Just saw a preview for this film…I have never heard of this before. I love history, yet there is so much I don’t know. Have you heard of the Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup?
Trailer for Sarah’s Key
Article from WSJ:
from Jews in France:
The effects of the Holocaust in France could not have been felt in the way that they were had it not been for the collaboration of the French police with the German authorities in the roundups of Jews. The Germans did not have the resources in France to carry out extensive manhunts that resulted in the vast number of Jews being sent to the East.
The Vel d’Hiv roundup was the greatest example of this collaboration. On July 16, 1942, some 13,152 men, women, and children were forced out of their homes (Poznanski 261). While the Vel d’Hiv roundup succeeded in sweeping the streets of Paris and surrounding areas of a majority of their Jewish populations, French and Nazi forces failed to reach their goal of 24,000 Jews. Single persons and those without children were sent directly to Drancy while families were held in a stadium in Paris, the Vélodrome d’Hiver, that was not equipped to house numerous people over a long stay (Poznanski 261).
The police intended for this roundup to be done quietly so as not to attract attention from the French populace. This intent was doomed from the start because word leaked out and underground networks frantically tried to warn Jews to flee or hide. However, especially French Jews could not imagine what awaited them. They dutifully followed the law by registering for the “census” and thereby made themselves available to deportation. The concept of the Final Solution was unfathomable to them, especially at the hands of the French authorities who had so long protected them, in a country to which they were loyal.
For 70,00 Jews from France, their stopover to their unknown destination in the East was at Drancy (Marrus and Paxton 252). Drancy was to become a critical link to Auschwitz and the German Final Solution; for it was from Drancy that 62 of the 74 convoys left France between March 27, 1942, and August 17, 1944 (Zuccotti 206). All but six of these trains arrived at Auschwitz, carrying 73,853 Jews, a majority of whom were gassed upon arrival (Zuccotti 206).
Drancy opened as an internment camp for Jews expected from Paris in August 1941 (Marrus and Paxton 252). From its opening until July 1943, Drancy’s administration was run entirely by the French. There was much debate between who should be responsibility for the running of the camp: no one wanted the job. As Renée Poznanski describes it, Drancy was “first a synonym of terror, and later became an almost obligatory stop on the way to a sinister unknown destination”(Poznanski 215).