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Oral history interview with Henri Broder

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1281.7 | RG Number: RG-50.146.0007

Henri Broder, born January 18, 1929 in Paris, France, discusses his Polish parents; the declaration of war in 1939; his family living in the 14th arrondissement; fleeing with his family to Vendée; returning to Paris in 1940; his parents presenting themselves as Jews to the police; having no contact with Judaism; leaving Paris at age 17 and going past the demarcation line to Nîmes where he had family and pretending to continue his studies; staying in Nîmes until 1941 when he became aware of the Belgian Jewish refugees in the area; studying to become a skilled-laborer; his first encounter with being identified as a Jew; watching the French police round-up the foreign Jews; being sent at the end of 1941and beginning of 1942 to Les Milles camp, where his Belgian friend and her mother were interned (both were deported and never came back); his interactions and friendships with members of l’Armée Juive and OJC (Organisation Juive de Combat) whose goal was to help create a country for the Jews; joining the Chantiers de Jeunesse at age of 20; travelling back to Paris in 1943 with a friend from les Chantiers only to learn that his father had died in 1941; going back to Lyon; meeting with the OJC and being sent to Toulouse, where he met Jacques Lazarus in January 1944; returning to the Maquis dans l’Armée Juif and the Brigade Juif (both organizations helped to aid the resistance and Allied forces landing in France on D-Day); liberating the town of Deauville, France on July 17, 1944 with about 600 other men; a bomb attack by the Germans on July 20, 1944, which killed many of his comrades; receiving money for their efforts from England; ambushing and attacking Germans forces; taking many German Wehrmacht soldiers as prisoners; the Chantiers de Jeunesse ignoring all the concentration camps; the role of Colonel Maurice Buckmaster in London as leader of the French section of Special Operations Executive; how women were not included in this particular resistance group; learning of the concentration camps in 1942 as a result of the roundups; joining the Haganah in France and helping organize their efforts, which included the creation of a Kibbutz style training camp near Lyon; training younger Jews for the army in Palestine; and joining l’association de France Israel.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Broder, Henri
Perez, Fania
interview:  1993 December 14
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:12:29
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