Synagogue in German-occupied Bydgoszcz, Poland, 1939. The inscription reads: "This city is free of Jews"
German map showing the number of Jewish executions carried out by Einsatzgruppe A in: Estonia (declared judenfrei), Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, and Russia
Advertisement for a café in Tübingen, describing itself as judenfrei.

Judenfrei (German: [ˈjuːdn̩ˌfʁaɪ], "free of Jews") and judenrein (German: [ˈjuːdn̩ˌʁaɪn], "clean of Jews") are Nazi terms to designate an area that was "cleansed" of Jews during The Holocaust.[1]

While judenfrei referred merely to "freeing" an area of all of its Jewish inhabitants, the term judenrein (literally "clean of Jews") was also used. This had the stronger connotation that any trace of Jewish blood had been removed as an impurity.[2]

Locations declared judenfreiEdit

Establishments, villages, cities, and regions were declared judenfrei or judenrein after they were cleansed of Jews.

Modern usageEdit

Israeli–Palestinian conflictEdit

In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a fear among many Israelis which has been reflected by Israeli government officials such as Benjamin Netanyahu[18] is that the proposed removal of Israeli Jewish settlements in the West Bank according to the wishes of Palestinian officials is tantamount to rendering these areas judenrein, or clean of Jews.

On July 9, 2009, Benjamin Netanyahu, in a discussion with the German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is reported to have said, using the Israeli terms of the area, "Judea and Samaria cannot be judenrein."[19]

In 1952 Pesach Lev, first mayor of Lod after it was resettled by Israelis, said that Lod was transformed from "a neglected Arab town that was judenrein to a 'Hebraic city'".[citation needed]

Islamic worldEdit

The depopulation of the Jewish communities from Arab and Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa has also been described as part of an effort to make them judenrein or judenfrei. Libya, Algeria, and Sudan are believed to have no remaining Jewish population, while Afghanistan has a single Jew, Zablon Simintov.[20][21] Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Tunisia have also seen huge declines in Jewish population.

Dr. Peter Schotten wrote on the matter, saying "Arab states responded ruthlessly to the lost war and to the newly displaced Arab refugees by undertaking systematic and bold oppressive measures against their Jewish citizens. Their citizenship was stripped, arrests and detentions took place, religious restrictions were imposed, freedom of movement was curtailed, assets were frozen and property seized, employment opportunities were closed off and Zionism was criminalized."[22] Lyn Julius wrote in the Jewish Journal, "Only three years after the end of World War II, the members of the Arab League were bent on emulating the Nazis. They set about making the Arab Middle East judenrein (free of Jews). They applied Nuremberg-style laws, criminalizing Zionism, freezing Jewish bank accounts, instituting quotas, imposing restrictions on jobs and movement. The result was the mass exodus and spoliation of a million Jews."[23]

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman had said in 2017 that just as the Palestinians want a judenrein Palestine, Israel will get rid of its Arabs.[24]


  1. ^ Scheffler, Wolfgang (2007). "Judenrein". Encyclopaedia Judaica (2 ed.). Thomson Gale.
  2. ^ "Aryanization: Judenrein & Judenfrei". shoaheducation.com.
  3. ^ "'Gelnhausen endlich judenfrei': Zur Geschichte der Juden während der Nationalsozialistischen Verfolgung" ['Gelnhausen finally free of Jews': On the History of the Jews during the Nazi persecution] (PDF) (in German). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2007.
  4. ^ Blumenkranz, Bernhard; Catane, Moshe (2007). "Alsace". Encyclopaedia Judaica (2 ed.). Thomson Gale.
  5. ^ Drndić, Daša (2009). April u Berlinu. Fraktura. p. 24. ISBN 978-953-266-095-1. Njemački list Völkische Beobachter objavio je 19. kolovoza 1941. da je Banat konačno Juden frei.
  6. ^ Muth, Thorsten (2009). Das Judentum: Geschichte und Kultur. Pressel. p. 452. ISBN 978-3-937950-28-0. Am 20. August konnte die deutsche Führung das Banat für Judenfrei" erklären.
  7. ^ "Commémoration de la Shoah au Luxembourg" [Commemoration of the Shoah in Luxembourg] (in French). Government of Luxembourg. July 3, 2005. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007.
  8. ^ "Extract from Report by Einsatzgruppe A". Archived from the original on November 12, 2007. Partial Translation of Document 2273-PS Source: Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Vol. IV. USGPO, Washington, 1946, pp. 944–949
  9. ^ "Estonian Jews". Simon Wiesenthal Center. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. sourced to Encyclopedia of the Holocaust. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 1990.
  10. ^ Subotić, Jelena (2019). Yellow Star, Red Star: Holocaust Remembrance after Communism. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-50174-241-5.
  11. ^ Jewish History of Yugoslavia, porges.net; accessed 5 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Povijest Židova Jugoslavije" (in French). Porges.net. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  13. ^ Lituchy, Barry M. Jasenovac and the Holocaust in Yugoslavia: analyses and survivor testimonies. Jasenovac Research Institute. pp. xxxiii. ISBN 978-0-97534-320-3.
  14. ^ Manoschek, Walter (1995). "Serbien ist judenfrei": militärische Besatzungspolitik und Judenvernichtung in Serbien 1941/42. Walter de Gruyter. p. 184. ISBN 9783486561371.
  15. ^ Lebel, G'eni (2007). Until "the Final Solution": The Jews in Belgrade 1521 - 1942. Avotaynu. p. 329. ISBN 9781886223332.
  16. ^ Herbert, Ulrich; Schildt, Axel (1998). Kriegsende in Europa. Klartext. p. 149. ISBN 9783884745113.
  17. ^ "Was war am 19. Mai 1943" [What was on May 19, 1943] (in German). chroniknet.
  18. ^ Dan Williams (July 9, 2009). "Judenrein! Israel adopts Nazi term to back settlers". Reuters.
  19. ^ "German FM: Settlements Remain Obstacle to Peace; Frank-Walter Steinmeier says is encouraged by Israel's acceptance of a two-state solution". Haaretz. Reuters and DPA. July 9, 2009.
  20. ^ "Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org.
  21. ^ "Home, for Algeria's Jews, is elsewhere". OpenGlobalRights.
  22. ^ "The Great Escape: How and Why Most Arab States Became Judenfrei - jewishideas.org". www.jewishideas.org.
  23. ^ says, Carol denbo (February 8, 2018). "Arab anti-Semitism, and the Nazis".
  24. ^ Feldman, Avigdor (February 23, 2017). "Opinion Like a Giant Bug, the Term Judenrein Emerges" – via Haaretz.