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FFI Free French pin engraved 193476 awarded to a Jewish resistance member

Object | Accession Number: 2004.248.3

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    FFI Free French pin engraved 193476 awarded to a Jewish resistance member


    Brief Narrative
    FFI (Forces Francaises de l'Interieur/ French Forces of the Interior) pin awarded to Yvonne Klug by the Committee of Liberation on July 7, 1946, for her acts of resistance against the German occupiers of France. Yvonne was imprisoned for her resistance activities in France and in Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp from 1943-1945. FFI was a confederation of French resistance organizations. The pin is engraved with the number 193476 and features the double barred Cross of Lorraine, a symbol of the resistance. France surrendered to and was occupied by Nazi Germany in June 1940. Yvonne was arrested by the Gestapo for her resistance work on September 1, 1943, in the Riviera and sent to Drancy internment camp in October. Until June 1944, she worked as slave labor at Austerlitz train station in Paris, and then was deported to Auschwitz II. She was liberated by the Soviet Army in January 1945, hospitalized and then repatriated to France in June 1945. She emigrated to the US in 1946.
    received:  approximately 1945
    received: France
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Ed Francell
    reverse, left wing. engraved : A. BERTRAND
    reverse, right wing. engraved : EDIT
    Subject: Yvonne Redgis
    Subject: Ed Francell
    Manufacturer: Arthus-Bertrand
    Yvonne Rothschild was born on January 9, 1898, in Paris, France. Her mother, Rose Marguerite Blum, was born in 1874, and her father, Alfred Rothschild, was born in 1864 in Columbus, Georgia, in the United States. She had a sister, Mariette, born in 1903. Her parents had lived in France since the 1910s. Alfred was a businessman and used the name surname Redgis professionally. Yvonne danced with the Paris Opera from the age of fifteen. She left Paris on August 19, 1922, and worked as a ballet teacher, eventually establishing her own school. In 1939, Mariette, her husband, Herbert Fraenkel, and their son, Edward, age 5, emigrated to the US. They Americanized their name to Francell.

    In May 1940, Germany invaded France, and, in June, France surrendered. Yvonne worked for the Red Cross in Paris until returning that year to her home in the Riviera in the unoccupied zone, governed by the Vichy regime. On October 22, 1940, she married Henry Horace Klug, Jr., an American born in 1893, in Cavalaire-sur-Mer. Yvonne joined the French resistance and was active in destroying German propaganda. She distributed pamphlets and underground newspapers and aided men evading forced labor service to join the Maquis (guerillas), for whom she provided food. Her parents escaped by foot from France in 1942 travelling over the Pyrenees mountains into Spain. They left for the US the same year and began to use the name Redgis. On September 15, 1943, the Gestapo arrested Yvonne and Henry in Paris for their resistance work in southern France. Henri was released for lack of proof, but Yvonne was imprisoned in Toulon, partly as a hostage to keep Henry from resuming his resistance work. This made some suspect that he had turned her in to the German authorities. She was transferred to Drancy transit camp on October 9 and, on December 10, assigned as forced labor at the Austerlitz train station, a Drancy subcamp.

    Yvonne was returned to Drancy on June 15, 1944. Two weeks later, on June 30, she and thirty seven other prisoners were deported on convoy 76 to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland. She was tattooed with prisoner number A8616. In January 1945, she was part of a group of prisoners forced on a death march. The group was abandoned by the German guards and liberated by Soviet troops. She was held in a forced labor camp in Katowice, Poland, from February to March 15, 1945, then transferred to a hospital in Krakow. After recovering from the hardships of camp, Yvonne was repatriated to France on June 4. She was contacted by a family in Nice who told her that they had found her dog, Nicholas. When Yvonne was arrested, a Nazi soldier took Nicholas and kept the dog with him when his unit transferred south. When the family rescued him in Nice, he had been abandoned. However, he was still wearing his original collar with his name tag and Yvonne’s contact information.

    In 1946, Yvonne, and Nicholas emigrated to Los Angeles where her sister had settled with her family. She was honored by the Committee of Liberation in France for resistance actions and her ordeal in Auschwitz. She divorced Henry on November 30, 1949, and changed her name to Redgis. In 1950, Yvonne was awarded a medal in Paris by the Federation Nationale des Deportes Internes Resistants Patriotes (FNDIRP), a group of survivors and former prisoners. Yvonne operated a dance studio in Santa Barbara. Beginning soon after the war, Yvonne spoke often to community groups about her war time experiences. Her father Alfred, 96, died in 1960. Her mother Marguerite, 92, passed away in 1966 in California. Yvonne, 74, died on September 3, 1972, in Santa Barbara. She had adapted her diary of her experiences into a memoir, and it was published in 2010 as Survivre: Souvenir d’une réscapée d’Auschwitz.
    Edward (Ed) Fraenkel was born in Paris, France, on May 8, 1934, to Herbert and Mariette Rothschild Fraenkel. Mariette was born in 1903 in Paris to Rose Hortense Marguerite Blum, born in 1874, and businessman Alfred Rothschild, born in 1864 in Columbus, Georgia, United States. Mariette had an older sister, Yvonne, born January 9, 1898. Herbert was born December 22, 1904, in Butow, Germany, to Hermann and Gertrude Josephson Fraenkel. Gertrude was born on May 31, 1873, in Paelitz, Germany, and Herman on August 13, 1874, in Schirwindt, Germany, and they married on July 3, 1900, in Berlin. Herbert was born in 1903 and had a brother, Werner, born in 1906, both in Butow. They were raised in Danzig, where Hermann died in 1934. The family then left for France, where Herman met and married Mariette. Herbert was a textile designer. In 1939, when Edward was five, he and his parents emigrated to the United States. They arrived in New York in March and eventually settled in Los Angeles. The family name was Americanized to Francell.

    After Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Edwards's paternal uncle Werner was drafted into the French Army. In May 1940, Germany invaded France, and, in June, France surrendered. Werner, age 36, was imprisoned in Bram internment camp in France, and then, in 1942, deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland and killed on August 31, 1942. Gertrude was not able to leave with Edward’s family and was hidden by a French family in Le Vesinet. On January 1, 1947, she sailed from Southhampton, England, on the SS Queen Elizabeth to join her family in the US. Edward’s maternal grandparents escaped from France to Spain in 1942, left for the US the same year, and settled in Los Angeles. Both passed away in their nineties in Santa Barbara. His maternal aunt, Yvonne Klug, was arrested for her French resistance activities and deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She survived the war and emigrated to the US in 1946.

    Physical Details

    Military Insignia
    Object Type
    Badges (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Silver plated metal pin with a center shaped as a map of France with 2 attached outstretched wings extending upward from each side and 3 letters, FFI, enameled blue, white, and red on top bridging the 2 wings. Engraved on the reverse are a number and manufacturer's name. There are looped tabs soldered to each wing.
    overall: Height: 0.875 inches (2.223 cm) | Width: 1.625 inches (4.128 cm) | Depth: 0.375 inches (0.953 cm)
    overall : metal, enamel
    reverse, center, engraved : 193 / 476

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The badge was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Ed Francell, the nephew of Yvonne Redgis.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-31 15:02:30
    This page:

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