14 August 1942


"We are in a sad situation. Mother, Mrs. Wartski have been sent to an unknown destination..."

Ten-year-old Jackie Zonzajn, the Zonzajns' older son, wrote a final letter from Pithiviers. It is through this rare testimony, written from the vantage point of a child, that we know what befell the Polakiewiczs and the Zonszajns. Jackie wrote his letter following the deportation of his beloved mother and the Polakiewiczs, and the subsequent deportation of his friend Leon, aged 13, the Polkiewiczs' youngest son. He was left in Pithiviers together with his little sister Liliane, aged three, who due to her young age was tended to by the Red Cross in the camp. On 19 August, Jackie and Liliane were transferred to Drancy, and then deported to Auschwitz. The young, terrified Jackie and his toddler sister were sealed inside an overcrowded cattle car for five days before reaching their final destination. They were both murdered on arrival at Auschwitz, on 24 August 1942.

Letter from Jacques Zonszajn : 14 August 1942, Pithiviers

Friday 14 August 1942

Dear Sebanne family,

We are in a sad situation. Mother, Mrs. Wartski have been sent to an unknown destination, the same as Mrs. Polakiewicz and her family. Leon, who remained, has also left. We sleep on straw. I am still with my little sister, the Red Cross is taking care of her, but I can see her as much as I want, and often take her for a walk. Send my regards to the concierge. I will give you a letter for my aunt that I hope you will give her. I can't think of anything else to write to you so I hug you tight, hoping to see you soon,


   View the letter