Looking for Rivesaltes camp arrest record or other documentation for my grandfather Moses GOLDSTEIN #france #holocaust
Hello! First, many thanks to this group for your thoughtful responses to my previous post looking for Carmen Kinderfreund. I connected with her daughter and we had an hour long conversation which filled in some blanks in my late father's story.
Here I am again with another query to put to all you crack researchers:
My grandfather, Moses GOLDSTEIN was deported to Auschwitz from Drancy, France, on 6 November 1942. He was sent to Drancy from the camp at Rivesaltes, France. I am looking for any arrest record or other documentation showing his path from his (up until that point) secure residence in Nice to Rivesaltes. The last letter my father received from him is dated 23 September 1942, only 6 weeks before his very final journey.
I know the USHMM has a list of all deportees from Rivesaltes and perhaps such arrest data would be included but they are closed right now and the list seems only available on microfilm, necessitating a visit, impossible at the moment.
Best wishes to all of you from New York.
When I was trying to find information regarding my relatives who went through Rivesaltes I found that Eve Blum (eve.line.blum@...) was quite helpful. Obviously her availability, or ability to answer your question, may be impacted by the current situation but it would be worth a try....at least for a start.
It is with sorrow that I inform you that your grandfather, who was born on July 28, 1886 in Obertyn, was sent from Rivesaltes to Drancy in the Convoy 9 on November 6, 1942.
If you have more information of him, I will gladly try to help.
All the best
Alejandro T. Rubinstein
Hi from Paris,
I have checked some French archives before answering you about Moses GOLDSTEIN's dramatic fate between Nice and Auschwitz and I will try to be clear for foreign researchers.
First of all, a common point of view from American persons is that France has forgotten its past because it was a past of "Collaboration" with nazis, especially concerning persecution and extermination of Jews.
Yes, almost 76.000 Jews have been deported to extermination, including 11.400 children under 15', rounded up mainly by French police and militia.
But always remember 75% of all Jews (80% French, 60% foreign Jews), ca 225.000 persons, survived in France, as my family did in Nice, Paris, Lyon and Grenoble. And this high ratio of surviving Jews among occupied European nations had been possible and achieved only with "Civil Resistance" of a large part of French population.
What we can find in French archives about this history?
At this moment, my second point is: you will be disappointed if you don't have learnt French at school!
It's a reason why our historical work appears outside to be so small, most of production (and web sites) is in French, nobody is perfect...
Concerning Shoah, main institution is Memorial de la Shoah in Paris (to be compared to USHMM)
You can find online a screen for any of these poor 76.000 deportees, always including digital copy of the page of deportation convoy including identity, job,
full last address (Nice for Moses). Families can add pictures and documents.
So I have found Moshe Goldstein as you did.
Each year, these lists of names are read during commemorations.
In Memorial, you have also free access to a very important research and documentation center (CDJC) : on Intranet and Library, you can learn everything which is known on Shoah.
Concerning individual fate of deportees after trains left France :
Search Arolsen Archives https://arolsen-archives.org/en/
and submit inquiry https://arolsen-archives.org/en/search-explore/inquiries/submit-inquiry/ as only a little part of archives is online.
Searching a deportee's file in France :
Archives of French state administration of deportees for official purposes (files opened after 1945), are kept by
Concerning archives left by a Jew during his life in France (before 1945) :
National Archives have a "naturalization" file for persons who obtained French citizenship before 1939 (you must have reference of decree): there are a lot of documents in this file, including list of siblings, birth certificate, job, housing, etc.
As France is very sensitive about privacy, these files aren't not available online and you must fill a special inquiry.
From our Revolution, France is divided in 97 "departments", an administrative division.
Files are kept by these "Archives departementales" and you must contact each of them to find traces of persons if you guess they could have lived in places
within theirs "borders".
In Nice :
I have checked and "Finding Aid" for "History of WWII in Alpes-Maritimes" (Nice departement) has 412 pages.
Fond "0166W016" contain "Reports and individual files" of Jews for period August to November 1942.
With Google, I have found some very interesting papers concerning fate of Jews around Nice during WWII, in French.
Rivesaltes camp, there is a memorial :
but archives seem not to be there, they are kept in "Archives departementales" of "Pyrenees Orientales"
Last but not the least: lockdown is just left in France for some days and all these services aren't fully back to work. So you and we must wait to start new searches.
Take care of you, abi gezunt !
Archives and history of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring (Bund / Workmen Circle) of France
Searching FLAM, AGID, STOLTZ around Lemberg, ZYSMAN, KRONENBERG, ROTTERSMAN around LODZ
Both the American Friends Service Committee and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee worked in the camps in south France. USHMM has these records which are mostly indexed. If you haven't already, email resource-center@... and ask them to check those 2 specific collections.
The Joint also provided relief in these camps and have indices and records on their website archives.jdc.org.
Megan Lewis Reference Librarian
National Institute for Holocaust Documentation
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum