Children’s relief work

Work of Save the Children ( French: [də œvʁ səkuʁ oz‿ɑfɑ] , Children’s Aid Society ), abbreviated OSE , [1] is a French Jewish humanitarian organization That saved and aided Many Mainly Hundreds of Jewish refugee children, both, from France and from other Western European countries. This was before World War II ; then during World War II when OSE rescued from the Nazis and threat of extermination; and also after World War II. During the most important period after the German occupation of France and the creation of Vichy France, OSE worked mainly in Vichy France. However, many of the OSE children in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Northern occupied France , and finally in Vichy France from occupied France.

The original OZE (Obshechesvo Zdravookhraneniya Yevreyiev, ​​Organization for the Health Protection of Jews), was created in 1912 in Saint Petersburg by doctors, to help needy members of the Jewish population. Branches were established in other countries. In 1923 the organization relocated in Berlin, under the symbolic presidency of Albert Einstein . In 1933, Nazism fleeing, it relocated again, this time to France where it became the Society of Rescuing Children, retaining a similar acronym.

In France, the OSE ran Children’s Homes (often called “Castles,” but actually large “mansions,” and see listing below). These homes were for Jewish children, whose parents were born in Nazi concentration camps or had been killed.

In March 1939, several transports brought German Jewish children to France. Other children or their relatives By May 1939, the OSE Children’s Homes held more than 200 refugee children.

The children were schooled and trained according to their age. To prepare children for possible future dangers, the OSE teachers paid special attention to physical education and survival skills .

A 1999 documentary ” The Children of Chabannes ” by filmmakers Lisa Gossels and Dean Wetherell is about one such home, Chateau Chabannes , in a small village of Chabannes , where 400 Jewish children were saved from the Holocaust .

In June-September 1941, Andree Salomon (importantly, see below) supervised three transports which brought about 350 children from the OSE homes through Marseille and the United States . [2] [3] They were then sponsored by the United States Committee for the Care of European Children, The German-Jewish Children’s Aid, and assisted by the American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) in Marseilles . [4] Nearly all of those parents were later murdered by the Nazis.

In 1942, the Police Began round ups and deportations from the orphanages to Nazi concentration and extermination camps , and the OSE Organized underground network in order to smuggle the children to neutral countries. Some children have been rescued by French rescuers, and some joined French resistance .

During the Second World War

The Rescue of Jewish Children in France by OSE, also its Aid to Adults [5] [6] [7]

First Period of the War

With the declaration of war in September 1939, the OSE program took on another dimension. It became necessary for Germany and Austria who had become “enemy aliens.”

After the German blitzkrieg into France in May 1940, OSE now also had to organize the evacuation of children from the Paris area to protect them from bombing. OSE had to accommodate the flood of refugees. Also OSE had to rethink its social action on the political situation in the country.

Children were installed in the Castles-Mansions in the Departments of Creuse and Haute-Vienne in the villages of Chabannes , Chaumont , and Masgelier and Montintin.

OSE develops residential-educational facilities

Of the temporary shelters that existed at the beginning of the war, 14 castle-mansions, whether lay or religious, became places where instruction was given in school-subjects, vocational education together with ORT (“Society for Trades and Agricultural Labor,”) and in leisure and in sports. Georges Loinger, a team of instructors, and organized sports competitions within the houses and between houses, in the stress of confinement, and to prepare for the future.

Andree Salomon

Andree Salomon, OSE delegate to the Gurs and Rivesaltes Concentration Camps, in 1941 Started to supervise all preparations for the emigration of Jewish children from the camps to the USA’ose/l’ose-100-ans-de-histoire/le-sauvetage-des-enfants- Jews-for-the-occupation /

Under the leadership of Andree Salomon, OSE did manage to gather together, the Gurs internment camp , and arranged for their transit to the United States, with the help of other Organizations. [8] [9] [10] These children traveled directly to the United States, leaving their parents behind, who were often still in the Gurs internment camp. These children are members of that group of Holocaust Child Survivors who are ” One Thousand Children .” Most of their parents were later murdered by the Nazis.

