- Interview Summary
- Maurice Hausner, born in 1921 in Poland, describes being raised in Metz, France by his Polish immigrant parents; the impetus to create a Jewish Resistance because of the imposition of restrictive anti-Jewish Vichy laws; the impacts of small Jewish study groups first in Metz; the rise of a Jewish study group in Toulouse, France beginning in 1940, which included Rabbi Paul Roitman, Abraham Polonski, David Knout, and Arnold Mandel; the narrowing options for Jews to flee France and the increasing hostility, which led many Jews to rely on clandestine resistance for survival; his lifelong commitment to the creation of a Jewish state; his different roles in the AJ (Armée Juive) between 1942 and 1944, which included being a recruiter, military trainer, and arms carrier; the military training done at the école Nakache in Toulouse; recruiting and creating AJ sections in Grenoble and Marseille; the training methods in 1943 for new recruits in the city and the maquis in the Montagne Noire; sending away individuals with accented French and those who might cause other dangers; transporting arms and funds for the AJ to Toulouse, Lyon, Paris, and Marseille; getting arms from hidden French Army caches after the Armistice, Spanish Republicans crossing the Spanish/French border, and allied parachute drops for Degaulle’s maquis (the Armée Secrète in the Montagne Noire); the dangers of AJ work, including the constant train travel and the risk of arrest and denunciation; being stopped by the police at the Lyon train station on June 29, 1944 with Ernest Lambert (head of AJ section in Lyon) and Anne-Marie Lambert, after which Ernest was arrested and detained; being named the new AJ section head in Lyon; participating in the liberation of Lyon; the working arrangement between the AJ and Haganah in France; the creation of the Aliyah in 1949; the evolution of AJ principles as they sought to attract more recruits; how the idea of a Jewish army was not acceptable to many French Zionist Jews; the evolution of the AJ into the OJC (Organisation Juive de Combat) on January 1, 1944; the fusion of the varying strains of Zionism in France; and the differences between Jews in the AJ (or OJC) and the EI (Eclaireuses éclaireurs israélites de France) concerning the creation of a Jewish homeland.
- Maurice Hausner
1 videocassette (DVCAM) : sound, color ; 1/4 in..
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- There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
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- No restrictions on use
- Copyright Holder
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Keywords & Subjects
- Topical Term
- Jewish youth--France--Societies and clubs. Jews, Polish--France. Military education--France. Smuggling--France. World War, 1939-1945--Jewish resistance--France. World War, 1939-1945--Jews--Rescue--France. World War, 1939-1945--Participation, Jewish. World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements--France. Youth movements--France. Zionists. Men--Personal narratives. Resistance groups (ushmm)
- Geographic Name
- Grenoble (France) Lyon (France) Marseille (France) Metz (France) Paris (France) Toulouse (France) France--History--German occupation, 1940-1945. France.
- Legal Status
- Permanent Collection
- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum acquired the oral history interview with Maurice Hausner, 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.
- Special Collection
The Jeff and Toby Herr Oral History Archive
- Record last modified:
- 2023-11-16 09:29:00
- This page:
Also in Oral history interviews of the "Ich Bin Jude! Ich Bin Jude!" film collection
Oral history interviews gathered for the documentary film "Ich Bin Jude! Ich Bin Jude!"
Date: approximately 2005
Denise Gamzon, born in 1909 in Paris, France, discusses the creation of the first Jewish scout troop (Eclaireuses israélites de France or EIF) on February 4, 1923 by her future husband, Robert Gamzon; their marriage in 1930 and their children; growth and evolution of the EIF; opening three homes for Jewish children in September 1939; meeting in Moissac in August 1940, where Gamzon decided to expand the children's homes to shelter displaced Jews; organizing scouting groups in the free zone and creating training centers; the shift in the EIF’s objectives in 1942 to parallel underground resistance activities; the activities and objectives of the main Jewish organizations, including the OSE, the Zionists youth movement, and “la sixième”; fostering the growth of Zionist education; training volunteer soldiers to fight the Nazis; her husband’s creation of a Jewish partisan unit within the Maquis de Vabres in 1943; their return to Paris in 1945; her husband’s founding of the Ecole Gilbert Bloch d'Orsay in 1949 to train managers for the EIF and Jewish community; immigrating to Israel in 1949; and the 4,000 Jewish scouts in North Africa at the end of the war.
