La Rafle (The Round Up) (2010)

 

 

 

Director:     .

Starring:     Jean Reno (Dr. David Sheinbaum), Mélanie Laurent (Annette Monod), Gad Elmaleh (Schmuel Weismann), Raphaëlle Agogué (Sura Weismann), Hugo Leverdez (Jo Weismann), Joseph Weismann (Joseph Weismann âgé), Mathieu Di Concerto (Nono Zygler), Romain Di Concerto (Nono Zygler), Oliver Cywie (Simon Zygler), Sylvie Testud (Bella Zygler), Anne Brochet (Dina Traube), Denis Ménochet (Corot), Roland Copé (Maréchal Pétain), Jean-Michel Noirey (Pierre Laval), Rebecca Marder (Rachel Weismann).

French police help in a big round up of  French Jews, night of July 16, 1942

 

 

Spoiler Warning:

The conquering Hitler comes to look over the Eiffel Tower. 

6th of June 1942.  A young Jewish boy named Jo Weismann watches non-Jewish children play on the carousel.  A German soldier wants to film the boy and the carousel, but when the soldiers see the yellow Jewish star on his clothing, he stops filming him.  There is a sign on the carousel:  No Jews - by Order.  The young boy walks away from the carousel.  He greets a hefty fellow named Raymond, who asks Jo what's he doing over by the carousel?  Jo is embarrassed by the Jewish star on his clothing and asks if he can walk to school with Raymond.   Raymond says yes and then says they are both Jewish and should be proud they are Jewish.  The boys split up to go to their separate schools.

A nursing class is taking place.  A woman brings two Jewish nursing students into the class.  She explains that the Jewish students look very much like the rest of the students and the rest of the students will help the two Jewish students escape through the courtyard if the Germans arrive. 

Vichy, unoccupied France.  A government official tells Field Marshal Pétain that there are some 100,000 Jews, most of them foreigners.  They have 10,000 Israelites in their camps.  The official comments:  "If the Germans take back the scum that's fled here since '33, I've no objection."  The Field Marshal replies:  "Neither do I, obviously.  But, 10,000 falls a long way short.  Offer them to the Germans, though."  The official says:  "I have." 

Jo and his friend Simon get out of school and run through the city streets.  Weismann says hello to his mother.  He shows her a note saying that he scored at the top of his class once again.  Later he takes off with Simon.  He passes by his father as he races around with Simon. 

31 Avenue Foch, Paris.  Gestapo HQ.  A Gestapo man says to a Jewish representative:  "You promised to hand over your Jews."  The representative says he said he would talk to his superiors about it.  Another Gestapo officer asks will German soldiers have to be brought from the front to do the job of collecting the Jews together?  The Jewish fellow says that 100,000 Jews is way too many.  The Gestapo says that 20,000 Jews is much too few.  Hitler would see just 20,000 as a personal insult.    So, the representative says he wants the Jewish people themselves to organize everything, instead of the French police.  And the Germans must restore the Jewish police's authority. 

School is out for the summer.  Weismann tells his mother that he won a prize.  There is trouble at home.  His younger sister was banned from ballet because she is Jewish.  His older sister Rachel says they must leave the country.  They are dismissing Jews from the universities, the civil service and from everywhere.  And the newspapers call the Jewish people "Undesirables".  Father says he doesn't have the money to escape with a family of five. 

8th of July, 1942.  "It is forbidden for Jews to frequent establishments open to the public."

The Field Marshal tells the official that the Germans say:  "France is not yet sufficiently anti-Semitic to accept the mass deportation of Jews."  The Field Marshal says:  "We can't deport French-born Jews."  The official says then they will deport all the stateless Jews.  He sees nothing wrong with deporting their Jews to Germany's territories for Jews in the East.  The Field Marshal stills say no.  The official says that he will tell the Germans that the Field Marshal answered in the negative to the German plans.

The Gestapo work out a deal with the official, who will start by sending the Germans 10,000 Jews from the camps in the southern zone.  In the occupied zone the Jewish police will do the job under French command.  24,000 Jews in the Paris region.  Only stateless persons will be arrested: 
Austrians, Czechs, Russians, Germans and Poles.  The Germans say they won't take the children just yet but the official says no. Children should go with their parents. 

