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Oral history interview with Frank Dessayer

Oral History | Accession Number: 2011.295.1 | RG Number: RG-50.683.0001

Frank Dessayer (Dessauer), born in Frankfurt, Germany, discusses leaving Frankfurt in 1933 and moving to Paris, France; how, during the war, he fled to the Southern France with his wife and son; being in the French Army in Syria and Lebanon in the summer of 1940; the threat to his life because he was a German-born French naturalized citizen; living in Toulouse and then in Rabastens; being active in the resistance movement; having their family name changed to a more French-looking name in 1942; immigrating to the United States in 1949; his family history; the experiences of his Jewish family in Frankfurt in the 1930s; attempting to visit his parents in Germany in 1938 and escaping the German police; moving to Toulouse in 1941, where he bought and sold postage stamps; being detained by the police department for unwittingly selling false stamps; working with the French resistance in 1942; the deportation of his father from Germany; being sent to Paris and being detained in Valence; being part of a counter-intelligence unit in Paris as a Captain with the French Army after the liberation of France; being suspected as a German spy; the evacuation of Toulouse; killing a treasurer from the German Army in order to take his supplies and money and give it to the resistance; and being promoted.
Note that his memories of the Holocaust are recorded at the beginning of part 1 and parts 5-7.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Frank Dessayer
Mr. Alfred Dessayer
interview:  1974 November 28-1975 May 25
4 sound cassettes (60 min.).
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Alfred Dessayer