On 15 May 1944, the convoy #73 left Drancy (France) with 878 Jews (only men in the prime of life, able to work, no women, no children, no elderly, no ill persons). They were supposed to go and work for the Todt organization. In reality, the train arrived in Kovno (Lithuania, today Kaunas) where it was cut into two parts, the first one remaining in Lithuania, the second part going to Reval (Estonia, today Tallinn).My own father was in that transport.
Almost all these men were killed and there were only 22 survivors in 1945.
That transport is the only one (out of about 80) which was sent to the Baltic States.
During fifty years, nobody (families and historians) heard of the fate of that transport. A few people could read the few lines written in the “Memorial of the deportation of French Jews” by S. Klarsfeld (which contains several errors). Some families received documents saying that their deportee went to Auschwitz. Most of the families didn’t know anything.
Since 1994, because of several events and coincidences which would be too long to tell here, a few persons met, whose father, spouse or brother were in that transport. A memory trip was organized, then a second one three years later, then a book was written with testimonies of 48 families of these deportees and with all the information we could find concerning the fate of that transport, then other families made contact with us and a second and third book had to be published six months ago. On the whole, these books have 1100 pages together. They are non profit books, and I took them in charge from the first steps to the last sending, as a benevolent, in memory of my father and his companions.
At last, we have found the family of 195 deportees of convoy #73, we founded our association (“Families and Friends of the Deportees of Convoy 73”). We have a web site at http://www.convoi73.org/ (it’s not yet a big one since it’s a bit young).
Our goal is to gather the families of the deportees of that transport, to perpetuate and to pass on the memory of that transport, which was left in the dark during 50 years, to the next generations.
That’s why we are still searching new families all over the world, especially among the Jewish child survivors of Holocaust who had a close relative in that transport, and who should like to tell his story in the next supplement to our book. We have already found families in France (of course), Great-Britain, Belgium, Greece, USA, Israel, Australia…
Could you tell about this in your newsletter, and ask to anyone having had a relative in the transport #73 to make contact with us ? We would be very grateful to you. Here are my details :
Mrs Eve Line Blum-Cherchevsky
26 chemin du Grand Buisson
F – BESANCON (France)
Fax : (33) 3 81 80 83 07
Email : email@example.com