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Wall crucifix owned by an American internee

Object | Accession Number: 2018.426.3

Crucifix owned by Leonie Roualet while she was interned in Vittel internment camp in German-occupied France from September 1942 through September 1944. Leonie was born in New York to Leonie Calmesse and Henry Charles Roualet, French champagne vintners who had immigrated to the United States in the 1890s. In the 1930s, Leonie’s mother returned to France to take care of her ailing brother. While caring for her brother, she too became sick, and in 1939 Leonie traveled to France to take care of her mother and her uncle. In May 1940, Germany invaded France and occupied the northern half of the country. Leonie’s sister, Henriette, began to worry about the fate of her mother and sister as she struggled to contact them, and she wrote repeatedly to the U.S. State Department for information on their whereabouts. In November, she received a telegram stating that her mother was in a hospital in Bordeaux, while Leonie was living with their uncle in Épernay. On September 24, 1942, the Gestapo arrested Leonie as an enemy alien and sent her to a prison in Châlons. From there she was transferred to Frontstalag 194 in Vittel. She remained there for two years until the camp was liberated by Free French forces on September 12, 1944. Immediately following liberation, Leonie worked for the Red Cross and helped establish the first displaced persons (DP) camp in Paris. In December 1945, Leonie returned to the United States, accompanying a convoy of refugees at the request of the American Embassy.

use:  1942 September-1944 September
manufacture: France
use: Vittel (Concentration camp); Vittel (France)
Object Type
Crosses (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Mark Roualet
Record last modified: 2023-08-25 13:00:29
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