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Oral history interview with Jacques Lazarus

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1281.18 | RG Number: RG-50.146.0018

Jacques Lazarus, born September 2, 1916 in Payerne, Switzerland, discusses military life in the 152nd Colmar Regiment, mobilized in 1939; being deposed from the military in August 1941 by the Vichy government’s anti-Jewish legislation; crossing Spain to North Africa to join the FFL (French Free Forces) in 1943; his chance meeting with resistance leader Ernest Lambert, a former classmate at the Strasbourg Jewish Trade School; joining the resistance group, the Armée Juive (AJ); moving to Grenoble; working as an instructor of young recruits in the MGS (a Zionist Movement, and possibly the MJS or Mouvement de la Jeunesse Sioniste); his nom de guerre Jacquel; his leadership of the maquis de Rec (Tarn), the underground Jewish Army; relocation of the maquis de Rec to Espinassier (Tarn); its integration into the Montagne Noire maquis, led by Lt. Leblond (Lévy-Seckel) of the AS (Armée Secrète); his work as a military trainer for Jewish maquis; the March 1944 recovery of arms from an errant Allied parachute drop; the transfer of a portion of arms from Castres to Toulouse, with AJ comrades Reine Roman and Régine Knout; being betrayed by Charles Porel (Karl Rebhein) while he and Rabbi Réne Kapel were en route to Paris and planning to fly to London to establish a Jewish unit within the Allied army; his July 17, 1944 arrest and transfer to Gestapo headquarters in Paris at 180 rue de la Pompe; being detained at Fresnes; his transfer by Brunner order to Drancy; being deported August 17, 1944 in the last convoy from Bobigny, which included Armand Kohn, Director of the Rothschild Hospital; escaping August 22, 1944 from the last train car with several friends; finding safe haven; a Red Cross evacuation to Paris; his appointment as Captain in the FFI 17 Toulouse Regiment; leaving the army in December 1944; working to establish post-war Jewish assistance organizations; the AJ request to help the Israeli army; his May 1946 trip to North Africa to recruit students for the Marseille Trade School; the opening of ORT in Algers; his 1949-1962 work on the situation of Jews in Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria; and returning to Paris in 1962.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Lazarus, Jacques
Abramovicz, Leon
interview:  1992 December 08
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:12:30
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