FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld  

 
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Monique (11), Raymond (9), Albert (7), Salomon (6), and Jacques (4); and Salomon and Clara (40) Sephira and their seven children, Albert (17), Maurice (I1), Esther (14), Jacques (9), Béatrice (7), Elie (5), and Françoise (3). Mothers alone with their children included Esther Schenkel and her five children, Cécile (14), Isaac (12), Jacques (10), Maurice (9), and Alfred (7); and Madeleine Akar, who also had five children, Jeanne (13), Lise (10), Hélène (7), Jean (3), and Françoise (1).

Edith Klebinder, one of the survivors, has given this account of the children of Izieu and their escorts:
When we arrived at the station in Birkenau on the evening of April 15th, we all descended from the trains. An S.S. who was standing there asked if any of us spoke both French and German. I said I did, because I was an Austrian living in France and spoke both languages. The S.S. told me to ask all the women how old they were, especially those from the last three cars. So I was the interpreter; asking all the women from the last three cars how old they were. That's when I realized that there was a group of some thirty children in the rear car, accompanied by several women. These were not children with their families, but a group of children traveling with escorts. The S.S. told me to ask the escorts if they were the children's parents. They all replied, "No, but we are almost their adoptive mothers." I translated that sentence into German, and the S.S. told me to ask the women if they wanted to remain with the children. So I asked, "Do you want to stay with these children?" They replied: "Of course." Then the S.S. told them to board the trucks with the children, adding, "You'll get there faster" All these people got onto the trucks, and I never saw them again.
Convoy 72, April 29, 1944 (Drancy)

Convoy 72 deported 178 children, 81 boys and 97 girls. The total of 1,004 deportees were taken from all around the country. Many – 49 among the children alone – had been interned at Vittel, in eastern France: Polish Jews with honorary South American passports, they had been transferred by the Nazis to Vittel from Warsaw, before being sent, via Drancy, back to the East, to Auschwitz.

Convoy 73, May 15, 1944 (Drancy)

Convoy 73 was made up totally of men, of an age indicating that they had been selected for forced labor. Of 878 deportees, there were 38 young men under 18; the youngest was not yet 12. The convoy went to Kovno/Kaunas in Lithuania, where some of the men were removed and killed, and then to Reval/Tallin in Estonia. We know from survivor accounts that there were some forced labor brigades, but that many of the deportees were taken into the forests at both places and executed. Seventeen men survived, including two youngsters, Guy Sarner and Henri Zajdenwerger.

Convoy 74, May 20, 1944 (Drancy)

Convoy 74 deported 190 children under 18, 94 boys and 96 girls. Twelve were babies born in 1943; two were babies born in 1944. The 1,200 deportees came from all over France.

Included in this convoy: Louise Baach and her children René (3) and Michel (2); Louise Behar (35) and her children, Albert (8) and Josepp (7); Liba Bielski (3) and her children, Anna (7) and Alain (2); Marianne Binnes (34) with children Denise (8) and Liliane (6); René Fresco and her three boys, David (13),
    
   

FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld

 
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