Serge V. testimony 2012 [video recording]
Date of Recording30 November 2012
Duration2h 18m 0.0s
SynopsisSerge V. was born June 22, 1931 in Paris, France. He describes his family. He describes his father’s business. He discusses how his family was culturally Jewish but that he did not have a religious upbringing. He does not recall experiencing antisemitism before the war. He describes his school experience and his Christian childhood friends. He explains that his family had an opportunity to go to Vancouver where a relative lived but that his parents did not want to leave. He describes the German occupation and the gradually increased restrictions against Jews. He explains how his father left for Vichy France after his business was confiscated. Serge describes his experience of having to wear the yellow star. He recounts how a priest encouraged him to continue to walk with his Catholic friends after wearing the yellow star. He describes how the French police came to his family’s apartment to arrest them and gave them an hour to pack. He explains how his mother told him to run away and arranged for him to go hide in the country with friends of the family. He discusses his fear when hiding. Serge describes being smuggled into Vichy France with his uncle, aunt, and cousins. He recalls briefly reuniting with his father. He describes staying with other relatives who were French citizens. He recalls attending school at this time. He describes traveling to Grenoble in the Italian region and hid in the mountains. He describes several close encounters with the Milice. He recalls food scarcity. He describes liberation by United States troops. He describes traveling back to Paris with his father. He describes learning about the deportations and concentration camps. Serge describes registering with the Red Cross and reuniting with his mother, who had been in Auschwitz. He describes her condition upon returning. Serge explains how he later learned what happened to his brother, who was sent to a German operated orphanage then deported to Auschwitz and perished. He describes how his family was able to immigrate to Canada in 1947. He discusses how his family changed their name after arriving in Canada. He describes his education in Canada. He discusses establishing his career. He discusses his feelings when returning to France. He discusses sharing his experiences at schools and giving testimony. He discusses sharing his experience with family. He discusses his Jewish cultural identity. He discusses his participation in child survivor groups. Serge shows a photograph.
Funding NoteCataloguing and digitization of this testimony was supported by funding from the Government of Canada.