NapoleonNo. 3589-

Imperial Decree concerning the Jews who don’t have a surname and a fixed first name

At Baionne, the 20th July 1808

Napoleon, Emperor of France, King of Italy, and Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine;

On the advice of our Interior Minister, our Counsel of State has heard-

We have decreed the following-

Art. 1 Those subjects of our Empire who follow the Hebrew religion, and who, up to the present, do not have family names and fixed first names, will have to adopt one within 3 months of the publication of our decree, and must make the declaration in the presence of an officer of the civil state of the commune where they are living.

Art. 2 The foreign Jews who have come to live in the Empire and who, in the case already observed by Art 1, must conform to the same formality within 3 months of their arrival in France.

Art 3 There is necessity to admit as family names neither any name taken from the Old Testament nor any name of a city. In order to be taken as first names, those are authorized by the law of the 11th Germinal [7th month of the French Revolutionary Calendar] in the year XI.

Art 4 The local councils, in making the summary of Jews of their community, will make the verification and to make known to the authorities that they have individually fulfilled the conditions proscribed by the preceding articles.

They will equally have the surveillance and to make known to the authority of these Jews in their community that they must change their names in order to conform to the dispositions of the aforesaid law of the 11th Germinal year XI.

Art 5 Excepting for the arrangements of our present decree, the Jews of our States or the foreign Jews who would like to come here to establish themselves, when they will have surnames and known first names that they are continually bearing, again that those surnames or first names will be taken from the Old Testament or the names of the cities in which they are inhabitants.

Art 6 The Jews mentioned in the preceding article and those who want to conserve their names and prenames, will more or less make that clear in the declaration as known; the Jews of our States, in front of the mayor of the commune where they are domiciled, and the foreign Jews, in front of those where they propose to make their domicile, all in the timeframe decreed by Article 1.

Art 7 The Jews who have not made the formalities proscribed by this present decree, within the timeframe proscribed by the present decree, will be sent away from the territory of the Empire. In regard to those who, in certain public private acts, have changed their names arbitrarily and in order to conform to the dispositions of the law of the 11th Germinal, they will be punished according to the law, and the same communes like traitors, following the requirements of the case.

Art 8 Our grand judge, the Minister of Justice, and our Ministers of interior and cults, are charged, each in which he is concerned, with the execution of the present decree.

Signed, Napoleon

By the Emperor

The Minister, the Secretary of State, signed, Hugues B. Maret.