French Children

Question

I am doing a project for my French class about the children in the Holocaust, mainly about the children in France. If not in France then anywhere else. I was wondering if you would have this sort of information, pictures, documents etc. If so I'd be happy to receive this.

Harry W. Mazal answers:

I am one of the persons who responds to questions addressed to The Holocaust History Project.

The treatment of French Jewish children by the Nazis was fully documented by the perpetrators of this dreadful crime. The documents that led to the murder of over 11,400 French Jewish children, the names and ages of every child, and the photographs of 2500 of them can be viewed in:

French Children of the Holocaust:
A Memorial

Klarsfeld, Serge
c. 1996, New York University Press
ISBN 0-8147-2662-3

This huge book (1881 pages) is probably available in any major library or may be obtained through the interlibrary loan process. I will only quote one or two paragraphs from the first chapter:

In all, the Germans deported more than 75,700 Jews from France, transporting most of them to Auschwitz in convoys of freight cars, each carrying an average of a thousand people. Only 2,564 deportees are known to have survived the war. Including the Jews who died of malnutrition and disease in French camps, there were 80,000 victims of the Final Solution in France. This was approximately one quarter of the 325,000 Jews who were estimated to be living in France at the start of the war.

There were 11,174 children on the 75 major deportation convoys that were dispatched from France to Auschwitz and the other Nazi death camps in the East. To this number must be added 228 children from the Departments of the Nord and the Pas-de-Calais, who were deported through Belgium, for a total of 11,402 children deported from France. In addition, 85 children are known to have died of disease or malnutrition in French camps, and 31 children, some as young as 15 -- one was only 14 years- old -- were shot by the Germans, a few while attempting to escape and the rest by firing squads. Very few of the 11,402 children who were deported, perhaps 300 of them, survived the war.

I hope that this information will serve as a base for further study.

Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal OBE

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