My name is Ruth, and I am 89 years old. I was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1923 and lived with my mother, father, maternal grandmother and maternal grandfather in Germany until 1939 when I was forced to flee Germany due to the Nazi persecution. I left on the Kinder Transport to England where I stayed for more than a year until I was able to rejoin my mother in the United States. On both sides of my family lives were lost or totally disrupted and all of our real and personal property was stolen as a result of Nazi persecution in Germany and those that assisted them and collaborated with them in other countries including France. Continue Reading
Raymonde’s parents, Abraham and Elka, and his brother, Jacques-Isaac, were arrested and interned at Drancy. On Novemeber 20, 1943, the three were placed on SNCF Convoy No. 62 and transferred to Auschwitz.
Selma was born in Cologne, Germany but her family emigrated to Antwerp, Belgium in 1925. She married her husband Simon in 1939 and moved to Amsterdam. In 1942, Selma fled Amsterdam. She died her hair blond and took a boat to Rotterdam and then a train to Antwerp, then on to Lyon. In 1944, Elsa, Selma’s sister, and Simon were arrested in Chambery. Elsa was sent to Drancy and Simon was sent to Auschwitz on SNCF Convoys.
Sonja’s aunt Martha and great grandparents Leopold and Julchen were arrested and deported to Gurs on October 22, 1940. Leopold was 90 at the time and died there. On August 17, 1942, Martha was taken to Drancy and then Auschwitz on SNCF Convoys. She died in Auschwitz on September 14, 1942. On October 5, 1942, Julchen was taken to Drancy and onto Auschwitz on SNCF Convoys. Martha wrote a letter to the family describing their experience:
Simon’s father, Pinchos, was arrested in Brives La Gaillarde, France. Simon was 5 years old at the time and the arresting officer quietly warned his mother that the officers were planning to return to arrest her and her son. Simon and his mother ran and Simon was hidden with a family in the village of Bizanos, Basses Pyrennes, France. His mother hid nearby in the town of Pau. Both stayed hidden until the end of the war. Pinchos was sent to a camp in Egletons, France. He was transferred to Drancy and finally to Auschwitz on SNCF Convoy No. 24. He died in the camp.
Therese emigrated from Warsaw to Brussels as a young girl. In 1939, she married Simon, and war broke out in 1940. While Therese was pregnant with her son, she, her parents, and her husband fled to the south of France where she gave birth. The family lived in the small town of Revel along with a number of other Jewish refugees. The mayor of the town told the refugees there was not enough food and that they would be transferred to other accommodations in Midi.
In 1939, Al’s father Alexander was mobilized by the French Army to serve as a soldier without arms (Prestateur). After the armistice with the Nazis, he was interned in Drancy. In 1941, he was transferred to Gurs and in 1942 to Rivesaltes. In August 1942, Alexander was placed on an SNCF Convoy and transported to Auschwitz. In Marseilles, the prisoners had to change trains and Alexander used the opportunity to escape.
Ellen’s mother Sidonia, aka Toni, was born in Germany and moved to Paris in 1939. She was arrested on July 15, 1942 at her home and taken to Drancy. On July 29, 1942 she was deported on SNCF Convoy No. 12 bound for Auschwitz. Due to her medical condition, Ellen was taken immediately to the gas chambers upon arriving at the camp.
Ernest’s parents Jonas and Helen were transferred on September 13, 1942 from Camp Rivesaltes to Drancy. On September 16, they were placed on SNCF Convoy No. 33 and sent to Auschwitz.
Lily’s father Benjamin was born in Poland and emigrated to France from Germany in 1924. Her mother Lea was born in Hersheim and immigrated to France with Benjamin after they married. Benjamin and Lea were arrested in Pont-a-Mousson, France on July 19, 1942 by the French police, witnessed by their four daughters.