FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld  

 
Previous Page Back  Contents  Contents Page XV Home Page Home Page  Forward Next Page 
     
asked to prepare a new edition. But there can be no new edition without use of all the documentation still in the hands of the Veterans Affairs Ministry and the French National Archives. Several years ago, the Ministry began to computerize the data it holds on each deportee. When this program is complete, it doubtless will be able to publish a work based on the many sources thus brought together.

After the 1993 publication of the Calendrier de la Persécution des Juifs de France, a detailed account of these events by date, I determined to attempt a new reference work in the domain of memory and feeling. In my eyes and in the eyes of many others, crimes against humanity are above all the crimes committed against innocents, those who threaten no one. For some time, I had felt the need to develop a full memorial book to the Jewish children deported from France. Les Enfants d'Izieu (1983), published in English by Harry N. Abrams in 1984 as The Children of Izieu: A Human Tragedy, was the first work I devoted specifically to children. It was created in the memory of the 44 children so cruelly taken in April 1944 from the group home in eastern France where they had been sent for protection, and deported to Auschwitz. And it was in their memory that, beginning in 1971, we were driven on the long campaign to find and expose the man responsible, Klaus Barbie, in Bolivia and bring him to justice in France. In the same way, it was the memory of the 250 children seized in the summer of 1944 from children's centers in the Paris area, run by the UGIF, that drove us to begin a campaign to have Aloïs Brunner extradited from Syria and tried.

I wanted to create a children's book that would make an original contribution to the literature on the Holocaust. I believe this has now been done by bringing together the children's names, with precise personal information; places, their addresses at the moment they were arrested; and faces –as many photos as possible of the deported children. We have been able to identify in this book the faces of more than 2,500 of these children.

This memorial to the children comes from the heart and from my experiences documenting their lives, as well as my personal relationships with survivors from the families that lost children. I would have wanted a book of 11,000 pages, of 11,000 faces; but this work as it exists is the culmination of more than 20 years of militant engagement. For this work to exist, it was necessary to experience what I have since my childhood and to do what I have done. And I publish this book hoping it will strike a blow against anti-Semitism, racism, and xenophobia.


Serge Klarsfeld
Paris, June 1996

Families and friends of young deportees from France –those who were under 18 years of age at the time of deportation and are not included in this volume – are urged to send their photographs so that we can publish these precious documents.
 
   
   

FRENCH CHILDREN OF THE HOLOCAUST

A memorial
Serge Klarsfeld

 
Previous Page  Back Page XV Forward  Next Page