FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld  

 
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EDITORS' NOTES
My father, who was born in 1924, used to tell me of seeing Civil War veterans march in first Memorial Day parades; through his wonder at such scenes he conveyed a sense of the nearness of events gone by. From my mother I absorbed a certainty that we would have been Hitler's next victims, snatched from our seemingly safe American town, if the Allies had not won the war in Europe. Thus, when I met Serge Klarsfeld in the early 1980s and had the opportunity to work with him on the Memorial to the Jews Deported from France, the book that names all of the 75,700 Jews deported from that country, I felt that he was preserving documents about my people and my time. My child was born on September 30, 1982; if time folded back four decades it would have been September 30, 1942, the day that the 39th convoy deported Jews from France. The youngest person on that Auschwitz-bound train, from which no one survived, was Jacob Stolak, born on May 5, 1928, in Pultsuk, Poland. So we took his name for our own son, not as a comfort, but as a connection. I hope that readers will make their own connections to the past through this book.

Susan Cohen
Le Mémorial des Enfants Juifs Déportés de France came into my hands in November 1994, three weeks after I returned from a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the revolt of Auschwitz crematoria workers. In the Birkenau section of Auschwitz, standing in a cold rain on the steps leading down into the ruins of gas chamber-crematorium III, I thought of the Jewish family whose home I had shared in Paris after the war, and of their young daughter, who was taken down these steps or those leading to one of the other Birkenau death chambers. Holding the book in New York three weeks later, I knew immediately that I wanted to help prepare an edition in English. My year's work on French Children of the Holocaust: A Memorial is in memory of Juliette Mowszowicz, 13, deported on convoy 59 from the Paris-Bobigny station on September 2, 1943, to be murdered and cremated in Auschwitz two days later.
Howard M. Epstein
 
 
   

FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld

 
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