Lucien Lazare discusses how his role as a historian changed the way he remembers France and World War II; how he forgot that he resisted youth movements as a boy despite the encouragement of his parents and friends; how the declaration of war and his aversion to uniforms led him from Alsace, France to Lyon, France at 15 years of age; how he searched for Jewish contacts and joined a study group at the synagogue on the rue Tilsit; how the study group was established by Eclaireuses éclaireurs israélites (EI) leaders; fleeing Paris, France and Alsace; the evolution of the study group under the leadership of Claude Gutman, the regional EI commissioner; his unambiguous commitment to the group; how at the end of their summer camp activity in 1942 Frédéric Amel (Chameau) and Gutman brought the study group members together to warn them of impending mass arrests of foreign-born Jews in the free zone and the need to prepare a rescue operation; how other youth movements in other cities were doing similar activities; how the cooperation among the different youth movements established itself easily, unlike in other European countries; the absence of an organized information-gathering apparatus within the EI as resistance activities began to coalesce, unlike that of the Zionist youth movement; how information circulated everywhere anyway; how in general, and notwithstanding the Vél d'Hiv roundup, Jews tended to believe that if they followed the anti-Jewish rules and regulations they would not be in danger; how the youth movements were the first to recognize the imminent peril and initiated rescue operations to save and arm the Jews; how during the mass arrests the youth movements provided food on a daily basis for those in hiding, identified host families or institutions for Jewish children, and produced forged documents; recalls the various techniques to produce forged documents and the evolving coded vocabulary: "les bifs" for the more artisanal identity cards and "les synthés" (les synthétiques) for the more perfect forgeries; how the youth movements' forgery laboratories were so proficient that the national French Resistance used their services and, in particular, the expertise of Maurice Loebenberg (Cachoud); the shift from a rescue operation to an armed resistance in June 1944 after the Normandy landing; the beginning of the Jewish maquis movement in the fall of 1943; the Zionist youth, who left for Spain to go to Palestine or joined the allies in North Africa; the founding of the EI maquis de la Malquiere; a message sent by Gamzon via the women EI leaders calling all older men to join the armed combat either in the Marc Hagueneau maquis or in a unit where they were located; his military training and resistance activities in the maquis de Vabre and later in the Compagnie Marc Haguenau; the military actions of the maquis and their role in liberating the French towns of Castres and Mazamet; the structure, military organization, and reputation of the Compagnie Marc Haguenau, and its integration into the Forces Françaises de l'intérieur (FFI); and the expectation that the maquis would participate in the liberation of the concentration camps, not knowing, in fact, until 1945 that the deportees had been murdered.
Otto Giniewski (nom de guerre Toto and now known as Etan Guinat) outlines, differentiates, and describes several Jewish youth resistance movements including, the Eclaireurs Israélites (EI), the Jewish scouting movement, and the Mouvement de la Jeunesse Sioniste (MJS). He describes the primary difference between the MJS, which was comprised of children of foreign-born parents, and the EI, which was made up primarily of the French-born youth of French-born parents; the early recognition of the MJS of the Nazis’ intentions and MJS’s subsequent allegiance to establish a Jewish state; how the failure of the French resistance to stop deportations, help Jews escape, and hide Jewish children drove the Zionist youth group and their clandestine objective to create a Jewish homeland; the flight of many Jews to southern France at the outbreak of the war, where they congregated in cities, like Montpellier, Grenoble, Nice, Toulouse, and Lyon, where there were vibrant universities and restive Jewish students eager to organize; his Montpellier university life as a chemistry student; how there was an EI branch in Montpellier but no Zionist Youth Movement; founding the "Sionistes de Montpellier", which was comprised of Jews of all political persuasions; attracting students away from Rabbi Henri Schilli's group; founding the “g'doude de Montpellier" in 1941 with support and assistance from Spanish republicans fleeing Spain, who also taught them how to acquire and use arms; how at the May 1942 congrès de Montpellier he co-founded with Simone Lévitte and Joseph Fisher the MJS, which united all French Zionist youth organizations under Lévitte’s and Fisher’s leadership; the military activities of the MJS; the organization of “L’armée juive” (AJ) in Toulouse; the creation of four maquis within the AJ in Nice, Lyon, Toulouse, and Paris; the