The Hidden Children of France, 1940-1945

Stories of Survival

Edited by Danielle Bailly
Translated by Betty Becker-Theye

Subjects: Holocaust Studies, History, European History, World War Ii, Jewish Studies
Series: Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Paperback : 9781438431963, 409 pages, July 2010

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword by Pierre Vidal-Naquet
Introduction by Danielle Bailly
Testimonies of Individuals from Youngest to Oldest
1. Simon Marjenberg
2. Charles Zelwer
3. Noël Kuperman
4. Francis Bailly
5. Arnold Rochfeld
6. Danielle Bailly
7. Danièle Menès
8. Nelly Scharapan
9. Éliane Séravalle
10. Rachel Jedinak
11. Daniel Krakowski
12. Willy Swiczka
13. Édith Moskovic
14. Nicole Eizner
15. Odette Kozuch
16. Gaby Netchine-Grynberg
17. Philippe Fouquey
18. Serge Netchine
French Acronyms
Selected Bibliography
Biographical Notes

Interviews with eighteen Jewish “hidden children” of France and Belgium, telling the story of their survival during World War II.


The history of France's "hidden children" and of the French citizens who saved six out of seven Jewish children and three-fourths of the Jewish adult population from deportation during the Nazi occupation is little known to American readers. In The Hidden Children of France, Danielle Bailly (a hidden child herself whose family travelled all over rural France before sending her to live with strangers who could protect her) reveals the stories behind the statistics of those who were saved by the extraordinary acts of ordinary people. Eighteen former "hidden children" describe their lives before, during, and after the war, recounting their incredible journeys and expressing their deepest gratitude to those who put themselves at risk to save others.

Danielle Bailly is one of the surviving "hidden children. " She was Professor of Linguistics at Paris Diderot University until 1998. Since then she has worked as a consultant and researcher. Betty Becker-Theye is Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Humanities at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Adjunct Professor of Modern Languages at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center. She is the author of The Seducer as Mythic Figure in Richardson, Laclos, and Kierkegaard.


"…make[s] a contribution to our knowledge of the Holocaust. " — AJL Reviews

"In interviews, the survivors revealed the social and psychological struggles they have had to cope with over the years. Most have pursued productive careers and raised families. Told in interview or narrative form, both ways are illuminating and made more so by Betty Becker-Theye's unusually fluent translation. " — Sacramento Book Review

"The Hidden Children of France documents the stolen childhoods of eighteen Holocaust survivors who are among the last witnesses of the Nazi era. During this time The New School's University in Exile brought to safety over 180 great scholars whose very lives, just like these children, were threatened by National Socialism and the evil of Hitler. It is through the stories of survivors that we preserve the truth and history of the past and educate our future generations to ensure compassion and justice for all. " — Bob Kerrey, President, The New School

"Meticulous translation. Unlike some testimony literature where the voice recording prevails, in this collection each testimony retains an individual voice. " — Marilyn Gaddis Rose, translator of Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve's Volupté: The Sensual Man