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.
Nicolas Roth was one of the 440,000 Jews who were deported in 1944 from Hungary in just two months. He gives us here a richly detailed account of the fate of the Jewish community of Debrecen. After the German invasion in 1944, the Jews were confined to ghettos and then transported en masse to the death-camps. Deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, Nicolas Roth managed to survive despite the harsh work to which he was subjected.
Andrée Salomon (1908-1985) was one of the great figures in the Jewish Resistance in France. She was responsible for social welfare in the OSE. She organized the saving of children from the internment camps in the southern zone, who were placed in the houses of the OSE, then kept in hiding with false identities to enable them to evade deportation.
If the death camp of Treblinka is now sadly famous, the labour camp which preceded it (Treblinka I) is much less known. Mieczyslaw Chodzko’s story is one of the rare eyewitness accounts about that camp. Mieczyslaw Chodzko was born in Lodz in 1930. Rounded up in the Falenica ghetto, he was deported to Treblinka and transferred on arrival to the labour camp.
In September 1940, Eva Golgevit joined the Solidarity group, Jewish section of the Communist resistance movement MOI (Main-d’Oeuvre Immigrée). She was arrested, imprisoned and deported, like the majority of her network, in Convoy N°58, July 31, 1943. On arrival at Auschwitz, she was interned in Block 10, reserved for "medical experiments".
Charles Mitzer was a young soldier at the time of the French defeat in 1940. Returning to civilian life, he worked in Grenoble as a radio-electrician and put his skills at the disposition of the Resistance. After the German invasion of the Occupation zone administered by the Italians, he was arrested in February 1944 when he was on his way to join the underground and bring his woman companion to safety. Charles and his young brother were deported in Convoy N°69.
Fleeing the Parisian region during the exodus, the Goltman family found refuge in the Allier department of central France. There Pierre and his father were denounced and arrested as accomplices of the local Resistance. It was as Jews that they were transferred to the camp of Drancy, then deported in the convoy of June 30, 1944.