Born in Brittany, she moved to Paris when very young. Coincidentally, another of my friends who also lived in Dranc, a suburb of Paris, told me of the shocking day when the Nazis marched into their school and dragged out all the Jews. Victoria was one of them. The family left Paris on foot pushing the baby in its pram which contained their few possessions. Auschwitz came next where only the three children escaped the gas chambers. I thought that this would have been the worst time of my friend’s life. I was wrong!. Victoria told me that the most frightening time came after their release. She was all alone in a 5-star Parisian Hotel and felt totally abandoned until weeks later when an uncle came to claim her. She keeps her Auschwitz tattoo covered and never talked about these ordeals except to me.
Her sister Reneé gave many lectures and was honoured for her work in retrieving many valuable paintings which the Germans had stolen. We were invited to the Elyseé Palace for the ceremony.
Victoria was our tenant on the Port of Bormes but returned to Paris. She didn’t want to leave the south but if she lived in Paris, her pension would be doubled. In France, ex-concentration camp victims get many ‘perks’. One of them is a card stating that they never have to queue anywhere!
After my husband died I lived with Victoria for a while. Do you know Paris? I find it colourfully exciting. We had many adventures together.That’s another story, perhaps for another post!?
Value them — your friends are precious