History: Why were there Jewish children in Izieu?

Deportation and killing

Lyon – Montluc Prison

The 44 children and 7 adults arrested at the Izieu home were imprisoned from 6 to 7 April 1944 at Montluc prison in Lyon.

At the Barbie trial in 1987, Léa Feldblum, a carer and the only survivor, testified: “The children were put on the ground and we, the adults, had our hands tied up to the wall.” She stated that the adults and older children were interrogated but not the children.

On 7 April, they were all taken to Lyon-Perrache station by tram and sent on a civilian train to Drancy concentration camp.

Lea Feldblum was in a compartment with the younger kids. She saw teenagers Théo Reis and Arnold Hirsch handcuffed at the platform.


Drancy Concentration Camp


A word from Miron Zlatin to Sabine, Drancy concentration camp ©BnF –  Sabine Zlatin Coll.
Letter from Suzanne Reifman to Sabine Zlatin, 13 April 1944 ©Bnf

The children and adults entered Drancy concentration camp on 8 April 1944. Recorded in the camp’s entry book, they were numbered from 19185 to 19235. Léa Feldblum, who had false papers in the name of Marie-Louise Decoste, revealed her Jewish identity. She wanted to stay with the children. They were all deported by 6 different convoys between April and June 1944.







On 13 April 1944, 34 of the children of Izieu and 4 of the carers were deported from Drancy to Auschwitz-Birkenau by convoy no. 71.

After three days of travelling in the most inhumane conditions, they arrived at the Judenrampe, where the “selection process” was carried out. The children were directed to the gas chambers, as well as spouses Eva and Moïse Reifman. Their daughter, Suzanne Reifman, and Léa Feldblum were directed to the work kommandos. When she heard her son Claude crying, Suzanne decided to join him in the other line.


Return of Léa Feldblum © Maison d’Izieu, inherited from S. Zlatin


Léa Feldblum entered the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. She bore the number 78620 on her forearm and was a “guinea pig” for Nazi doctors for medical experiments. She was alive when the camp was liberated in January 1945.

The other 8 children and 3 carers from Izieu were deported by convoys no. 72 on 29 April, no. 74 on 20 May, no. 75 on 30 May and no. 76 on 30 June 1944. They were all killed in Birkenau as soon as they arrived.




 Reval (now Tallinn)

Miron Zlatin and the two teenagers, Theo Reis and Arnold Hirsch, were deported to Estonia by convoy no. 73. Leaving Drancy on 15 May 1944, this convoy was only made up of young, strong men.

They were shot by the SS in Tallinn castle in the summer of 1944.

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