The Weismann family is forced to leave the area just outside the city park or be sent to an internment camp.

The Germans set the round-up day for two days after Bastille Day, on July 16.

A French policeman, Sgt. Desnoyers, tells a Jewish lady that Germans now have a list of the Jews.  He adds that it will be any time soon now.  The talk in the Weismann family is that they will take the children this time.  Mother doesn't believe it, saying:  "Why'd they burden themselves with children?"  Father sides with mother.  He says:  "Thousands of Jews took refuge here like us.  Know what they say in Poland?  France is the Jews' salvation."  Rachel is the one who is the most frightened for the family's safety. 

The round up will start at 4 a.m.  All listed Jews must leave their homes immediately.  Detainees must take two days' food per person.  Childless couples and bachelors will be sent to Drancy internment camp.  All others will go to the Winter Velodrome. 

The police raid the Weismann's area, grabbing as many Jews as they can.  The Jews are forced down to the large courtyard.  The nightmare has come to fruition.  A Jewish woman kills herself by jumping onto the courtyard from high above. 

The Weismann's are grabbed and taken away. So far, the collectors have 13,000 Jewish people.  The Jewish representative says they will have to arrest more Jews by searching Aryan homes.

One of the French nurses, Annette Monod, goes to work at the Winter Velodrome.  The place is a huge stadium and it's packed full with Jewish people.  The place smells because there are too many people and too few toilets.  As Annette walks on the floor, people ask her for help with their sick relatives.  Some complain that they have been without water for two days.

Annette reports to Dr. David Sheinbaum, who tells her that he has only six nurses now for 8,000 people.  He then tells her to ask Matthey Joanis at the nursery what she can do. Nurse Matthey tells Anette just how terrible the situation is.  They are overwhelmed by the number of sick children.  Simon's little brother Nono tells the nurse that he has been a good boy, so why can't he go home now?  Anette says she doesn't even know why he's here in the first place.  Matthey comes over and tells Annette that the boy's mother died on the way to the hospital.  The boys stay close to their friend Jo. 

Lots of rumors go around.  One boy says he heard that they're being sent to the arms factories in Poland.  A pretty Jewish girl gets an exit permit and gets past a guard, but another guard knows she's Jewish.  He stops her and looks at her exit pass.  He then gives her back the exit permit and comments:  "Well played." She gets out of the stadium and soon starts running away. 

Rachel Weismann cries, telling her family that she told them what was going to happen to them, but no one one would listen to them.  She blames her father the most.  Her mother tells her to be quiet. 

Annette tells the doctor that she had no idea of how terrible things would be in the stadium.  They only told her to stay silent about what she saw here. The doctor replies:  "One day, they'll be called to account."

Firemen come into the stadium and the people cry out to them for water. The firemen roll out the hoses and turn the hoses on.  They try to fill up as many cups as they can.  The firemen also take notes and letters from the people.  The Jewish people are so very grateful to the firemen and thank them in many different ways. 

German soldiers march into the stadium and the people boo them and shake their fists at them. The doctor complains to the officer, but he says there's no point in complaining because the people will be leaving tomorrow.  The soldiers now leave. 

With Hitler, Himmler talks about the rates at which they can cremate the bodies of the dead Jews. 

Annette asks the doctor if he knows where he will be going?  The doctor says the Loiret region detention camps:  Beaune or Pithiviers. [The Loire Valley, spanning 280 kilometres (170 mi), is located in the middle stretch of the Loire River in central France, primarily within the administrative region named Centre-Val de Loire. The area of the Loire Valley comprises about 800 square kilometres (310 sq mi).   It is referred to as the Cradle of the French and the Garden of France due to the abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards (such as cherries), and artichoke, and asparagus fields, which line the banks of the river. Notable for its historic towns, architecture, and wines. (Wikipedia)]

Annette then asks the doctor if she can go along with the children.  The doctor says:  "I'll  support your request."

Annette takes a break and scolds one of the French soldiers for participating in this horror.  The soldier tries to defend himself, but Annette has no sympathy for anything he is feeling.  And now, the people are being moved out of the stadium.  They are put on trains.  Annette tries to go with the Jewish doctor, but a German soldier tells her no.  She has to go with the other nurses. 

