Published by Humanity in Action in 2013, Civil Society and the Holocaust: International Perspectives on Resistance and Rescue examines the different ways that European countries and the United States responded to the Holocaust. This anthology was created as part of “Civil Society: Reactions to the Holocaust,” a series of events in Copenhagen commemorating the 70th anniversary of the flight and deportation of Danish Jews in October 1943.
“The yellow star was imposed to separate the Jews from the others and label them. Truly, this did not stir up demonstrations against the Jews. On the contrary, the yellow star shocked, and even scandalized the mainstream opinion.”
In September 1944, Chaskiel Perelman went back to the apartment he rented at 67 rue Rochechouart, in the 9th district of Paris. He left, with his wife and younger daughter, Rachel, the day after the rafle(roundup) of the Vel d’Hiv, on July 16 and 17, 1942. Under the Möbel Aktion, (1) the apartment had been emptied of all its furniture and the electric plugs had been snatched. Nothing was left from their life before. He was only with Rachel. This autumn 1944, Basia Elka, called Berthe, the elder daughter and her husband and Srulka Berneman, called Raoul, whom she married in Paris on May 20, 1941, and moved in at 7, rue Taylor with their baby girl Evelyne, born in Grenoble on July 27, 1943. This apartment was empty, too. Its tenants, the parents and the sister of Srulka, had been deported. They would never come back.
330,000 Jews lived in France in 1939, 80,000 of them (or 25%) died, most of them murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Sixty-nine percent of them were foreigners.
The Berneman and Perelman families are typical of those Jewish immigrant families from Poland, victims of anti-Semitic persecutions perpetrated by the Nazis and the French government of Vichy. Some of their members were murdered. Some others survived. The proportion between both for the Berneman-Perelman families is the same as for all the Jews of France. Indeed, according to the fact that 330,000 Jews lived in France in 1939, 80,000 of them (or 25%) died, most of them murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Sixty-nine percent of them were foreigners, like the Berneman and the Perelman.
The first who came to France in 1923 was Chaskiel Perelman. Born in Kotsk in 1890, he first settled in Warsaw where he was a tailor. (2) A member of a communist trade union, he met Chawa Beckerkunz, born in Warsaw in 1898, whom he married. They had two children, born in Warsaw: Basia Elka (1920) and Rachmil Bochuch (1922). His wife and his two children joined him in Paris in 1924. In the beginning, they lived and worked in some unhealthy places in the slums of Paris where the immigrants lived, Jewish or not: rue des Poissonniers, in the 18th district, then 33, rue de Meaux, in the 19th where, on December 12nd 1925, at 1:20 AM Rachel was born, the first twin and Jules, the second twin. Jules lived only a few months. He died at the Herold Hospital on May 15, 1926.
At the beginning of 1930, the family moved into a middle class apartment on rue Rochechouart. It was not an immigrant neighborhood, and the Jews who lived there were French – “Israelite bourgeois,” as people used to say. This new home was the proof of their social ascent. Chaskiel despised his unambitious coreligionists. At the very bottom of the scale, according to him, were the Jews living in Pletzl, the Saint-Paul neighborhood with the rue des Rosiers, attending the small synagogues, wearing kaftan and payes. Those from Belleville, even if they partly abandoned the Tradition, were no better. Not that he had given up being Jewish. Had he hoped so, it would have been impossible: he hardly spoke French and Yiddish remained his main language, his only language. Apart from his customers, his social network consisted of immigrant Jews from Poland like him. Among his customers was the very famous journalist Henri Béraud, (3) who lived in the same building. Béraud moved surreptitiously from the left to the right wing. What remained steady, with him, was his anti-communism and his anti-Semitism. What changed was his enormous weight. He received the Goncourt Prize in 1932 for Le martyre de l’obèse (“The Martyrdom of the Obese”). He points out his problems for dressing. He was a valuable customer for Chaskiel Perelman, who widened regularly the author’s trousers. He never expressed toward him the least racial prejudice.
