Moroccan Jews: The Fez Pogrom (April 1912)

Frz Pogrom
Figure 1.--Arab soldiers and civilisn mob attacked the mellah (Jewish quater) of Fez following the establishment of the French protectorate (April 1912). Here are Jews of Fez amid the ruinsd of the mellah.

After the Sultan acquiesed to French and Spanish occupation (March 30, 1912), his troops in Fez revolted Appril 17). They were unable seize the European quarter which was protected by well-armed French troops. The soldiers and a civilan mob accompanied them entered the undefended Jewish mellah. The Jews were seen as foreigners and unable to attackthe French. The Jews in the mellah offered a convenient and potentiually lucrative target. The Moroocan soldiers and mob proceeded to pillage it. The French had previously confiscated all the weapons they could find in Fez, including the mellah. Rather than enter the mellah and drive off the Moroccans, the French to avoid potentially costly street fighting prceeded to bombsard the mellah with missiles and artillery. This intensified the initial damage of the Moroccans, destroying houses. The ensuing fires wshich broke out caused further damage. Jews abandoned the mellah which was further pillaged, Tere wrere 3 days of fiughting and pillage. At the end, 51 Jews had been killed and 72 wounded. French soldies had comparable losses. Moroccan soldiers and civilians suffered about 1,000 killed or wounded. A third of the mellah was destroyed, and 12,000 Jews were left homeless. The Fez Pogrom and other violent incidents caused Moroccan Jews to increasingly fear the Muslim majority.


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Created: 11:55 PM 8/6/2009
Last updated: 11:55 PM 8/6/2009