They are put in the Beaune-la-Rolande internment camp, 100 km south of Paris.  Annette doesn't get it.  She heard they're going East with no warm clothes. "They'll freeze."  Nono comes to visit her and asks about his mother. 

Some of the French guards are pretty brutal toward the Jews.  Jo gets slapped for spitting out some of the food he has been given.  The father and the doctor try to intervene, but then they get roughed up too. 

Annette writes to the authorities about the terrible conditions at the Beaune-la-Rolande internment camp.  She asks them to come to their aid.   She gets no replies.  So she goes to see the Prefect. 

The pretty girl who escaped from the stadium sneaks some food into the camp and she asks about how her mother and her sister are. She tells Jo to tell them that she is in Limoges with dad.  Jo and his friend give the care package to Mrs. Traube.  She gives the boys some of the toffee from the package. 

Himmler tells Hitler that the French want to deport the children with their parents.  The problem, however, is the crematoriums are already way behind schedule. 

The official tells the Field Marshal that there is a shortage of trains and the Germans can't deport the children before mid-August.  The Field Marshal says that's unfortunate. 

Nuns on bicycles bring treats for the children.  The kids are so excited.  The doctor gets a chance to dance with Annette to the music of a radio.  Others also dance to the music.

The time arrives for the Jewish people to be moved again.  The men are separated apart from the women and children.  The men leave first.  Nono says goodbye to Annette, saying that the nurse will come live with his family when they settle in.  

Annette asks doctor David if she can go along with the convoy.  He tells her that only Jews are sent East from this point.  She has come as far as she can go.  The doctor says he will send news when he can to her. 

The Jewish people now get mistreated by the paramilitary guards who are sadistic to the people.  Trucks arrive with many German soldiers inside.  The Germans are in charge now.  The women are going now and the children are staying behind .  Everyone of the inmates objects to this.  The Germans soldiers now forcibly remove the children from the women.  And they are not gentle with the people.  A machine gunner quiets the people when he fires his weapon into the air.  Annette comes over and protests to the French soldier in charge.  He has Annette forcibly taken back to the barracks with the really young children. 

The men are moved out again, walking down a road.  When the men leave, the next to go walking off are the women. 

Annette develops a raging fever.  She asks why haven't the children heard anything from their parents?  The French commander says he doesn't know why.

Jo and another boy escape from the camp.  They get through the barbed-wire and then take off running. 

Some French officials are genuinely concerned for the Jewish children separated from their mothers.  So the key official for the Field Marshal feeds the other officials some nonsense that he has asked the Germans to reunite the kids and the mothers. 

The children are being moved. They are put onto the trucks to be transported.  Nono wonders why Annette is not going with them.  Annette fights with a doctor to go with the children, but now she is told the truth.  The doctor says there's nothing Annette can do to help the children now.  They will be murdered, on arrival, probably.  Gassed, all of them.  There are no lands for the Jewish people in the East. There are only extermination camps and gas chambers.  At first, Annette thinks he's crazy.  He tells her the news was confirmed by the BBC a few days ago.  She runs out of the barracks and rides a bike to catch up with the children. 

The kids are put on trains and taken away.  Annette arrives as the train is already pulling away from the station.

Paris, June 1945.  Annette has Jewish refugees from the camps with her in an apartment and she watches over all of them as her children. 

Jo makes it to Paris and he certainly surprises Annette.  He tells her that he met some good people from the north who want to adopt him. Annette cries and cries.  Then she finds Nono.  She is so happy to see him.  They hug each other. 

 

Out of 13,000 deportees, only 25 survived.  None of the 4,051 children put on the train ever came back.  Vichy and the Germans aimed to round up 24,000 people, but on the morning of the roundup, brave Parisians helped hide 10,000 Jewish men women and children. 

 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.  

 


Historical Background:  (Wikipedia and http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/holocaust/france/camps.asp)

 

1939  --  the existing camps in France were indiscriminately filled with German anti-Nazis (Communists, German Jews, etc.) or pro-Nazi Germans or also Nazi prisoners of war.

1940 --   the Germans attack France and conquer it. 

