Vel d’Hiv … the Cycle Racing Track of Winter … 70 years ago today … July 16/17 …

Seventy years ago this coming night (July 16/17) French police and gendarmes rounded up more than 13,000 Jews in Paris for deportation to the Nazis’ concentration camps in Poland. I wrote about it here two years ago. To sum up: on that night, now known as La Rafle du Vél d’Hiv, 3,031 men, 5,802 women […]

The yellow Star of David the Nazis made Jews wear

Seventy years ago this coming night (July 16/17) French police and gendarmes rounded up more than 13,000 Jews in Paris for deportation to the Nazis’ concentration camps in Poland.

I wrote about it here two years ago.

To sum up: on that night, now known as La Rafle du Vél d’Hiv, 3,031 men, 5,802 women and 4,051 children were taken – a total of 12,884. (Reports on the numbers vary. Some historians give the number of Jews taken as 13,152, whereas most settle on ‘more than 12,000’, or ‘more than 13,000’.) They were driven, packed into Paris’s yellow and green public transport buses, to a cycling track in the 15th arrondissement (district), the Vélodrome d’Hiver where they were kept for three days and night without food, water or sanitary facilities. Then they were shipped like cattle to the camps in Poland.

This morning I listened to the French radio station France Info (continuous news) ask about two dozen youths in Paris whether they had heard of the La Rafle du Vél d’Hiv. They had not, or rather about a quarter had heard of it but could not remember in what context but thought it had something to do with Jews.

How lucky these youths are compared to the 4,051 children of Vél d’Hiv because not one of them had returned from the camps! On their arrival they had gone straight into the gas chambers.

France will today commemorate this sad event in French history.

I wrote about Vél d’Hiv in my book Die in Paris and I have the extract here.

Vélodrome d’Hiver means Cycle Track of Winter. It was demolished after the war.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

One Response to “Vel d’Hiv … the Cycle Racing Track of Winter … 70 years ago today … July 16/17 …”

  1. 1
    Charmaine Howard Says:

    Your Comments A tragic story. I’m sure there are many such stories that the general public do not know about. The focus has alwys been on the concentration camps and gas chambers.

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