The Polakiewicz Family

Jeannine Bouhana (Sebbane) describes the roundup of Vel d'Hiv on 16 July 1942

Jeannine Bouhana (Sebanne) recounts receiving news from deported neighbors via letters

"Mrs. Sebbane, if you could send us something, it would be very kind of you"

The Polakiewiczs were Polish immigrants from Siedlce, who moved to Paris and settled in the Jewish quarter in the 4th arrondissement (district). They lived at 43 Vieille du Temple Street, one floor below the Sebbanes. They worked as furriers. The Polakiewiczs and the Sebbanes were very close friends, their children being of similar ages. On 16 July 1942, when the police came to arrest the Polakiewiczs, it was the Sebbanes who accompanied them downstairs.

Inside the Vel d'Hiv stadium where the Polakiewiczs were interned, 20-year-old Rachel Polakiewicz wrote desperate letters to the Sebbane family, her only contact with the outside world. It is not known how the letters from the Vel d'Hiv and Austerlitz train station reached Mrs. Sebbane.

David Polakiewicz, the father, was sent on 31 July 1942 (Convoy 13) to Auschwitz where he was murdered.

His wife, Fejga Polakiewicz, along with her daughter Rachel and her son Froïm, were deported on 3 August 1942 (Convoy 14) to Auschwitz where they were murdered. Léon was the last member of the Polakiewicz family to be deported, leaving on Convoy 16 on 7 August 1942.