As many other Jewish immigrants, the Perelmans had forgotten any religious practice.
As many other Jewish immigrants, the Perelmans had forgotten any religious practice. They were very interested in politics, which they followed in the abundant Yiddish press, particularly the communist daily la Naie Presse (The New Press), published in Paris. They were not members of any political organization but belonged to the communist movement, the one of the Yiddish speaking under-section of the French Communist Party. In 1934, the parents enrolled their elder children, Berthe and Roger, at YASC, Yiddisher Arbeyter Sport Klub, located at the end of the Cité d’Angoulême (today rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud), in the 11th district, in the heart of Jewish Paris. They became friends with some young communists who will become resisters and partisans of the immigrant work force. (4) Because most of them came from the YACK, they were called “the sportsmen”. Neither Perelman nor Berneman became resisters.
On September 3, 1939, when France declares war on Germany, Chaskiel, now helped by his wife, now makes a good living as tailor for men. At 49, he is too old to enroll in the army as did 30,000 foreign Jewish. Roger, his son, is too young. At 17, he is a brilliant student in mathematics at the lycée Condorcet. Next year, he should pass his baccalauréat. But, because of the war, he cannot go back to lycée Condorcet, one of the oldest and boldest Parisian high schools requisitioned by the army, but to a private high school, rue du general Foy. Rachel studies accounting at rue d’Abbeville. Berthe works for a haute couture workshop. She is dating Srulka, called Raoul Berneman, born on April 5th 1921 in Podwialne, Poland.
The family leaves Paris in this great migration that is called the Exodus, as the exit of the Hebrews form Egypt. Roger is biking. The rest of the family takes the train.
For Chaskiel as for other men who have not been called by the army, the first year of war, La drôle de guerre, when soldiers do not fight, is a good year. His customers have grown with Polish refugees, who escaped their country split between Germany and Soviet Union. Looking at the German army entering Paris, the Perelmans act as most of the Parisians and like nearly 100,000 Jews. (5) The family leaves Paris in this great migration that is called the Exodus, as the exit of the Hebrews form Egypt. Roger is biking. The rest of the family takes the train. They arrive in Perpignan where Roger passes successfully his bacs of maths and of philosophy.
What do they know? What do they understand of the major events that occurred during their travel?
Philippe Pétain, the “winner” of Verdun, asked for an armistice with Germans. It is signed on June 22, 1940 a Rethondes. France is split in two zones. A demarcation line becomes the border between an occupied zone ruled by the German military commandment (Miltärbefefhlshaber in Frankreich– MBF) and a free zone. The French government, now called the French State government settles in Vichy. He runs the country by decrees that are valid in all the country, which is still administered by the French administration. Crossing the demarcation line requires a visa, called Ausweis. Jews cannot come back to the occupied zone when they are in the free zone.
The war does not seem to have changed anything, or almost.
After a short hesitation, when it is planned to flea to North Africa by Port-Bou and Spain, the family decides to come back to Paris. On a first try, they are driven back at the demarcation line. The second try works better. At the end of 1940, the family lives again on rue Rochechouart. Berthe, who was so sad, reunited with her lover, who has stayed in Paris. And life goes on normally. The war does not seem to have changed anything, or almost. Chaskiel is very busy. Roger opted for a class of mathématiques supérieures, a very difficult course. Because he is a foreigner, he cannot apply to Polytechnique or Normale Sup, the two best Grandes Écoles. He targets École Centrale, which admits some foreigners. He works very hard, does nothing else, does not read anymore, does not go to the movies, does not attend the YASK anymore, gets away from his old friends from the neighborhood. Rachel studies at rue d’Abbeville, as she did before the war and Berthe still works for haute couture.
The family obeys the decree of September 27, 1940, that determined who is Jewish and orders everyone to register before October 20.