10 July 1940   --  after Germany's victory  there was a vote of full powers installing the Vichy regime.  The camps were filled with Jews, first with foreign Jews, then indifferently with foreign and French Jews. The Vichy government would progressively hand them up to the Gestapo, and they would all transit by Drancy internment camp, the last stop before concentration camps in the Third Reich and in Eastern Europe and the extermination camps.  The Vichy government had "transit camps" ("camps de transit"), referring to the fact the detainees were to be deported to Germany. Such "transit camps" included Drancy, Pithiviers, etc.

summer of 1941  --  when the roundup of Paris Jews began, Drancy was used to imprison Jewish detainees. From March 1942 Drancy became a transit camp for Jews who were being deported to the East.  Of the 54,000 Jews who passed through the camp of Compiègne, 50,000 were deported to their extermination. 

beginning in July 1942  --  thousands of Jews were deported from Pithiviers and Beaune-la-Rolande to Auschwitz.

There were no extermination camps in France. But  the camp of Struthof, or Natzweiler-Struthof, in Alsace, was the only concentration camp created by Nazis on French territory (annexed by the Third Reich) that did include a gas chamber which was used to exterminate at least 86 detainees (mostly Jewish).

 

WWII Camps

Aincourt, in Seine-et-Oise, is the first internment camp in the Northern Zone. It was opened on October 5, 1940, and quickly filled with members of the French Communist Party (PCF)

Les Alliers, near Angoulême, in Charente

Royal Saltworks at Arc-et-Senans (Saline royale d'Arc-et-Senans) in the Doubs, used for Gypsies

Avrillé-les-Ponceaux in Indre-et-Loire, camp of the Morellerie for Gypsies

Le Barcarès in the Roussillon

Beaune-la-Rolande internment camp at Beaune-la-Rolande in the Loiret

Bourg-Lastic in the Puy de Dôme, a former military camp where Jews where detained (André Glucksmann was detained there during four years). The camp was used to intern Harkis in the 1960s and Kurdish refugees from Iraq in the 1980s (see below).

Bram in the Aude (1939–1940)

Brens in the Tarn, near Gaillac (1939–1940)

Choiseul, in Chateaubriant in Brittany, in Loire-Atlantique (1941–1942)

Camp of Royallieu in Compiègne in Picardie (June 1941 to August 1944). It was used to intern the Jewish detainees arrested during the January 1943 Battle of Marseille. Robert Desnos (1900–1945) and famous French Resistant Jean Moulin (1899–1943) transited through this camp.

Coudrecieux in the Sarthe, used to intern Gypsies

Douadic in the Indre department

Drancy internment camp: On 20 August 1941, French police conducted raids throughout the 11th arrondissement (district) of Paris and arrested more than 4,000 Jews, mainly foreign or stateless Jews. French authorities interned these Jews in Drancy, marking its official opening. French police enclosed a police barrack with barbed-wire fencing and provided Gendarmerie to guard the camp. Drancy fell under the command of the Gestapo Office of Jewish Affairs in France and German SS Captain Theodor Dannecker. Five subcamps of Drancy were located throughout Paris (three of which were the Austerlitz, Lévitan and Bassano camps)

Fort-Barraux in the department of Isère.  It had already been used as a prison during the French Revolution; Antoine Barnave was imprisoned there.

Gurs internment camp in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques), created in 1939 for the Spanish refugees. During the Phony War, the Third Republic used it to intern "indésirables", that is Germans who were found in France, without regard to ethnicity or political orientation, as foreign citizens of an enemy power. Among them stands out a significant number of German Jews who had fled the very Nazi regime; citizens of countries who were in the orbit of the Reich, like Austria, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Slovak Republic, Fascist Italy, or Poland; French activists of the left (trade unionists, socialists, anarchists, and especially, communists), following the proscription of the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) by Daladier after the German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact; the first of these arrived 21 June 1940, and the majority were relocated in other camps before the end of the year. In Gurs were also interned during this period: anti-militarists, representatives of the French extreme right who sympathized with the Nazi regime, ordinary prisoners evacuated from prisons in the north of the country ahead of the German advance, common criminals awaiting trial. Then, under Vichy, Camp Gurs was used to detain foreign Jews, German Jews deported by the SS from Germany, persons who had illegally crossed the border of the zone occupied by the Germans, Spaniards fleeing Francoist Spain, Spaniards coming from other camps that had been condemned for being uninhabitable or due to their scarce contingent, stateless persons, people involved in prostitution, homosexuals, Gypsies and indigents.