Andree Solomon also organized for all the families at Gurs. To do this, she is recruiting “voluntary interns” who agree to live in the camps in order to organize the practical and social life of the internal destitute.

During 1943, after the German invasion of the Southern Vichy Region of France in Nov 1942, Solomon participated in the Garel network, which smuggled mainly Jewish children from all over Switzerland. Similarly, in 1944, she organized the evacuation of the hidden children to neutral Spain.

March 1942: Towards a humanitarian mission of resistance

At the beginning of 1942, and integrated with the UGIF (General Union of Jews in France), OSE gradually shifted from philanthropic work to that in support of a mission of humanitarian resistance. At this time, some Alsatian Jews joined the OSE as new employees. This was very important because of the end of 1942. The situation is different from the situation of the occupation. However, the full sense of danger and the need to disperse and hide after the roundup of foreigners during the 16 and 17 July 1942 in the northern Occupied Zone; and the similar round-up on 26 August in the Vichy Southern Zone.

November 1942: Hunted

On November 11, 1942 the Germans entered the Southern Vichy Zone, and replaced the “token independent” Vichy Government. Jews started leaving the coastal Departments. OSE moved in response to this migration. OSE opened centers in Limoges, Nice, Megève, St. Gervais and Chambéry. At Toulouse and Pau, teams covered the surrounding Departments, often in conjunction with the EI (??). In Lyon, the capital of the Resistance, the team of Dr. Lanzenberg came to the rescue and extended its activities in Grenoble. Raids by the Gestapo in 1943 and 1944 were responsible for a large number of arrests, including that of Madeleine Dreyfus. In total, the OSE mobilized more than 25 doctors and fifty assistants.

These chateaux-mansions represent a step in the rescue strategy first implemented by OSE in 1938. OSE gathered the children together for shelter, and then spread them around to hide them; and then re-gathered and raised them, with housing, food, clothing, education and sports. The story of the child rescue did not end with the war.

The OSE management location, now provided by Joseph Millner and Valentine Cremer, both of French nationality, now moved to Vic-sur-Cere, which was then in the Italian Zone at Chambery. Cremer worked with the Office of the Union-OSE, also with the independent UGIF (General Union of Jews in France), and especially with the OSE-Geneva. OSE-Geneva redistributed the money needed to finance all operations, and which came from ” The Joint .” (The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee)

Spring-Summer 1943: The Garel clandestine network of escape routes

After the famous “Night of Venissieux” (near Lyon) in August 1942, in which 108 OSE children were saved from deportation, Joseph Weill used Georges Garel, a French Jewish Combat Engineer, to organize a secret network of escape routes (Underground Railways) for the transport of children. Despite many difficulties, Garel completed the network, which was covered by the Southern Vichy Zone (except around Nice), and it was operational by the summer of 1943. None-the-less the final closing of all the houses, however, took more than a year. Each region is operated under the direction of an area manager.

From Lyon, Georges Garel coordinated everything, organized the technical infrastructure (false papers, hiding-places, convoys), and managed connections with all the relevant co-workers. Constantly moving, it takes political decisions, visits in the regions, and bringing money to overcome arrests. Families, convents and boarding schools were prepared and made ready for the OSE children, whose identity-papers had been falsified, and had had their relations with their parents cut. This was done through personal contacts with Monsignor Saliège, the Archbishop of Toulouse, and also assistants in both the Jewish and non-Jewish networks.

1943-1944: The smuggling of children in Switzerland

The smuggling of OSE children in Switzerland started in April 1943, following negotiations with the Swiss authorities for the arrival of unaccompanied children. Several smugglers working directly under the OSE have been assigned for this purpose. Jenny Masour together with Robert Job and the heads of OSE houses especially vulnerable children. These children were felt in the Italian zone, Moutiers-Salins and Saint Paul in the Chablais; or in groups of 6 to 10 to Switzerland. In August 1943, the number of smuggling parties was increased from the evacuation residence centers in St. Gervais and Megeve.

