1943 French Compulsory Labor Service Census Certificate
In one of the letters Marcel mailed from Berlin, he mentioned having to show his papers to the German police. My guess is that he showed them his arbeitskarte (worker card) which likely included his photo and listed basic biographic information. The arbeitskarte might have also been inked with his fingerprints.
I found this card — a Service du Travail Obligatoire (Compulsory Labor Service) Census Certificate — which I presume was used well before a worker was sent to Germany. This is just a guess, but I speculate this registration card was accompanied by some record that identified one’s skills — skills the Germans might have assessed to identify who they wanted to work for them.
The card reads:
Office of the Compulsory Labor Service
Certificate of Census
M. Tesniere, Jacques
Domiciled in Caen
Hamlet or place: [line blank]
Has fulfilled the obligations of the law of February 1943, with regard to the census of manpower.
Census Bulletin no.997
25 Feb 1943
The mayor, [signature stamp]
[Stamp of the Mayor]
Do you know anything more about this type of census card? If so, get in touch. I’m curious!