Yvonne Roques

France

Yvonne Roques lived in the resort town of Juan-les-Pins. Her husband Philippe was secretary to Georges Mandel, the Radical Socialist Party leader who was later assassinated by the Vichy government. Philippe was appointed Mandel’s liaison officer with General de Gaulle and set out for Spain in March 1943. From there he intended to fly to London and rendezvous with the exiled de Gaulle. On his way to Spain, he was caught by the Gestapo and executed. Yvonne, who already had a three-year-old daughter, was expecting and gave birth to another daughter just a few months later. Despite her tragedy, the young widow did not give up. Instead, she worked with great vigor and uncommon audacity to rescue children in the vicinity of Nice. With the help of Monsignor Paul Rémond (q.v.), the bishop of Nice, Roques arranged hiding places for Jewish children and escorted them personally. In several cases, she hid Jewish children (mainly toddlers) in her home for several days until she could provide a long-term refuge. In her years of activity, Roques saved approximately one hundred Jews of various ages from eighteen months to fourteen years, and all survived the occupation except for one fourteen-year-old boy, who refused to change his name and hide his identity. Regina Zimmerman, a survivor, testified that Roques hosted her along with her mother, grandmother, brother, and two uncles —six people in all. Years later, Yvonne Roques received a Medal of Honor for her work in the Resistance. She founded and, for a time, edited the weekly Elle.

On January 7, 1996, Yad Vashem recognized Yvonne Roques as Righteous Among the Nations.

 

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Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.