were soon crowded by the children of Jews held in internment camps. In March 1942, when the Germans began large scale deportations of Jews, EIF formed a resistance unit, La Sixieme. They developed a rescue network for Jewish children, placing them in hiding or smuggling them out of the country and providing forged identity papers. EIF is credited with saving several thousand Jews. In the Tarn region, members of an underground fighting EIF unit, Companie Marc-Haguenau, under EIF founder Robert Gamzon, and members of Eclaireuses et Eclaireurs Unionistes de France, a Protestant division of the Scouts, under Robert Cook, formed the Maquis de Vabre. Also known as Corps franc de la liberation 10, they joined the French forces of the interior and American commandos to liberate Castres on August 20, 1944, capturing 4500 German soldiers.
    Date
    issue:  1940
    Geography
    issue: Tarn (France)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Alain Morley
    Markings
    front, embossed : S / F [Scoutisme Français]
    Contributor
    Issuer: Eclaireurs Israe?lites de France
    Biography
    The Eclaireurs Israelites de France (EIF), is the Jewish division of the Boy Scouts in France (Scoutisme Français). It was founded by Robert Gamzon (1905-1961) in 1923. The EIF was a pluralist movement under the patronage of community leaders who sought to attract native born and immigrant youth to Judaism and to steer them away from the more radical political movements of the time. Tensions soon arose between the EIF's patrons and the movement's leaders, many of whom were increasingly attracted to Zionism. By the late 1930s, the EIF was co-sponsoring programs with the Zionist scouting group, Chomerim. They opened an agricultural training school in Saumur near Tours in the Loire region. These programs had several purposes, including vocational training, raising Jewish consciousness, and preparing youth for immigration to Palestine.

    After the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in September 1939, leading to the outbreak of World War II, the EIF set up children's homes in southwestern France. In May 1940, Germany invaded France. The June armistice split France into a northern region occupied by Germany and a southern region under the French collaborationist government headquartered in Vichy. The EIF as a Jewish organization was banned by German authorities. They maintained a clandestine operation in Paris, but moved most of their activity to the unoccupied zone. The children's homes became increasingly crowded as non-native Jew from all over France and other German occupied regions were sent to Vichy internment camps. The EIF also organized a number of youth communities in rural areas of the south. At the end of 1941, the EIF was forced to join the southern branch of the Union Generale des israelites de France (UGIF, Union of French Jews), a compulsory French Jewish council, later constituting its Fourth Section, which dealt with issues related to Jewish youth. Gamzon was appointed to UGIF council and the EIF hen handled issues related to the young. In March 1942, the Germans began large scale deportations of the Jewish population. In response, the EIF created a special underground unit called La Sixieme (The Sixth), which developed a rescue network for children and youth, placing them in hiding in safe homes or smuggling them out of France. They also forged identity papers for at risk Jews. In fall 1943, Germany occupied the south. EIF formed a resistance fighting unit called Compagnie Marc Haguenau, after the leader of La Sixieme who committed suicide when captured by the Gestapo. It participated in the liberation of southwestern France as part of the Organisation Juive de Combat (Jewish Fighting Organization). In the Tarn region, members of Companie Marc-Haguenau, under EIF founder Robert Gamzon, and members of Eclaireuses et Eclaireurs Unionistes de France, a Protestant division of the Scouts, under Robert Cook, formed the core of Maquis de Vabre. Also known as Corps franc de la liberation 10, they joined the French forces of the interior and American commandos to liberate Castres on August 20, 1944, capturing 4500 German soldiers. The war ended with Germany’s surrender in May 1945.

    During the war over 150 members of the EIF lost their lives, chiefly those involved in La Sixieme. The organization is credited with the rescue of several thousand Jews in France.

    Physical Details

    Classification
    Identifying Artifacts
    Category
    Badges
    Object Type
    Badges (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Pressed bronze insignia badge in a shield shape with sloping shoulders and a point at the bottom. There are cutouts on the left and right of the central emblem: 2 male Judean lions seated in front of 2 arched tablets representing the 10 Commandments. They sit shoulder to shoulder, heads turned in opposite directions, upon a platform set into the top of a furled banner with pointed tips that extend beyond the shield edge. On the left tip is the raised letter S and on the right, an F. A tied knot, symbol of the Scouts, overlays the banner and shield tip. A vertical safety-pin clasp is soldered to the back.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 1.625 inches (4.128 cm) | Width: 1.375 inches (3.493 cm) | Depth: 0.250 inches (0.635 cm)
    Materials
    overall : bronze

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The badge was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003 by Alain Morley.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-14 12:54:34
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn513621

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us