Dates directly relevant to the Izieu story are shown in red.
12th November 1938
Under the France’s Third Republic, a Decree institutes the internment of “unwanted foreigners” in “special centres”.
This administrative measure was aimed not only at perpetrators of civil or criminal offences, but at all persons suspected of infringing upon public order and national security, simply due to their presence on French territory. In 1938, this measure was mainly aimed at hundreds of thousands of Spanish refugees.
During the occupation period, the French Vichy government used internment camps to implement its exclusion policy.
26th July 1939
Sabine and Miron Zlatin acquire French nationality, having arrived from Poland and Russia respectively during the 1920s.
3rd September 1939
France declares war on Germany following the invasion of Poland.
22nd June 1940
The Armistice is signed between France and Nazi Germany.
27th September 1940
The German authorities order a census of all Jews in France’s Occupied Zone.
3rd-4th October 1940
The French Vichy government promulgates the first anti-Jewish laws and implements arbitrary internment measures against Jews.
22nd -23rd October 1940
Expulsion and deportation of Jews in the Sarre, Bade and Palatinate regions to France.
24th October 1940
• Arrival at the Gurs camp of 6,538 German Jewish men, women and children from the Sarre, Bade and Palatinate regions. Amongst them, some of the children, who will later be given refuge at the Izieu home, and their parents.
• Franco-German meeting at Montoire, handshake between Pétain and Hitler.
End of May 1941
Since 1940, Sabine and Miron Zlatin have been living in Montpellier. Dismissed by the Red Cross and the Lauwe military hospital, where she is a nurse, because of Vichy’s anti-Semitic laws, Sabine Zlatin offers her services to the Hérault prefecture (local authority administration) for work in the internment camps. She thus becomes a social worker with the “Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants” (OSE) [French humanitarian organisation for Jewish children] and helps to free children from the internment camps in Agde and Rivesaltes.
Sabine Zlatin assumes the management of Palavas-les-Flots children’s home, which receives Jewish children released from the camps to provide first aid and find them other accommodation.
Throughout French territory, the French authorities carry out widespread raids with the purpose of arresting Jewish families.
16th – 17th July 1942
Vel’ d’Hiv raid in Paris, ordered by the German authorities, but conducted by the French police.
The arresting of thousands of children leads to:
• their transportation to Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande camps
• the French authorities’ decision to hand over Jewish children less than 16 years old to Germany. For the first time on 14th August 1942, children are also deported in trains leaving Drancy for Auschwitz.
26th August 1942
Massive raids on Jews throughout the Unoccupied Zone, initiated by the French authorities.
11th November 1942
The Germans invade the Unoccupied Zone and the Italian army occupies the French Departments on the left bank (to the east) of the River Rhône.
Sabine and Miron Zlatin leave Montpellier and go to the Italian Occupied Zone. They travel to Chambéry with some 15 Jewish children.
With the help of the Deputy Prefect in Belley, Pierre-Marcel Wiltzer, Sabine and Miron Zlatin set up the “Refugee Childrens Home” at Izieu in the Ain Department.
Sabine continues to be based at Montpellier to pursue her rescue and assistance activities. She sometimes visits the Izieu home. Miron Zlatin administers the community on a day-to-day basis.
8th September 1943
Italy capitulates. The Germans occupy the former Italian Zone.
18th October 1943
At the start of the school year, Gabrielle Perrier (Tardy by marriage) is appointed as teacher at the Izieu “Refugee Children’s Home”.
7th January 1944
Doctor Bendrihem, a Jewish physician in Brégnier-Cordon,
who was treating Sabine Zlatin, is arrested by the German authorities.
8th February 1944
The Gestapo search the premises of the 3rd Directorate of the Union Générale des Israélites de France (UGIF) [French Jewish council]
in Chambéry. This organisation is responsible for the Izieu home’s finances.
Beginning of April 1944
After staying at Izieu in March, Sabine Zlatin returns to Montpellier to try to disperse the children living at the home and find other accommodation for them.
6th April 1944
The Gestapo and the German army arrest the children and adults at the Izieu home.
Sabine Zlatin, in Montpellier, is informed of the raid by a telegram from Marie-Antoinette Cojean, the Deputy Prefect’s secretary in Belley.
13th April – 30th June 1944
Transported from Lyon to the Drancy camp, 42 children and 7 helpers from the Izieu home are deported to Auschwitz in several successive rail convoys. They are all murdered on arrival at the camp, except for helper Léa Feldblum, the only survivor. Two teenagers and the home’s director, Miron Zlatin, are murdered at Reval (Tallin today) in Estonia.