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Oral history interview with Maurice Benadon

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1281.1 | RG Number: RG-50.146.0001

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

Maurice Benadon, born to Jewish parents in 1914, describes his childhood growing up in Thessaloniki, Greece, where his father worked in textiles; being one of four children; attending a Jewish-run school, where he learned French as a foundational language; moving with his family to France amidst the crisis (both economic and political) in Greece; his sister marrying in 1939 and Benadon working with her husband; becoming a communist at age 16; his father dying in October 1941; the German advance on Paris and fleeing to Côté d’Azur (Nice) with his mother and little sister; his brother, who was in Lyon; the Nazis arriving in Nice and rounding up the Jews; going to Lyon to join resistance efforts against the Germans; being stopped by the PPF de Doriot (affiliated with the Gestapo); being taken to Montluc Prison (in Lyon) and interrogated in the Jewish barracks, where he met André Fossard and Marcel Dassault; being transferred to Drancy then to Auschwitz on July 29 1944; arriving in Birkenau and seeing women and children being sent directly to the ovens; being taken to the line on the left where he was shaved and tattooed (Mr. Benadon’s number was B 3682); remaining in Auschwitz until October 1944; an organization of resistors in the camp who wouldn’t let him join because he did not speak Yiddish; being left on his own in the camp; not having the skill that could get him double rations; being placed among the Muslims in Auschwitz; being terribly weak at liberation; losing all of his teeth; how he has tried to forget most of his time at the camp; a typical daily schedule in Auschwitz; being evacuated towards East Prussia in October 1944; being beaten violently by an S.S. officer and losing a piece of his ear; suffering from cancer of the ear in 1958; the advancement of the Russians and being evacuated towards an aviation camp; suffering from dysentery and typhus; being evacuated to a hospital camp; being liberated by the French Army in 1945; being put in a German hospital in Speyer; regaining his strength and returning to Paris to the Hotel Lutetia where he was decontaminated; returning to his house; his girlfriend, who had given birth 10 days before his arrest; and his desire at that time to see his family, his child, and Thessaloniki again.

Interviewee
Maurice Benadon
Date
1989 November 14  (interview)
Language
French
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-07-11 10:18:24
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn507929