Szyja Opatowski, nicknamed Samy, was 17 when the German troops invaded Poland in September 1939. For this young Jew, a long fight for survival began, a struggle at every moment to escape extermination. From April 1940, Samy was deported to Belzec, then a labour camp at the frontier of the Soviet Union. There, his analytical skills, his resourcefulness and extraordinary instinct enabled him to get out, without compromise.
This work presents the effort of a man to ensure that tribute be paid to the memory of those who gave a reprieve on life to the child he was and to his family, saving them from the death programmed for all Jews by the Nazis. Jean Henrion, with lucidity and intelligence, presents the fruit of seven years of research which led to distinguishing four "Righteous among the Nations": Pierre Fouchier, Jacques Ellul, Hélène Schweitzer (Rosenberg) and Edith Cerezuelle.
This work brings together several eyewitness accounts, including that of Maximilian Trenner, interpreter in charge of relations with the Germans, and that of Georges Krief, a young lawyer. It presents the stories of labour camps such as that of Bizerte, run directly by the SS, and those dependent on the Italian Army. The fate of the Jews of Sousse and Sfax is also described.
Arrested with her parents March 31, 1944 in a village of the southwest department of Corrèze, Odette Spingam was taken to the barracks of Périgueux, then the transit camp of Drancy, before being deported to the extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where her mother perished.
Thanks to the clandestine network which he set up inside the Organisation to Save the Children - OSE (Oeuvre de secours aux enfants), Georges Garel saved many Jewish children pursued by the Nazis and their collaborators. This republication of his war memoirs presents to the reader a reference document, a detailed examination of this exceptional action.
Henri, born in Demblin in 1933, witnessed the Nazi invasion, the persecutions, the first deportation of the Jews of his town which included his sister and brother, the Warsaw Ghetto, then the disappearance of his father and the second deportation which he narrowly escaped. But he did not escape the Demblin labour camp, that of Czestochowa to which he was deported with his grandfather, and the concentration camp at Buchenwald.
These 80 letters, for the most part clandestine, were written by Dr Zacharie Mass to his wife Elisabeth from October 16, 1941 to July 31, 1943. They shed light on the organisation of the Drancy camp, illustrate the terrible conditions of internment and enable us to grasp from the inside the evolution of what was, for the Jews of France "the antechamber of death". (Only available in French)
Colette Tcherkawsky is one of 77 children of French Jewish prisoners of war who were deported from France to be used by the Nazis as bargaining-counters. If her father was protected by the Geneva conventions, the rest of the family were not spared the anti-Semitic persecutions and Nazi barbarity.
For over 25 years, Sarah Lichtsztejn-Montard has tirelessly recounted what she endured during the Second World War. How she and her mother escaped from the Vél’ d’Hiv’ after the round-up on July 16th, 1942, and how they were reported in May 1944, thrusting them into the maelstrom of Nazi torment.
In more senses than one, Elisabeth Kasza was indeed a nomad. During the war she was deported and sent from one concentration camp to another. She then had to go into exile to flee the Communist dictatorship. After becoming an actress, she travelled within herself, from character to character.