Surviving

Registre de la colonie d’Izieu, août 1943
Henry Alexander (Maison d’Izieu, coll H. Alexander)
Anciens de la colonie à la Maison d’Izieu, juin 2002

Surviving

 

For many children, the Izieu home was a stopover along their hiding and escape routes.
Before arriving at Izieu, many had already been taken into various children’s homes, where they only stayed for short periods.

 

Of the 61 who left the Izieu home prior to 6th April 1944, none subsequently appeared on the list of deportation convoys leaving France.

 

These children arrived at the home via various networks or contacts and they stayed at Izieu several weeks or months.

 

There were a number of reasons for and ways of leaving.
Hélène and Bernard Waysenson, as well as Alec Bergman, directly joined their families, which had been able to escape and find safe refuge.
Brothers Edmond and Alfred Adler stayed scarcely two weeks at Izieu. They were then placed in host families in the Haute-Savoie Department.
Henry Alexander was directed to other OSE [French humanitarian organisation for Jewish children] homes.
Paul Niedermann, Georges Hirtz, Emil, Sara and Simon Szarf, along with Samuel Stern, crossed the border to Switzerland on different dates and in different ways. They found refuge there till the end of the war.

 

Among the adults at the home:
Sabine Zlatin was absent on the day of the raid.
As soon as she received the news, she tried to save the children. She went first to Vichy, then to Paris, where she contacted the Red Cross. In vain.
She subsequently joined the French Resistance in Paris. She took the name Jeanne Verdavoire and worked for the national liberation movement social division.
After the Liberation of France, she was appointed head of the accommodation department at the Lutétia refugee centre and was in charge of receiving returning deportees.
From 1945 onwards, she worked to preserve the memory of the Izieu raid. She was a witness at the Klaus Barbie trial in 1987. With others linked to the story of the Izieu home, she founded the “Musée-Mémorial d’Izieu” association after the trial. This association prompted creation of a memorial in 1994. She died in Paris in 1996.

 

Léa Feldblum was the sole survivor among those deported.
When the Auschwitz camp was liberated, a tortuous route led her from Odessa to Montpellier. She embarked on the ship “Exodus” at Sète. After a trying journey, she managed to reach Palestine. In 1987, she returned to France as a witness in the Klaus Barbie trial. She died two years later in Tel-Aviv.

 

Léon Reifman was the only person to escape the 6th April 1944 raid.
After arriving at the home on that very morning, he managed to jump out of a window and hide in a bush. In the evening, with the help of the Perticoz family living next to the home, he left Izieu and was hidden by a Belley family. He was a witness at the Klaus Barbie trial. He died in Périgueux in 1994.