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Portrait of a French Jewish family wearing Jewish stars.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 92063

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    Portrait of a French Jewish family wearing Jewish stars.
    Portrait of a French Jewish family wearing Jewish stars.

From left to right are Victor Perelstein, Eva Perelstein Pelcholding her baby Jean-Claude, Giselle Rachlin, George Rachlin, and Cecile Perelstein Rachlin. (Cecile's husband died on the Maginot line during the invasion of France.)

    Overview

    Caption
    Portrait of a French Jewish family wearing Jewish stars.

    From left to right are Victor Perelstein, Eva Perelstein Pelcholding her baby Jean-Claude, Giselle Rachlin, George Rachlin, and Cecile Perelstein Rachlin. (Cecile's husband died on the Maginot line during the invasion of France.)
    Date
    Circa 1940 - 1942
    Locale
    Paris, [Seine] France ?
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Marcel Hodak

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Marcel Hodak

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Biography
    Marcel Hodak is the son of Jules and Feiga (nee Perelstein) Hodak, Romanian Jews who had emigrated to Constantinople and later to Paris to escape pogroms in their native country. Marcel was born on August 25, 1937, in Paris, France. He had three older brothers and a sister. He also had a large extended family as his mother was one of 15 siblings. Jules worked as a presser in the women's garment industry, and Feiga was a seamstress. In 1940 Germany invaded France and in 1942 began the deportation of foreign born Jews. Marcel's brothers were born before his parents had gotten official citizenship, so although Marcel was considered a French citizen, his parents and brothers were not, and were therefore at risk for deportation. In order to protect his family, Jules decided that they should move south to a town called Bride-les-Bains, where the family had spent summer vacations. Feiga used her sewing skills to earn income to buy necessities, and Jules found work as a lumberjack. Marcel's oldest brother Jean joined a French resistance group called Les Maquisards, or the Maquis for short. The group fought against German occupation troops in the Alps, and would occasionally bring back rations that had been parachuted in from England. Marcel's family tried to blend in as much as possible with the people of Bride-les-Bains, so on Sundays Marcel attended the town's Catholic Church. He often forgot to remove his beret, and as he sat in the pews the priest would come down the aisle and remove Marcel's hat and place it on his lap. In later years Marcel's brother told him that the priest was actually a Jewish member of the Maquis. While Marcel's immediate family were living in Bride-les-Bains, his extended family also decided to flee Paris, scattering in all directions. Marcel's uncle, Usher Perelstein, and his wife were the only two to be arrested. They were picked up in a German raid and on March 27, 1944 were sent to Auschwitz where they were both killed. After the liberation of France in 1944, Marcel and his family returned to Paris, Marcel watched from his father's shoulders as General Eisenhower, and Generals Charles De Gaulle and Philippe Leclerc led a victory parade down the Champs Elysees, accompanied by thousands of freedom fighters. The day of liberation was August 25th, Marcel's seventh birthday. Marcel and his family left France for America shortly after that event and settled in Brooklyn, New York. He served in the United States Air Force from 1956 until 1967, and later became a software specialist. Marcel was married in 1958 and he and his wife had three sons and five grandchildren.
    Record last modified:
    2010-12-17 00:00:00
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/pa1170971

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