They are worried by the first anti-Semitic measures taken by the MBF or the French state, but not enough to change anything in their daily life. The status of the Jews, enacted by Vichy on October 3, 1940, published in the Journal officiel on October 18th, targets primarily the foreign Jews. It provides for the internment in special camps of the foreign Jews. It is a real threat, even if no one in the family is concerned. Everyone wants to respect the law, as the huge majority of the French Jews in 1940. The family obeys the decree of September 27, 1940, that determined who is Jewish and orders everyone to register before October 20. They stand in line for hours at the police station of the rue de la Tour d’Auvergne, near their residence. The names of each member of the family are listed in the four files created and managed by the Préfecture de police by street, by nationality, by alphabetical order, by occupation. In his fitting room, Chaskiel hangs a yellow poster with black letters: Judisches Geschaft(“Jewish business”).
My mother instinctively repeated to me not to go, but I answered: Where could I hide?
On May 13, 1941, Roger walks from the lycée Condorcet by his usual itinerary: rue du Havre, rue Saint-Lazare, rue de Maubeuge, rue Pétrelle. He recounts: “It was about half past four, the air seemed light, the weather was mild, spring. It quickly appears to me that on rue Rochechouart, an abnormal number of Jews were on the sidewalks, speaking to each other, nervous and anxious; I knew them well and, to the one who asked me: ‘Do you have your convocation?’ I answered that I did not know. Then I came home. The convocation was there, for the morning after, at the police station of avenue de l’Opéra. My mother instinctively repeated to me not to go, but I answered: Where could I hide? We’ll see well” (6)
In the memories, this convocation stayed as the “green note.” “Green notes” were sent to 6694 Jews, mostly Polish, whose names where chosen in the files managed by the police headquarters. Slightly more than half of them answer, like Roger, to the convocation. All of them are interned in camps located in the Loiret: Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande.
At nine in the morning, on time like the Perelman always are, Roger, accompanied by his mother and Rachel, arrives at the police station. After a short examination of his identity, he is brought into a room in the depths of the building. His mother is asked to come back with clothes and food for 24 hours. Around 2 PM, buses come to pick them up. By the window of the bus, in front of the Café de la Paix, Roger sees his sisters and Raoul who make signs with their hands in his direction. At Austerlitz station, the train does not move for a long time. And the trip, as Roger remembers it, is very long. The train stops at Pithiviers. The prisoners walk to the camp.
Berthe and Raoul marry the week after. Even if the Berneman and Perelman families have abandoned religious practice, the tradition leaves its prints: a wedding must never be cancelled, even if a relative dies. The ceremony takes place in the 10th district of Paris City Hall. The photographs show how elegant and beautiful the bride and the bridegroom were.
In fact, “the non Jewish population was not concerned. There is no record of this episode in any journal written by a non-Jew,” writes Renée Poznanski (7) about those massive arrests. They were invisible.
The French population is neither hostile, nor helpful to the Jews, but unconcerned.
But the difference between the number of persons that the Germans planned to arrest and the number of those who were really arrested shows that the first actors in this rescue were the Jews themselves. Some of those who went to the police station to be registered do not obey anymore and leave Paris for the free zone. The French population is neither hostile, nor helpful to the Jews, but unconcerned.