Jargeau, near Orléans, used for the internment of Gypsies

Lalande in the Yonne,

Linas-Montlhéry in the Seine-et-Oise for Gypsies

Marolles in the Loir-et-Cher

Masseube in the Gers

Les Mazures in the Ardennes department, where a Judenlager was opened from July 1942 to January 1944

Mérignac in the Gironde. This is where Maurice Papon had Jews of the Bordeaux region interned before going to Drancy. Among others, Robert Aron was detained there.

Meslay-du-Maine, in Mayenne department (1939–1940) Leon Askin held here 1939}

Camp des Milles near Aix-en-Provence in the Bouches-du-Rhône, which was the largest internment camp in the southeast of France. 2,500 Jews were deported from there following the August 1942 raids. Novelist Lion Feuchtwanger, Surrealist artists Hans Bellmer and Max Ernst were among the most famous inmates detained in this concentration camp.

Montceau-les-Mines

Nexon in the Haute-Vienne

Noé - Mauzac in the Haute-Garonne

Montreuil-Bellay in the Maine-et-Loire, created to intern Gypsies

Les Tourelles in Paris

Pithiviers transit camp in Pithiviers. Jewish novelist Irène Némirovsky (1903–1942) was interned there.

Poitiers in the Vienne department to intern Gypsies

Port-Louis, in Morbihan, in the fort

Recebedou, in Haute-Garonne, in the suburbs of Toulouse

Camp of Rieucros in Lozère (the mathematician Alexander Grothendieck was interned there)

The Camp de Rivesaltes, in the Pyrénées Orientales, "The Drancy of the zone sud";

Fort de Romainville ("Fort of Romainville"), was a Nazi prison, located in the outskirts of Paris. The Fort was invested in 1940 by the German military and transformed into a prison. From there, resistance members and hostages were directed to the Nazi concentration camps: 3,900 women and 3,100 men were interned before being deported to Auschwitz, Ravensbrück, Buchenwald and Dachau. 152 persons were executed by firing-squad in the Fort itself. A few escaped, such as Pierre Georges, alias "Colonel Fabien." From her cell, Danielle Casanova, motivated and encouraged her comrades to confront their torturers.  From October 1940, the Fort held only female prisoners (resistance members and hostages), who were jailed, executed or redirected to the Nazi concentration camps outside France. At the time of the Liberation in August 1944, many abandoned corpses were found in the Fort's yard.

Saint-Cyprien in the Pyrénées-Orientales. 90,000 Spanish refugees were interned there in March 1939, and it was officially closed on 19 December 1940 for "sanitary reasons", its occupants transferred to the Camp of Gurs.

Saint-Maurice-aux-Riches-Hommes in the Yonne, for Gypsies

Saint-Paul d'Eyjeaux in the Haute-Vienne

Saint-Sulpice-la-Pointe. Located near Toulouse, this transit camp was set up after the beginning of the Phony War. It was to house "individuals representing a danger to national security" - mostly militant communists. In June 1940, with the first German attacks on the Soviet Union, people with Russian citizenship were interned there. Later, foreign Jews who had been living in hiding in the south of France and were rounded up in the summer of 1942 were also sent to the camp. The inmates, especially the communists, organized many cultural activities, a "little university", in which each one contributed their knowledge for the collective good. From the summer of 1942 to the closing of the camp in August 1944, most of its inmates were deported to camps in Eastern Europe, to Auschwitz and Buchenwald.[21]

Saliers concentration camp near Arles in the Bouches-du-Rhône, interned Gypsies

Schirmeck in Alsace in the part not annexed by the Third Reich

Septfonds

Thil in Meurthe-et-Moselle

Le Vernet Internment Camp in the Ariège which concentrated 12,000 Spanish refugees as early as 1939. It was used later on for the internment of the harkis.

Vittel in the Vosges department, where US or British citizens were interned

Voves in the Eure-et-Loir

Woippy in the department of Moselle, created in 1943.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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