participation of the Paris maquis in liberating Drancy and as special escorts to Charles de Gaulle at Liberation on Champs-Elysées; the elimination of a group of white Russian denunciators of Jews in Nice; the Organization to Save the Children (OSE) and the "sixth" from EI collaborated to create routes through the Pyrenées to facilitate the escape of Jews to Spain and alternative routes to Switzerland; organizing and training groups of young girls and social assistants who travelled the countryside to identify hiding places; the help of local authorities in these efforts; being transferred to Grenoble to head the Grenoble wing of MJS in November 1942; founding the “g’doude de Grenoble”; creating a robust center of Zionist activity and rescue operations within his chemistry lab at the university; forging documents, transferring funds, and identifying hiding places; hiding thousands of foreign-born Jews who would otherwise have been deported; the efficiency and capability of his document forgery operations and sending documents to the “g'doudim” in Nice and Lyon via Lévitte; his objective to save the children, knowing that the future of the Jewish state lay in their survival; the network of convents willing to help hide children; supplying young “g'doude” members to help transport children to safety in Switzerland; his strong relations with the prefecture of Grenoble, which enabled the MJS to secure already-registered identity cards; his link to local parish priests, who helped secure the local mayors' aid; the failure of the French resistance to help save Jewish children; his belief that because of lessons in Hebrew taught to the g'doudim thousands of patriotic young French Jews were prepared to make aliyah at war's end; his departure for Palestine in July 1945 after the MJS elected him as its leader; how he resigned because the MJS had instituted new policy, splitting it into different political groups; the various MJS financing links organized by Joseph Fisher, issuing guarantees to Jews seeking shelter for their fortunes and eventually reimbursing all contributions; the JOINT; working in Spain to collect donations from the United States; transferring funds to Simone Lévitte, who distributed it to the g'doudim and Palestine; creating a "fonds de secours” that was deposited in Switzerland and managed by Nathan Schwalb; how the money was used for salaries to young social assistants, purchases, the production and distribution of forged documents, and arms purchases and training; how the Nazis searched for him in Grenoble in 1944 and how Jacques Dubois warned him saying, "Ginot, it's time to leave!", collecting his box of secret documents from his lab, and fleeing to an army base near Toulouse to the lab of Colonel Nicolo [PH], who provided him with a false identity and a safe haven; how in 1947 he was attached to the science unit of the IDF and was instructed by Ephraim Katzir to gather scientific intelligence in France; revisiting Nicolo [PH]; and his marriage to Lili, their family, and his work life in Israel.
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.
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.
Georges Loinger, born August 29, 1910 in Strasbourg, France, describes his childhood; his aunt, Ann Mangel, who was the mother of Marcel Marceau; his membership in Hatikwah; studying physical education; serving in the military beginning September 1939; being captured and imprisoned; escaping from Stalag 7A near Munich, Germany; being influenced by Dr. Joseph Weill; his marriage to Flore, who worked as caregiver to 125 Jewish-German children at Baroness Rothschild's Chateau de la Guette near Lagny, Seine-et-Marne, France; their re-installation by the Baroness in La Bourboule, France in the free zone at the Hôtel des Anglais when Northern France was occupied; his work as a physical education trainer for Compagnons de France; his official government documents that aided his resistance work, allowing him to travel throughout France; his membership in OSE (OEuvre de secours aux enfants); the OSE decision to disperse the children from La Bourboule; the December 1942 OSE meeting in Lyon, France and Gerhart Riegner's statement about Nazi Germany's plans to exterminate the Jews; the OSE decision to organize a secret network to save 1500 Jewish children; Loinger's OSE role to create a network to smuggle Jewish children to Switzerland; the selection criteria for those children; his role in identifying alternative smuggling routes; the critical role of the border town Annemasse and Mayor Jean Deffaugt and Eugène Balthazar in Loinger's smuggling operation; the strong links between OSE and EI (Eclaireuses éclaireurs israélites de France) as well as the character and intelligence of Robert Gamzon; the Jewish religion and culture infused within EI structure, owing in particular to Leo Kuhn; his continued post-war dedication to Jewish causes; his role in mobilizing Jewish displaced persons from Southern French coastal towns to Palestine; and his links to Mossad and active role in the lead-up to the creation of a Jewish state.
