70 years ago, the largest roundup of Jews in Paris
According to Serge Klarfeld, president of the Association of son and daughters of Jews deported from France, 1,129 men, 2,916 women and 4,115 children were huddled in the Vel d’Hiv for four days.
Almost all the 13,152 Jews rounded up in Paris were deported.
Among the “Vel d’Hiv”, less than a hundred – no children – survived, says Serge Klarsfeld.
They were then taken to the camps of Beaune-la-Rolande and Pithiviers (Loiret), some 3,000 young children are brutally separated from their parents deported first. The children were deported between 17 and 31 August at Auschwitz, told AFP Mr Klarsfeld.
Simultaneously 1,989 men and 3,003 women, childless couples and singles, were arrested and imprisoned in the Drancy camp before being deported to Auschwitz also.
“Anti-Semitism of the Vichy government and its policy of collaboration with the Third Reich, who programmed the extermination of Jews, led to the deportation of foreign Jews first and then French Jews,” says historian John -Pierre Azema AFP.
The Act of October 3, 1940 on the status of French Jews to “limit their influence” and that of October 4, 1940 for the internment of foreign Jews by the prefects distinguished French Jews and stateless persons from Germany and Central Europe to escape Nazi persecution.
The extermination of Jews by the Germans began in 1941 with the “Holocaust by bullets”, or more than one million executions by the Einsatzgruppen (task forces), says Jean-Pierre Azema.
Responsibility of France
In France, the first raids began with the arrest, May 14, 1941, by the Paris police in 3700 foreign Jews. Three months later, in late August, 4,200 men, including 1,500 French Jews were arrested and sent to Drancy, under the authority of the police prefect of the Seine.
Seven months later, the roundup of 12 December 1941 is formally in a series of reprisals for holding German “hostages” after the first attacks against the German army in Paris.
At the Wannsee Conference, January 20, 1942 in Berlin, fifteen top Nazi officials, organized the “Final Solution to the Jewish question” and set out procedures for deportation of Jews from occupied Europe to extermination camps.
March 27, 1942, the first “special train”, carrying 1,112 Jews from France to the extermination camp of Auschwitz, leaving Compiegne (Oise), marking the beginning of the deportation of nearly 76,000 men, women and Jewish children.
May 1942, SS General Karl Oberg, in charge of the “Jewish question”, moved to Paris and asks René Bousquet secretary general of the police to arrest all Jews in the occupied northern zone. “Vichy will then be an accomplice of the Germans by delivering first foreign Jews,” said Jean-Pierre Azema.
Pierre Laval demand that Jewish children from the north are also deported. The Vel d’Hiv roundup can start from the file consists of Jewish Vichy in autumn 1940.
Fifty-three years later, July 16, 1995, President Jacques Chirac before the memorial recognizes the Vel d’Hiv responsibility of France: “Yes, the criminal folly of the occupier was assisted by the French, by the French state. ”