A place of national remembrance
On 8 March 1988, the day after the Barbie trial, an association was formed by Sabine Zlatin and Pierre-Marcel Wiltzer to create the “Izieu Memorial Museum”.
Thanks to national fundraising, the association bought the house that welcomed the home in July 1990. A scientific committee of well-known scientific and institutional personages was created to transform the house into a place of living remembrance that is open to everyone. Historian Anne Grynberg was responsible for the conception of the museum.
In 1992, François Mitterrand, President of the Republic, who was made aware of the project by various people involved or affected by this story, included this project in the “Grands Travaux” programme. The State therefore got on board with this concept of remembrance.
By presidential decree of 3 February 1993, the Maison d’Izieu was classified by the Republic as one of the three places of national remembrance where official ceremonies are organised on the “National Remembrance Day of Racist and Anti-Semitic Persecution Committed under the authority of the “French State Government” (1940-1944). ”. From that point on, remembrance of the Izieu roundup became part of the remembrance of the Republic.
On 24 April 1994, the President of the Republic inaugurated the “Memorial Museum of the Children of Izieu”, which became the “Maison d’Izieu, a Memorial to exterminated Jewish children” in 2000.
Speech by the President of the Republic, François Mitterrand, inauguration of the Maison d’Izieu
Extension of the memorial
In 2015 the memorial was extended. The President of the Republic François Hollande inaugurated the new Sabine and Miron Zlatin building and the new permanent exhibition. On that occasion he defined new missions for the Maison d’Izieu:
– A place of commitment in the fight against racism and anti-Semitism
– A place of the Republic
– A place of Fraternity
“The message of Izieu is one of commitment, the commitment of the men and women who welcomed these children and who finally address a terrible lesson to us: never leave anyone aside, welcome those who are most fragile, educate them, train them, accompany them, raise them. Izieu’s message is also the one of the Republic.” Extract from the inaugural speech of F. Holland on April 6, 2015 in Izieu.
DÉCLARATION DE M. FRANÇOIS HOLLANDE, PRÉSIDENT DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE,
À IZIEU LE 6 AVRIL 2015
At its opening, the Izieu memorial was:
- a historical place: for the first time, there was a focus on the themes of state anti-Semitism, internment camps and their respective roles in the deportation process in a permanent exhibition. The exhibition was innovative in both its design and content;
- a unique and symbolic place of remembrance to represent the fate of the one and a half million Jewish children who were hunted down and killed in Europe;
- a place of commemoration.
A place of commemoration
Four commemorations are held annually at the Maison d’Izieu and are open to everyone.
On 27 January, the association gets involved with national commemorations on International Holocaust Remembrance Day [which is also the National Day for the Prevention of Crimes against Humanity in France]. It relies on young remembrance ambassadors working with the Network of Places of Remembrance of the Shoah to lead the ceremony.
On the 6 April every year, the association commemorates the 1944 roundup with a ceremony in honour of the children and adults who were deported.
A large number of people gather every year (members of the association, elected officials, representatives of the State and local authorities, etc.) around the former members of the home. The younger generations are closely involved in its development. Young students read letters from the children of Izieu and join in with reading out the names alongside those who attended the home when they were younger. Every year, one or two classes’ educational achievements are presented.
The Maison d’Izieu is a place of national remembrance.
Together with the former Vélodrome d’Hiver and the former Gurs internment camp, it is one of the three national memorial sites for victims of racist and anti-Semitic persecution and crimes against humanity that were committed with the complicity of the French State, recognised by a presidential decree on 3 February 1993.
Two ceremonies were organised by the State services.
National Deportation Day, the last Sunday in April.
National Day in memory of the victims of the French State’s racist and anti-Semitic persecutions and in paying homage to the Justes de France, every Sunday after 16 July, in memory of the Vel’ d’Hiv roundup on 16 July 1942.
The plaques and headstones on the Maison d’Izieu site and in the surrounding area show the successive stages of remembrance being created.