of huts in which were penned internees from
other camps, especially from the one at Nexon. The deportation was to include
all men of German, Polish, Austrian, and Czech nationality up to the age of
sixty five. At that time I was sixty-four years, nine and a half months old;
but fortunately I was able, on the strength of my birth certificate, to pass
myself off as Hungarian, and in the general confusion the details were never
Among the deportees was a large number of Poles and Czechs
who had fought in the French army or in the Foreign Legion. These too were
handed over to the Germans. The fellow in the bed next to mine, a German rabbi,
Dr. Rosenwasser, was to be sixty-five in six days, but he was deported just the
The deportations went on for two days. Two guards came after each
of the "called" and forced him to pack in five minutes, so impossible a task
that many possessions were left behind.
The internees destined for
deportation were taken under heavy guard to Block E, each carrying his
belongings. Those who were allowed to remain in the hell of Gurs were envied by
the deportees as the luckiest of men. All through the night you could hear
women weeping in despair, for many had not had time even to say good by to
their sons and husbands. Several could not find out whether their husbands had
been deported. My wife did not sleep a wink for two nights for fear that I had
On the day after the deportations the women were allowed
to visit our block, and their shrieks and moans when they saw their husbands'
beds empty were frightful.
What happened to the two thousand
male Jews of foreign nationality, or of no nationality at all, who were shipped
from Gurs to Drancy on February 26 and March 2? The CDJC had a list of deported
Jews, itemized by convoy, from which it can be determined that Convoys Nos. 50
and 51 contained only Jewish men aged sixteen to sixty five and of foreign
nationality or stateless. Convoy 51 contained 1,002 Jews, Convoy 50, 1,000.
Among the deportees were many intellectuals, such as law professor Georges
Himmelochein; lawyers David Isserman, Eugene Himmeler, Julien Frisman, and
Erich Danziger; painters Jerzy Aszer, André Basch, Charles Beran, Zalter
Fraenkel, Otto Freudlich, and Maurice Hambourg; stage director Paul Haag;
writers Bmno Altmann and Lionel Dunin; Rabbi Salomon Goldhirsch all from
The Auschwitz archives (ZO. No. 4, pp. 81, 82) record the fate
of Convoys 50 and 51. As soon as they arrived on March 6 and 8, all the men in
them were gassed.