From Paris to Bergen-Belsen 1944-1945 - Jacques Saurel
Jacques Saurel was born in Paris into a Jewish family that had recently emigrated from Poland. During the war, Jacques’ father was a prisoner-of-war, which for a time spared his family. However, in February 1944, Jacques, his brother, elder sister and mother were interned at Drancy for three months. They were deported with the status of “hostage” to Germany’s so-called “star camp” of Bergen-Belsen.
Thanks to the love and sacrifices of their mother, the children were able to survive the very harsh conditions prevailing there. With the arrival of prisoners from the camps of Eastern Europe, the Bergen-Belsen became just a place to die. In April 1945, Jacques and his family were evacuated aboard a “ghost train”.
Travelling aimlessly for two weeks, half of the 2,000 Jews in the convoy lost their lives. Struck down with typhus, Jacques and his sister made it back to Paris only on June 23, 1945.