25 March 1943

Sobibor

" I am young and strong enough, I will come back…"

The Sebbane family, which numbered seven people on the eve of 16 July 1942, all survived except for the older son, Maurice Sebbane.

Maurice was born on 1 July 1924 in Nemours, Algeria. He was picked up by the police in Paris in early 1943, and was deported on Convoy 53 from Drancy to the Sobibor death camp on 25 March 1943.

He wrote his last postcard from Drancy, the day before his deportation. (See below)

Ten men from his transport were selected to enter the Sobibor camp. It is very possible that due to his skills in leatherwork he was selected to work in one of the camp's workshops. Sobibor survivor Dov Freiberg remembers seeing a young Frenchman in Sobibor at the time:

"One of us, a guy from France, whom we called 'Frenchman', and even under camp conditions looked elegant, stuck out as a cool guy and quickly befriended a singer. They were known as lovers. One day, during evening roll call, Wagner called the 'Frenchman' to step forward, and a heated exchange developed between the two. In the end Wagner ordered the Frenchman to come with him, obviously to kill him. Suddenly, the singer jumped from the side, ran straight to Wagner and said: 'If you are taking him, I want to go with him!'. Wagner took both of them. They died together as lovers."

After the war, Maurice’s mother Rahma (Mrs. Sebbane) was tireless in her efforts to locate her son, but to no avail. Following his deportation to Sobibor he vanished without a trace.

Jeanine Sebbane, her daughter, relates that until her last days, her mother, who passed away in 1992, held on to the hope that her beloved son Maurice would walk through the door one day.

Letter from Maurice Sebbane : 24 March 1943, Drancy

Drancy 24/3/1943

Kisses to my little brothers

My dear little mother,

Some words to update you on my situation and to give you my news, which is very good.

Please stop sending me packages, as I am leaving to an unknown destination.

I have yet to receive my first package, so Mother don't worry, my morale is intact, I am young and strong enough, I will come back. Have courage and farewell.

Warm kisses from your son. Kisses to all my friends.
Maurice

   View the letter