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An interview with Joseph Weismann

4 August 2021

My uncle in Le Mans, Joseph Weismann, turned 90 in June. He is the senior member of our family, and one of only two with personal memories of World War II. He was born in Paris in 1931 and lived with his parents and two sisters in a modest apartment in Montmartre. In July 1942, like thousands of other French Jews, he and his family were arrested by French gendarmes from the Vichy regime. They were held for a few days in a Paris velodrome, Vel d’Hiv, before being transferred to an internment camp from where they were deported to Auschwitz and killed there, including Joseph’s parents and sisters. He escaped from the internment camp with another boy and survived the war posing as a French village boy in the Loire valley. After the liberation, he ended up in Le Mans where he has lived ever since. The story of Joseph’s miraculous escape and survival was the subject of a 2010 film, La Raffle (The Roundup). More recently, Joseph has told his life story in a book, After the Roundup.

As he does every year, Joseph spoke during the commemoration of the roundup on the square in Le Mans which houses the prefecture and several monuments. So during that week, we had a small family reunion, with us driving up from Spain, my uncle and cousin from Florida also came with their respective spouses, and we had a few fun and emotional days. The commemoration of the roundup was held on Sunday the 18th, and the day before, a nice interview with Joseph was published in the local newspaper Le Maine Libre.

The interview in the original French is here:

I have also translated the article into English since most of the family outside France do not speak French:

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