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Oral history interview with Jacques-Albert Zandkorn

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1281.27 | RG Number: RG-50.146.0027

Jacques-Albert Zandkorn, born in Paris, France in 1923 to immigrant Socialist, Polish parents, describes his childhood in Paris; beginning work at age 14 or 15; belonging to a sports club, le club populaire sportif in 10ème arrondissement, with Jewish and non-Jewish members; the discussions about Resistance activities immediately after the German invasion on June 15, 1940; newspapers becoming violently antisemitic; joining a socialist youth group called “fulcrum rouge”; marching down the Champs-Elysées on 11 November 1940 in first anti-German demonstration; attending a group camping trip in 1941 with Henri Gautherot and Smuel Tyszelman, who were shot shortly after the trip for demonstrating at the Gare Saint-Lazare; becoming more active in the Resistance under the guidance of Pierre Georges (aka Colonel Fabien); training in explosives and armaments; telling his family to bar the door because something was going to happen on July 16, 1942; the arrest of his sister Lucy on July 16 by a French gendarme while his father and brother were hidden in attic; how his mother’s name was not on list because of a clerical error; the departure of his brother for Free Zone to join the Resistance in Lyon; his failed efforts to legalize his parents’ papers and their arrest on August 26, 1942; fleeing to Lyon to join the Resistance; the distribution of warrants for his arrest throughout France; meeting Jean Moulin, chief of the armée secrète in the southern zone, who put him to work for the Resistance; being tasked with going to Camp Rivesaltes to secure the release of detained Jews by bribing guards with cigarettes; eventually freeing two of his cousins and 14 others over a period of eight months; being sent to Toulouse to centralize the passage of Jews through Spain and onward to England, although Toulouse prefecture would not permit him to stay as a Jew; settling in Mazanet (possibly Maçanet de la Selva, Spain), where he secured a residence permit; his Resistance activities, including a secret mission to London to deliver information to Degaulle; returning to Lyon by plane and traveling with Pierre Mendes-France to organize the maquis des Glières in Haute-Savoie (he was also accompanied by Lucien Bussière, Jacques Petrovich, Renaud Dubois, among others); greeting young recruits and taking them to camp; the help of the villagers of Termin; maquis fighting; closing in on the Gestapo; being wounded and spending two months in a hospital in Lyon; being transferred to Besançon and on to the military camp called Camp du Valdahon; receiving orders from General Guillaume on March 31, 1945 to join a brigade headed across the Rhine to occupy Germany; sustaining heavy casualties; the liberation of Dachau along with Louis Armand; his post-war work for the military in Berlin, Germany; being released from the army on November 27, 1945; returning to Paris; and his marriage and the birth of their son.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Zandkorn, Mr. Jacques-Albert
Wirtschafter, Yvette
interview:  1993 May 10
1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:12:30
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