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Oral history interview with Sophie Micnik

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1281.3 | RG Number: RG-50.146.0003

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

Sophie Schwartz Micnik, born in Poland in 1905, describes her arrival in France in 1930 with her husband Lejzer Micnik, an undocumented immigrant; her various menial jobs to make ends meet; Lejzer’s service in the army in hopes to gain citizenship; his dispatch to the southern zone; his severe bout with dysentery; her perilous trip to the Septfonds army hospital-camp for expatriate volunteers in the southern zone; her success in returning her husband to Paris, where she nursed him back to health; their pride in registering as Jews when the Nazis occupied Paris; her husband's arrest in 1941 and his internment in Drancy; her communication with him through scraps of paper hidden in laundry going in and out of the camp; his deportation on July 1, 1942 to Auschwitz with the first transport of women and children; his death from typhus soon thereafter; her unyielding allegiance, along with her husband, to communist ideology and her activity in the Main d'Œuvre Immigrée (MOI) underground in Paris; her organization of Jewish women and later non-Jewish resisters in Paris, which eventually became a part of MOI; her operation of clandestine print shops, distributing leaflets in Yiddish and in French, and forging ration and ID cards; her mobilization of families to hide Jewish children; her forged ID card as Yvonne Masset; the 1943 roundup of 70 Jewish members of the MOI and Sophie's miraculous escape and flight to Lyon; the reconstitution of Solidarité into the L’Union des Juifs pour la Resistance et l'Entraide (UJRE) in Lyon; her travels to various towns to organize, recruit, and train members; the creation of the Commission Centrale de l'Enfance (CCE)to recover and reunite over 250 hidden Jewish children with their families and to find homes for orphans; her appointment as Secretary-General of CCE in 1945; her life in Lyon at the time of liberation; her friendship with René Goldman, a child survivor whose parents had perished and whom she later cared for; and her return to Paris in 1946.

Interviewee
Sophie Schwartz-Micnik
Date
1990 April 11  (interview)
Language
French
Extent
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:39:02
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn507936