The persecution arrived in the life of the Perelmans without their anticipated it. It will never leave them in peace. The month after, just after the creation of the Commissariat aux Questions Juives, the enterprise of Chaskiel Perelman is targeted by the ‘aryanisation’–this savage word is translated from the language of the 3rd Reich to call the transfer of Jewish property to the Aryan people. On June 3rd 1941, the workshop of Chaskiel Perelman, where he works alone, gets a “trustee” whose name is M. L’Herbette, who lives 140 avenue de Paris, in Vincennes, in the near suburb of Paris. On September 25, M. L’Herbette resigns, officially because of health problems. He is replaced on November 22 by M. Lepagnot, who lives at 8, rue Eugène Besançon, in Bois-Colombes, in the western suburb of Paris. But a spelling mistake transforms Perelman into Pekelman in the files. It’s under this name that the file is registered at the National Archives. (8)
A spelling mistake transforms Perelman into Pekelman in the files. It’s under this name that the file is registered at the National Archives. (8)
Around them, in the schools, in their neighborhood, in their relationships with the trustee who, in this case, has almost nothing to direct, and seems rather friendly, no member of the family faces hostility. During this first period of persecution, the French population, as shown all the analysis, (9) is mostly unconcerned by measures taken discreetly, and quite invisible. Everybody is upset by other problems: the million and a half war prisoners, the growing difficulties to find food…
But the family is worried about Roger, who is visited by his relatives in Pithiviers, as seen from a photograph in the family’s archives. The camps of Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande, where 3700 Jews are interned, do not belong to the Nazi concentration universe. The men are deprived of liberty, they live in the close proximity to each other, and they do not eat their fill. But they are not victims of abuse, they can read, write letters, organize conferences and even have visitors. It is boredom that drives Roger to volunteer to work in a farm. Because of the number of war prisoners, there are not enough workers available for agriculture. Roger and seven others are sent to the farm of M. Tibout, in Guigneville, near Pithiviers. They are treated right, even if the work is hard for an urban young man. At night, they are locked in a room. A policeman, in charge of their custody, sleeps in the room beside. In the night of August 16th, the eight of them run. The lower officer Delmas, who runs the Pithiviers camp during the day, sends a report to is chief: the policeman “did not notice anything abnormal during the night.” (10)
There is no rule: some accept to help, others refuse.
The fugitives reached the closest railway station and took the train to Paris. Then, Roger is sought after. He finds a shelter in Paris, rue Ledru Rollin, in the apartment of an unknown woman who agrees to accommodate him. But he must leave this first hiding place. Roger is badly surprised when the parents of a former school fellow refuse to shelter him. So there is no rule: some accept to help, others refuse. Those refusals can be explained by the fear, by the willingness to go on living quietly, by the fear of accepting one more person when it is more and more difficult to find food. Those behaviors can be explained by others reasons than the hatred against the Jews. Roger goes back to rue Rochechouart and obtains false papers and passes the demarcation line at Orthez. It is the beginning of a long trek to Nice then Grenoble where he arrives at the end of October 1941. He takes back his true identity and enrolls at the faculty of science.
Some 4000 Jews, French or foreigners, were sent by bus to La Muette in Drancy, were they were interned in very poor conditions. (12)
Of course, since the arrest of Roger and his flight from Pithiviers, disquiet has crept into the heart of the family, insomuch as the prohibitions are increasing and increasing, (11) and as the news of Jews being arrested spreads in the Jewish society of the capital. On August 20,1941, the 11th district has been locked at dawn. The rafle will go on the following days in all Paris. Some 4000 Jews, French or foreigners, were sent by bus to La Muette in Drancy, were they were interned in very poor conditions. (12) Once again, the results are much lower than the Nazis projections. On December 12, the Germans arrest 743 Jews who mostly belong to the French elite. They go to the camp of Compiègne-Royallieu.
Despite the multiplication of the arrest, of the departure of the first convoy to Auschwitz, on March 27, 1942, the relationships between the Jews and the French society barely change. It is with the German prescription of May 29, 1942, which imposes in the occupied zone that every Jew aged more than 6 wears the yellow star that the persecution becomes visible to everyone.
The Perelmans, as most Jews, obey this prescription. How could they act differently? Everybody knows they are Jews in their neighborhood. But they do not face any hostile reaction. When Rachel goes to her school rue d’Abbeville, she is treated by her fellows and teachers as on any other day. Chawa decides to be photographed with the star: “They will be ashamed, later,” she says. Who are “they”? The Germans, probably. She and Chaskiel dress elegantly, and go to the studio of a professional photographer. They pose proudly, standing side by side. They will not have time to pick up the picture that Chaskiel will retrieve when he will be back in Paris, in the fall of 1944. The photo stays in the family archives.