Victor Sullaper, born in 1921 in Sosnowiec, Poland, discusses his family; growing up in Paris, France after moving with his family in 1930; their difficult life in Belleville; participating in the Jewish scouting movement; a trip to Palestine for two years; returning to Paris; being arrested by French police; his internment in Pithiviers and escape to Lyon; working with UGIF and Marc Jarblum; forging documents, organizing escapes for Jews to Switzerland, and hiding Jews; the deportation of his uncle’s family; participating with abbé Vermont, Rachmil, and the JOC in a raid on a train in the Gare de Lyon-Perrache in February 1943, freeing 50 children from deportation; being arrested during a Gestapo and SS raid of the UGIF headquarters in February 1943 led by Klaus Barbie; his interview with Klaus Barbie and his release because of his French accent and excellent forged documents; the arrest and deportation of his brother; his departure for Chambéry where Simon Lévitte names him head of the Zionist Youth Movement; his work forging documents and transporting children to Switzerland; working with Roland Epstein and Mila Racine; MLN asking him to join the Maquis; and after liberation being a German interpreter during the interrogations of German prisoners.
Liliane Klein-Lieber, born in Strasbourg, France in 1924, discusses her early life; joining the Eclaireuses éclaireurs israélites de France (EIF) in 1931 at the behest of her parents; remaining active in the Strasbourg EIF from 1933 to 1939; her growing awareness of the dangers of Nazism with arrival of waves of German Jews in their home; the evacuation of Strasbourg on September 3, 1939 and their escape to Vichy, France where they had family; the importance of the synagogue in Vichy as a meeting place for the EIF; departing with her family and the other expulsed Jews from Vichy in November 1941; arriving in Grenoble, France, where she was active again in the EIF; going to a summer camp in July 1942 for girl scouts in an unoccupied zone; a trip to Limousin at the end of August 1942 to participate in girl scout leadership training; meeting Robert Gamzon on a train and how he directed her to Moissac, France to participate in the creation of the EIF clandestine arm, “La Sixième" (the Sixth); the mission of "La Sixième" to hide adolescent Jews, supply them with forged ID documents and ration cards, and preserve their Jewish identity while in hiding; the EIF's main mission to save French Jewry and not create a Jewish homeland elsewhere; the division of "La Sixièmè" into six regions in the unoccupied zone, each headed by a group leader and assistant social worker; becoming an assistant social worker in Grenoble; how during the winter of 1943-1944 she ran convoys of adolescents under 16 to the Swiss border at Annemasse, France and turned them over to Georges Loinger for safe passage; the help she received from non-Jews, including local farmers who hired Jewish youth to till the soil in Voiron and Annecy, the "Compagnons de France" movement, mayors and civil servants who helped procure ID cards and ration cards, the Protestant and Catholic scouting movements that helped hide children, “Les Soeurs de Notre-Dame de Sion de Grenoble,” the help of M. Dormoy (director of “Le Secours national pour le Dauphiné” which is now “Le Secours national pour l'Isère”), Mme. Marguerite Morsh (director of the “Foyer de l'étudiante de Grenoble”), Mlle. Luzet (owner of the “pharmacie du Dragon in Grenoble”), the scout chief Mlle Otarie of the “Féderation française des éclaireuses”; how the scout pledge was key to the selflessness and courage of so many who helped this effort; getting married at the end of 1944; giving birth to three boys; being the grandmother of seven grandchildren; and how she has remained in contact with some of the children she helped hide during the Holocaust.
Odile de Rouville (née Schlumberger) discusses her six children, four of whom were born during WWII; her family's involvement in the French resistance; her marriage to Guy de Rouville (nom de guerre Paul Roux); her husband’s role as délégué cantonal a la jeunesse and working with scout youth groups and eventually training them as maquis fighters in the resistance; her husband’s role with Pasteur Robert Cook of Vabre, France and strengthening Éclaireurs Unionistes de France; their involvement in the local protestant scouting movement as troop leaders and resistance members; hiding Jewish refugees; the Vabre population’s lack of Jews and the locals’ ignorance of resistance activities; their association with Robert Gamzon and Denise Gamzon and adherence to scouting principles; her husband's role in establishing the maquis de Vabre in March 1943 and integrating it into the MUR (Mouvements unis de résistance); the parachutists and one in particular who landed nearby with increased frequency after the allied landing in Normandy; how she maintained a positive attitude in front of her children, especially as she learned about the roundups and arrests of Jewish refugees; how in 1942 her husband hid 35 adolescents near Vabre in Rennes, France while they waited to be convoyed to Switzerland; and her husbands' production of forged documents for young men refusing service in the STO (Service du travail obligatoire) and needed new identities.
