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Oral history interview with Denise Levy

Oral History | Accession Number: 2012.296.4 | RG Number: RG-50.710.0004

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Denise Levy describes her involvement with the EI (éclaireurs israélites de France) beginning in September 1942 upon her return to Moissac, France; her orders to leave for Beaulieu, France because Robert Gamzon had received a heads up from the Vichy about the impending arrest of two girls in Moissac; the assistance of Mme. Marguérite Dulaut in Montauban who agreed to hide the two girls; Dulaut’s unwavering assistance throughout the war; her efforts to name Dulaut as a Righteous among Nations; returning to Beaulieu, where the gendarmes had been looking for the girls; the interrogation by the police; returning to Moissac; the implementation of Gamzon’s reorganization of the EI network; details of the reorganization, including the need to strengthen each EI city structure in the southern zone; the materials provided by Protestant Scouts (Éclaireuses et éclaireurs unionistes de France); how the first stamp for forging identity documents was provided by a Protestant minister from the Drôme and many more stamps were collected from complicit municipalities; how this improved the quality of the forged identity cards and ration cards; the “washing” of ration cards and identity cards to replace names, calling them “les bifs”; the role of Marc Haguenau in securing money from Switzerland and Spain, which was sent by the Joint to finance their operations; how their operations included forging documents, paying families who hid Jewish children, and planning and executing escapes to Switzerland or Spain; the multiple near miss arrests by Nazis and gendarmes at control points as she went about her clandestine activities; her trip to Chambéry prefecture with a friend who helped her get a “real” identity card under the name “Denise Laurens”; the increasing dangers to Jews; Gamzon’s decision to close Moissac and naming her head of “La Sixieme” (The Sixth), EI’s clandestine arm for Limoges and Toulouse; shifting the care of children to the OSE’s Réseau Garel (Garel Network); her responsibility for the EI Service social, along with Henri Wahl and Ninon Hait; traveling from city to city to resolve issues, distribute forged documents, find hiding places for the children, and ensure that stamps were changed frequently so they wouldn’t be discovered; Limoges’ assistant social workers Blanche Rafael, Nicole Bloch Klein, and Alfred Frisch; how all of their young people were saved, but many EI-Sixieme leaders were arrested, shot on sight, and deported; and her gratitude that her parents remained safe in Paris throughout the Occupation but, nonetheless, she lost many family members.

Interviewee
Denise Levy
Date
approximately 2005  (interview)
Language
French
Extent
2 videocassettes (DVCAM) : sound, color ; 1/4 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:39:49
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn49588