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Oral history interview with Renée Mayer-Astruc

Oral History | Accession Number: 2012.36 | RG Number: RG-50.685.0001

Renée Mayer-Astruc (née Zélia Renée Kohn) born in Paris, France in 1911, discusses her life in prewar France, her Belgian-born husband, her mother, sisters Jacqueline, Genevieve, and Simone, and brother Francois; her husband's departure for Brussels where he was drafted into the war and taken prisoner in June 1939; the food shortage in 1940; her mother's contraction of typhoid in 1941; Francois' enlistment in General Leclerc's 2nd armored division; her family's arrest on July 15, 1941 by French police; her family's transfer to Mérignac internment camp; her family's expulsion from camp on July 16, 1941 because the French doctor there was afraid of the spreading of typhoid; learning that all women under 40 were being summoned for forced labor; her family's departure from Arcachon to Bordeaux and their escape to Dax with a smuggler's assistance in September 1941; their journey to Dax through the Landes forests in a horse-drawn cart that took them to Soustons; her family's stay in Castres from August to September 1942 and in Salvaniac (Vic-sur-Cere) near Aurillac from September 1942 to January 1943; different members of the family hiding in various safe havens in Varennes-sur-Allier (near Moulins) and her own survival due to the benevolence of Lucien Courbet de Champrouge who was in the resistance and of Marthe Dumas, his lady friend; de Champrouge's arrest by the Nazis and eventual return in Spring 1944; her time with them in Limoges; her reunion with her daughter and husband in Moulins; and her life in Brussels in 1945.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Renée Mayer-Astruc
Jean-Marie Sanfuentes
inclusive:  approximately 1980-1989
4 digital files : WAV.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Myriam Sanfuentes
Record last modified: 2020-07-09 14:06:13
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