The yellow star has been imposed to separate the Jews from the others and to label them in order to facilitate their arrest. In fact, it did not generate hostile reactions among the French population. On the contrary, it has shocked, and even scandalized most of the public opinion (13). The rafle of the Vel d’Hiv, in July, followed in August by the arrests in the free zone, will tilt it from indifference to active help.
The Perelmans were warned of the rafle by a customer, a Hungarian called Leopold von Starkman. No one knows how Chaskiel met him, and the archives are generally silent about this kind of subject. Maybe by another customer. Anyway, Chaskiel is von Starckman’s tailor. Does he also make suits for Germans, as Roger and Rachel’s testimonies suggest? For several months, von Starckman and Chawa have acquired materials on the black market. Chawa buys fabric illegally, to supply Chaskiel who cuts and sews.
“We do not open. If they want to come in, they will have to break the door.”
Just before the rafle, Leopold von Starckman informed Chaskiel that this time, the policemen would arrest women and children, too. Many Jews cannot believe this. The Perelmans do. The janitor of the building brings them into an unoccupied maids’ room. Then, in a moment of panic, climbs the six floors and asks them to go back to their apartment, which they do. Chawa, who keeps a cool mind says: “We do not open. If they want to come in, they will have to break the door.” Then the policemen knock at the door. Once. Twice. The policemen do not insist. They are saved. Nobody, not even the scared janitor, has denounced them. After the alert, M. Tardy, owner of the bar and tobacco shop at the corner of the street, where Chaskiel, a smoker, is a loyal customer, gives them coffee and bread and butter. When they will leave for the free zone, the Perelmans will consign the rest of their fabric to the Nannis, their neighbors, who will give it back to them after the Liberation.
All have avoided the rafle. Chaskiel, Chawa and Rachel rue Rochechouart, Raoul and Berthe in the apartment where they have lived since their marriage. At 7, rue Taylor, at the Berneman’s parents’ home, nobody believed that women and children would be arrested. Only the father, Icek, and Raoul’s younger brother, Roger Berneman, born in Paris in 1930, hid. The mother, Michla, born in Kozienio (Opland) in 1901 and her daughter Edka, born in 1923 in Jedlina (Poland), an assistant accountant, are arrested, sent to the Vel d’Hiv then to the camp of Beaune-la-Rolande. They are deported by the convoy of August 5, 1942 and murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Icek and Roger join Raoul in Grenoble. Icek will be arrested and deported by the convoy of January 20, 1943. He will never come back.
The Prelmans take the rumor into account. The Berneman do not.
The story of the Perelmans and the Bernemans is not an exception. It is emblematic of what happened on July 16 and 17, 1942. The Germans, assisted by the French police, had planned to arrest 30,000 Jews: 13,157 were arrested, mostly women (5902) and children (4051). This failure – half of the number intended – is due to the information leaked form the Prefecture de Police and spread by policemen, civil servants, members of Jewish associations such as Eclaireurs Israélites. And to the ability of the Jews to hide, often thanks to their neighbors. The policemen acted in very different ways. Those in charge of the Perelmans did the minimum, and did not break the door of the apartment. (14) The behavior of the two families is not the same. The Prelmans take the rumor into account. The Berneman do not. It is hard to explain those different behaviors because those two families are very similar: same date of immigration, same profession, same number of children of almost the same age.
“I have the honor to inform you that the Jew Perelman Chaskiel, Polish, living 67, rue Rochechouart, whom I had asked to stay on the register of artisans, has just been interned in a concentration camp.”
On September 31, 1942, F. Lepagnot, provisional trustee, sends a letter to André Lack, head of the section in charge of the clothing industry at the Commissariat aux questions Juives: “I have the honor to inform you that the Jew Perelman Chaskiel, Polish, living 67, rue Rochechouart, whom I had asked to stay on the register of artisans, has just been interned in a concentration camp.” The information is not true. But it shows what this Lepagnot imagines happened to Chaskiel. He writes that a “total expulsion is in progress.”
