16 July 1942

43 Vieille du Temple Street

"They had no family; we were their only family"

At dawn on 16 July 1942, some 4,500 French policemen began a mass arrest of foreign Jews living in Paris, at the behest of the German authorities.

Over 11,000 Jews were arrested on the same day, and confined to the Winter Stadium, or Velodrome d’Hiver, known as the Vel’ d’Hiv, in Paris. The detainees were kept in extremely crowded conditions, almost without water, food and sanitary facilities. Within a week the number of Jews held in the Vel’ d’Hiv had reached 13,000, among them more than 4,000 children.

Jeanine Bouhana (née Sebbane), Mrs. Sebbane's daughter, 13 years old at the time, describes in chilling detail the events that transpired in her neighborhood on 16 July 1942, including the tragic arrest of her neighbors, the Polakiewicz and Zonszajn families.

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