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Oral history interview with Maurice Hausner

Oral History | Accession Number: 2012.296.14 | RG Number: RG-50.710.0014

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

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.

Interviewee
Maurice Hausner
Date
approximately 2005  (interview)
Language
French
Extent
1 videocassette (DVCAM) : sound, color ; 1/4 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:43:45
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn49597