A report of February-March, from the Federation of
Jewish Organizations in France on "Round ups and Deportation of Foreign Jews,"
confirms the arrest of Jews between the ages of sixteen and sixty five in the
former Free Zone, their internment in the Gurs camp, and their shipment to
Drancy on February 26 and March 2: |
Beginning on Saturday, February 20, round
ups of Jews of foreign nationality were made throughout the former Free Zone.
Police stations were told to compile lists of persons to be taken either from
their home or their place of work.
The operations aimed at a certain
number of Jewish men of foreign nationality, between the ages of sixteen and
sixty-five, in each precinct. They were found either at liberty (registered
addresses or not) or in the reception centers of the Social Service for
Foreigners, or even in orphanages such as Château de la Hille in Haute
Garonne. Two contingents of one hundred persons were sent from the Noe and
Vernet camps directly to Gurs .
From all corners of the old
non-occupied zone persons arrested were sent as swiftly as possible to the camp
at Gurs. The total number of newcomers was far from enough, and so a
significant number of those already at Gurs had to be included.
DEPORTATION. The screening for the first deportation, on February 26, was more
rapid than careful. Everyone, as his name was called, was earmarked for
deportation right away, even the sick and infirm. The only nationalities
exempted were Hungarians and Turks. For the first time Belgians, Dutch,
Luxemburgers, and Greeks were included. The first convoy consisted of 975 men.
SECOND DEPORTATION. The second deportation took place on the night of
March 2-3. It numbered 770. Naturally it included a sizable number of former
army volunteers, men who had been wounded in action, and even some who had been
The number of deportees thus far was 1,745, but the required
number was 1,850. Consequently, the quota had to be filled en route. According
to some information I have not been able to verify, it appears that four
hundred persons who had been rounded up at Nexon were put on the train that
left Oloron on March 3. At any rate, it appears that the number of 1,850 was
Among the countless testimonies from
Jews as to their personal sufferings, we found one from a Hungarian interned at
Gurs that confirms the above report:
Deportations began in early February 1943.
A large number about 150 of guards suddenly appeared. They were assigned to the