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Odette J. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3217) interviewed by Josette Zarka and Henri Borlant

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3217

Videotape testimony of Odette J., who was born to Polish immigrants in Paris, France in 1923, the middle of three children. She recalls her close and happy family; centering their life on the Bund; attending Bund youth group (S.K.I.F.) camps and gatherings, including one in Brighton, England; aiding Polish refugees in La Rochelle; returning to Paris with her family in 1940; losing her citizenship in 1941; hiding with a non-Jewish neighbor during the July 1942 round-up, later with another family; moving to the unoccupied zone with Bund help; living with her brother in Lyon, Dax, Pau, Bordeaux, Salies de Béarn and Pujaut; assistance from many non-Jews; reunion with her mother and sister in Pau (her father remained in Paris); living with a Bund family in Lyon; obtaining false papers; traveling to Paris to help families in hiding; accompanying Jewish children to Annemasse to be smuggled into Switzerland; bringing her father to Lyon; moving to Grenoble; making false papers; staying in Toulouse; sending her brother to Switzerland; visiting her future husband in the Ardèche; their Maquis activities; she and her sister refusing to participate in armed resistance in Villeurbanne (they were not trained or adequately armed); liberation in Lyon; returning to Paris; reunion with her family; their adopting a baby whose mother had been killed; and marriage in June 1946. Mrs. J. attributes her rescue activities to her family, socialist, and Jewish values. She notes her continuing efforts to speak Yiddish.

J., Odette, 1923-
Paris, France : Témoignages pour mémoire, 1995
Interview Date
January 25, 1995.
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Odette J. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3217). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.