Oral History Interview with Suzanne Gross

Suzanne Gross (née Sarah Pertofsky), born in Paris, France in 1931, describes her parents, who were born in Belz (Ukraine) and immigrated to France around 1924; her parents’ parlor in Paris, which was closed by the Germans after the invasion of Paris; the round up of Jews and separation of families; how non-native born Jews were rounded up before Jews who were considered French; being made to feel she was not really French before the war, especially after she started school; having to wear her Yellow Star to school; her father going underground and working at first on a farm, then joining the Jewish French partisans; antisemitism within the French partisans; her father working later in a steel factory; her mother being hidden by neighbors for three months; being sent to a farm in Normandy with five or six other children by the French Jewish Scouts (Eclaireurs Israelites de France), who had an underground network to hide Jewish children; working on various farms under harsh conditions; being hidden in a convent school, where she pretended to be Catholic; reuniting with her parents in Paris; how her parents lived clandestinely on and off in their boarded up shop; the family receiving money from a resistance movement in the steel factory where her father worked; the concierge helping by selling items knitted by her mother; the imprisonment of many Jews at Drancy; how families searched for arrested relatives from afar; giving a detailed account of her emotional responses to the childhood trauma she experienced and to surviving the Holocaust; and her family immigrating to the United States in 1946.

Date: 08/09/1983
Interviewer: Janice Booker
Interviewee: Suzanne Gross
Language: English
Subject: Antisemitism--France.
Hidden children (Holocaust)--France.
Hiding places--France.
Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Personal narratives.
Jewish children in the Holocaust.
Jewish families--France.
Jews, Ukrainian--France.
Passing (Identity)--France.
Star of David badges.
World War, 1939-1945--Deportations from France.
Women--Personal narratives.
France--History--German occupation, 1940-1945.
Normandy (France)
Paris (France)
Paris (France)--History--1940-1944.
Gross, Suzanne, 1931-
Eclaireuses éclaireurs israélites de France.
Location: Paris France
Normandy, France
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-suzanne-gross/
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