Jean Brauman, born in Poland in 1925, discusses Jewish youth movements; his strong Zionist views; arriving in France from Luxembourg in 1937; his membership in Hanoar Hatzioní; his family’s failed attempt to escape to England in May 1940; finding refuge in the free zone with his older brother; joining the FTP (Francs-tireurs et partisans français) in Paris, France in 1942; escaping to the free zone when the Gestapo came looking for him; being in detention for a year as a Jewish foreign national; escaping from the camp and returning to Paris at the end of 1943; a per chance meeting with a Hanoar Hatzioní friend, Judith, who recruited him for the MJS (Le Mouvement de la jeunesse sioniste); his resistance activities, including forging documents, distributing money, and identifying hiding places for Jewish refugees; joining MJS maquis de l'Espinassier in 1944, which organized convoys across Spain to join Allies and get to Palestine; the membership of 20 to 25 people in the maquis, including several Saint-Cyr students who were unable to continue their studies because they were Jewish; the role of the Saint-Cyr students as the heart of the military maquis; doing 11 hour guard duties because of the fear of Nazi infiltration; the use of both the French flag and the Palestinian flag; the unification of the various maquis into the Corps Franc de la Montagne Noire after the Allies arrived; the heavy reliance on his maquis because of their discipline, military training, and cohesion as well as on the maquis du Vercors; the military brilliance of Lt. Lévy Seckel; his escape from the Luftwaffe attack to Toulouse; his near-arrest by Nazis in Toulouse; the AJ (Armée Juive) order to join the "corps franc" in Lyon, France under the leadership of Maurice Hausner; fighting until Liberation; the allegiance ceremony to AJ at rue de la Pomme in Toulouse, where he swore on a gun, the Bible, and the Palestinian flag to fight to the death to create a Jewish state; joining the Haganah; and the first military training camp in Milly-la forêt in Fontainebleau, France.
Frederic Hammel, born in 1907 in Strasbourg, France, describes joining the EIF (Eclaireurs Israélites de France) in 1928 and his activities; his role as a EIF national leader; being request by the EIF founder, Robert Gamzon, to organize a chantier de jeunesse in Taluyers to shelter Jewish children and teach them agricultural and small-scale enterprise skills; the dissolution of the EIF children’s homes and rural centers in October 1943; Gamzon's advice to the fleeing Jewish youth; his group’s decision to cross the Pyrenees and head for Palestine; their last Passover; the difficulties of crossing the Pyrenees; the deaths along the way, lack of food, and their fears; his family's immigration to Israel in 1947; life on a kibbutz; and his work as a chemistry professor.
Jacqueline Rigeau describes her scouting experiences in Gaillac, France with her father, Paul-Raymond, and mother, Marie; the absence of contact with Jewish scouts; her father's role in forging identity papers for Jews fleeing the Nazis; meeting in Toulouse with Cardinal Saliège; her family’s efforts to save Gaillac Jews; helping a particular Polish family who fled the Vel’ d'Hiv roundup; her father’s warnings to Gaillac Jews each time he learned of a roundup in the "free" zone; a letter of appreciation from Gaillac Jews to her father after the liberation; her continued friendship with the Polish family they helped hide; and receiving the Righteous Among the Nations recognition with her parents July 17, 1991.
Emmanuel "Mola" Racine, born in Russia in 1911, discusses life in Toulouse, France after the German invasion in 1940; leaving for Marseille, France; working with Georges Loinger in the Jewish resistance; helping Jewish children escape to Switzerland; forging documents; his sister, Mila, and her resistance activities; his resolution that he would do the same thing again to save the Jewish people; the loss of French Jews in the Holocaust and the survival of many due to the help of non-Jewish French as well as the Catholic and Protestant churches; and helping to build an auditorium at Yad Vashem in memory of the French resistance.
Paul Roitman discusses his early life in Metz, France; being one of the founders of the youth movement Brith Hanoar de Metz in 1935; his lifelong commitment to Jewish youth movements; leaving Metz as the situation grew more dire for Jews; beginning medical school in Nancy in 1938 and quitting in 1941; going to Bordeaux and then Toulouse; creating a study group that produced the leaders of the Armée Juive; establishing a secret organization with Dovid Knut called "La Main Forte"; and his immigration to Israel with his family in 1970.
