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Oral history interview with Robert Sejwacz

Oral History | Accession Number: 2015.177.1 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0816

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Robert Sejwacz, born on November 13, 1934 in Paris, France, describes his father, Walek (born June 6, 1906), who emigrated from Mogelmica, Poland, and worked making suits; his father serving in the French Army from September 1939 to June 1940 and being a prisoner of war at Stalag VIIIC; his Lithuanian mother, Freida Smulevicius; living on Rue Castex in the 4th Arrondissement; his family not being very religious; not registering as Jews nor wearing the Jewish star; attending the local school and taking part in after-school activities; the birth on September 17, 1942 of his little brother, Henri; his parents sending him to the countryside because he seemed frail and in poor health; living on a small farm owned by Monsieur and Madame Roy in Thorigné-sur-Dué; attending school in Nuillé-le Jalais, where his teacher was a fervent communist; his parents being denounced and deported to Drancy with baby Henri; living with the Roys until 1946 when he was taken back to Paris and assigned to the COSOR home in Char (60km north of Pontoise, France), which was run by Madame Lechat; being sent to the Château de Grigny in Orly, run by Monsieur Duvauchelle; being sent to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France; his teacher Monsieur Tomeno; the COSOR creating a group called "La chorale des petits chanteurs de la Bohême" in 1948; being settled with other boys in a home near Geneva, where they lived for two years; the boys being responsible for cleaning and cooking; attending school; thei benefactor, Monsieur Gardinier; being sent to a home in Boulogne-Billancourt, on the western edge of Paris; choosing not to pursue his academic studies and studying electronics; his first job at a research company and living in Paris; being diagnosed with tuberculosis of the spinal column and the kidneys and spending five months in the Saint Louis Hospital and a few months in nursing homes; returning to his job at the Dervos lab and meeting his future wife; becoming a sales representative for a company that manufactures large, industrial ovens; his two daughters and four grandchildren; feeling that the COSOR children and the adults who directed the COSOR establishments are his true family; keeping in touch with the surviving members of the various homes he was in; and the photographs he was able to get of his biological family after the war.

Interviewee
Mr. Robert Sejwacz
Interviewer
Peggy Frankston
Date
2015 May 12  (interview)
Language
French
Extent
2 digital files : WAV.