Memories of deportation Written May-June, 1945 - Maurice Szmidt
At the time of the German invasion, Maurice Szmidt and his family fled from Belgium and took refuge in the Hérault department of southern France. With the help of refugee support organizations, Maurice attended the agriculture school at La Roche. He was arrested there during the police raid of the southern zone in August 1942. Interned in the Casseneuil camp (Lot-et-Garonne), he was transferred to Drancy prior to deportation in Convoy N°30. At a stop in Cosel, Maurice was selected for forced labour. He was just 17 and this was the beginning of brutal journey lasting 32 months to six different concentration camps: Johannisdorf, Kochanowitz, Borsigwerk, Blechhammer, then at the end of a “death march“ of 250 km, Gross-Rosen and finally Buchenwald.
At the Liberation, Maurice returned to his family in Lyon and wrote this poignant account.