FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld  

 
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On March 31, 1942, Jacques (Zyskind) ARBIZER, a 19-year-old Jewish member of the Resistance, was shot by the Germans at Mont-Valérien. He was engaged to Hélène JAKUBOWICZ, age 17, and wrote her a farewell letter: Little Hélène, I am laughing as I write these lines because you must be making funny faces. You didn't expect your little hero to finish so gloriously. One end is like another, and if we have to die, let's die bravely. My dear, so here you are a widow at 17. It's very sad for you. Little Hélène, to speak frankly to you so that you'll not mourn for too long, 1 am going to tell you that I never took our little love story seriously and I still wonder if I love you and I think I love you only as a friend. So you see, I lied to you all along, and everything that happens to me I shall have deserved. 1 am nothing but a dirty liar. I don't want you to cry for me for 107 years because I am not worth it. I wonder what you will do now, because when you read this letter, I'll be crossed off the list of living people. I should have liked to write you some sweet words, my last ones, and I am only writing of things that will make you sad. Little Hélène, before bursting into tears, start by comforting Mother. It's all really too bad, because you'll never find a guy like me as a replacement because I have all the good qualities (without knocking myself). My pals are going to look glum when they read my name on the walls. Oh well, life is so strange, it always has surprises around the corner. In spite of everything, I don't regret having lived in these times, it is a very interesting period. When you have calmed down, you will find another decent fellow (not like me, of course, since those who are absent have all the virtues) but, anyway, fellows are never lacking and among them, choose one. Goodbye Hélène, say hello to all my friends.
But Hélène, who worked in the Resistance with her brother Maurice, was arrested in July 1942 in Troyes (Aube), where she had gone to take anti-Nazi leaflets. She was deported on September 23, 1942, on convoy 36.
   
   

FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld

 
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