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Studio portrait of five-year-old Rachel Kokotek with a doll.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 38529

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    Studio portrait of five-year-old Rachel Kokotek with a doll.
    Studio portrait of five-year-old Rachel Kokotek with a doll.


    Studio portrait of five-year-old Rachel Kokotek with a doll.
    December 1936
    Paris, [Seine] France
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Rochelle Kokotek Sameroff

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Rochelle Kokotek Sameroff

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Rachel Sameroff (born Rachel Kokotek) is the daughter of Wolf and Bronia (Sucheski) Kokotek, both of whom were born in Bedzin, Poland. The married in 1929 and immigrated to France soon after. Rachel was born on December 27, 1931 in Paris, where her father worked as a cabinetmaker. Her younger sister Fernande was born in 1938. The Kokoteks remained in Paris after the fall of France. During the summer of 1942, Rachel was hospitalized with scarlet fever. At the beginning of her quarantine her mother visited her every day, but one day her next door neighbor, Mrs. Registel, came instead. She told Rachel that her mother had a sore leg that prevented her from visiting. At the end of her hospitalization, when Mrs. Registel came to pick her up, Rachel noticed that the door to her family's apartment was sealed. Mrs. Registel explained that Rachel's parents and sister had to flee in a hurry, and she did not know where they had gone. Mrs. Registel gave Rachel her doll, roller skates and a few items of clothing and brought her to the Sainte Hélène à Epinay convent in Sénard. There, Rachel was baptized and given her first communion. Rachel never received any letters or visits and felt totally abandoned. During the summer of 1943, Rachel had to leave and find a new hiding place. Mrs. Registel brought her to the Voinot family, who were bakers in Avrolles, and Rachel stayed with them until the end of the war. After the liberation Rachel wrote to Mrs. Registel asking that she tell her parents, once they returned home, where she was staying. Only then, did Mrs. Registel confess that the French police had arrested Rachel's parents and sister on July 16, 1942. They were taken first to the Vélodrome d'Hiver and then deported to Auschwitz where they perished. Soon after hearing this news, Rachel was contacted by the OSE [Oeuvre de secours aux enfants] and placed in a children's home in Eure. In 1946 she made contact with her father's family in the United States and joined them the following year.
    Record last modified:
    2004-10-28 00:00:00
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