In September 1943, with the push of the Germans into the Italian zone, the task became more difficult. The organization of the smuggling-parties to Switzerland is now entrusted to Georges Loinger. After successive arrests from November 1943 to March 1944, the smuggling of children almost came to a stop. In March, 1944, they resumed an accelerated rate, carried out jointly by the OSE, the Sixth (the clandestine EIF circuit) and the Zionist youth Movement (MJS).

February 1944: Going into hiding

The arrest of Alain Mosse and all the officers of the OSE-UGIF in Chambery required the organization to go into total hiding. OSE decided to close the last castles / houses for the children, and also all its centers and offices. OSE management continues to work in Lyon, at Rene Borel, or in immobilized train carriages.

OSE’s Work after 1944

After France was liberated in 1944, OSE’s work continued. It had to disperse the OSE children under its care. Children were sentenced to France or other countries, including Palestine and the United States.

Also, in the above material for 1940-1944, the cited OSE-France web-linked pages have important photographs and captions. They should be copied here.

List of OSE Children’s Homes in France during World War II: [11] [12] [13]

  • Quincy Castle
  • Castle Masgelier
  • Castle Chabannes
  • Castle of Chaumont
  • The Couret, La Jonchère
  • Villa La Chesnaie, Eaubonne
  • Villa Helvetia, Montmorency
  • Castle of Hille, Montégut-Plantaurel [14]
  • Castle of la Mille
  • Mas-Jambot
  • Maubuisson Castle
  • Castle of Montintin, Chateau-Chervix [15]
  • Castle Montpellier
  • Castle of Morelles at Broût-Vernet
  • The Turrets

See also

  • Germaine Ribière
  • Fanny’s Journey


  1. Jump up^ OSE official website,”Centennial brochure: OSE: 100 years of History, 1912-2012″, Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  2. Jump up^ Official website
  3. Jump up^ United States Holocaust Memorial Museum USHMM Photo caption to 38351, qui shows with Andree Salomon Several of These children
  4. Jump up^ OSE Children’s Chronology
  5. Jump up^ Official website
  6. Jump up^ Sources: written by Katy Hazan (co-author of “The rescue of Jewish children during the Occupation in the homes of the OSE 1938-1945, Katy Hazan with the participation of Serge Klarsfeld , Ed. Somogy, Paris, 2008) Also: “The rescue of Jewish children during the Occupation in the homes of the OSE 1938-1944, Katy Hazan with the participation of Serge Klarsfeld, Ed Somogy, Paris, 2008)
  7. Jump up^ Hazan, This web-Katy. “Memory – The rescue of Jewish children during the occupation” . . Katy Hazan is the official French OSE historian. She is the co-author of “The rescue of Jewish children during the Occupation in the homes of the OSE 1938-1945, Katy Hazan with the participation ofSerge Klarsfeld, Ed Somogy, Paris, 2008)
  8. Jump up^ OSE-France official website, History During the Occupation [Nazi WWII] / l% e2% 80% 99ose-100-years-d% e2% 80% 99histoire / the-life-of-children-Jews-for-l% e2% 80% 99occupation /
  9. Jump up^ “OSE-France official website” . .
  10. Jump up^ United States Holocaust Memorial Museum USHMM Photo caption to 38351, qui shows Andree Salomon and several of These children
  11. Jump up^ The list of OSE children’s homes in France During World War II, is based Information Supplied by Individuals Who Were sheltered in the homes.
  12. Jump up^ OSE – Establishment and services before June 1940 (in French)
  13. Jump up^ OSE – Houses and institutions after liberation until 2000 (in French)
  14. Jump up^ Steiger, Sebastian. The children of the castle of La Hille (in French). Basel: Brunnen Verlag. ISBN  978-3-7655-7721-5 .
  15. Jump up^ Collections file No. 3056,Ghetto Fighters’ HouseArchives

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