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Vichy France currency, 5 franc note, acquired by an American internee

Object | Accession Number: 2018.426.13

Banque de France note, valued at 5 francs, distributed in Vichy France starting August 1943, and acquired by Leonie Roualet. 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 the Vittel internment camp. 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.

Date
issue:  1943 June 02
Geography
issue: France
Language
French
Classification
Exchange Media
Category
Money
Object Type
Scrip (aat)
Genre/Form
Money.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Mark Roualet
 
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:30:15
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn628051