Rene G.

I was born in Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, 25 March 1934. My parents had immigrated from Western Poland. In 1940, after the German invasion of the Benelux countries, we moved to Brussels, where I began my primary education, in Flemish. But as insecurity grew, we fled in August 1942 to the  Unoccupied Zone of France, hoping from there to get out of Europe. But we were interned by the French police in Lons le Saunier, North of Lyon.

Two weeks later the police came to transport all the interned foreign Jews to the internment camp of Rivesaltes in the Pyrenees. I was brutally torn from my mother, who  died either in Rivesaltes, or in Auschwitz, after the Germans invaded the Southern Zone in November 1942.

I was rescued by my mother’s sister, who was a French citizen and lived in hiding in a succession of places, including a Roman Catholic convent school, and farms.

My father went underground and joined the Jewish resistance movement in Lyon, where he was caught a month before the liberation, in Auugust 1944. He was on the last train that left France for Auschwitz, and died in the wake of the death march in March 1945.

After the war I was raised in a succession of Jewish children’s homes (maisons d’enfants de deportes et fusilles).

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