The Barn & the Sabine and Miron Zlatin building
The barn, which used to be an agricultural building, was used to store agricultural equipment when the children’s home was there. The barn was extended and a new building was developed in 2015.
Initiated in 2012, the decision was made to extend by 1,100 square metres because of the continuous increase in attendance, particularly from schools, and the increase in the number of requests for educational activities, as well as by the association’s desire to renovate and improve its permanent exhibition.
After consultation and a competition, the project management was entrusted to Mr Dominique Lyon of the Du Besset architectural firm in Lyon.
The Sabine and Miron Zlatin building was inaugurated on 6 April 2015 by the President of the Republic, François Hollande.
The entrance to the barn provides access to the memorial reception, the bookshop, the extension which houses the permanent exhibition and the Zlatin Gallery, the rooms dedicated to educational activities and the Documentation and Research Centre.
The orchard is located behind the house and is accessed through the gate under the terrace. This green space, where Miron grew his vegetable garden and the children of the Colony played, is regularly used for temporary exhibitions.
There were many magnaneries, buildings where silkworms are raised, in the Rhône valley from the south of Lyon to Ain. This activity took place in the farms’ attics and brought in money, both in summer and winter. Some of them still exist today. The one in Izieu has not been used since the 1930s.
Nowadays, the magnanery is not open to visitors. It is mainly used for Maison d’Izieu staff offices, while it also has a picnic room and the Wiltzer room, in honour of the deputy commissioner of Belley, Pierre-Marcel Wiltzer.
The silkworm oven
The oven located near the old silkworm nursery was probably used until the end of the 19th century to smother silkworms in their cocoons and thus facilitate their reeling. It is not open to the public and needs to be restored.
The national stele
Built in 1994, the national stele (created by Christian de Portzampac) symbolises the French Republic’s homage to the “victims of racist and anti-Semitic persecutions and crimes against humanity committed with the complicity of the French State”, recognised by the presidential decree of 3 February 1993.
Located at the side of the local road that runs alongside the memorial site, it bears the inscription:
« Ici la Gestapo arrêta et déporta 44 enfants et 7 adultes parce que nés juifs, 50 furent exterminés à Auschwitz et Reval. La République en hommage aux victimes des persécutions racistes et antisémites et des crimes contre l’humanité commis avec la complicité du gouvernement de Vichy dit « gouvernement de l’État français » (1940-1944). N’oublions jamais. »
“Here the Gestapo arrested and deported 44 children and 7 adults because they were born Jewish. 50 of them were exterminated at Auschwitz and Revel. In homage to the victims of racist and anti-Semitic persecutions and crimes against humanity, committed with the complicity of the Vichy government known as the “French State Government” (1940-1944). Lest we forget.”
It is in July, in front of this stele, that the ceremony takes place to commemorate the National Remembrance Day for the Victims of Racist and Anti-Semitic Persecution at the hands of the French State and to pay tribute to the “Justes de France” [those who tried to protect those being persecuted by the Vichy regime].
The stonemason apprentices of the Montalieu-Vercieu stone-work training centre (Isère) made and provided two benches in homage to the children arrested at the Izieu children’s home.
These benches allow visitors to take in their surroundings and to really soak up the memories of the site. Found near the barn and in the orchard near the house, a whistle is at the top of the first bench, which is a tribute to the whistle the teacher, Gabrielle Perrier, kept throughout her time as a teacher, while the arms of the second bench are in the shape of a number 44 in homage to the 44 children. These two benches were officially inaugurated during the commemoration of 6 April 2012.
The Brégnier-Cordon monument
Monument of Brégnier Cordon, 75th commemoration © Maison d’Izieu
The monument in Brégnier-Cordon, which is a village located just beneath the town of Izieu, was created, like the first plaque on the house, during the commemoration of 7 April 1946. It was built on Sabine Zlatin’s initiative, thanks to fundraising from local residents and funding from the municipalities.
This monument can be found at the crossroads of La Bruyère, at the point with the road leading up to the village of Izieu. Its base is decorated with a bas-relief, which was designed by Sabine Zlatin and which depicts a dagger over the top of a swastika, hanging menacingly over two children’s faces which are in front of a star of David. It bears several inscriptions.
On the right of the monument:
« Passant, recueille-toi et n’oublie pas le martyre de ces innocents – Que les lieux où ils ont vécu te soient sacrés pour toujours »
“While you are passing by, take a moment and do not forget the martyrdom of these innocent people – May the places where they lived be sacred forever”
Under the bas-relief, excerpts from John Donne’s 17th contemplation chosen by Sabine Zlatin:
« Tout homme est un morceau de continent, une part du tout (…), la mort de tout homme me diminue, parce que je fais partie du genre humain. »
“Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main (…), any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.”
On the left of the monument, the original text said:
« À la mémoire des 43 enfants de la colonie d’Izieu, de leur directeur et de leurs cinq maîtres arrêtés par les Allemands le 6 avril 1944 et exterminés dans les camps ou fusillés dans les prisons allemandes. »
“In memory of the 43 children of the children’s home of Izieu, their director and five teachers who were arrested by the Germans on 6 April 1944 and killed in concentration camps or shot in German prisons.”
After Klaus Barbie’s trial, this text was replaced by a new inscription:
« À la mémoire des 44 enfants de la Maison d’Izieu, de leur directeur et de leurs 5 éducateurs, arrêtés par le criminel nazi Klaus Barbie, le 6 avril 1944, déportés et exterminés dans les camps ou fusillés, parce qu’ils étaient juifs. Klaus Barbie responsable de la déportation a été condamné à perpétuité par la Cour d’Assises de Lyon le 3.7.1987. »
“In memory of the 44 children of the Maison d’Izieu, their director and their 5 carers, who were arrested by Nazi criminal, Klaus Barbie, on 6 April 1944 and who were deported and killed in concentration camps or shot for being Jewish. Klaus Barbie, who was responsible for the deportation, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Criminal Court of Lyon on 3.7.1987.”
Since 1946, the ceremonies commemorating the 6 April 1944 roundup have begun with a moment’s reflection at the bottom of this monument. The commune of Brégnier-Cordon covers it in flowers for every republican ceremony (8 May, 14 July, 11 November) but also for All Saints’ Day, meaning that the memory of those who disappeared is associated with that of those who died from the commune.