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Portrait of Cyrla Berenzon.

Photograph | Digitized | Photograph Number: 76364

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    Portrait of Cyrla Berenzon.
    Portrait of Cyrla Berenzon.


    Portrait of Cyrla Berenzon.
    1939 October 24
    Lens, [Pas-de-Calais] France
    Photo Credit
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Ms. Alice Ekman

    Rights & Restrictions

    Photo Source
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    Provenance: Ms. Alice Ekman

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Szmul Berenzon (b. 1901, in Radzyn, Poland) was the son of Jacob (Yankel) and Malka (Molly), nee Diamond. He had three older siblings, Esther (later Goldberg), Israel (Izzy), and Louis, all of whom immigrated to the United States. Cyrla (nee Woldsztejn) was born in 1900 in the town of Mszczonow. Together the couple settled in the northern French city of Lens, located in a region that had attracted many immigrants from Eastern Europe who had come to participate in mining and textile trades. In this environment of local commerce between miners and merchants, Szmul became the proprietor of his own business.

    In Lens, Szmul and Cyrla welcomed two daughters, Mathilde (b. 1932) and Rosine (b. 1937), who went on to attend local schools. The Berenzons also remained in close contact with family members who lived in other regions of France, including Cyrla's older sister and her family. The Berenzons remained in Lens through the German invasion of France in May 1940. At the time, approximately 40% of the local Jewish residents fled the city and surrounding area, many to southern France. During the course of German occupation the Jewish population that remained experienced various forms of persecution and hardship, including exclusion from professions, curfews, and forced badging. In the summer of 1942 the first round-ups of Jewish residents In Lens for deportation to the East began. Szmul, Cyrla, and their daughters were arrested on September 11th, 1942 and sent to the transit camp of Mechelen (Malines). Four days later the Berenzons were deported with more than 1,000 Jewish men, women, and children to Auschwitz where they perished.
    Record last modified:
    2017-11-08 00:00:00
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