FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld  

 
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pages 53 and 54), together with the daily registers (examples: pages 66 and 84) and the original card files made at Drancy as prisoners arrived (examples of cards from the files: pages 11 and 1305). In addition, it received the card files of the two Loiret camps (Beaune-la-Rolande and Pithiviers) and the Paris Police Prefecture's card file of arrested Jewish families and individuals. The Ministry's collection of deportation lists includes those for 43 of the 52 deportation convoys dispatched before the arrival of Aloïs Brunner as commander of Drancy in June 1943. The exceptions are the very first list (for a combined convoy from Drancy and Compiègne) and the lists for the eight convoys dispatched from the Loiret camps. The Ministry used the Drancy card file to reconstruct some of its missing lists. (The Ministry also has a list of last-minute deportees whose names are not on the lists held by the CDJC.) The CDJC's collection of lists is of poorer quality, but more complete-it lacks only the lists for the first convoy and the two last large ones (convoys 76 and 77) from Drancy.

Comparisons between the lists from the Veterans Ministry and the CDJC, as well as other sources, were used to fill in gaps and to try to resolve discrepancies. This was especially the case with some lists made before July 1943, where deportees' names were struck out and replaced with other "last-minute" deportees or persons on "complementary lists." Files at the YIVO Institute in New York, the International Tracing Service of the Red Cross in Arolsen, Germany, and the Belgian Ministry of Public Health and Family in Brussels were particularly important to these efforts.

Three factors contributed to some errors and omissions in the 1978 Mémorial. First, some of the information recorded at the time of deportation was undoubtedly incorrect. Perhaps the clearest example is that of the lists of the Pithiviers camp, from which over 6,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz. There, French gendarmes, not Jewish internees, took down the information given by the deportees, many of whom were foreigners who had difficulties with pronunciation and spelling. Thus, inconsistencies and errors in names and birthplaces were recorded at the very beginning. Second, our reconstruction of the convoy lists used the actual carbon copies of the lists made at the time of deportation. We had only third, fourth, or fifth carbon copies made on tissue paper. Poor legibility was a constant and was responsible for some errors. And third, despite our best efforts, some errors crept in during the transcription process.

Members of our organization, the Sons and Daughters of Jews Deported from France (FFDJF), made a card for each entry from the original lists and retranscribed the names to create our lists for each convoy. Then a typist checked the accuracy of each list. (The process took about 35 hours per convoy – 2,500 hours in total.) This work was done by volunteers motivated by the best of intentions but not always familiar with the complexities of Eastern European Jewish names, and when combined with final transcription by a young French typist, errors were introduced.

This children's memorial book benefits from our continuing research over the nearly 20 years since the publication of the first memorial. During this time, we have been able to correct errors and to fill the gaps in the deportation lists. And, perhaps most impor […antly]
    
   

FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld

 
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