Oral History

Freya (Alice) Lang Rosen recalls experiences while hiding in France

When Freya was 6 years old, the Germans deported her family to the Gurs camp in France and then to Rivesaltes. The French Red Cross took Freya out of the camp and hid her from the Germans by placing her in a children's home, in a convent, and then with various Catholic families. After liberation, she was sent to a children's home near Paris where a rabbi was gathering Jewish children from all over France. Her father traced her and in 1946 they were reunited in Germany.


So someone came from the French Red Cross, and they were going to take me to another town. But it just so happened that in the same town a larger farmer, in the same town, Noyers, said that she would take me, that she could use an extra hand to help. There was a big farm, big orchards. And, so she took me in, so I never had to leave the city. I just moved to another family. And she didn't have just me. She had other children that she took care of. And she was hiding a Jewish family, actually. And I will never forget that red brick house--two red brick houses next to each other. And in the other house lived a Jewish family that she was hiding. But, unfortunately, someone found out, and they came, the Gestapo came, and got the family, and never was heard from them again. And I lived there, and...I went to school. I was very, very religious, very Catholic. I had little Jesus over my bed at night, and we prayed. And, in fact...when my classmates had their Communion, I wanted to have a Communion, too. After all, you wore a pretty white dress and you walked down the church. And Madame Didier was the lady that was the farmer lady...she said...that I couldn't have my Communion, because she didn't want to deprive my parents of seeing me become Communion. See, she didn't tell me why--that I was Jewish and that I couldn't have Communion, that I was only acting a gentile. So she told me that I couldn't; I had to wait for my parents to come home, so they could be there. Of course, I cried. I was very upset, because I didn't know anymore that I was Jewish. I didn't know any different.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
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