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Oral history interview with Jean Michaud

Oral History | Accession Number: 2014.542.37 | RG Number: RG-50.812.0037

Jean Michaud, historian, discusses the socioeconomic and political environment in general terms of the Creuse Department before and during WWII; statistics concerning the Jews in the Creuse before and during the war; official statistics in June 1943 that list 2762 Jews in the Creuse, of which 1088 were French-born and 1570 were foreign-born; the unreliability of these statistics given the number of forged identity cards; how at the signing of the Armistice, Jews fled Paris and its suburbs, some headed for the Creuse where they had relatives; the July 16, 1942 roundup in Paris, after which more Jews fled to the Creuse, but were unwelcome by the authorities, since they lacked the city and arrondissement formal/legal authorizations to leave and were forced to pay a 1500 franc fine (this was equal to the salary of an experienced teacher at the time); how most foreign-born Jews came from Poland and were of modest means, trained as tailors, butchers, etc; how the French-born Jews came mostly from Paris’ 3me arrondissement, while others arrived from Lille; the Creusois, a predominantly rural population living in small villages and hamlets and were tolerant of the Jews; the antisemitism in France, which was fueled by the far-Right press in Paris, papers which were not available in the Creuse; the Creusois gendarmerie functioned under the Pétain regime until June 9, 1944; the local gendarme, which was part of the local population and was not, therefore, prepared to vigorously enforce the Vichy decrees until August 26, 1942 when roundups of foreign-born Jews began in the free zone; one occasion when there was a roundup of 91 adults, who were taken from their homes in the Creuse and deported to Germany; the September 1, 1942 ordered roundup of 33 foreign-born Jewish children to be taken from the chateaux of Masgelier and Chabannes, and then to the Rivesaltes transit camp; and how 13 of the 33 from Chabannes had been saved by Félix Chevrier, and six had escaped the roundup at Masgelier, owing to help from the local population and gendarmeries.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Jean Michaud
Lisa Gossels
Dean Wetherell
Documentary films.
2 videocasettes (Betacam SP) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lisa Gossels and Dean Wetherell
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:38:05
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