A childhood as a hostage "The Marshal’s Protégé" at Bergen-Belsen - Colette Tcherkawsky
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.
Colette was thus arrested with her mother and brother in the police roundup of Jews in Rouen in January 1943. Interned in the Drancy camp for 14 months, they also spent time in that of Beaune-la-Rolande.
May 2, 1944, they were deported to the "star camp" of Bergen-Belsen, when Colette was just 12. She and her mother managed to survive, an exceptional situation in the history of the deportation of Jews since the fate of most deported children was the gas chambers and death.