FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld  

 
Previous Page Back  Contents  Contents Page 67 Home Page Home Page  Forward Next Page 
     
division of France into Occupied and Unoccupied Zones, although they remain for some administrative reasons and are now known as the Northern and Southern Zones. However, the Vichy government continues to claim authority throughout France in all except security matters.

November 23, 1942. A Nazi army of 22 divisions is encircled on the Volga River at Stalingrad by a counterattacking Soviet army. Ordered by Hitler to fight to the last man, the Germans are besieged and the Stalingrad battle becomes a symbol of resistance and a portent of eventual Nazi defeat. The remnants of the Nazis' Stalingrad army – 90,000 men –surrender on January 31, 1943.

November 27, 1942. Threatened with seizure by German forces completing their occupation of France, the French fleet scuttles itself in the harbor of Toulon. Among the ships sent to the bottom are 10 cruisers, 28 destroyers, and 14 submarines.

December 31, 1942. By the end of 1942, 41,951 Jews have been deported from France in 43 convoys to the extermination camp of Auschwitz. Of this total, 24,361 are put to death in the gas chambers immediately upon arrival in the camp, and 11,565 men and5,962 women are selected for work. At the war's end in 1945, 784 men and 21 women deported in 1942 survive.

1943
January 5, 1943. André Baur, vice president of the UGIF, writes to the CGQJ in response to its request for information on the children's centers operated by the UGIF:
The number of beds which we have available in various homes has grown to 414, of which 386 are presently occupied. We are obliged to keep a certain number of beds free to be able to receive children who are continually being sent to us, either by prefectures outside Paris or by internment camps, and whom we must accept from one day to the next.

As a result we are setting up family placements, which will permit us only to make room in our homes.

Family placements (both official and clandestine) are arranged by the UGIF's Service Number 5 and make it possible to remove many children from the UGIF centers, where they are in danger. Most of these children had been arrested prior to coming under UGIF care, and if the UGIF centers did not exist they would have remained in Drancy and would have been deported. Many children helped by the UGIF never even enter a UGIF center – there were only seven, whose total capacity never exceeded 400 beds – but are "placed" with families immediately, without leaving a trace. On January 5, 386 beds are occupied, but by August 2 the number is down to 166. Forty-two children will be arrested in the centers during roundups on February 10-11, 1943, but others will be spirited away, thanks to family placements speeded in response to the roundups.

January 21, 1943. Knochen cables Eichmann from the Gestapo's Jewish Affairs Department in Paris to ask whether transportation can be provided for deportation of 1,200 Jews currently held at Drancy. He notes that the Drancy roster totals 3,811 Jews, but that 2,159 of them are French citizens. Can the French Jews now be deported? Knochen asks. (In fact, French Jews already have been
 

   
   

FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld

 
Previous Page  Back Page 67 Forward  Next Page