Monique Pulver describes her experience with the EI (éclaireurs israélites de France), which she joined in 1927 at the age of 12; being enrolled in EI by her mother who was a cousin of Denise Gamzon, the wife of the founder of EI; her EI experiences; living near rue Mozart; how the Gamzons lived on rue de Passy and their regular attendance at girl scout meetings; meeting her future husband, Jacques Pulver, through EI; Jacques’ army service, their separation, and the renewal of their friendship in 1933; the impact of Léo Cohn on EI, infusing the movement with passion for Jewish culture and education; the growing fear of war in 1938 and Castor’s decision to identify evacuation sites for Jewish children in Paris in anticipation of bombings; how the Munich accords scuttled the EI evacuation plans; getting married to Jacques in February 1939 at the rue Ségur EI offices, and how it was presided over by Cohn; their immediate departure for Martinique for 10 months; returning to France in November 1939 because Jacques was called up; her full-time work with EI; Robert Gamzon’s decision to move to Moissac, France in June 1940; the creation of Viarose, the first agriculture school, led by Jacques; the birth of her twin girls; moving to Lautrec, France with Jacques around August 1940; Denise Gamzon’s return from Portugal to take on the management of Lautrec; Jacques’ organization of EI summer camps; moving to Orange, France in 1943 to run a farm that employed young Jews who could no longer work because of the Vichy decrees; her happy life with Jacques and working the land in Orange for a year and a half; how the farm was both a place of production and a holding place for Jewish children awaiting transfer to Switzerland or Spain; the announcement that 30-year old Jewish men had to register at Préfecture; departuring from Orange; settling in Grenoble, France, where she worked in a children’s home while Jacques joined the “La Sixième" (the Sixth); the arrest of her sister-in-law, Edith, along with Marc Haguenau in Grenoble; Edith’s deportation via Drancy to Auschwitz; returning to Paris at Liberation; working with EI to reconstitute the administrative organizational structure; their plan for returning deportees; identifying and placing hidden children; creating a home in Moissac for these children at the Le Moulin Hotel; and re-dedicating themselves to the EI movement.
Jean-Paul Bader, born in 1923 in Strasbourg, France, discusses his early life in Strasbourg; his religious studies with Rabbi Abraham Deutsch; his activities with local Jewish youth, which had yet to join the Eclaireuses éclaireurs israélites de France (EIF); his departure for Paris, France and his religious education at the Ecole Maimonide in September 1938 for a year and a half; his return to Strasbourg and evacuation to Périgueux, France in September 1939; his meeting with Lilian Marx, head of the EIF in Périgueux, and how she trained him to become an EIF troop leader in September 1940; his visit to Moissac, France, where Robert Gamzon provided more in-depth training in EIF principles, goals, and way of life; receiving regular visits from Gamzon, André Kisler, and André Cahen and discussing Jewish scouting; his growing commitment to the EIF; replacing Lilian Marx in 1941 as head of the EIF in Périgueux; his continued devotion to his religious studies; studying with Rabbi Deutsch, who relocated to Limoges, France at the end of 1941 at the Jewish Seminary, which became a center for training Jewish community leaders needed for an increasingly dangerous time; his fellow students, including Max Warschawski, Théo Dreyfuss, and Lucien Lazare; the evolution of the clandestine arm of the EIF in late 1942 as the danger grew; his switch to the scouting uniform of the Éclaireurs Unionistes de France when the EIF was banned in November 1941; his contact with the OEuvre de secours aux enfants (OSE) in Limoges and “La Sixième" maquis, which requested that he accompany children in several convoys from Limoges to Lyon, France, where they were picked up by others and taken to safety in Switzerland; working with Marinette Kaufman because “La Sixième" felt that a couple accompanying children was less dangerous; how his work with “La Sixième" evolved into creating false identity and ration cards; his double life as an EIF scout leader and a Torah studies student, until Rabbi Deutch was arrested in the winter of 1942-1943; his near-miss escapes from several Nazi roundups; how with the creation of the EIF maquis, his assignment shifted to accompanying the oldest and strongest members of the EIF network to the maquis located in Vabre, which he did again with Marinette Kaufman; his last convoy to Vabre on December 8, 1943, where he was instructed to join the maquis Compagnie Marc Haguenau, in which, as a full-fledged maquisard, he would participate in all their actions including the Mazamet attack on the German train and the liberation of Castres, France; the leadership of Gamzon; the post-war EIF activities; leading the first EIF visit to Israel in 1952, at the time when Gamzon was establishing a kibbutz; and his continued in-depth involvement with the EIF.