Denise and Micheline Lévy, 9 and 8, were captured in February 1944 and sent to Auschwitz. Their dolls were found lying in the snow and were picked up by a shopkeeper who then passed them through the generations. Now, they will be displayed in the Shoah Memorial in Paris.
By: Barney Breen-Portnoy/The Algemeiner
Two dolls that were taken from a pair of young French Jewish sisters in 1944 as they were deported to Auschwitz from where they never returned home were recently handed over to the Shoah Memorial — the Holocaust museum in Paris — the UK’s Telegraph reported on Sunday.
According to the report, the dolls — belonging to Denise and Micheline Lévy, aged 10 and 9 when they were arrested by a French gendarme and transported to Auschwitz — were found on the street by a shopkeeper in the eastern French town of Gemeaux and handed over to a member of the Gilles family.
The dolls were subsequently passed down over the generations. However, “none of us ever played with the dolls,” 38-year-old Frédérique Gilles, whose grandmother was the first Gilles family member to possess them, was quoted by the Telegraph as saying. “We knew the story. Our family tried to find out what happened to the two girls, but they never came back. We were unable to trace any relatives.”
Gilles decided to end the family tradition and donate the dolls – one pink and one blue — to the Shoah Memorial instead of passing them down to her children.
“It felt wrong to hold on to them and my sister felt the same way,” she was quoted as saying. “We wanted to give them to a museum or a place of memory. It wasn’t easy to give them up but it was the best thing we could do for the memory of those little girls.”