On November 21, 1942, Lack answers to Lepagnot: “As the Jew is interned, you can close this enterprise after asking the Organization committee its opinion. When you get this answer, you send it to me and I will give you all the necessary information.”
It takes almost one year before the liquidation becomes official. André Lack’s presentation of the enterprise is short: “Business without economic interest. No stock, small machines. Buyer’s card removed. Cancelled from the register of artisans. The organization Committee agreed to the liquidation. Chaskiel Perelman is still, according to the authorities, “interned in a concentration camp”. The last trustee is paid with what was still in the workshop. As Chaskiel Perelman is Polish, 83 francs and 33 centimes are sent to the Treuhand, the German financial agency that receives the money coming from the liquidation of the property of foreign Jews. At an unknown date, by a German order, the scellés will be put on the apartment of the 67 rue Rochechouart. After everything has been removed.
When Chaskiel and his younger daughter, Rachel, come back to Paris, they are lucky enough to retrieve their apartment, which has not been rented to “good faith tenants,” as the people called themselves who occupied houses where the former tenants were absents. They do not find any personal papers, any photographs. The past, what existed before, is erased.
As soon as the immediate danger is gone, the family goes away, tries to find a shelter and to organize the path through the demarcation line, to reach the “free zone.” As most of Jews, the Perelmans believe that only the foreigners are in danger. So the three of them walk to their friend the Zaks who are French. Their place is tiny. The Perelmans cannot stay. They walk to the house of their friend, the shoemaker Mirski, who has, on the street, a glass enclosed room and an apartment. Chawa, Chaskiel and Rachel stay there for ten days, the time to organize passing over the demarcation line, the time for Mirsky to make fake heels for Chaskiel’s shoes, who hides his money in there: 150,000 francs, more than a hundred times the monthly minimum wage, as he will declare to the policeman who will question him at Sassenage on August 13, 1942. Having money is very important to survive. They plan to reach Grenoble. They decide to pass in two groups: Chaskiel, Berthe and Raoul first. Then Chawa and Rachel. They will meet in Lyon, avenue Félix Faure at their friends Blattmann, upper class people who rent a nice apartment.
“The facilitators were more than happy. The price of the pass had been multiplied by twelve to twenty,” writes Renée Poznanski. (15) For the Perelman were not the only ones to try to flea the occupied zone. The rafle of the Vel d’Hiv generating a huge migration of Jews to the “free zone”, and of a strengthening of the controls of the French and German police along the demarcation line. According to Chaskiel’s testimony, the cost of the pass was 500 francs.
Chaskiel, disguised as a French worker, and Berthe and Raoul took the train at the Gare de Lyon to Chalon-sur-Saône, with a passman who took them to a nearby village, then disappeared. With other fugitive Jews, they tried to pass the line, got lost, then met a biker who helped them to pass and definitely refused the money they proposed.
The Germans saws their boat and shot. The boat returned.
Then it was Chawa and Rachel’s turn. They leave Paris with a couple of young people who were not Jew but simply wanted to visit their grandmother in the free zone, and a Jewish couple. They were supposed to pass the line at Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, near Chalon-sur-Saône. The Germans saws their boat and shot. The boat returned. Rachel and the young persons swam to the free shore. Chawa and the Jewish couple sank. Her body was found. The death certificate indicates that Chawa died on July 29th at 4:30 PM. She was buried at the cemetery of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes without anybody at the burial.
The passman reimbursed Rachel. The two young persons took charge of her. She joined her father, Berthe and Raoul in Lyon.
The survivors of the family joined Roger in Grenoble. They lived in the city or in nearby neighborhoods; Sassenage, Fontaine, Domiane, Saint-Martin-d’Hère… In the beginning, they lived under their own identity: the archives of the province of Isère keeps tracks of those who were foreigners –all of them except Rachel, born in France. Roger answered to an order to join the foreign workers group of Uriage. He was locked up there. So he understood that he was in danger, even if he could not identify how. He escaped, choosing the moment when the custodians were inattentive. He jumped on the iron fence, got back to Grenoble by tramway. First, he hid at his father’s, who lived in Domaine, then he reached Nice. The city, like Grenoble, was occupied by the Italians. After the armistice of “Badoglio,” in September 1943, and the occupation of the whole French territory by the Germans, Chaskiel and Rachel obtained false papers. Under this false identity, they could survive unmolested.
