reveal evidence left in the social assistance
dossiers by the maneuvers cited above-as an inquiry of the same kind against
the Jews Rabinovitch (Legal Service) and Averbouh (OSE, Champs Elysées
office) would perhaps reveal the origin of the resources permitting the secret
functioning, at least of OSE as it is reconstituted. . . . |
1943. Röthke informs the Paris prefect of police that the SS will take
direct control of Drancy on July 2 at noon. The prefect writes Jean Leguay that
all police and other French personnel will be withdrawn from the camp. The new
Drancy commandant is SS Captain Aloïs Brunner, known for his hatred of
Jews. He has been sent by Eichmann to help Röthke and to speed the arrest
and deportation of Jews from France. Brunner continues to use Jewish prisoners
for the internal administration and operation of Drancy.
1943. The UGIF secretariat informs directors of its children's homes in the
Paris region that "the German authorities urgently demand the complete list of
children presently in our centers, whether previously arrested or not...."
Brunner also demands the names of all elderly and sick persons in UGIF care.
There are 374 children in UGIF homes, 519 elderly people and 262 persons listed
as sick in the UGIF, Rothschild, and other institutions.
2, 1943. Jews who are patients in Paris area psychiatric hospitals are
tracked down by Brunner and seized. A woman who is described as "violently
insane" is chloroformed on Brunner's orders and is carried onto
convoy 59 at the Paris-Bobigny station. Her
awakening in a cattle car filled with deportees cannot be imagined.
September 8, 1943. General Eisenhower announces that Italy has
signed an armistice with the Allies. A new Italian government, formed by
Marshal Pietro Badoglio following the overthrow of Mussolini in July, will
withdraw from the war. German police and soldiers immediately block all roads
and rail lines from Nice and the other population centers of the Italian Zone,
trapping an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 Jews.
September 10, 1943.
Brunner arrives in Nice with a special SS commando detailed to hunt down Jews.
Unable to count on help from either French police or documents identifying Jews
never introduced in the Italian Zone Brunner and his team begin a
systematic search for Jews in hotels, apartment buildings, markets, and on the
streets. The Germans make suspected Jewish men and boys show their penises; all
who are circumcised are arrested immediately. Assisted by the Milice and paid
informers, Brunner and his group capture 1,800 Jews in Nice and the surrounding
region, but the hunt is not an overwhelming success. Their prisoners are
treated brutally and tortured for information on the whereabouts of family
members, and this brutality leads some members of the public to help hunted
Jews when they can.
October 20, 1943. In Marseilles, the La
Verdière Center is surrounded by the Gestapo. It had been opened on May
24 by the UGIF on instructions of the Marseilles Gestapo to shelter previously
arrested women and children. Refuge has been found for children who are alone,
but 9 mothers and 28 children are arrested at the center on October 20. Alice
Salomon, the center's director, volunteers to join the group to be with the
children until the end. They are deported on convoy 61 of October 28,