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Oral history interview with Alain Fisher

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1281.12 | RG Number: RG-50.146.0012

Alain Fisher, born in 1925, describes having Soviet citizenship through his father; being the youngest of 10 children, of whom seven brothers as well as his father were drafted; the outbreak of war in 1939; living with his mother and two sisters in Paris, France; being arrested by French police for carrying stolen goods he purchased from a friend; his detention in Fresnes as a minor and being released the day the Germans entered Fresnes; his attraction to communism from the age of 10; being excluded from roundups of Jews because of his Soviet citizenship until June 1941; learning about communism and the need for organized resistance from Jean-Claude Schwartz and Victor Seligman and the beginning of organized Communist youth groups in their respective neighborhoods; the use of the expression "il est tombé" for arrest of a fellow resister; being named leader of the "malice patriotique juif” for the 3rd, 4th, and 10th arrondissements; knowing of deportations but not knowing of the gassing of men women and children; the increase in resistance activities towards the end of 1942, following the accelerated roundups in July and August 1942; the importance of women as liaison agents delivering instructions to the resistance groups; joining a combat group; hiding children in the countryside and securing escape routes for Jews to unoccupied France; living in one room on Ile Saint-Louis; being betrayed by unknown person; being briefly detained then released because his seven brothers were in the army; his nom de guerre aliases including Alain Lefloch and Jean Voriace; going underground in 1942 because of the growing number of arrests; being arrested by the Gestapo in July 1944 at the age of 19; his transfer to 11 rue Saussaies; being tortured and held until August 1944 when the Gestapo headquarters was evacuated as the Allies neared Paris; being transferred to Compiègne then to Drancy along with 25 to 30 other prisoners including Jacques Lazarus; arriving in Drancy on August 17, 1944 and being transferred to Bobigny railroad station four days later; being deported along with the Kohn family and others on the last convoy from France on August 21, 1944; escaping about 300 km from Paris; returning to Paris, where he assumed a leadership role in the "milice patriotique juif” in the 19th arrondissement; his post-war work with Jewish children in schools and orphanages; meeting his wife; and joining the Yiddish theater.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Fisher, Alain
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:12:29
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