He was arrested, brutally interrogated at Hotel Hermitage, the headquarters of the Gestapo, sent to Drancy and deported to the Auschwitz camps by the convoy of October 28, 1943.
Roger went back to Nice. Once again, he registered as Jewish in a census, as if he had learnt nothing of the two former arrests. He made a living teaching math in a private school where he was, for a short while, the director. When the Germans occupied Nice, after the armistice of Badoglio and the withdrawal of the Italian troops, hunting of Jews began. Roger took the false identity of Perrier, and went on teaching. In mid-October, after he was denounced, Gestapo policemen waited for him in the room he rented. He was arrested, brutally interrogated at Hotel Hermitage, the headquarters of the Gestapo, sent to Drancy and deported to the Auschwitz camps by the convoy of October 28, 1943. He was sent to the Janina mine, a few miles away from Auschwitz, which worked for IG Farben, For 18 months, hardly dressed, hardly fed, he went down to the bottom of the mine. He attributes his survival to the poverty of his childhood, when he had to face hunger and coldness, to his healthy body and to luck. And also to the fact that he never allowed himself to think about the past and was very eager to know all this story would end. He was one of the 2500 survivors among the 76,000 Jews deported in France.
Those destinies cannot tell everything about the story of the Jews in France. But they are emblematic. On one side, the German Nazis and the French State cooperated to persecute and to deport. One the other side, the people who, despite this persecution, show initiative to escape the trap as they understand the danger. Understanding and practical intelligence were not always enough to escape arrest and deportation. These Jewish people, in France, were, contrary to those of Poland, a very small minority: 0.5 % of the French population. They can spread and avoid persecution, as did the Perelmans. They can blend into a French society that was universally helpful.
• • •
Wieviorka, Annette. “Paris: a family under German occupation.” In Civil Society and the Holocaust: International Perspectives on Resistance and Rescue, edited by Anders Jerichow and Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, 84-95. New York: Humanity in Action Press, 2013.
- The radical spoliation of Jews’ homes in France, Belgium and Netherlands.
- Those informations come from private archives of the Perelman and Berneman that belong to me, from several interviews realized in 2012 and 2013 with Rachel Prelman, form Roger Perelman’s autobiography, The Life of an unimportant Jew, Robert Laffont, 2008.
- Henri Béraud (1885-1958) was a famous journalist who joined the extreme right newspapers in February 1934. He was sentenced to death in 1944 for collaborating and was pardoned.
- Main d’œuvre Immigrée ou MOI. Cf Annette Wieviorka, , Ils étaient juifs, résistants, communistes, Denoël, 1985.
- Poznanski, Etre juif en France pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Hachette, p. 55.
- Roger Perelman, op.cit.p. 98.
- Renée Poznanski, op.cit., p. 104. 8 AN, AJ38/18673.
- AN, AJ38/18673.
- See, among others, Pierre Laborie, L’opinion française sous Vichy, Seuil, 1990.
- AD Loiret, 45/Cercil.
- That is what Edgar Faure calls a the Nuremberg trial « the time of decrees ». Their list (more than 200) is compiled in dans Les Juifs sous l’Occupation. Recueil des textes officiels français et allemands, Editions du Centre, 1945.
- See Annette Wieviorka et Michel Laffitte, À l’intérieur du camp de Drancy, Perrin, 2012.
- See Poznanski, op.cit., p. 357-362.
- On the preparation and realization of the rafle, see Serge Klarsfeld, Le calendrier de persécu- tion des Juifs de France, juillet 1940- août 1942, Fayard, 2001.
- Renée Poznanski, op. cit., p. 399.