jews in hiding in freezone France #france #holocaust


My family went into hiding in the south of France as soon as june 40. They hid in Marseille, then Nice and finally in a village in Provence St Jeannet  till the allied landing in Provence. I would like to know more on how they survived, who helped them.... I do not know where to start, how  to get in touch with people who can help me get into the right archives of associations helping jewish refugees during ww2. Any suggestion is welcome.
Reply to catherine.jurovsky@... 

Joe Ross

If you live in France, visit the Holocaust memorial in Paris. They have a research library there. My family also lived in Nice for part of the war.

Bernard Flam

Hi from Paris,
As I wrote recently on this forum, there is a lot of historical papers concerning Jews' fate around Nice during Shoah.
Unfortunately (nobody is perfect !) most of these documents are in French, as are archives in "Archives départementales des Alpes Maritimes", our administrative county of this area (fond 166).
I attach some pages on "Camp de Rivesaltes" where a lot of rounded up Jews had been sent.
Concerning Jewish Resistance, "Reseau Abadi" had been very active to protect and save children, as was "OSE" and "6eme EIF, Eclaireurs Isarelites de France".
You will find wikipedia pages about them.
Never forget the "Civil Resistance" of French population, 75% of Jewish persons present in France escaped deportation and were saved.

I hope you have some opportunity to read French and I attach some of these documents.
Bernard Flam
Archives & history of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring (Bund /  Workmen Circle) of France


Thank you Bernard. This will prove very useful! Actually I am french and also living in Paris!!
I have 2 questions for you. My great uncle Mordko Bespaloff died on june 44 at St Jeannet. My grand mother did the "Etat civil" declaration and since the country was still under occupation I wonder how that was possible ?
Are there lists of hidden children (My cousin Boris was born in 1930) by the associations in the south of France? My other great uncle was a doctor who treated resistance fighters. Do you think I can find information about him somewhere.
If you can give me your email I could emain in french with you. Bonne journée


Beverly Bienstock Margolies

You should also try contacting the mayor of the towns.  My parents hid in Ceyroux in the French Creuse province. The mayor gave my dad a new identity card to hide his Jewish name.  Even if the mayor was not involved in your family's hiding, s/he should know some of the history and which citizens were involved in the resistance, etc.
good luck in your search.

Daniela Torsh

Just finished reading a terrific non fiction book " A woman of no importance" about an American spy who worked first for Brits OSE and later for Yanks OSS. Her name was Virginia Hall (born east coast USA) and she had a wooden leg! Incredibly brave and resourceful and no one's ever heard of her. She was a Francophile and mostly worked in France to rescue resistance and other supporters of Allies and helped Jews escape too.
Sonia Purnell is author. Recommended background reading for anyone who is interested in the Vichy Govt and France during Nazi time.