Group portrait of a school class in Salignac.
Photograph | Photograph Number: 58654
- Salignac, [Dordogne] France
- Photo Designation
INVASION & OCCUPATION -- France -- JEWS -- Schools/Class Photos
- Photo Credit
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Ingeborg Price
Group portrait of a school class in Salignac.
Among those pictured is Ingeborg Majewski who found shelter in the town together with her mother.
- Ingeborg Therese Majewski (later Price) is only child of Conrad (b. 1887) and Claire Finkenstein Majewski (b. 1892). She was born June 9, 1927 in Allenstein, Germany in East Prussia between Poland and Lithuania. Her parents owned chocolate factory with three stores. After they lost their business during the depression, the family moved to Koenigsberg and opened a moving company. Conrad worked as chauffeur and ran the office from their apartment. Ingeborg’s parents separated in 1934. Her father moved to Dusseldorf, and they divorced two years later. In 1936, the Nazis expelled Jewish children from the regular public schools, and Ingeborg attended a Jewish school that taught both English and Hebrew to accommodate future emigration. In 1938 Claire remarried to Franz Josef Brummer, a former cavalry officer. He had many non-Jewish friends and worked with them in the anti-Nazi resistance traveling the country giving political speeches. During this time, he didn’t live in home for fear of endangering Ingeborg and her mother. Eventually it became too dangerous for him to remain in Germany and he escaped to Belgium on foot. Following Kristallnacht, Claire had to report bi-weekly to the Gestapo. They asked her about her and interrogated her about her husband’s whereabouts and told her she was longer wanted in Germany and needed to emigrate. Claire told everyone they were leaving for China but instead, she and Ingeborg made their way illegally to Belgium. They lived in safety in for the next several months, but in May 1940 Germany invaded Belgium. Belgian police immediately arrested Ingeborg’s step-father as a political activist and deported him to France. Claire told Ingeborg to pack and that they would also go to France though they did not know where Franz had been taken. There was pandemonium at the train station and it became nearly impossible to board a train. However, Claire spotted an evacuation transport of orphans, and she and Ingeborg joined the group posing as an orphan and caretaker. They remained on the train for a week due to frequent bombardments. At stops Red Cross handed out food supplies, but when they arrived in France, Claire was arrested for espionage after someone heard her speaking German. She was brought to the police station but released to the care of the Jewish community after other Jewish refugees vouched for them. Ingeborg’s mother wanted to continue south convinced her husband was in Bordeaux. They were driven to Periguax in Dordogne in unoccupied zone where Claire received a place to stay in exchange for operating a soup kitchen for other refugees. She continued to search for her husband and wrote to his non-Jewish step-brother in code asking his help, and he wrote back that “Uncle Joseph was in Camp Le Vernet in Pyrenees.” HIAS sent a telegram to the camp, and Franz Josef escaped the camp and joined in Perigueux. He decided to look for work in small town where they would be less visible and hence safer. He was an agronomist by training and found work caring for the vineyards of Polish farmers in Salignac-Fenelon. He presented himself to the countess who owned the vineyards and truthfully told her the family’s situation. She agreed to hire him and told him he could also bring his family. Ingeborg, who went by her French sounding middle name Therese, attended school, made friends, and graduated elementary school. Then a German commission came to the village looking for German refugees to assist the German army and interviewed Inge. They told her they would give her a better education in Germany and would come back a few days later to take her. Her stepfather immediately went to the resistance commander who was doctor in village and asked for his help finding her a hiding place. He sent her to a Catholic orphanage in Brive-la-Gaillarde where they gave her false papers under the name Therese Majeste. Inge was only 14 years old. However a former classmate form Salignac recognized her after only three weeks, and Inge had to leave. She next went to Bort-les-Orgues, a Catholic boarding school where other Jewish girls were also hiding. She assisted in the kitchen and in the lower classrooms. She managed to correspond irregularly with her parents via another refugee. When summer vacation came (1943), it would have been suspicious if only the Jewish girls remained in the school. Ingeborg therefore went to the home of Edith Dunaigre, an aid worker in Limoges. Inge helped her with chores since she was lame and needed assistance. All of sudden received a letter from her mother telling her that her step-father had been deported to Drancy in March and now she was told to report to Perigeaux. Instead she went to the first orphanage that had shielded Ingeborg until she found another place. Ingeborg left to meet her mother saying that she was running off to see her “boyfriend.” Her mother was first brought to a hospital and where the staff was told she was a violent deaf mute so that everyone needed to stay away. In the meantime Inge was sent to another Catholic boarding school St. Jeanne d’Arc in Egeleton in Correze, and her mother later joined her. They then both went together to an old age home in Meymac that was looking for help. They shared an attic room. Ingeborg worked in the fields, and her mother cooked. One day Ingeborg met a woman who asked if Inge could help the Maquis (resistance) interrogate German deserters to find out if they were legitimate or not. Gave her code name “Chicky.” Inge only told the Mother Superior since she needed to go out after curfew but never told own mother. Ingeborg and her mother remained in Meymac until Normandy invasion. After liberation they went to Limoges where there was a Jewish community and then went to Poulouzat, an OSE home near Limoges. Claire worked as the cook, and Ingeborg interacted openly with other Jewish children for the first time since the war began. Ingeborg’s mother had a sister who had immigrated to Ecuador before the war, and they decided to join her. They came to Ecuador via the United States in July 1946. There Ingeborg met Alexander Price, an Austrian Jewish refugee. They married in 1947 and later immigrated to the United States.
- Photo Source
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial MuseumProvenance: Ingeborg Price
Record last modified: 2012-01-11 00:00:00
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