Oral history interview with Georges Isserlis
George Isserlis, born in 1925, discusses his early life in Paris, France; his parents’ immigration to France from Russia; his Jewish education; his family’s flight to Vichy, France in 1940; his sister’s arrest in Paris in 1942 and death in Auschwitz; traveling from city to city in southern France; living in relative safety under Italian rule in Antibes, France until 1942; the growing number of Jewish refugees in southern France; actively participating in the Protestant scout movement; the Nazi invasion of the free zone; moving to Nice, France with his parents; becoming more involved in the resistance; their knowledge of what was happening elsewhere; meeting Pasteur Pierre Gagnier, a Righteous Among the Nations; his parents’ leadership roles in the resistance, including his mother’s role as the director of the Organization to Save the Children; crossing the border between Monaco and France to deliver funds to the resistance; his arrest while carrying 150 forged identity cards; escaping the train taking him as a prisoner to Paris; Pasteur Gagnier’s role in his escape; and leaving the station to find his parents.
Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
- Georges Isserlis
2012 March 29
interview: 2012 March 29
1 CD-ROM : MPEG-4.
- Credit Line
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Middlebury College Language Schools
Record last modified: 2020-07-09 14:34:19
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn74771
Also in Middlebury College Language Schools oral history collection
Consists of oral history interviews conducted by the Middlebury College Language Schools.
Aure Recanati (née Césarine Georgette), born in Marseille, France in 1924, describes being the eldest of three sisters; her father, Haïm Yeni, who immigrated with his parents to France in 1913 from Salonika, Greece; her mother, Flora Amaradgi, who was born in Salonika and immigrated to Marseille in 1923; the impact of the 1929 economic crisis and collapse of his family’s import business; moving to Paris, France in 1930; settling in Neuilly; the rise of Nazi Germany; growing fears about antisemitism; being on vacation near Coutances, France at war's outbreak; returning to Paris; leaving with her family on May 18, 1939; her family settling in Sarlat, France; reuniting with her cousin Joseph Recanati, who went on to Lyon to study; having a relatively easy life during the war; moving to Antibes, France in September 1939 and living in a hotel then a villa; having a peaceful life under Italian occupation until 1942; the arrest of Joseph in Lyon in December 1942 and her father managing to have him released; her desire to escape to Spain because she was pregnant with Joseph's child; getting married in secret because Jews could not marry; going to Savoie, France; the birth of her son on July 25, 1943; her father finding a villa in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France; the many people who helped her family; discovering that they lived on a road where the German officers lived and their constant fear; the departure of her father and husband to Souillac to find a hiding place and following soon after; staying in a house in Les Cuisines; being forced to leave because Germans were looking for them; her husband's notice to report for medical exam for the STO (Service du travail obligatoire) and his escape to Lyon; going to Antibes in September 1944 and reuniting with Joseph; the difficult conditions for Jews in Paris after liberation and the refusal of many to return stolen properties; her father’s and husband's attempts to reconstruct their economic activity to support the family; her efforts in the late 1990s to research Saloniki Jews murdered at Auschwitz and secure their recognition; her first book The Jewish Community of Salonika 1943; and the passing of her husband in 1997.