FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld  

 
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These records were consulted in the departmental archives of Loiret, Indre-et-Loire, Gironde, Pyrénées-Orientates, Ariège, Haute-Garonne, Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-Maritimes, Marne, Saône-et-Loire, and Rhône.

7. The Drancy master file
The Drancy master file was seized by the investigating judge at our demand in connection with legal action against several Nazi war criminals.

8. Other archives seized by French courts
Various archives have been seized by the courts at our request, in connection with actions initiated in cases against German criminals, including Brunner, Modest von Korff, and Klaus Barbie; and French criminals, including Jean Leguay, René Bousquet's police representative in the Occupied Zone, and Bousquet himself.

One example was the research problem posed by convoy 77 of July 31, 1944, for which the original deportation list no longer existed. That convoy included the victims of the raids Brunner had directed at the UGIF centers for children in Paris from July 21-25, 1944, raids whose full toll I had been trying to reconstruct precisely. The Veterans Ministry had prepared a data processing list for the convoy, which was extremely helpful but incomplete. It had the names of those who died, but not of the 283 survivors. The missing evidence was finally found in the files of murdered deportees and the records of those who survived, seized by the investigating judge in connection with the action filed against Brunner in 1988 for crimes against humanity. A new investigation of charges against Brunner required evidence on his young victims. The investigating judge assigned to the case and the research section of the National Gendarmerie gave me access to documents that I had been trying to consult for a long time. As a result, in 1993 I was able to publish an almost definitive account of the personal history, origins, and the fate of each of the 250 children taken from the UGIF centers.

The archives of the Marne Department and lists of the region's deportees and their addresses were obtained because of the case we initiated against Modest von Korff, former Nazi police chief in the Champagne region. Von Korff had been headquartered at Chalons-sur-Marne. He was finally tried by the Bonn Circuit Court in 1988 and acquitted. It could not be proved that he knew the children he arrested would be killed.

Other documents, such as the deportation list for convoy 78 from Lyons on August 11, 1944, were released during the long Barbie affair. When Klaus Barbie, chief of the Gestapo in Lyons in 1943 and 1944, came to trial the legal case against him was based heavily on the deaths of the 44 children seized on his orders in a home in the village of Izieu. As the result of a multi-country investigation, we found a plaintiff to act on behalf of each child. We reconstructed the personal history of each child and the painful voyage which brought him or her to Izieu, and we found a photograph of nearly every one of them. The Barbie case gave us access to the secret military justice archives on German war criminals. We also obtained access to the
    
   

FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld

 
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