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Oral history interview with Freddy Menahem

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2012.296.5 | RG Number: RG-50.710.0005

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    Oral history interview with Freddy Menahem


    Interview Summary
    Freddy Menahem, born in Salonica (Thessalonike), Greece in 1924 and arriving in France in 1930, discusses his early life; attending a Jesuit school in the Sarthe, where his parents placed him for safety reasons; joining the Jewish scouts in 1934 in Paris, France; the exclusion of immigrant Jews in French society; the distrust of German immigrant Jews by French-born Jews, especially concerning Kristallnacht; seeing “juden” written on Jewish-owned storefronts and attacks of Jews; the book “Camp de la mort lente” by Jean-Jacques Bernard, which caused additional strain amongst French-born and immigrant Jews; the importance of EIF (Eclaireuses éclaireurs israélites de France) as an integrating factor for all French Jews, noting role of Léo Kuhn in infusing the “ferme-école” concept with a spiritual life; replacing Fernand Musnik, who was injured in September 1940, as Director of the EI for the Ile-de France; activities in EI headquarters in Paris, including Jewish celebrations, plays, and concerts; the creation of Jewish study groups, one of which included the EI leaders; the importance of Simon Lévitte on his life, first on September 3, 1939, when Lévitte took his boy scout troop to a Eure farm to harvest beets for a mobilized farmer; being directed by Lévitte in March 1943 to create the Paris arm of “La Sixieme” (the Sixth) and a Jewish community center in Paris at rue Notre Dame Des Victoires; the activities of “La Sixieme,” including the forgery of documents led by Sam Kugel at rue Claude Bernard, the identification of hiding places in the occupied zone, the relocation of children to these hiding places, and visits to host families directed by Marc Amon; the assistance of the Catholic Church in Sarthe, beginning with Monseigneur Grenthe, the archbishop of Le Mans , France who directed the church to open institutions to Jewish children; the cooperation of mayors and police chiefs; the families who risked their lives to save Jewish children; leading the Comité de Liberation de la 5eme Arrondissement during the Liberation of Paris; his continued devotion to EI activities after the war; completing his medical studies; and getting married.
    Freddy Menahem
    interview:  approximately 2005

    Physical Details

    2 videocassettes (DVCAM) : sound, color ; 1/4 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum acquired the oral history interview with Freddy Menahem, conducted for the 2006 film “Ich Bin Jude! Ich Bin Jude!,” from Bryan (Barak) Bard in March 2012.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this oral history interview has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:28:57
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