Trip Start Jun 22, 2012
22Trip End Aug 08, 2012
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Boris remembers making part of the De Panne-Paris trip on the back of a coal truck. Since we couldn't find any coal trucks for rent, my mom and I stuck with a train. Between Boris' and my grandmother Margot's interviews it seems Esther and the kids stayed with some family friends in Paris between two and seven days.
We had two full days in Paris and, considering Paris can be barely scratched in even a week, decided to orient much of the stay to learning about the WWII Jews of Paris (while of course succumbing to many of the major attractions)
And so we decided to visit these places in Paris. We went to a number of Jewish museums that covered the history of French Jews and their lives leading up to WWII, and went to the small, largely hipster-dominated, Jewish neighborhood. However, the greatest connection we found to both Sarah's Key and the experience of the WWII Parisian Jews was visiting the rather hidden location of the Veladrome Stadium.
The only signs that there was once this stadium that imprisoned thousands of dying Jews are a few plaques sprinkled around its former location. The location is on the Left Bank of the Seines about two kilometers from the Eiffel Tower in what, I imagined, is Paris' financial district. The locations of these plaques are not well-known and we were able to find only two out of three
The round up of the Parisian Jews did not occur until 1942 so the Beizers would have been unaffected by this event.
I am writing this en route from Paris to Dax, where we'll pick up a car and drive to Capbreton and other areas in Southern France.
- Elijah Jatovsky