Archives of French Jews deported to Auschwitz made public for the first time
70 years ago,
Paris' police collaborated with the Nazis to deport about half of the city's Jews (the rest escaped). Now, they want people to know how that happened
They are among France’s darkest days: Police dragged over 13,000 Jews
from their homes, confined them in a Paris cycling stadium with little
food or water, and then deported them to their deaths in the
concentration camp at Auschwitz. But even in France, one of the most
brazen collaborations between authorities and the Nazis during World War
II is unknown to many in the younger generation.
Police are hoping to change that, opening up their archives on
France’s biggest single deportation of French Jews for the first time to
the public on Thursday.
The often chilling records are being exhibited in the Paris Jewish
district’s city hall to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the
two-day “Vel d’Hiv” roundup, named for the Velodrome d’Hiver, or Winter
Velodrome. Many thousands were rounded up on July 16 and 17, 1942, then
holed up in miserable conditions in the stadium, just a stone’s throw
from the Eiffel Tower, before being bused to the French camp at Drancy
and then taken by train to Auschwitz.
Tallies list the daily count of men, women and children detained,
alongside stark black and white photographs of deportees. A registry of
those forced to wear the yellow star and a Jewish census show how police
knew who to take. Meticulous handwritten lists detail personal
possessions handed over to police. Others list the value of property,
such as jewelry, confiscated — often forcibly — during the deportation.
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Labels: France, Holocaust, Nazi collaborator, Paris, World War II